December Milestone

Most people with whom I have online contact are scaling back their December holiday obligations this year for obvious reasons, so I’m seeing much less stress attributable to those obligations. I have, however, noted an uptick in random snits of sufficient severity to make me reconsider several relationships. Whenever it seems like everybody is being a jerk, I step back and evaluate how much of it is me being more of a jerk than usual. December holiday season is always stressful for me, despite not participating in 99% of it. (The stress, in my case, mostly comes from presumptions of participation against my will.) I realized that if I can be stressed at this time every year without doing most of the things that stress other people out, they can also be stressed out in the absence of those things! So if everybody (including yourself) seems extra irritable and/or irritating right now, consider postponing any irrevocable responses until after New Year’s, when the tension level traditionally drops. I think “get back to normal” can safely be stricken from the lexicon at this point, but “be somewhat less of a butt” is a reasonable aspiration for everyone come January.

Word processor's word count, showing 90,046 wordsWriting wise, the lovebirds have gotten up the mountain, met the dragon, and lived to embark on the next phase of the journey. Most of the “up the mountain” section doesn’t feel right, but it seems like a big-picture problem that will be better diagnosed when I have a whole draft to look at. It needs more purpose, which may need to be shifted from somewhere that’s overstuffed. It may also be too samey-same with a prior “up that other mountain” section because I haven’t differentiated the settings and effects thereof enough. There may be lots of things wrong with it! I’ll do what I can in revision and then let my editor take a crack at what’s left.

If I can clock 554 words per day, I can hit an arbitrary goal of 100,000 words by the end of 2020. That may not sound like a lot (this post is 505 words, for reference), but although I generally produce around 3,000 words every day, approximately 2,800 of those are for paid work with a measly 200 going toward personal projects. I’d have to come up with 2½ times more hours and mental energy to devote to the fantasy romance, and if I had that to give, this book would have been finished and published a year ago. I don’t like arbitrary goals (putting up a billboard for potential failure that wouldn’t exist had it not been declared has always been the opposite of motivating to me), but since the next milestone is 100K anyway, there’s not much harm seeing how close to December 31 we get there.

Wishing everybody whatever sort of end of year makes you happy. If hibernating until midday on January 1 sounds ideal to you for whatever reason, know that while you may have the blanket cave all to yourself, you are not alone in the sentiment. Stay as safe as you can.

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