Happy Autumnal Equinox! Free Refills Season 7 starts today.
I'm making a bit of a change to the flavor of the rules for this season. Switching gears too frequently between drafting and revising can get a little draining. I'd like to shift toward an approach in which I can take a more expansive view of my drafting, allowing movement towards longer-form writing. So I'm making a small change in how I measure my drafting quota. Instead of needing to complete 5,000 words per week, my quota will now be cumulative: I'll need to complete 5,000 words by the first week, 10,000 by the second, and so on. This means I can get ahead, but I can't fall behind. If during some week I get way ahead on my quota, good for me. Then I can choose to focus on other aspects of writing for a while, or I can push and get further ahead.
In 2017, I'll extend that approach to the whole year. There are 50 writing weeks during the year (I'll continue taking the two weeks around the winter solstice as a period of rest), so that means 250,000 words total during the year. (250,000 is such a lovely round number, don't you think?) Again, I can get ahead, but I can't fall behind.
Why am I not allowed to get behind and catch up? Here's why: I still have anxiety dreams in which I'm in school, and it's the night before the final paper is due, some big 30-page paper demanding a great deal of research, and not only have I not started writing, I haven't even opened the books that I need to read to begin the writing. I have no desire to experience something like that in real life. I won't be waking up some morning in November of 2017 realizing that I've got 200,000 words to write between then and the end of the year. No thank you.
For Season 7, my publishing schedule will stay the same.
A couple of times in the iterations of these guiding rules, I've talked about doing under-the-hood work on Free Refills in order to bring the site more in line with my long-term vision of what I'm trying to accomplish here. This has proved quite challenging. My vision has been like a grand thing seen at a great distance: I know it's there, and I know it has substantial size and shape, but I can barely make it out through the haze. Sadly, this means that I've done nothing beneath the hood at all. (Way to follow my own rules, eh?)
Well, over the past couple of months, the haze has cleared out substantially. I still don't know exactly what this thing is supposed to look like, but it's getting clearer. I can at least begin to do some of that work. Anyway, it's too important to put it off anymore, notwithstanding any lack of clarity--I've got to find the clarity through the work itself. I've stated this as a rule several times during the life of Free Refills and haven't done anything about it, but it's time for that to change. I don't want to make myself a liar another time.
Once again: Happy Autumnal Equinox! Enjoy the change of seasons, and start thinking SNOW.