Angus Bumblebee Costume
Angus Bumblebee Costume
Angus Bumblebee Costume
Angus Bumblebee Costume

Superhero Mode, Engage

Starting today, I have ten weeks left in which to finish fifteen stories if I hope to meet the goal I set on July 31st of 2017. Whether it’s fighting sickness, familial and work obligations, or general lethargy, the enemy is around every corner (I feel a little out of sorts referring to family as the enemy, but the writing doesn’t care…).

Excuses, man. They always seem legitimate, and sometimes they are. That’s just a part of their tricky arsenal. But more often than not, excuses is all they are.

So what to do? In some dusty corner of my brain, I hear a crackly signal playing like an old radio with poor reception. A not-so-distant memory of something I’d heard a couple of years ago.

So what’s the good?

The reminder that words are just words. Writing is just writing. Am I going to let myself be stopped by the critical voice in my head saying that I can’t do this? What about all of those people that have taken on much greater challenges in life with so much more at stake? What about the critical voice that told me that I was making a big mistake by putting yet another novel aside to focus on short stories? You know, that voice who’s now 37-stories old?

Time to get up. Dust off. Reload. Recalibrate. Re-engage. Go out on the attack.

Superhero mode, engage.


13 thoughts on “Superhero Mode, Engage

  1. Here’s an idea, Phillip. Figure out how many words you typically write in a week. Multiply by ten. Then divide that by fifteen. Voila, if each story is that number of words (or less!), you get your fifteen stories in ten weeks.

    Yes, it’s workmanlike, but hey … there’s a DEADLINE! 😉

    1. Hah! Kevin, I love that analysis and if I don’t take the whole thing, I’ll keep a slice. I guess it’s all math in the end, right? 🙂

  2. It’s impressive what you’ve already achieved. All that short-story writing is honing your skills for when you do return to your novel. I love the picture of Angus. He’s so tall already!

    1. Thanks, Carrie. I agree, I’m certainly getting lots of practice for when that novel comes (though I know the novel has its own set of skills that can only be developed by working on them). And yes, Angus is definitely a big boy. He’ll be four in August and people already think he’s five.

  3. You’ve come this far…you can do it, Phillip! Oh my, thank you for giving me my Angus fix! He’s got some long legs! He’s adorable!

    1. Thanks, Jill. And thanks for the inspiration to put an updated Angus photo up on the blog. 🙂

  4. Perfect solution: calculate the number of words you usually write in a week. Multiply by ten. Divide that by fifteen. Bingo: each of your stories can be that number of words (or less!) and you’ll get ’em done in ten weeks. And math is not my strong suit! 😉

    (If this repeats an earlier comment, disregard. Something seemed to go wrong on this end …)

    1. I see your doppelgänger is on the loose again! 😉

  5. 1. You got this.

    2. What you’ve accomplished already is a far greater body of work than most writers have to show for themselves in a year… or a lifetime, in some cases. You’re playing with house money at this point.

    3. I’m really looking forward to your next story! And the next 14 after that. And frankly, a part of me selfishly hopes you won’t stop when the challenge is done, just because these are so much fun to read. But, if that’s what it takes for you to get the time to work on the novel, I wouldn’t mind that either…

    1. Many thanks for your continued support and votes of confidence, Berthold! I imagine that I’ll continue to write more short stories after August 1st, but they’ll probably be submitted for publication, so you won’t see them posted here, but hopefully posted elsewhere!

  6. Go Phillip, GO! Your stories have been a highlight this year, and I can’t wait to read more of them. Like Berthold, I selfishly hope you’ll keep going after your challenge is over—you’ve given us so many awesome reads!

    1. Aww, thanks for the kind words and your continued support as well, Candace! I’ll certainly keep cranking out work. Overall, I’m having too much fun not to!

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