Some days, you sense the world changing. It can be on the level of nations, or the simple portal of your experiences known as ‘you’, but the sensation is the same regardless of the scale. On those days, you get a sense you’ve found a portent of what’s to come. I felt it in a positive way on day 6 of 1K, when I had almost a week of a thousand words a day chained, and two diary entries back to back. I felt it in a negative way in February of 2020, when mum called to make plans for if this virus we were hearing about overseas came to the UK, and how I’d go stay with my grandparents. And, I feel it today. What those two examples above have in common is that the sensation of the change came after the catalyst, the first five days of a new beginning, and the growing omens of a deadly pandemic respectively. And today is similar, though it’s only been a day since the catalyst.
Yesterday, I posted to ScribbleHub on a whim. I haven’t put my work out into the world for a long time, not since I ceased uploading The Spectrum Sings to WattPad before deleting my account a year or so later. I never felt comfortable there, whether it was people seeming not to care much about writing (?), someone apparently pretending to be me at one point which was weird as all hell (??) or the fact that I never got any satisfaction from posting there (well, actually that tallies). I posted to WattPad to try and ‘make it’, a goal that doesn’t make sense for me as, I don’t care about ‘making it’. I care about writing something I can enjoy, and it’s a bonus if other people enjoy it too. So how do I motivate myself to put my work out there if I don’t care about how much traction it gets?
I guess you could say the original epiphany came years ago. On day 500 I wrote my Action, Accountability, Reflection post on here, and it’s still the model I live by. Tl;dr, I write every day, I post here to make it clear I’m still doing that, and I write my feelings about that day in my diary. But, my editing has been suffering in the middle of that. It’s important, but it isn’t enough for target – and I tend to aim for 1K of my current story anyway – and it’s not transparent. I don’t share those edits with people. Well, what if I did? What if I just, posted a chapter each day as I edited it. I can backtrack sure, but if I’m putting a bit of writing out into the public eye then I better make sure it’s good to go. Today is day 2/2 of doing so, and while that’s too early to tell if it’s working, I have that feeling of the world changing. I think I finally figured this out.
Is it optimal to post a chapter every day? God no, the algorithm will kill me for it. But I’m not trying to game the algorithm; I’m just looking for accountability. Feedback can help me edit further too, so that’s a bonus. Do I feel vulnerable doing this? I never used to feel that way about critical feedback but I’m less thick skinned than I used to be, so yes I am nervous that helpful critique might make me deflate, but what can you do? Better that I consider changes than stubbornly pretend it’s perfect as is. And if the critique is mild, that’s ok, because it doesn’t have to be perfect: it just has to be great, and it’s allowed to be flawed.
So yeah. Let’s see where this goes. Maybe it’ll go nowhere. Or maybe it’ll change my life. Only one way to find out.