The Jungle Red Writers, issued a challenge on the 16th of this month: to write for 45 minutes before going on-line. I decided to take up that challenge. Like a racehorse that looked the other way when the starting gate opened, I’ve failed the challenge before beginning. Why?
Technology is such that my computer is always on-line. Electronic eons ago, when dial-up was the mode, Internet providers regularly kicked-off users so that signing off and on became the habit. Extra minutes on-line then also burned money since users were charged by time. With broadband and FIOS connections, this procedure isn’t technologically necessary and no additional money is required to stay on-line.
When I go to my desk every morning, my email inbox is in view on my desktop and usually is full since I belong to many writing groups. It’s become a habit to check it first. My next on-line move takes me to this site to check the day’s blog. We now have 65 readers. If Blogger.com messes up, if someone has forgotten to post, if I’ve worded something in my own blogs that I’m still not satisfied with—I feel a responsibility to our readers to make sure the blog looks as it was envisioned.
I stated in my New Year’s Resolution blog that I need to stop emailing, blogging, responding and reading other writers’ blogs and just WRITE! What is so hard about doing my job?
Bad Habits! The duration of Jan’s challenge was for six weeks. Habits form, the scientists say, after three weeks. I have five weeks remaining to instill a new habit even if I muffed it in this first week. I’ll try again, and my critique group, The Mayhem Gang may help.
In my last report, The Mayhem Gang’s attrition brought our numbers down to three dedicated writers. Last month, one of those three bowed out due to health issues. The other writer and I decided to carry on as best we could, knowing that one critique on our work was better than none and that producing work for critique every other week would be daunting. We decided to let the schedule slip if we had to do so for our sanity. Our lives and the holidays intruded, so we gave ourselves a two week holiday. A week ago, Betsy Bitner, critique group coordinator for our SinC subchapter, The Guppies, assigned two more writers to our group. We are joyous!
I now have two new writers to impress; one of whom already has a publishing contract! My fellow writers awe me, and I'm eager to critique and to produce. The Mayhem Gang has given me new incentive and additional reason to take up The Writer’s Challenge of 2011. I’ll let you know how the remaining five weeks go.
Are any of you taking up Jan’s challenge? Has it prompted you to break the bad Internet habit? Will you log-off the Internet every night?
WWK Blogger Paula Gail Benson has two short stories running in Kings River Life Magazine this weekend, "Pelican Spring" and "The Mama Factor." Both are Mother's Day short stories. You can read them by going to: http://kingsriverlife.com/category/kings-river-reviewers/terrific-tales/
Linda Rodriguez is a finalist in two categories for the International Latino Book Awards (given out at BEA the end of May)--one for Every Last Secret and one for editing Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriquena Poets Look at Their American Lives (with Gloria Vando, Anika Paris, and Anita Velez-Mitchell). Congratulations, Linda!
The second SinC Guppy anthology, Fish Nets, has been released by Wildside Press. WWK authors, Gloria Alden, Warren Bull, Kara Cerise and E. B. Davis have short stories in this volume, which can be bought at Wildside Press, the usual retailers and will be available at the Malice Domestic Conference. Look for "the story behind the stories" on May 1 here!
Upcoming Salad Bowl Saturdays include authors Sasscer Hill on 5/18 and Carolyn Mulford on 5/25. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, send a message to Jim Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.