I love the satisfaction of clicking “publish” on a blog post. Ding! Done, there’s the result.
I miss that immediate payoff when I work on my novel, Glorious Fools. I’ve been slogging along for three years, which is way too long for a first novel. I want to write so many other things! Still, I can’t find the discipline to bang out the last few chapters.
It’s not like setting goals is tough for me. In college, I took some classes about Anglo-Saxon history – so I was going to be the greatest Anglo-Saxon scholar of all time. I’m a writer – so I’m going to be the greatest writer who ever lived. But the day-to-day journey toward big goals is exhausting.
As I ate lunch yesterday, I flipped through my mom’s SELF magazine and found a “What makes you tick?” quiz. My answers were all about instant gratification over big-picture goals: “When I want to drop a few pounds, I double down on the: Cardio, not veggies.” “My ultimate relaxation method: Massage, not acupuncture.” No shock there.
I expected the analysis to say, “Well, that’s bad. Here’s how to turn yourself into someone who appreciates sustained effort.” But no! It was about how to harness the way you already are. It’s ok to crave instant gratification, if you find a way to get it while you work toward what’s important.
WordPress lets you create “hidden” blogs that no one else can see. So I thought, aha! I can blog everything I write, thus getting the immediate payoff of that “publish” button. Chapter draft? Post it. Paragraph revisions? Post it. Random ideas? Post it.
After Day One, here’s what I think about my new secret blog:
- No one sees the writing! Those final novel chapters seem less daunting. I can let them be bad before they’re good.
- I want to write more. I would write a lot of it anyway, but watching the posts pile up is addictive.
- Less stress about a giant chunk of revision. Every little post feels like an accomplishment.
- No one sees the writing! I don’t get to hear feedback or connect with people who might read my novel.
- It’s easy to write a lot of crap. I need to practice the shift from free-form drafting to readable sentences, but the “publish” button rewards any kind of work.
What do you think, readers? Would you ever write a secret blog?