Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The first small victory of 2014

I started using HabitRPG a while ago.  If you're not familiar with it, it's a site and app that lets you set daily goals, habits to encourage (or discourage) and things to do, all framed as an RPG with experience and gold rewarded for completing tasks and health taken away for failing.

I'm terrible at sticking to things.  I don't have the attention span for it, so approaching it as a game with rewards is actually doing wonders.

One thing that it's proving particularly useful for is the To-Do section: mine is full of writing targets that, if I see every day, I can't escape so easily.  They range from the unlikely (completing the second arc of Three Graces, which has been sat doing nothing for two years due to my own stupidity--no, seriously), to the possibly-probable (finishing both Radial AUs), to the downright laughable but depressingly necessary (naming the steampunk universe, because Unnamed Steampunk is never catchy).

It also included two perfectly reachable ones: finish the Unnamed Steampunk (see?) novella I started last year, and rewrite it.  I'd intended to finish it last year but got unaccountably stuck on the last chapter, the part that should have been the easiest of the whole story.  I stared and prodded and rewrote, I even edited bits of it, but it resolutely refused to crystallise in my mind.  I could not wrap my mind around this one last bit.

And there was this perfectly reachable To-Do sitting there laughing at me.  It's embarrassing, being taunted by an orange box on a website.  But there it was, perfectly smug in the knowledge that it was reachable and I was just failing to reach it.

Funny how the brain works, isn't it?  Even funnier is that, in writing "Doors Should Creak", I solved my own problem.  By writing a point in Niko and Kirill's life where they were comfortable enough to have sex and clearly had been for some time, it made it much easier to write Kirill's tentative first steps towards confidence in Niko and their fledgling relationship.  Suddenly, over the course of two days, I could check off my Habit of writing 200 words (a small but manageable goal for someone who's so easily distracted) and I finished the story.

It's now on my Kindle, where I can be taunted by the weird chapter spacing and the fact it needs heavy revision, but it's done.

Considering my atrocious track record with actually completing projects, it feels weird and incredible, but I finally got to check off my first To-Do and complete my first project of 2014.

Anyone else using HabitRPG or cracked that first To-Do of the year?

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