When the word count quota feels like a chore . . .

I’m still at it with the Clarion West writeathon! I have lost track of exactly how many words I’ve done, but this week I wrote T, W, TH, F, and will need to write Saturday. (I’m measuring the weeks Sun through Sat.) Today, however, I felt pretty darned unmotivated. I spent yesterday sitting at Chuck E Cheese revising a paper copy of my work-in-progress, and I don’t want to write any more until I have those revisions entered. I started a flash fiction earlier this week, but I don’t want to work on that either. So, for your reading amusement, here is what happens when a writer gets stuck but has to write anyway


            “You’re getting ahead of the story,” I said to myself. “It is opening up to manifold possibilities and one story should not have quite so many. It should not be a multiverse.”

            “However,” I replied sensibly, “I have a word quote for the Clarion West writeathon. I have to get to 250 words every day, five days a week, for two more days and two more weeks. Then I will have met my goal.”

            “That’s all well and good but Phoenix and Raven just want you to stop a minute and let them catch their breaths and gather their identities. Why don’t you work on something else in the meantime?”

            I scratched my head. “Well, there is the washing machine story, but I have to admit, I’m a little stuck. Have you got any ideas for what a washing machine could do that would upset a household exactly as much as a thief stealing their stuff?”

            “Weren’t we going with a laundry avalanche, or something like that? Sort of a Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage out?”

            I made a derogatory noise at myself. “That’s been done.”

            “Well, Chrome is making a lot of noises and she could be rocking the foundation of the house. It could cause a collapse of their closet. In fact, the entire closet could fall through the floor into the basement.”

            “But that’s silly!”

            “So is the concept of a sentient washing machine. Fiction can be silly. You can do whatever you can with it.”

            “Never mind. I’ve hit 250 words already.”

            “Let’s call it a day, then.”


– Kristin

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