I'm sure that you've all heard the adage before, It takes 21 days to learn a habit.

It's certainly what I had in mind when I wanted to stick to my resolution this year to re-embrace my passion for all of the writing process. The best way to overcome my delays and habits of starting and stopping in fits was simple. I just needed new habits. I needed to retrain myself and get used to accommodating the act of writing in my daily schedule. So that means everyday.

But as it turns out the familiar adage that everyone knows and loves to tout so earnestly? It's a crock of shit.

According to Science, anyway. The 21 day limit is completely arbitrary. According to peer reviewed research, it takes a whole 66 days for a habit to actually stick. So all those times you tried incorporate yoga? Or go running? Or stopping swearing? IT WASN'T YOUR FAULT. You were misled.

On the other hand, however, I'm rather annoyed to learn this fact. Mostly, because today is Day 12 of Consistent Writing. I've been doing a countdown and had a reward planned for Day 21. But now Day 21 suddenly morphed into Day 66...

Perhaps I'll break down and do a partial reward at Day 33. Otherwise this is going to become quite the upward slog.
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Looking back, my 2017 has felt very akin to the sensation of being tied to the back of a dolphin as it does all the dolphiny things that dolphins do. In that, I've spent more time under water than I liked, but every now and then I'd come up for air before being jerked below again.

If it sounds like a less than pleasant experience, you wouldn't be far from the mark.

Mostly, my 2017 has been filled with micro-successes, largely having to do with my struggling health. Proper medication makes a difference, but when the diagnoses change or no longer make sense, any real progress becomes short-lived.


My biggest success so far this year has been NaNoWriMo. I didn't win, BUT this is the first year where I even hit the half-way mark for word count! Between starting late due to traveling for World Fantasy and becoming wretchedly sick off and on throughout the month, I thought that this was pretty respectable progress for me. It's also allowed me to dive into several projects, so I'm hoping this was just a spark for a larger fire in 2018.

Crit' Me

In pursuit of fanning the flames of this fire, I began leading critique groups in the north Seattle area. Looking for a critique session of your own to attend in this year? Wanna rip into my stuff? RSVP at Meetup.com. I look forward to seeing you there. :)

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It's Time to Flash Some More

The more I write, the more I learn. Especially things like, don't lose your original graphics file if you're going to be writing a small series of blog posts about flash fiction. Because then you'll have to photoshop a shoddy attempt at consistency, and Lordy, what a bear that'll be.

I've tried my hand a bit at the following formula and I've noticed that the end result can look a lot alike the end result for my first post in this series, How to Write Flash Fiction in 5 Easy (or Not So Easy) Steps. But please, whatever you do, don't confuse it for How to Write Flash Fiction Using the A-B-C-D-E Plot Structure. It's different, y'all.

A-B-D-C-E Plot Structure

A is for Action. Show us your character in motion!

B is for Background, because context or the lack of it can kill your story.

D is for Development. There is stuff happening in this story, right?

C is for Climax. Time for a plot twist!

E is for Ending, because it can't go on forever.

Again, you know the drill. It's meant to be keep in chronological order, lest you want things to go seriously dodgy. Hopefully, one of these formulas will help you on your way to writing the next bomb ass story.
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