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Looks like I'm finishing 2016 with the slacker approach.

So, uh... apparently one of my goals for 2016, which I set for myself around this time last year, was to finish the first draft of my post apocalyptic comedy.  I am not exactly there yet.

Looking over my Week in Review logs, I started 2016 with my rough draft at around 27,000 words.  My best guess is that it'll end up somewhere around 80,000 words, so that's almost exactly 1/3 of the way there (33.75%).

I started December with the draft at just about 60,000 words (75%).  That means that in the entirety of 2016 up until this month, I only did slightly more than double my efforts from the tail end of 2015.  Not good.

I've only got about 20,000 words left to go. It's not really that much - in a good week, I can easily knock out 10k without breaking a sweat.  But there's three problems: 1) I have kids now, so nothing is easy anymore, 2) It's the holiday season, so almost all of my free time is already spoken for, and 3) Those 20,000 words have to come at the end of the process, which is always the hardest.  All the stuff that's left to write is the stuff I specifically skipped over in order to keep writing the easier parts of the book.

It sounds a bit self-defeating to say that some parts of the book are "easy" or "hard."  It almost feels like I'm saying that some parts are boring, so I don't want to write them.  That's not quite right - it's more like there are parts where I haven't 100% figured out the best way to transition, or there are parts where I know what I have to do and I just can't get into the right head space to do it.

The more I avoid writing those pieces, the more mysterious they become.  It's like dropping your keys in a small stream - at first it's totally clear where they are, but the more you walk past them, the more you stir up sediment and the muddier the water gets.  The keys are still there, but now you have to dig around blindly to grab them.

The right way to do this, then, would be to get your keys while you still see them.  Or, in non-metaphorical terms: focus on the "hard" parts first so that the rest of the book is a cakewalk.  But I didn't do that.  I took the slacker approach.  I went for the easy stuff and then said, "Eh, I'll get to the rest of that later."

I've been griping about this for months.  Almost all year, in fact.  2016 is on track to be the first year since I started taking my writing seriously that I might not finish a book, and that hurts on a profound level.  It's one thing for my books to not sell - I've always known that I'll be doing this for the love rather than the money - but it's entirely another to just not write. It must sound melodramatic, but the truth is that I need to write or it feels like my life is broken.  If I don't write for too long a stretch of time, my brain starts getting foggy and I feel depressed.

So, now I'm faced with an urgent deadline and a sense of desperation not to let it slide.  I'm scrambling to check off that goal before winter vacation, just like a term paper in college.

The lesson here, I think, is that bad habits like this don't go away when you get older, kids.  Adults and parents are the same fuck-ups we were in our twenties.  We just have more money and a slightly better sense of consequence.

Sigh.  Two weeks to go for the final check-in.  See you then.