Sunday, November 6, 2011

Short Medium Long Term

My considerable writing productivity has been lagging a bit in the last month or so, and you may find yourself wondering "Why? WHY?!?"
I know I have...
But besides that: Why?

I'm still doing the Short Stories Challenge Practical, even though it needs a better name. I'm just doing that thing where you write a story and set it aside and read it after having written the next story. Also, whenever a story seems like a good fit for Beneath Ceaseless Skies, I send it to them. That messes up the flow of the challenge until I build up a backlog for a weekly release. This doesn't count as an excuse, that's just Sustainable Planning.

Overall, though, my mighty word output powers are at an ebb, and that's because I'm having to spend my short term stabilizing my medium term to ensure my long term. Understand? Probably. It's not that hard a concept, but I'll expand anyways.

I mean, who eats just one grape?
Short Term
is where writers write short stories.
My short term, that is: my day to day, has recently been spent in meetings with people and introspection of myself to obtain a stable medium term. My crazy jungle lifestyle needs to be extended somehow, but expanded so that it can fit all the stuff I need to accomplish. With that much on my plate, as it were, there's only enough time for a quick snack of grapes. Which is my metaphor for writing short stories. Books are more valuable, but, fortunately, writing short stories is easy, once you've practiced.

Medium Term
is where writers write books.
A book is a banana. Yes, that is a f*cking amazing metaphor, which I hereby copyright for all time. The medium term is what you get when you've spent enough short term time setting up a stable future. I'm looking for one or two years here, and to get one or two years of stability, I've found that I need to spend one or two months on prep. Once I've got those years, though, I can output like a BEAST. A banana-beast. Some sort of orangutan or typing monkey. Which is another metaphor, although it is in the public domain. Still, at the constant rate of three-four books a year, we're rolling through dynamite.

Pictured: Stupid Metaphor
Long Term
is where writers have written a lot of books
Long-term is what you get when you've got a big bunch of bananas. In this metaphor, bananas don't spoil. Maybe they're plastic bananas. In any case, a big pile of books is like a bunch of bananas that never spoil. They can hang out on that banana hook in the kitchen while you get on with the cooking. In this metaphor, cooking is writing. This is the five year plan: After five years I'll be a full-time writer, only writing, producing at least four books a year, plus short stories like unto the stars in the sky. Which, of course, means stars are grapes? Wait, that can't be right...

The point is, your long term is where you have achieved stability on your own, not based on other people. The kind of stability that rich folk were born with, but without being a jackass. I shall be a jackass for entirely different reasons, because it is the duty of every successful author to develop a couple oddball opinions so he gets in the newspaper every once in a while. I'm looking forward to it.

So, to use your short term to find your medium term, and, if you play your cards right, your long term finds you.
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