Sep. 30th, 2011

I got off the elevator on three twenty-five, hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. There were, I reasoned, only a finite number of scenarios involving me being called up to the executive level. It wasn't automatically bad, but the potential for disaster was there. I could be asked about the Babbage account, which had underperformed for the last two quarters. There might be questions about the Babylon Project, which was generally acknowledged to be complex. Any number of issues or obstacles could have arisen requiring the oversight of the upper echelons. There was nothing to worry about, except for not knowing what specifically to worry over.

The receptionist smiled and waved me into the conference room. I straightened my tie and opened the door. It was dark inside, but I could hear people breathing. Figuring a presentation was underway, I quietly slipped in, closed the door behind me, and turned around. I was genuinely surprised when the lights came up.

"Andy!" roared an approving, applauding crowd. They had packed a good forty people into the room, all smiling and whooping and looking at me. There was a cake on the table. I smiled uncertainly.

"What's going on?" I asked. Oliver stepped forward to hold out his hand; I automatically took it.

"Andy," said Oliver solemnly, "you've been with us a long time now. I know I speak for the whole division when I say that we think of you as a true MVP. Good work, my boy." There were general murmurs of agreement and approval from the crowd.

"And now," Oliver continued, holding up a hand for silence, "and now, Andy, you have earned a rest. Today is the fourth twentieth anniversary of your working here at Rabbithole, and that means it's time for your Replacement."

Somebody stepped up behind Oliver. He looked like me. An awful lot like me.

"Oh, man!" I said, elation and relief flooding through me. "Man! I had completely forgotten!"

Read more... )
This month's word count: 64685. Too many words. Not happy with this development. In fact, I think I'm starting to burn out again. In May, after four months of constantly writing an average of 2000 words per day, I took a small break and only wrote about 1000 words on average per day. I think I will do that again in October. Stories are therefore likely to be shorter and simpler. Which means I need to come up with short, simple ideas. Blargh.

I passed the 500,000 word milestone a few days ago. That is a significant psychological milestone for me. When I started writing, I estimated my end total might be as much as 300,000 words. I now expect to more than double that total. My take-away from this is that I am a very good production writer, meaning I am better than average at being diligent and keeping my butt in the chair and continuing to pound away at the keyboard even when I don't really feel like doing it. I'm not necessarily good at producing on command, but when I get to freely dictate exactly what I write and how long it will be, I can churn out some words.

I have three months left to go. Looking at my story idea stockpile, I am quite thin on good, clean, simple story nuclei. I have written most of those already. This leaves two categories of story ideas: stories I don't really like any more, and stories that are significantly harder to write. I doubt I will completely clear the queue at the end; [livejournal.com profile] crisper didn't either. There are a few that I definitely want to tackle, but there are some I may not get to. That's okay; I have already gotten some big, hard stories out of my head this year, and I will still consider it a victory if a leave a few rattling around to tackle later at my leisure.

I still like writing. But I'm definitely flagging. One foot in front of the other...

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