When I was a kid, we used to go camping in the mountains and there was a series of lakes connected by a creek. We’d usually camp at one of the bottom couple lakes, and at least one day during our trip we’d hike up to the top lake, and then the top of the mountain. One year, as we were passing one of the middle lakes on our way up, my older brother said, “I bet you couldn’t swim across this lake. I could, but you couldn’t.” So I promptly stripped out of my clothes (I had my swimming suit on under) and said, “I’ll meet you on the other side.” And I did. Even though it was ridiculously cold, even though I wasn’t a professional swimmer, even though no one else did it with me, and even though it was further than I’d probably ever swam at once before, I did it, simply because my brother said I couldn’t. (By the way, don’t ask my brother about this story. He lies. In recent years he has decided that he swam it with me, and he gets my sister to lie for him, too. My dad will verify that my side of the story is accurate, though.)
Anyway, the point is, I work well under pressure. I push myself when I have a reason to. Even if that reason is totally arbitrary, having it helps me.
I love having a specific goal to meet and measurable success. That’s why I love NaNoWriMo. It has a specific goal to meet in a specific amount of time. I didn’t participate last year. I was overwhelmed by life stuff. But I missed it. I missed having to push through to meet a word count goal and the feeling of satisfaction when I do.
So, when my friend and boss at Splickety/Havok issued a Flash Fiction challenge, I jumped on board. The goal is to write a flash story (flash fiction is 1000 words or less) every day for the rest of August.
I started yesterday, and succeeded. One down. Now, on to the rest of the month. Who’s with me?