Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Koala Challenge – Show Me, Show Me, Show Me How You Do that Trick

...the one that makes me scream, she said... the one that makes me laugh, she said... threw her arms around my head... show me how you do it... and I promise you, I promise that I’ll run away with you... (sorry, I was singing to Realmy)

This year, I’ve entered the Koala Challenge 2010

Isn’t that a cool little sinister Koala? JJ Debenedictis designed the awesome little badges that signify your progress for the month, and if you’re interested in playing, you can see all of the badges on her blog post, here. Even if you’re not interested in playing, it’s worth the trip just to ogle JJ’s artwork.

The basic idea is that each bit of writing equals a point in the system... but they’re not small bits of writing. It has to be a submission, for 1 point, for long fiction it’s 1 point per 4,000 words. That sinister badge up there equals 3 points, or 12,000 words if you’re only doing long fiction, and really the goal is to get the happy happy Koala, which is 9 points. You can go visit either McKoala’s or JJ’s posts linked above to get all the rules and see who else is playing.

“Okay, so what’s with the song at the top?” one might wonder. Around January, all of us writer types start discussing our goals for the year, our plans for what we’re going to do. I’m no exception. I wrote an entire, and entirely too long, post called, The Year of No Excuses on this topic. I got to the end and realized something – it wasn’t for you. It was for me. It was a way for me to work out what I was doing wrong and fix it for fuck’s sake. But you don’t need to know what I plan to do, or want to do, or what my goals I printed it for me, but I never posted it.

There’s an old saying that I’ve loved for most of my life – “Don’t talk to me about what you’re going to do, show me what you did.” There’s a time and a place for dreaming and planning and plotting out your future – and it’s not meant to be shared. Okay, addendum, when you’re planning a joint future with someone you should probably key them in to your plans. But otherwise, you don’t need to know why I haven’t done what I haven’t done. You don’t need to know what I plan to do.

Giving out a detailed goal list for the month or year, just makes me feel like I have to make excuses for why I fell short. So, new tact. You’ll find my Koala Badge on the right hand sidebar on the last day of the month. So the last month’s progress will be visible until I change it to reflect the newest month. The motivator for me is that I hold myself publicly accountable. There is no hiding from my lapses and no shirking my workload. At the same time, though, it feels better to me to say at the end of the month – this is what I accomplished. I like the camaraderie of a group, too and the fact that other challengers can stop here and congratulate or give me shit about it.

Your turn – what have you accomplished lately that you’re proud of? And do you prefer to show or tell – or a little of both?


jjdebenedictis said...

Aw, thanks for the doodle-love.

And good luck escaping the Koala claws of doom! I'm going to hide behind you, okay?

Merry Monteleone said...

You're welcome, JJ. The badges are awesome.

Good luck to you, too... and you can hide behind me, only if you can outrun me :-)

Deidra said...

There's a writing competition every November called NaNoWriMo, and many NaNoers make a BFS List at the beginning of the new year. That stands for Big, Fun, Scary List, and it's like a list of new year's resolutions, except they're posted online to hold the person accountable throughout the year. I tried that this year, and so far it's going quite well. Makes me feel productive. :)
Good luck with your goals as well! May the new year see you and yours with good health and good times.

Aniket said...

JJ's badges are truly awesome. :)

Though I have no hopes of getting the Koala Approves one, like ever!

Looking forward to many months of shame and humility at the hands of the mighty Koala! :)

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Deidra,

Welcome! I've never done nano, but I have a lot of writing friends who love it - the blog-o-sphere practically shuts down around these parts in November :-)

I never heard of a BFS List, but that sounds like a lot of fun. Do you check in with your nano writing friends, too, and keep tabs on each others' progress?

Good luck with your new year, too and happy writing!


CoN winner, you!!! Congratulations! Great, great job.

I'm aiming for approval from the koala - though I came to it so late this month, I'm pretty sure I'll be a bit short. (I don't normally keep word count, so I started the count this week - eeep)

Should be excruciatingly painful - what fun :-)

Colleen_Katana said...

Holy moly, that is a scary lookin' koala!

Merry Monteleone said...

That's nothing, Colleen - you should see what the Koala does when you haven't done any writing all month! *shudders*

Mary Witzl said...

I've been sending stuff off. Going through old files, finding pieces I think are worthy of salvaging, polishing them up, and taking the plunge. My rejection file is really filling up, but some of the rejections are really good ones. And I've had a couple of acceptances too.

It's so easy to just mess around and get nothing done, isn't it? And not to brag, but I absolutely excel at doing that. So this year, no resolutions. Just resolve.

Jean Ann Williams said...

Hey, Merry, really like your blog. Especially like your design and the color is my favorite!

Welp, I'm with Mary. I resolve to get more writing done this year. Many changes in my life have slowed me down a bit, but this year I hope I'll be prolific.

My first good news of the year is an acceptance for a book anthology. My first book short story. Not sure when the book will be out, but sure that it will be months down the road.

So, for the first month of 2010, I am doing better than I have in years. Ha!

Merry, nice post BTW! Not sure I'll do the Koala Challenge but will look into it further.

McKoala said...

Heh heh. There is no hiding from The Koala.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Mary!

It's extremely easy to mess around and get nothing done... and I've done my share of excelling at it too :-)

"No resolutions. Just resolve" I'm posting that on my computer monitor - flippin' awesome!

Hi Jean,

Thanks for stopping in and congratulations on your short story!!! What a great way to start the year.

Hi Koala,

*shudders briefly and then lunges offline for to up my wordcount*