The End of Failure

After three reports of failure (one, two, three), I was finally able to stop failing and start working on the next short story that I'll be selling online.

How I Stopped Being an Idiot and Started Being Productive

  1. I read the last short story I sold online, THE TUMOR
  2. I checked my Gumroad sales on THE TUMOR (114 sales, $663.50 revenue)
  3. I read "Joe Gould's Teeth" by Jill Lepore in the New Yorker ("We all spend our lives chasing into darkness.")
  4. I looked at the drafts of other stories I'd started and not finished (one we'll call S, one we'll call H, one we'll call P)
  5. I emailed Lydia Netzer ("It is ASTONISHING how talented I am.")
  6. I walked the dog (it was raining)
  7. I listed three qualities of THE TUMOR ("scary, smart, surreal")
  8. I added seven more ("disconcerting, weird, uncomfortable-making, troubling, twistedly delightful, original, naughty")
  9. I thought about how when cats are preparing to jump, they dance their paws in place really fast before taking off (see: Supercat)
  10. I wrote a list of the stories that I had worked on and what was wrong with them ("too stiff," "one joke like 'SNL' skit," "no, gross")
  11. I read "The Really Big One" by Kathryn Schulz in the New Yorker ("Then the wave will arrive, and the real destruction will begin.")
  12. I watched "Ex Machina"
  13. I went to bed
  14. The following morning, I listed the options of the different stories that I could work on and decided on P ("interested me bc seemed something new")
  15. At 8:41 AM, I opened the document that contained P and began working on it
  16. I was listening to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's "Some Kind of Ghost" ("Pain, they say every name got a page")
  17. By the end of the day, I had a 2,010-word working draft (the finished draft will likely be between 7,500 and 10,000 words, which I ambitiously would like to have completed by this Friday, July 31)

Buy THE TUMOR! "This is one of the weirdest, smartest, most disturbing things you will read this year."