A Great Question…
I got that question from a writer just today and I had a pretty simple answer for him. But there is more to my answer than what I was able to give him at the spur of the moment.
I said this:
Try to catch up if doing so is possible and will be challenging. If impossible to catch up, then simply reset the challenge and start fresh.
Sounds simple until you start figuring out if something is impossible or not. Sometimes you just know you have screwed the pooch. No catching up is possible. Reset and restart!!!
But other times the added challenge makes it even more fun on a goal or challenge.
If that is the case, figure out what caused you to get behind, set a plan to do the challenge while catching up, and then stick to it. Otherwise you are just kidding yourself and things will get worse and you would be better off resetting in the long run.
I am in this very spot. I bored Kris, once again at lunch today, talking about my short story per day challenge. I can do it, no issue. Knew that from the start. Did just fine through January and February and a ways into March before life stuff started to just derail stories. April I am back writing and no problem of me catching up the extra stories I have missed. And I will get caught up on the stuff outside of the writing like Patreon.
But that is not what I bored Kris with. She was trying to help me solve the problem that is echoing in my head again, and has been echoing since I started thinking about this in November and again I am having trouble clearing it.
What in the hell am I going to do with 365 short stories?
Granted, already used 16 of them in issues of Smith’s Monthly. Say 50 stories per year. 7 years, but I don’t plan on stopping writing short stories next year either. And the idea of a collection per month just fell apart about week three. So writing 365 stories and putting them in a file drawer for some future time?? Not how my brain works, sadly.
And the filing I had for this just went into meltdown around story sixty, as I was afraid it would, and I have finally now got that fixed so it can hold 365 stories.
So it will be easy at this point for me to get caught up once I get going at full focus again. Will take me to August, but I can do it.
But my critical voice is just pounding me with “What the hell are you going to do with 365 short stories?” And until I come up with a decent answer for that, I got a hunch I will be staying even with a story a day or falling slightly more behind as each week passes.
So to catch up or to reset on your challenge? Figure out what derailed you, see if you are too far behind. If so, reset. If not, and catching up would be fun, catch up.
And I’ll let you know if I come up with a solution to my problem. Ahh, the problems of being prolific.