Critical Mass

So, I’ve discovered that starting small is not the only thing that needs to happen…

Critical Mass has to be achieved.

This, I have discovered, is much harder than just doing something. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult parts of getting back into self-directed work. Procrastination has crept in, and it does not want to leave.

And so, I’ve been looking for ways to build this pile of motivation, so that instead of just searching the internet for horsey things, I get myself settled and do some work.

The first thing I need is a deadline. That gives me something to pile the mass against, so it can get to the point where I can’t ignore it anymore. I’ve got until the end of the month to make a plan of action, get my supplies, and embrace the crazy amounts of work I really want to get done this year. This lead up is so I can deal with a few stressful things happening in the real world, and so I can start building Critical Mass for the start of the month. This includes asking for the help I know I need, and making sure I arrange to get it.

As an impulsive writer, I’ve discovered Critical Mass may not always appear where I want it. Some story ideas, pieces of thoughts, or ‘what if’s come with their own weight, and they build Critical Mass like a snowball. More established stories, ones that have shed the exuberance and the encumbrance of exposition are much harder to get started, or continue working on.

Don’t stop yourself. Set aside some time and let Critical Mass happen. Even if the piece or idea will never make it to the big, bad world, it will collect more ideas and enthusiasm than it needs, and that will filter over to other work. The more you do, the better you feel, the more capable you feel, the more likely you are to be fighting off plot bunnies with a stick. Or trapping them humanely and releasing them into prepared habitats.

So, if you’re stuck like I am, trying finding a way to build Critical Mass, give yourself permission to explore before you decide what you absolutely must do. This stuff, even if it’s aimed at becoming a job, is supposed to be fun. Remember the joy, and the excitement. As an impulsive writer, the fun part is discovering things as I write. Planning is for when the idea is more than just a nebulous form in my head.

Critical Mass, like plot bunnies, builds when you give it time, space, and something to feed on.

Here are two examples of things that have shown me Critical Mass can show up anywhere. Even in the wrong genre!

Petey and Scottsman

Petey (at the back) and Scotsman (at the front), two horses saved from the knackery. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Trooper 3

And Trooper, same backstory. He’s a sweetie too.

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