Posted by: Casey Lybrand | June 29, 2010

Merit Badge Update on a Tuesday Afternoon

Em has new Merit Badger Merit Badges, and I’m swiping a couple of them. Some of them I will be waiting for; it is my goal to earn them.

New badges on my sidebar:

The Flow Merit Badge

Flow Merit Badge by Merit Badger

Flow Merit Badge by Merit Badger

I am claiming the Flow Merit Badge! I had a number of outstanding days of writing my novel this month. Some of my favorite daily word counts over the past few weeks: 3,000 (x2); 4,000 (x3); 5,000 (x4); 6,000 (x2).

And it’s not just about the word count! It’s also about feeling compelled to stay up way too late, when you know have to get up way too early the next day, because you must write, and you must write right now. It’s about getting kicked out of the bedroom with your laptop after midnight, because some people need to sleep, but you need to write. (Here, I tweeted that one.) It’s about forgetting what the bottom of the kitchen sink looks like, because dishes can wait, and writing can’t. It’s writing no matter what, and loving it!

To be fair, I have also eared this badge this month; some days I did not write at all, or wrote 1,000 words or fewer. But most days the writing was like flying — or flowing — so it’s all working out.

The Irony Merit Badge

Irony Merit Badge by Merit Badger

Irony Merit Badge by Merit Badger

The Irony Merit Badge is intended for those of us who take care of our own use of language, and leave others alone about theirs. What can I say? I’m a descriptivist. Besides which, I’m too busy minding my own usage to worry about yours. (Unless you ask me. I’m up for helpful critiquing when asked.)

The badges I’m working on:

  • First Rejection: This will mean I have sent something out! I really don’t have any illusions or grand dreams. I will march into the queries-and-submissions fray, and keep going.
  • Second Rejection: I’ll keep going through this, too. And then next one.
  • First Sale: This will happen! (After the first two badges above, many times over, I’m sure. But I will persevere!)
  • Accepting Criticism: This will need to be a step on the way to the three above. I need to get something to the point where I am ready for outside-my-friends-and-family critiquing (they totally do not count), and get some feedback. Which I will accept graciously, with a song of gratitude in my heart! I’m just certain of it! Then I can learn from the feedback, get something ready to send out, and earn those three up there.
  • Social Networking: This aspect of my life is a work in progress. I’m not sure what I would need to accomplish to feel I have earned this badge; at this point, I figure I’ll know it when I see it!

The badge I am not allowed to wear ever, even though it is awesome:

Merit Badger Merit Badges = Goals + Accountability

As you can see, I merrily organize my writing goals around tiny cute badges which come from a badger. Because they are awesome! How do you set goals and track your progress in your writing adventure?


  1. Casey, you’re both delightful and ambitious.

    And even if you don’t feel like you’ve earned that social networking badge yet, I see you getting closer every day.

  2. I’ve been following Em’s merit badges as well- they are fun & inspiring! And congratulations on your flow merit badge, I hope the flow will keep on coming :)
    But how cool are those First Rejection and First Sale badges?! I want one of those soooo bad ;)

  3. Thank you, Em!

    I feel okay about social networking. I’m happy with my efforts, and I am having a blast meeting people! When Janet Reid said this about a panel on social networking for authors

    It was all I could do not to leap up, grab the mic and say “ok, who here understands that Twitter is simply about making friends?” and then talk about how to make friends. Because honestly that really IS what Twitter is about.

    — I thought, “Oh, I can do that!” (And I just peeked: my first tweet was the next day. I’d been working up to it for a while.) I’ll come back for the Social Networking badge someday. I’m giving myself room to learn and grow right now.

    Thank you for all of your encouragement and inspiration! I think you are delightful as well, and a BADGER,* which is awesome!

    * I love the ambiguity you have crafted around that word!

  4. Lua,

    They are so inspiring! And thank you. :)

    I know you will have those badges soon! How weird would it be to say, “Good luck getting that First Rejection”? But it’s all part of the process on the way to the First Sale!

    I hope your revision is coming along well! I’m so excited for you, that you have made it to that stage!

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