Posted by: Casey Lybrand | August 6, 2010

Best Writing Merit Badge Yet: “The End!” (Plus: Arthropods & Handwriting)

The End (or is it?): Finished First Draft Badge

It’s the end… for now. I finished writing the first draft! I have a long road ahead before I reach “The End” for good, but I am thrilled to be at this point. And to have a shiny merit badge to commemorate it!

Finished First Draft Badge by Merit Badger

Finished First Draft Badge by Merit Badger

I’ve given myself until the end of the weekend to poke and prod at the order of the scenes and chapters, then I’ll let the MS sit at least until the end of the 1000 Words a Day Challenge in mid-August. I’m going to try to make myself wait until the beginning of September to really start editing. We’ll see how that goes. I’m pretty excited to work on it, but I understand the importance of distance.

More Badges!

Writing by Hand

This one has me still a bit stunned. Writing by Hand is one badge I had no intention of ever claiming. A few days out of town without my computer (and a bit of writing by the pool as well), and I figure I’ve earned it.

Writing by Hand Badge by Merit Badger

Writing by Hand Badge by Merit Badger

Now, you’d think this would mean I’ve also earned the Typing Badge, but sadly that is not the case. Turns out, I’m terrible about typing in the words I write by hand. I’ve entered the handwritten MS scenes, but that is pretty much it.

Which means that Vegas story? Alas, still mostly ink on paper. I’ll get to it, but typing is meh. (This is part of why I don’t write by hand when I can help it.)

So, Writing by Hand Badge: yes! Typing Badge: no.

Badges from the Phylum Arthropoda
Escaping the Web Badge

I love the internet. Love. And I love Twitter and blogging as well. I think I do okay, though, with keeping it in balance.

I’ve cut down on my blogging. (For the most part — I made an extra post this week because I was feeling ranty, but isn’t that what a blog is for?)

I’m getting done the things I need to in writing and in other aspects of my life. All told, I’m comfortable with my internet/non-internet balance.

I mentioned at the Merit Badger blog that I get way more from being online — support, conversations about writing I wouldn’t have otherwise, learning from other writers — than what it takes from me. Which is mainly time. I have no abundance of time (who does?), but so far so good with the internet.

I am claiming Escaping the Web Badge, and committing to keep paying attention to how I use the internet. How’s that sound?

Escaping the Web Badge by Merit Badger

Escaping the Web Badge by Merit Badger

(Should probably disclaim, here, as well: I could not contain myself when it came to writing a quick haiku about the time-sucking nature of the internet when Em posted this badge. Yes, I saw the trap. Yes, I walked right in. But dammit, extraneous haiku is part of how the internet feeds my soul! Still taking the badge!)

Fly on the Wall Badge

Getting off the web not only allows more time for writing, it can also lead to opportunities to eavesdrop skulk about observe the world in real life. That’s a big part of what writers do when we’re not writing, and that’s what the Fly On the Wall Badge is for, right? Right.

Fly on the Wall Badge by Merit Badger

Fly on the Wall Badge by Merit Badger

So that’s what I’ve been up to. How’s everyone else doing? If you tell me, I can’t say I won’t ever write about it. But I’ll try not to. Or at least I’ll try to try.


  1. Reward for hard work seems appropriate. :) Thanks for sharing a good idea.

  2. You are most welcome, Carol Ann. Merit Badger merit badges are highly recommended!

  3. I loved them badges. Especially “The End” one, I definitely want that one SOON for the end of my FINAL draft before. Love the others though…escaping the web…oh dear, I’m trying but I’ve got one zillion comments to answer. I tell ya, how do famous people cope? Wait, they hire others to do it for them ha ha.
    Thank you again for the lovely screen captures of my moment of fame on the blogosphere :-)
    Mid august is a good mark to start your revisions. I wish you the best of luck. Keep me posted on your progress.

  4. There is a very nice, typeset-style “The End” Badge for the finished *final* draft. (It’s in the same post as the Finished First Draft Badge.) I have my eye on that one, as well.

    Oh, yeah. You got snared by the web, all right! In a very nice way. You are very welcome for the screen captures! I think it is wonderful that you are featured on Freshly Pressed! (Your first moment of fame on the internet.) ;)

    I’m toying with the idea of taking a break for a couple of weeks, when I’m done with 1k/day for a month. Maybe not stopping writing entirely, but cutting way back. Get some of that distance that seems so important, then hit the ground running in September. Thank you for your well wishes. I will keep you posted!

  5. You definitely need a bit of distance, it’s the only way you’ll see the draft with fresh eyes. How long you take it’s probably just a personal thing. A break is always a good thing, sometimes it’s well needed :-)

  6. Casey congratulations! This is definitely something to celebrate, a huge milestone and you deserved that badge so wear it proudly :)
    I strongly advice you to put some distance between you and your manuscript. I know how hard it can be; I wanted to start revising right away, you know, so I can start querying right away :) But it’s best if you let it cool down…
    Writing by hand? Hmm, I don’t think I can earn that one… I keep a notebook with me everywhere I go but mostly, I just jot down ideas… I do, however, earned the ‘fly on the wall’ badge (also known as ‘the-creepy-girl-at-the-next-table’ badge)

  7. Thanks, Alannah! I agree, breaks can really be the right thing sometimes.

    Lua, thank you! “I wanted to start revising right away, you know, so I can start querying right away” — Hahaha! That is a really good point. But so is the point about distance. I’m going to wait. I know I’ll be glad I did.

    I hear you about the handwriting badge. My notebook writing was an act of desperation, but I figure if I’ve earned it, I may as well claim it. And fly on the wall/”‘the-creepy-girl-at-the-next-table’ badge” — that is an excellent way of putting it. ;)

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