a black and white dog chewing a bone
The world’s laziest border collie – photo by author

“You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you’re on your own. Nobody is making you do this. You chose this, so don’t whine.”

Margaret Atwood

Here at the Story Factory, we value quantity over quality. 

More words, more hours, more stories. The goal is 52 stories at the end of the year. So far, we are on target. Which, I know, isn’t much to say at this point of the year, but on the other hand, this time last year, I was already behind. So, Wednesdays, we will report production and celebrate the little victories.

Wednesday 2/3/2021 Production Report:

Words for the week 1/27-2/2 – 11,731

Hours for the week 1/27-2/2  – 37

Cumulative through 2/3

Words – 55,640

Hours  – 183

(That includes Morning pages each day, prewriting on either the week’s story or the novel that I am re-writing, and this blog. I only count the short story once, so there is the total for that, and I don’t count the blog on Story Sunday. )


Back when we first got married, we accumulated a few pets, including a border collie mix. Everything we read said that border collies got distructive if they were bored so we made sure she had tasks. For instance, in the morning, she would get the paper. But we had to catch her immediately after she brought the paper in, otherwise she would go gather ALL the papers on the street. And since we weren’t quite sure who got the local rag and who got the Houston Chronicle and the Wall Street Journal, this was a problem. 

She also liked to herd a pile of rocks in the back yard. She would bark at them, then pick each one up and move it to another part of the yard and then once they were all there, she would bark some more. This did not make her popular with the neighbors. 

Years later, we have accumulated yet another border collie. He was a farm dog who was not aggressive enough with the cattle, so he is our house dog again. So we racked our brains coming up with “work” for this dog to keep him busy.

And he wasn’t having any of it. He found a chair he liked and decided on his job himself. He would get the paper (for a treat) but the rest of the day?

He would keep the trains on time, so to speak. From his napping positions, he occasionally gets up to remind our household members when it is time to get up, eat, cook the next meal, leave for work, get the mail, etc. With out even barking. 

The lesson here? Sometimes a lot more gets done with less effort and less noise. 

Although I had slightly more words, there was much less effort in them. With the daily writing, I am finding that ideas are flowing much more easily.  And cutting out more social media and media in general, I have reduced the noise I am exposed to. More ideas is fun. And Ray says I should be having fun, or why do this?

Have a great week.