The Moonlit Pegasus Challenge: Writing Every Day

After a brief (sort of disastrous) late summer trip, I faced up to that old truism: you can’t run away from yourself. Traveling is wonderful because it rips you out of your set routines, denaturalizes the unconsciously accepted “you” (your habits, your established relationships and roles), and thus promises to remake you anew. More basically, I become so interested/distracted by the new environment that I can’t be bothered by my own neuroses. But then you come home and ah, all the same problems.

My biggest problem is my anxiety about work (which is based in writing). Simply put, I haven’t been writing. It isn’t writer’s block or lacking time. Just good old fashioned anxiety-driven procrastination.

After a pep-talk/lecturing from a good friend, I came home and realized I needed a serious plan to finish my thesis in time. Then, like all good procrastinators, I spent 20 minutes first rewatching Sailor Moon Super S Episode 7/Series Episode 134. “Makoto’s Friendship! A Girl Who Loved Pegasus” or「まことの友情!天馬に憧れた少女」.

The episode begins with everyone gushing over a hit million-copy bestseller titled The Moonlit Pegasus. As Ami puts it, it is sentimental romance between a girl and a pegasus that “touches your heart without rhyme or reason.” Chibi Usa is particularly interested because it seems to be exactly about her own Pegasus.

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The author is a girl their age named Takase Tomoko (a certified Literature Girl/bungaku shojo). Makoto reveals that she was actually the person encouraging the author to write back in their previous middle school. Tomoko was so insecure that even though she wrote feverishly, she never dared to show anyone her writing.

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But the girls discover that Tomoko had recently stopped writing and disappeared hikikomori-style. Her home is surrounded by angry editors demanding long overdue manuscripts. Tomoko just stays with her head down in her bedroom, crying “I don’t have any dreams left anymore.” (The boy that inspired her stories has gotten himself a girlfriend, long before Tomoko could even confess.)

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I love that the monster of the week (Tenko) is a timer that explodes after just 2 minutes.

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The resolution comes with a message of universal understanding

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Chibi Usa longed to meet Tomoko because she had met a pegasus just like the one in the story. She explains, “I was touched by your story because I knew someone was seeing the same dream I was!”

…and a little tough love.

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Makoto basically calls her out on her regressive cowardice and by the end?

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The lesson? I know my thesis is a world away from a sentimental romance about a pegasus but the fact of the matter is, I just have to get over myself and write. And even though I hate starting new challenges and goals on “odd” days (like the 17th!), I set up a new one for myself starting today.

Challenge: Write every single day for 30 days.

Anyone want to do this challenge with me? A daily writing habit seems to be a popular goal, judging from online response at least. There is a popular site called Monthly Experiments that hosted a similar challenge.

Why 30 days? Mm kind of an arbitrary number, especially considering I am starting mid-month but I think it is long enough to create a writing habit and short enough not to intimidate me. I will be updating my blog at the end of each day to check up on myself and can fill in the details of this plan later.


5 thoughts on “The Moonlit Pegasus Challenge: Writing Every Day

  1. Sumire says:

    Sure, I’ll join you. I’ve been sputtering this week with this intention as well. I started a children’s novel in college that I haven’t completed in the 15 odd years since graduation and it has become this albatross around my neck. It is a sentimental romance about a pegasus so it fits! (Okay, it’s not really but it does involve a first kiss and a pegasus makes an appearance at one point so close enough, right?)

    Like Tomoko, back in school I wrote all the time but I never did anything with the notebooks upon notebooks of stuff unless I had a creative writing class that semester where I would turn the required work in at the very last second (or unless I had a friend waiting to read my work, in 10th grade I wrote quite a lot of an awful teen soap-opera that included everyone at my lunch table). Writing that “touches your heart without rhyme or reason” (or attempts to do so) wasn’t popular in the nineties… I stopped writing much at all for quite a number of years because I told myself there was no market or if there was I never had the gumption to find it and put myself out there and submit. If you aren’t going to follow through, why start?

    Lately I feel like these characters I’ve known for half my life are locked up and I’m their jailer. I’ve actually gotten some positive feedback on my story in the past so even if only seven people in the world read it and enjoy it, that’s seven people happier for a time and that is something. Plus it’s letting my characters out into the world and they deserve that freedom. So I feel like I just need to write something at this point. I can throw half of it out but I need the marble before I can start carving, right?

    I hate starting goals without it being a “starting time” and I am a master procrastinator because I am so full of anxiety I could choke so it seems like you could be writing particularly to me. So let’s do this! Sign me up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cheri says:

      “Lately I feel like these characters I’ve known for half my life are locked up and I’m their jailer” = that reminds me of Princess Tutu. Do you know the premise of that show? The characters of an unfinished fairy tale are so unhappy to be “locked up” inside the unresolved story so they break out and wreak havoc on town haha.

      But WOO HOO! I would love to read your story. And yes, my primary problem is just anxiety! Like crazy, intense, insecure, impostor-syndrome paralysis. But I think if I can do it step by step, then it won’t be so terrifying.

      How about this? At the end of each day, I am going to update my blog with a post (titled Day 1/30 and so on). Your job is to comment or leave a post with a link to your blog that also tracks your writing progress…if you don’t post for more than a week, I will track you down online and yell at you?


      • Sumire says:

        You know, Princess Tutu is one of my favorite anime series but I never thought of it in quite that way before. Not to sound too maudlin but I have actually thought, “What if I die? They’ll never get an ending at all, never even be heard at all if I die before I finish the story that they live in.” I’m young enough it doesn’t seem pressing but that’s hardly a perfect protection either. If not becoming Drosselmeyer isn’t enough motivation, what ever could be? 😛

        So, I’m off to report on your next post! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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