May turned out to be an interesting month, although the first half is a blur to me. Honestly, most of the good parts happened in the last two weeks.
We had a nice weekend at the family lakehouse, where our son was baptized by his great-uncle the pastor. The baptism itself was a nice at-home affair, and was more about the family gathering than anything else. It also served as a great excuse to go boating and lounge in the sun, two of Teddy’s favorite activities (see above).
Last Month’s Goals
- Write 10,000 words for The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy
- Find a job
Write 10,000 Words?
Sadly, no. As my wife pointed out, my motivation/creativity took a nose-dive due to the stress of trying to find a job. More on this in a bit.
I wrote 3,706 words in May, which isn’t awful, but it’s not good. We’re quickly approaching the mid-way point of the year, and I’ve written a grand total of 16,585 words for my first draft of The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy.
That level of productivity is not going to cut it if I want to finish my first draft… [calculating…] any time in the next two years.
I’d prefer to finish it this year, but I need to get writing to reach about 180k.
However, I’ve been doing some thinking recently, and considering the narratives I cut from my story, the fact that this is a first draft, and the fact that I already know I’ll need to add some more description/context for certain characters, I think I can lower my initial goal.
160-175k words might get me to a completed first draft, which I can then read through and mark off sections that need to be expanded, or even newly added.
That makes the first draft feel a little more feasible for this year, but I still need to be more productive. Which brings us to…
Find a Job?
I accepted a job offer two weeks ago! After nearly four months of unemployment, I was this close to starting a part-time job in a UPS warehouse to help alleviate our family’s growing financial concerns.
Like, I would have started at UPS on a Tuesday, but I got a full-time job offer the Thursday before. Literally that close.
I had started getting some freelance writing gigs through Upwork.com last month, but I knew it wouldn’t be enough. I was mentally preparing myself for working part-time at UPS, cobbling together freelance work, and basically grinding out a living wage until a better opportunity came.
As I mentioned above, I think my wife was right. Not having a job had basically eviscerated my motivation and sense of self-worth over the last couple of months. Hence, my writing suffered. Once I get settled in my new position, I’m confident that my writing can pick up again. I just need to balance that with returning to a normal workout schedule and having a real commute again.
I make it a point to not talk about my job(s) on this site, but I’ll just say that I’ll be starting a job as a product manager for a software company in a fascinating industry. Great benefits, salary, etc. I’m excited and looking forward to not being bored out of my mind.
Summer arrived in full force last month, and our lawn grew about 18 inches in a week. We’ve mowed, mulched, moved dirt, and made plans for further tending our yard and garden this year.
I still don’t know how I’m going to dig out a freaking patio, short of renting a mini tractor, but that’s my big landscaping goal for this year.
Goals for June
- Write 10,000 words for The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy. Towards the end of May, I decided to achieve 350 words written per day. That’s a small enough chunk to write in less than 30 minutes, and it often leads to more writing. Once I get on a train of thought, I tend to stay there for 500-1,000 words. It’s been going well so far, so keeping this up will be key to reaching 10k in June.
- Balance the new job with writing and going to the gym. I started going to the gym again last week after the longest hiatus I’ve taken since I was 15. I couldn’t justify paying for a gym membership, so I did what little I could at home with no equipment. Now, I need to figure out how to go to the gym 4-6 times per week, write 350 words each day, and work a full-time schedule again.
- Landscaping. I’m notoriously bad at keeping up with the mundane gardening duties, like weeding. Doing this stuff at least weekly will make our landscaping easier, and will also make our outdoor space more enjoyable in general. And I still need to figure out our patio.