August Write Day: Trying to Get over the Wall

July flew by. We were out of town a couple of weekends, and I went to Chicago for about 36 hours for work. It seems like that type of quick business trip for conferences and such will be a new normal for me. I’m going back to Chicago next week for not very long.

I’m not against it. It just means I need to take those trips into consideration when I’m thinking about my writing goals. Writing while traveling is hard. Writing on business trips and basically being “on” for work for the duration of the trip is nigh impossible.

So, July was a good writing month, but not a great one.

Last Month’s Goals

  1. Write 10,000 words for The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy.
  2. Write at least 20 out of 31 days this month, with a healthy average.
  3. Keep going.

Write 10,000 Words?

I wrote 5,597 words for WoEL in July, almost 2,000 words less than last month. I’m not beating myself up about it, because I was doing a lot of other stuff when I wasn’t writing. I had a few lazy days, but I’ll touch on that in a second.

I also started thinking about another project that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. It would be shorter than this novel, and I could conceivably have it published in the middle of next year, meaning I’d have another book to sell at conventions. That would also continue my streak of publishing a story during each of the last three calendar years (“Wolf’s Moon Night” in 2017, Memento in 2018, “The Grand Mythos” in 2019).

I’m not the type of author who needs to have a new title out every six months — I know for fact that’s just not feasible for me. But I also want to avoid multi-year droughts without any new content.

This isn’t a final decision, but I’m going to weigh my options for this other project over the next month or so. My monthly writing goals wouldn’t change, but it would absolutely divert my focus away from Legacy. I’m pondering.

Write 20 Days with a Healthy Average?

I wrote 15 days in July, which seems to be the ceiling right now. I still managed to average 373 words per session, so that’s cool.

At least five of the days when I wasn’t writing I was in a car or on a plane, so this was somewhat expected. The other days, though, I just didn’t feel like it. I hit a bit of a wall towards the end of the month where I just wasn’t motivated to write, and even when I forced myself to sit down in front of my draft, I couldn’t get that many words onto paper.

I definitely want to write this story. I think I just started to burn out a bit, so my writing really flagged over the final week of July. I’m not sure how to avoid that in the future, except maybe allow myself to skip a day or two per week — taking deliberate off nights to not  write. We’ll see.

Keep Going

This was more of a general goal to keep up my new routine of work, family time, gym, writing, repeat. Like I said, my writing flagged a bit, but overall I still wrote well over 5k words. That’s not nothing.

My gym time also took a hit between my travel, and the fact that my wife has started going to the gym, too. We’ve worked out a schedule to alternate gym days during the week, since one of us has to be home with the baby, but it took a week of off-kilter schedules to figure it out.

Still, I like this lifestyle even if it’s a bit hectic. Where I really need to be more disciplined is my sleep schedule. I just haven’t been getting enough sleep, and that certainly contributes to my gym and writing energy int he evenings. Even as I write this, it’s 30 minutes past my ostensible bedtime of 10:30pm.

Goals for August

  1. Write 10,000 words for The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy. I’m not ready to commit myself to this other project yet, so I’ll keep plugging away at the novel for now, reaching for that 10k-word mark for the first time this year.
  2. Get more sleep. Even on nights when I really tried to go to bed early, something has always come up. I’d be happy with in bed and reading by 11pm, even if I only read for 10 minutes.
  3. Look forward to vacation. We have an overnight beach trip and a full week-long beach trip coming up in the next two months, and I am already eyeing that week’s vacation on my calendar. I have at least one more business trip to take during that time, but knowing that I can look forward to seven days of laying in the sand with a beer in hand, and some casual swimming/kayaking in the waves… That’s really helping me push through the craziness.

Sometimes, that’s all we need. A little extra push.

Steve D

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