gathered in autumn’s breeze for
love, life, and bubbles.
gathered in autumn’s breeze for
love, life, and bubbles.
No fancy dinner,
being together in peace,
for brief few hours.
July was a fun month. We started it off with a two-week road trip seeing various parts of our families from northwest PA, to Michigan, and Wisconsin, which came with some great time spent on both shores of Lake Michigan. It was fantastic to just be with our boys for two whole weeks, and convinced us to do more family road trips in the future.
Coming back to work was not so great, of course. I feel like I’m still getting used to wok again in my third week back, but we have a relatively quiet month ahead. So that’s encouraging.
So how did I do?
YES! I wrote just over 4,000 words, in fact. Almost all of that came from two long writing sessions this past weekend, but it still counts! July was the first month this year that I actually hit my word count goal.
Part of the reason is that I’m closing in on the end of New Earth, The Herb Witch Tales #2. I always get excited to be nearing the end of a story, and I’m more motivated to finish it.
Nope! I listened to far fewer audiobooks on our road trip than I had anticipated. I’m nearly finished with Tower of Midnight, and not really reading much else at the moment.
I don’t think so. While on vacation, I was pretty good about being physically active most days. Aside from the loads of walking we did, I kayaked, swam, hiked, ran, and still did some stretching. Outdoor activities are my favorite way to exercise now. I just wish I had more time to do them.
Yes. Two full weeks — the longest vacation I’ve taken in ten years — allowed me to just focus on being with my family. Traveling with a 3-yaer-old and an 11-month-old is still hectic, but we made sure to enjoy ourselves and appreciate our time with the boys as much as possible. We did manage to relax a little bit, too.
to find animals and hope,
that one says hello.
Little lives criss-crossed,
sharing histories unknown,
each home a potential life,
a forever place.
I’ve been thinking a lot about presence recently, and especially how much I’ve caught myself not being in the present moment in recent weeks.
February was a tough writing month for me in part because I spent more time thinking about stories I haven’t written yet than thinking about my actual current work-in-progress. Even now, one week into this month, I find myself thinking a lot about the end game for The Herb Witch Tales. Not just how I want part 2 to end, but about how I want to reread parts 1 and 2 together and think of them holistically, how I might need additional drafts just to ensure I get them right before I publish, and how my publishing timeline seems to be in a state of constant expansion.
I haven’t even finished a full draft of part 2 yet.
A similar feeling has passed over me while spending time with my three-year-old. A moment at the park when he is playing a game with me but I’m thinking about what time we need to leave to be home for dinner. Or a moment where I’m watching him interact with his six-month-old brother and wondering if the two of them will make each other laugh as teenagers the way they do now.
Neither of those are “bad” distractions, but they are distractions nonetheless.
Even in writing this post, I can’t keep my fingers off my phone until I’ve settled on a song that both suits my vibe and allows me to focus. (The correct answer is “Monumental Holiday” by Dead Sara.)
What I have tried to do is take those distracting thoughts, let them pass through me, and let them go — a lesson I’ve taken from the meditation intro I listened to last month.
Am I going to be able to publish my stories this year? Maybe. Keep writing. What will my kids be like at X age? Impossible to know and always fascinating, but don’t lose sight of who they are right now.
What I can’t say for sure is whether I’m more distracted than usual, or I’m just noticing it more. This site is ostensibly A Writer’s Blog, but these things tend to bleed into each other.
Each of the last couple years I’ve started January with big ideas for what I wanted to accomplish for that year. My goals tend to be ambitious, but still within the realm of possibility. Still, I’ve learned that it’s difficult for me to project progress on any long-term project more than a few months out–or sometimes more than a few weeks out.
Looking at my annual goals posts from 2020 and 2021 may give the impression of a writer who overshoots and under-delivers, and that’s not inaccurate. I have had some big goals in mind over the last couple of years, notably the publishing of my still-in-progress novellas in The Herb Witch Tales series. I just also know that there have been other factors at play. The usual suspects come to mind: family, work, existential dread, a global pandemic.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s tough for me to project my progress on something more than a few months out. Projecting how much I can write in a year is a murky endeavor. Trying to throw the entire editing, revising, proofreading, and publishing process on top of that is basically insane.
At least, that’s what I’ve learned over the last couple years.
I’ve also learned that I am not the publish-something-every-year-or-two type of writer. My last meaningful publication was my 12-part short story, “The Grand Mythos of Úr’Dan“, which I ran as an experimental monthly serial throughout 2019. It’s probably more like every “few” years, depending on when I click Publish next. Basically, I’m closer to Patrick Rothfuss than Brandon Sanderson–in publishing cycles, not skill level!
That all is to say that I will not be posting an ambitious book marketing/publishing post this year. I definitely have goals, and I will detail them through my monthly Write Day posts. What has changed for me recently is that those monthly goals are enough for me at this moment in my life.
My long-term goals have necessarily and totally predictably shifted to bigger things: navigating the whole *waves arms emphatically* world right now; raising two boys, one of whom has learned the f-word from daycare (yea!); beginning the house-hunting process in the next year; family and friends and holidays, which all require a lot of extra planning and consideration and fuckin’ caution than they used to.
It’s a lot, and it means that thinking about where I might be in the publishing process in autumn 2022 is just not a concern for me today.
However, that all doesn’t mean I haven’t picked up on a few of my writing habits…
That’s really my only writing goal this year–not to write 120,000 words on the dot, but to aim for 10,000 words each month, to build consistently and steadily until, come December 31, 2022, I will have written a whole hell of a lot.
I’m currently on pace for about 9,000 words in January, so maybe in February or March I aim for 11,000. The point is, it doesn’t matter much right now.
I’m moving forward. I know what the ultimate goal is, but I also know I need to focus on the day-to-day first.
Two wide-eyed gazes
meet each other, a stare-down.
One breaks, they both laugh.
something to get through each week…
or just now and then.