December Write Day: Distraction Winter

November felt very full, and it also flew by. The holidays have been more fun this year since our 4-year-old is starting to understand the holiday season a bit. He loves all the lights and decorations on houses in our neighborhood.

I’ve been distracting myself from stress at work with some new shows and books, so that’s been interesting, too.

Last Month’s Goals

  1. Finish 9-section outlines.
  2. Finish New Earth, The Herb Witch Tales #2 draft.
  3. Read three books.
  4. Exercise three times per week.

Finish 9-section outlines?

Yes, and I finished them so early in November that I forgot I had done them. I created 9-section outlines for five main characters in The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy, most of whose story arcs intertwine with the others. It’s not perfect, but it gives me a general plot direction for each character.

This exercise helped me understand that I’m conflicted about one of my characters. I think their arc will provide some much needed perspective about a particular conflict, but I’m still not sure how their arc will end. So I’ll need to figure that out.

Finish New Earth draft?

No, but I’ve gotten closer, and that’s good. With really only the final resolutions to cover, I’ve been proactively outlining as I go. I will usually take a few notes at the bottom of my document, but more recently I’ve gotten into the habit of writing several lines about the next few beats I want to make in the story.

That has helped focus my writing energy on the immediate plot, rather than side-quests. I do love a good story side-quest, though.

Read three books?

Yes, and I nearly read four. I’m still working through A Memory of Light, and I’ve started working through the Sherlock Holmes series, stories I’ve never actually read before.

Exercise three times per week?

Recently? Yes. For all of November? No. I’ve gone completely minimalist in my routine, because something is better than nothing until I figure this out. A few calisthenics type exercises for one muscle group – 10 or 15 minutes, tops. If I can find 20 minutes for a real yoga session, fantastic. That’s where I’m at right now.

Goals for December

  1. Finish New Earth. I’m so close. I’m not tracking a monthly word count goal at the moment, but I am going to try a weekly goal. I organize my work tasks on a weekly basis, so why not try that with writing? Monthly has not been working of late. I’ll write about how that goes next month.
  2. Read three books. I’m pretty well on my way.
  3. Exercise three times per week. Minimalist.

Steve D

January Write Day: Keep Plugging Away

Man, another month, another year. December was a solid month. Our holidays were festive with plenty of time spent with family. We also got to experience our first real Christmas through our oldest son, who is three and at the perfect age to get excited for Santa and presents and Christmas lights and all that.

It was a decent month on the goals front as well.

Last Month’s Goals

  1. Write 8,000 words for New Earth.
  2. Read through Uprooted.
  3. Read 3 books.

So how did I do?

Write 8,000 words?

Not quite. I tried to cram a bunch of writing into the final week of the month and came up short at just over 7,000 words. Still a decent output, overall. The first half of December had me stressing a bit about getting everything ready for our holiday celebrations, which knowingly kept me away from writing. I thought I could make up for it in the final week, but no such luck.

I still did all right, though.

New Earth, The Herb Witch Tales #2 is progressing nicely at around 15,000 words, and I’ve hit a stretch where I already have a lot of content from my first draft I can pull from. That should help me stay on track and catch up a bit this month. I just want to get off to a stronger start and not fall behind again.

I did start to find a writing schedule again, slotting in time right after putting my oldest to bed, and then knuckling down on the weekends for bigger word count gains.

Read through Uprooted?

I seriously forgot about this goal. December was a busy month! I definitely want to complete this read-through, so perhaps I’ll have to pay to print it out — all 70-some pages of it – so I can focus on it when I’m away from my computer.

Read 3 books?

I’m going to say yes…? But let me check my Goodreads first.

Success! I finished three books in December, including book 12 of The Wheel of Time series, The Gathering Storm. Look out for that review next week. Spoiler alert: I loved it.

I also achieved my Goodreads 2021 goal of reading 24 books. That may sound paltry based on a lot of the book blogs I read, but that’s a lot for me, damn it! I’m aiming for 26 in 2022.

Goals for January

I feel like I rushed through this post, but this might be a good indication of where my head is at currently. I have a lot I want to achieve in the next few months, primarily finishing a solid draft of New Earth, and I just want to get down to it.

  1. Write 9,000 words. This feels achievable to me based on my writing progress the last two weeks, and it may be the start of escalating writing goals to start the year off. We’ll see how it goes.
  2. Read 3 books. Currently waiting for my copy of Towers of Midnight to arrive 😀
  3. Start working out again. My exercise routine really fell through the last couple months, so I want to get back on track. This is an open-ended goal for now until I can establish a decent routine again.

Happy New Year!

Steve D

December Write Day: NaNoWriMo 2020 Wrap-Up

Everyone lean back, take a deep breath, and have a few gulps of water (or maybe a whiskey). National Novel Writing Month 2020 is over. November was a packed month with a lot of different things going on, but I like where I’ve ended up, generally. Continue reading “December Write Day: NaNoWriMo 2020 Wrap-Up”

December Write Day: NaNo is Over, but I barely Noticed

I’m sensing a pattern here, in that each month seems to pass more quickly than the last.

This post is a week late because I wanted to finish “The Grand Mythos”, so we’re already almost halfway through December. Oh well.

November was solid. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and we had a nice time with family, but I’ve also taken some interesting steps on the writing front.

Not only did I finish publishing my mythic fantasy series, but I’ve also started writing my short story. Continue reading “December Write Day: NaNo is Over, but I barely Noticed”

Aaaand it’s the holidays

I had intended to finalize the 12th and last chapter of “The Grand Mythos” on Monday and post it to Wattpad, but I had some online shopping to do.

I generally avoid the consumerist craze known as The Holidays, but we’re doing a fun gift exchange with my in-laws this year, and I wanted to get something on a deal.

The short version is there are too many options, I’m indecisive, and I’m probably overthinking what my intended giftee will think of their main gift. Buuuut… it’s 10:30pm as I write this and I really don’t want to stay up all night writing a real post.

So you all will get chapter 12 and the attendant announcement post this week. For now, have an impressive Evanescence cover.

Friday Write-Day: Pre-Holiday Stress Time!

The holidays are usually somewhat stressful for me. Just making sure I’ve find appropriate gifts for people and can get to all of the family events is more than enough to think about.

Work has been stressful this week, largely because I was trying to wrap up a lot of things before being off for a few days.

But, I am off today, and thankfully, have some time to get shit done.

Continue reading “Friday Write-Day: Pre-Holiday Stress Time!”