NaNoWriMo Progress: Halfway Point

Every year, I seem to forget that by the time we get halfway through November, it’s a week before Thanksgiving, and the month is effectively over. National Novel Writing Month started off pretty well for me, and then took a nose-dive. I will be revising my goal for this month at the end.

While I wasn’t churning out 2,000 words per day, I was making solid progress on my draft of New Earth, The Herb Witch Tales #2 for the first ten days or so of the month. I saw early on that the 50,000-word pinnacle was slipping from my grasp even as I continued writing, but I didn’t let that discourage me. I was still writing every day, sometimes multiple times per day.

Then, two things derailed me simultaneously:

  1. My writing schedule got thrown off
  2. and I got sick

No writing schedule?!

Up until this month, I had been pretty diligent about logging off from my work laptop (working from home) and logging on to my home computer to write for short sessions in the evenings. This worked well, because my wife would pick up our toddler from daycare and start getting dinner ready while I had 20-30 minutes to write before spending the evening with them.

Then, our youngest son, the three-month-old, started daycare, and we flipped our schedules. Because my work schedule tends to be top-heavy with meetings each morning, we agreed that I would pick the kids up from daycare. It didn’t occur to me that this would erase that precious, if short, writing session I could lean on at the end of my work day.

Now, I logoff from work and pretty much immediately have to run out to get the kids.

I try to write at night after dinner, with some success, but I’ll need to find a new way to carve out time from my day. I’m considering writing early in the morning before I logon to work…

…but early mornings have never been easy for me.

The sickness

I caught a stomach bug over the weekend from my toddler that sapped my energy and basically took away 3.5 days of writing time. I’m still recovering, although doing much better.

It’s completely out of my own or anyone else’s control, but it was frustrating to lose a weekend to being sick — not just because of writing. I missed a family birthday celebration and basically didn’t move for three days.

NaNoWriMo the Second Half

So, here I am just over halfway through the month having written 7,000 words. There is no way I’m hitting 50,000 at this point, and I had accepted that even before I got sick. 7,000 would still rank in the top half of my monthly word count totals for this year, so it’s definitely not nothing.

However, I still want to finish strong. With Thanksgiving being my favorite holiday of feasting and family, I’m not going to have the pressure of writing over that weekend hanging over me. So I’m already cutting four more days of writing time in favor of other priorities.

That gives me about 10 days to eke out a writing schedule and make some more progress on this story.

Revised NaNo Goal: 15,000 words total

NaNo Stretch Goal: 20,000 words total

It’s always good to have a realistic goal and a stretch goal, just to motivate a bit more, so there it is. 15k feels doable to me, and if I’m really disciplined, 20k might be, too.

Steve D

2020 Programming Note

2019 brought a ton of changes for me personally, professionally, and authorly over the last year-plus, and a lot of that has seeped into this site, whether I intended it to or not.

I hinted at some plans to freshen up my blogging a bit in my Write Day post. It’s taken me six months to realize this, but I need to change up my blogging habits.

For the foreseeable future, I’m only going to post twice per week:

  • My weekly Haiku Sunday
  • One longer-form post on Wednesdays

Keep reading if you want some details.

Continue reading “2020 Programming Note”

February Write-Day: Now We’re Doing This Monthly

In my last Friday Write-Day post two weeks ago, I mentioned how I might change up the format of this once-weekly post to both challenge myself and provide some more unique content on RSPC.

I thought about a bi-weekly update for about a minute, until I realized that nothing outside of paychecks are scheduled fortnightly, and scheduling my blog in that manner would be ridiculous.

So now it’s monthly. On the first Friday of each month, I’ll update ya’ll on my writing progress from the previous month and talk about my goals for the new month. I’ll have a new title card for this monthly series next month. Continue reading “February Write-Day: Now We’re Doing This Monthly”

Making Time to Write

I intended to have an album review prepared for today. Instead, I fell asleep on the couch in front of Monday Night Football.

This time, at least, I can blame it on my new job. I’m still getting used to the idea of not working a set shift, so I left the office pretty late on Monday. This new schedule where it’s totally up to me when I show up, when I eat lunch, and when I leave has thrown off my entire day-to-day schedule.

I’m trying to iron out the kinks. For instance, how do I maintain a regular gym schedule (we have a gym at the office) when I may have meetings at varying times between 10am and 2pm every day?

The short answer is, go when I have time. But this is harder than it sounds.

Anyway, I’m not here to gripe. This is just an adjustment period for me. I don’t think I’ll need to adjust my blogging schedule once settle in, but I’m keeping my options open.

I’m sending a new batch of chapters to my editor tonight. She will reach a critical turning point in my story, so I’m asking to meet up and discuss her overall thoughts in person.

Hopefully, we’ll also be able to wrap our heads around a timeline for her revisions to the rest of the book.

Steve D

Friday Update: Short Story First Draft!

My new schedule is awesome. I have a new schedule at work, by the way. For well over a year I had been trudging through an early shift, 6am to 3pm. I loved having a full afternoon of daylight ahead of me when I got home, and I even enjoyed being in the office a solid three hours before most everyone else — 3 hours of peace and quiet before the fluorescent lights blazed and the coffee machines were overrun with empty mugs waiting to be filled.

Continue reading “Friday Update: Short Story First Draft!”