A Month of Writing – January 2016

MoW-ENWith the start of 2016 a new edition of 365k Club is back and I’m back as well, writing or at least trying to write. January had turned out quite a challenging month for me, for several reasons, and even though I expected some rough patches, I hoped a much more different beginning.

First of all, I started preparation for my big intercontinental move which might not be as much time consuming as it seems, since I have plenty of time to take it easy, but the stress related to wrapping up various aspects of my life in Ireland definitely affected my ability to write. Though my experiences with various Irish companies provided a lot of material if I ever feel like writing a thriller. Or a drama.

Moreover, I had some chapters from “By His Will” left to edit and after the initial week of keeping up with the 365k Challenge, I knew I had to go back to them. Making fixes consumed my time, so the word count dropped. I still got my editing badge – a novelty in the 365k Club, because even though the challenge is about writing, the Club decided to recognize that a writer’s work doesn’t end on it.


I thought I had plenty of time to catch up, but every missed day means the number of words is growing… As a result, at the end of January, I had to produce over 1500 to make the average.

In the end, I managed to finish January with a little over 31,000 words written which put me just above the average I needed for my word count target, but with several 0’s on my sheet I didn’t get to claim the consecutive writing badge, so that might be my next month’s goal, which might be difficult, as I received first feedback from my beta-readers, and more than eager to start the second round of revisions of “By His Will”.BullseyeJan

Not to mention that February is the month I move, so my mind might focus more on packing and sorting out the last things rather than writing.

All in all, the beginning of 2016 turned out quite chaotic and my writing somewhat reflected it as well. On top of the compromised routine and inability to stick to my 1000 words a day, I’ve found myself jumping across projects and rarely sticking to one for longer than a day or two. This is quite opposite to a strong and focused start I had last year and I think I need to find that path again, but for now, with all the things going on, I’ll just stick to the basics and enjoy that despite all, I didn’t fall behind.

My start of the 365k Club 2016 wasn’t the best, but I still have a lot of time to smooth out the ripples, and one more thing is definitely different: last year I didn’t believe I could reach my 365k words goal and I expected to fail “any time”. This year, even though its start turned out tricky, I’m confident I’ll make it.

And how did the writing start for you in 2016? Was it easy and energized by the feeling of a new beginning or was your road through January as bumpy as mine?

This post is a part of the “A Month of Writing” series – a monthly report on my progress in the 365k Club challenge.

Joanna Maciejewska

Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games. Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English. Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    You had an awesome year last year – and it seems to me that you’ve made a very strong start. But moving is the third most traumatic life event behind divorce and bereavement – so be kind to yourself. By all means keep your writing going as much as you can, but of course you are not as focused, because you simply do not have the headspace. Writing is such a demanding taskmaster, and you are not a machine. So accept that during the upheaval such things as wordcounts and writing schedules will slip – in the meantime you are gathering more raw material for when your life settles back down, again:).
    All the very best for the move – I hope it goes smoothly. Take care!

    1. melfka

      This a good advice, Sarah. I guess it’s just my way of coping with stress is trying to have a somewhat normal routine, but I’m more forgiving to myself: I forbade myself to even touch editing “By His Will” and as for writing: I allow myself write gibberish or finish the day with as little as 300-400 words written.
      And thank you again for the good wishes :). Hope 2016 will be good for both of us.

      1. sjhigbee

        I’m very glad to hear that you are kind to yourself – and I hope that you didn’t think I was trying to teach your granny to suck eggs! But it never ceases to amaze me how often my students beat themselves up when they stop writing during a major Life Event… And as for the good wishes – oh yes! I echo your hope that 2016 will be a successful year for us both:)

  2. saraletourneau

    I agree with Sarah. You can only do so much writing, editing, etc. when you’re moving. Just do what you can do in the time you have, and remember to take care of yourself so you don’t get too stressed out. That’s what matters more right now. 😉

    1. melfka

      I think I will be stressed regardless. The good thing is I’m finishing day job tomorrow and still have 2 weeks to wrap things up which means I should be able to take it easy.

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