April was supposed to be the month in which I finally settle down after my big move across continents, and I was looking forward to setting up some sort of a routine, but reality forced me to reconsider my plans as building one does not happen overnight.
April was also the month of three challenges: the ongoing 365k Club, the Camp NaNoWriMo, and the A to Z Challenge which I tried for the first time.
365k Club required me to write 1000 words a day (or even a bit extra, seeing as I’m behind), and I hope that A to Z Challenge posts would at least partially cover that number, so that I could carve up some time for editing. I wrote daily (and earned my Sailor badge for daily writing), but ultimately I failed the A to Z Challenge 2 posts before its end, because I wanted to focus on editing. I also found myself disheartened by the amount of time the challenge took, as it was not only about posting daily, but also visiting other people’s blogs. I did my best to check them, and I found some interesting ones, though many felt a bit like a waste of time (rushed posts about nothing), and in the end I regretted I didn’t commit the time to my friends’ blogs instead.
What I liked about the challenge was the theme, though the need to post daily was a bit cumbersome. I understood why so many people prepare their posts in advance, but that’s effectively destroying the challenge. All in all, the challenge was fun, but I’m not sure if I’ll be joining it next year. Instead, I might prepare a themed series of posts in my own time, not necessarily following the letters of the alphabet, and invite several friends to share the fun.
So writing-wise April didn’t turn out too bad, with me keeping the daily routine, but I didn’t manage to get to my 1000 words a day average, which means I’m another several thousands behind with the 365k Club Challenge. I’m not concerned yet, I think I can still make it when my focus switches from editing back to writing, and I was happy to have crossed the 1/4 mark of the challenge.
And since I mentioned editing, I should mention the third of April’s challenges, Camp NaNoWriMo. Just like the last time when I joined the camp, I planned on focusing on editing rather than producing new words, and the wonderful crew from #CabinInTheWords that gathered together for the second time kept me company on Twitter. I have to admit that having “accountability check-ins” every half an hour or so helped me to actually sit down and work on my novel, versus procrastinating, and I happily logged 30 hours of editing and rewriting (and some not accounted hours of staring helplessly at my own text). As a result, I can’t wait for July’s Camp (and meeting once again all the great people from my cabin), though I quietly hope, I won’t be stuck editing the same project by then.
I had a lot of planned for April and I didn’t manage to do it all, but failing is a part of the process too, helping to identify my own priorities and teaching patience, so I’m quite happy with how my writing life went last month. Though I do hope my routine will slowly go back to me and I’ll manage to accomplish more and more.
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 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.