A Month of Writing – May 2016

MoW-ENAfter a very busy April, I thought I deserved to take a breath and have a few days of a break. I took my mind off writing, relaxed a bit, and… before I realized, half of the month was magically gone. And then, before I even could think of catching up a bit, May was already ending.

As a result, May could be considered my worst writing month in a long time, with only 4619 words written that is about 12{fd816789381be2b25dc0c4c24e83c7c5d878f14214e162ad1afaed77eed2e013} of what I intended to write (not to mention that I was already behind from February and March)… But then, I didn’t entirely abandon my projects, and even tough Camp NaNoWriMo had ended, I kept editing my novel and logged over 20 hours of editing, so even though my word count looked quite dire, I don’t feel like I wasted a month. Quite to the contrary, revising my epic fantasy should be a priority over the “new” writing, so I’m happy that even though I didn’t write much, I still managed to work slowly through my already written novel.

I still have my eyes of winning the 365k Club Challenge second year in a row, and with a bit of effort I know I can make it with ease, though I need to seriously start catching up, because if I fall behind more than I already am (and life likes to interfere, after all), I won’t make it.


May also proved that building writerly routine is everything. I’m far from claiming that every aspiring writer should write every day, because our writing time depends on various aspects of our lives, but I strongly believe that there should be some kind of a routine in place. Be it writing every second day, or once a week, whatever works, but a routine not only gets things done. It also helps to keep on going, and every next time we force ourselves to sit down and write that one obligatory sentence or page, it gets a little bit easier to “get in the zone”.

Because of that, I’m in a way happy that such a month like May happened to me. Keeping on top of the game last year was easy, every consecutive day had built up my routine, so it became so easy to just keep writing. I remember mentioning back then that I can imagine how hard it must be to come back to writing after a break, and how I was impressed by the fellow challenge participants who managed to pull that off.

Now it’s my turn to do so, to rebuild my routine, and prove to myself that I have enough discipline to get back to regular writing. Will June be a better month then? I certainly hope that in the next A Month of Writing post I’ll have some better news to share.

And how did your May go? Was it nice enough to you?

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 23 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    And this, I think, is a really interesting point for those of us who wish to ultimately turn our work loose onto an unsuspecting world… Editing is hard work and probably takes more effort and time (certainly for me!) than the initial writing. And yes – I do use wordcounts and targets to help me with my writing, but I’m also now logging my editing efforts. Other than my blog and teaching admin, which to date have taken around 115,00 words, I’ve written a measly 5,000 creatively. BUT I’ve edited 3 novels in the that time. If I hadn’t logged that, my main workload would be unacknowledged and unquantified.
    As for the slight lapse in your routine – moving continents and getting married ranks as a reasonable excuse from where I’m standing:)). Here’s to your successfully catching up in June.

    1. melfka

      Three books edited seems like a HUGE accomplishement, I can’t even get done with one. 😉 And you’re right, logging numbers, both wordcount and editing helps us to see how much we achieved. And that helps us going.
      And it is indeed a reasonable excuse… although I need to be careful not to use it for too long or too often. You know, “A Month of Writing in 2018” and I’m still saying “but I moved continents!” ;).

      1. sjhigbee

        Thank you for your kindly encouragement. I do feel a bit like I’m trying to move a mountain. Never mind about a huge accomplishment – I reckon I need to cut down on the liquid refreshment on New Years Eve when I’m target-setting! Preparing three books for publication at one time seems like madness, right now…

        1. melfka

          I wouldn’t blame it on refreshements really. We’re ambitious and productive. Small goals don’t work for us most times. 🙂
          You aimed big last year, you had some struggles that prevented you from achieving everything and what? You’re still aiming big, aren’t you? 🙂 Creative people can’t settle for just a bit of work.

          1. sjhigbee

            You’re right! Thank you – I needed that slice of encouragement… Feeling a tad tired – but you’re right. I am!

  2. portiabridget

    My May was crazy and a bit sad – I was insanely busy and I managed to start another short story which unerringly morphed into something bigger. ;p I do hope to finish a project in June – any project that is.

    1. melfka

      If your May was crazy and you *still* managed to start another story, you’re doing good :).

          1. portiabridget

            Let’s hope I’ll be able to move forward as well.

          2. melfka

            Forward is a daaaark place to be. 😉 But fingers crossed, you get there and I won’t be alone :).

          3. portiabridget

            I like dark places – if evolution is a fact I must have had an owl among my ancestors. You’ll never walk alone!

  3. J.R.Bee

    You can’t always have top word count, otherwise the novel’d never get edited and we’ll never see your wonderful writings 🙂

    1. melfka

      BUUUUUUUUT it’s soooooo much easier to start something new with all the things I’ve learned in the meantime than to beat into shape something that I’ve already wrote! ;/

      1. J.R.Bee

        I think it was Neil Gaiman who was told, and found to be true, that ‘you never learn to write a book, you just learn to write the book you’re working on’

        1. melfka

          But I learn some ground rules. Like that bloody English language that makes no sense sometimes ;).

          1. J.R.Bee

            I think all languages have that rule 😀

  4. I’m not sure where May went for me. it was over in the blink of an eye. My monthly goals were mostly checked off and I got writing done. I just don’t feel like I did anything.

    1. melfka

      This proves that tracking one’s progress is good: numbers beat the feeling of having done little :).

  5. saraletourneau

    Well, as much as you would have liked to have done more writing, you had some big changes in your life that you were dealing with at the same time. Moving internationally, getting married – those all take adjustment. And as someone who also experienced some big changes recently (not major events, but an overall shift in her weekly / bi-weekly routine), I can understand.

    But you still managed to get some writing / editing done – and that’s a good thing! Now, like you said, it’s time to create a new writing routine to get you back on track. I look forward to reading next month’s installment, to see if things come together for you. 🙂

    1. melfka

      Thank you, Sara :). As a sneak peek I can say that June will definitely be better than May, and that’s something! 🙂
      Hope your change in routine goes smoothly!

      1. saraletourneau

        The changes on my end are going… OK, I guess. Some nights I “fall off the wagon” (so to speak) and stay up too late because I try to do too much, or because I have a hard time sticking to my editing time limits. That’s been the case for the past couple nights, so now I’m overtired. :/ But I’m taking tonight off from editing, so hopefully I can get to bed earlier and catch up on some sleep.

        1. melfka

          Oh do! A good night’s rest helps to stay more positive. 🙂

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