It’s interesting that even though my “Month of Writing” should be always the same: a month full of writing, and it’s been already six months into 2016, no two are similar and my challenge in 365k Club takes unexpected turn.
In June, after the turmoils of the year’s beginning, and two months of intensive editing of my fantasy novel, I decided it was time to get back to writing. I also wanted to catch up with my goal before it became unachievable: writing 1200 words a day is almost like writing 1000, but if I got to 2000 or more, I’d be facing a fail. I also needed to take a break from tedious and straining word-crunching, because even though I love my project, I’ve spent too much time on it already. I needed that breath.
I was also playing with an idea I had for urban fantasy set in Dublin, and as a bit of nostalgia for my friends and “the old life” kicked in, some ideas and plot points have crystallized. As crisp and refined as they were, I thought it would be a good idea to write them down, so they wouldn’t get lost in the multitude of the ideas that come and go, and they’d wait for the time I’m ready to work on that project. It also seemed a good idea to keep my word count rising without committing to anything serious…
Well, it’s not that it went wrong. But I was wrong if I thought that I can take a quite-fleshed idea, write a couple of scenes and ideas down, and move on. As a result, I spent much more time on that novel than I intended, and before I realized, I added over 30,000 words to it. That, along with other projects, allowed me to get to over 40,000 words within a month which means I’ve not only reached my goal for June, but started to catch up with the 365k Club. If I was on top of the challenge, I’d be claiming my “halfway mark” badge now, but since I let myself a little bit too much behind, I’ll be playing the catch up game… But a splendid June result makes me hope I will get back on track before the end of the year.
On the other hand, July is another Camp NaNoWriMo which will be a perfect time to go back to editing again, especially that one of my beta readers who got a bit delayed suggested some good changes, so my word count might end up lower again.
After the Sailor badge in April, for having written for 2 months straight, I’m back to being a Cabin Boy.
This had led me a conclusion that even though I love 365k Club, next year I might aim for a lower goal (this was a novelty introduced in 2016: writers could pick from 100k, 250k, 365k, and 500k goals), because as much as the Club motivates me to write, it also leaves me with a lot of projects that need revisions and editing, two tasks that take much more time than writing, and I love all my projects, so I don’t want to abandon them just to write new ones.
A new project might be a great way to take a break or to regain momentum when rewriting and editing feels cumbersome, but at this stage I feel my focus should be with the projects that “only” need polishing. Not that I’ll be able to keep away from new stories (as June’s example shows), but a lower word count next year might take the inner “pressure” to produce more words off my shoulder. Until then, I’ll have fun finding my writing-editing balance and trying to reach all my goals.
How about you? How did June go for 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 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.