A Month of Writing – June 2016

MoW-ENIt’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

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 7 Comments

  1. J.R.Bee

    As much as I admire you for your ability to write a massive amount as you have been doing, I think you’d benefit more from the vibe of finishing something. Not that I’m trying to goad you into finishing for selfish reasons 😉

    1. melfka

      But I do finish things, I do! 🙂
      Some short stories (they don’t see “the light of day” because I try to submit them to magazines, which takes more time than editing a novel xD). Some novels even. It’s just the fantasy novel (still my main WIP) was originally 130 words and I’ve been editing it for over a year now: I need a break now and then or I’ll start hating it. Also, I’m trying to do “the best possible” job with it, which takes time. If I focused only on it, it’d become very tedious and at some point I’d be doing a sloppy job.

      1. J.R.Bee

        Lol, ok I’ll lay off 🙂 I hear you about hating your WIP, Raindrop Ramblers, I like it, but I’ve been working on it for far too long.

        1. melfka

          Same here. At the moment, I can only work on my novel in short bursts: especially that even when I get to the end, I need to start over :(. This time for a very detailed language doctoring with Inq (oh, the joys of writing in the second language… ;/ ).

          1. J.R.Bee

            My problem is that I have the writing mind of an oil painter. Even if I have it all planned out I end up writing down the basic outline and then keep coming up with all the ideas to flesh it out afterwards. If I had to do it in another language I think I’d just have a nap and have done with it 😀

  2. sjhigbee

    I’m delighted that you managed to get back to regular writing again – and the new project sounds really interesting. Perhaps now that you’ve left that world, it is also a way of coming to terms with the fact that you no longer live there, by using it as a backdrop, which is also why the story is spilling out of you:). I’m so impressed with the sheer amount you’ve managed to write, given all the other changes you are acclimatising to!
    Have you an editing schedule you are following for July? And are you also continuing work on the project you started in June? Huge congratulations on the productivity – and I very much hope that July is as successful for you as June was!

    1. melfka

      I had that idea for that urban fantasy for quite a while now, but with all the other projects, I was more playing with it in my head than anything else, and taking occassional notes. But you’re right, leaving had caused me not see those surroundings on a daily basis which means they’re not stronger in my head.
      I still work on that project, though I’m getting to a point where I’d need to stop and think more (I like my 1st drafts clean when it comes to the structure and plots), so I might take a break.
      As for the editing schedule – I tend to avoid them because somehow I always fail. I use CampNaNoWriMo as incentive and a frame (I should be doing 1h of editing daily), but that’s pretty much it. I guess I could use much more discipline when it comes to editing ;). (Yes, be my role model, Sarah! 🙂 )

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