A Month of Writing – July 2016

MoW-ENHere I was, thinking my transition period after moving continents had finally come to an end and I’d be able to get back to building my routine, especially with the monsoon season starting in Arizona which would bring relief after the June’s heat I wasn’t used to anymore. Oh little I knew!

The first weeks of July turned out to be as hot and dry as many days in June, so after 8 years in Ireland I found such prolonged heat turn me into a mindless sloth. I couldn’t focus until the late hours in the evening when the temperature dropped down a notch, and for me, night time is not the best time for editing. I could write most days, but focusing on the already written text was a completely different matter. Editing requires a lot of attention and the level meticulousness I found myself unable to achieve in the heat and so late in the day.RedPenBadge

As a result, out of 30 hours of editing I’ve planned to do, I managed to get as little as one third, and therefore I my third time at Camp NaNoWriMo ended as a failure (also because I refused to lower my goal and still tried to aim for that 30).

Even when the monsoon rains and storms finally came, bringing some relief, I came to realization that I’ve changed my lifestyle and diet quite a bit when I moved over to US, and even more during the past months, and I felt like my body is going through another adaptation phase.

So, I’ve practically spent my July playing video games and binge-watching various series with Inq, but I still managed to get quite a lot of writing done. My urban fantasy project had passed 70k words mark, and I’m slowly wrapping up the story and patch up any plot holes I’ve spotted. I’ve also worked on a short story, and spent some time on art projects, so all in all, even with my failure at the Camp, I consider July quite productive.BullseyeJul

As far as my 365k Club goal goal, I’m still catching up, I think I might not be able to complete the challenge with 365k words in December. Even though I put much effort into catching up, as soon as I have the first draft of my urban fantasy ready, I’ll most likely revert to editing and try to focus on it more: I’ve already a backlog of projects to be revised and edited, so adding more words, as enjoyable as it is, won’t make it go away.

A 365k Club badge for reaching the halfway mark.

I’ve considered lowering my yearly goal to 200k, but it feels like cheating a bit, since I’d be too close to completing the challenge. So I’ll likely try to keep going, but I start to realize that I probably have enough material for revisions for the next couple of years… But the ideas keep coming, and in the end it’s good to have a choice of what I’m going to work on next, isn’t it?

On the bright side, I’ve managed to write every day for two months now, and I’ve crossed the halfway mark of my goal. I’ve also got my editing badge which shows that maybe I’m a bit slow at it, but I’m still making some progress toward the finalization of at least one of my novels.

The biggest challenge for August will be getting back on track with my editing, while I still keep writing. And what is yours? Is summer time the best or the worst time for you when it comes to writing? Why?

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 10 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    I think if I were you, I’d keep writing. The editing phase can always come later – but not if you haven’t got a bank of work to edit… The weather is certainly something to come to terms with – what a change from Dublin! July was very productive by any measure – does it get any cooler in August? All the best with your writing challenge – though you are clearly doing really well, given you are still acclimatising to the… climate.

    1. melfka

      Thank you for your advice, Sarah. I want to keep writing, but I’m afraid I might be using it as an excuse to not do as much editing… I guess I really need to work on finding the balance between the two.
      July and August are both supposed to be cooler as it’s the monsoon season: rains make the temperature drop from +30 to pleasant 20-25. But on the dry days it still climbs up…

      1. sjhigbee

        Yes… you’re right, of course. If you want to publish your work in any form, the editing process is crucial – and my reaction may be somewhat skewed as I’m one of those who find the writing part of the process easier and more natural. But as I’ve worked over a number of years, I’ve discovered I go through phases where I’m far more creative than at other times. And if I push forward with the writing then, as I fall fallow, I can then turn my focus back to editing. It may be the major changes in your life this year has shaken up your creativity – it often seems to happen like that.
        I know I like it hot and am constantly moaning about the indifferent summer we are experiencing, but those are crazy temperatures you’re dealing with! Best of luck with it all:)

        1. melfka

          I think you might be right about the phases. The very moment I’ve finished the last novel, my brain went 180 degrees and shouted “let’s edit something now!” I wonder how long it’ll last, though.
          And the summers… I complained about them in Ireland too :). Sadly, I got used to them, because summer in Flagstaff is not really hotter than summers in Poland. (I’m still glad we don’t live in Phoenix or further down south.)

  2. saraletourneau

    You’ve still done an admirable job this year with writing and editing, as far as I can tell. Progress is always progress, even if it’s slower than we’d hoped it would be.

    In terms of finding a balance between editing and writing… I’m not sure what to suggest, since I’m plugging away on a single project right now. How close are you to finishing the editing project?

    This summer has been pretty good in terms of writing / editing, probably because of my new writing routine. But I don’t like heat and humidity that much, so unless it’s dry and/or in the 70s or low 80s F, I try to stay in air conditioning as much as possible – which means lots of writing time when I’m home. 🙂

    1. melfka

      Thank you for encouragement, Sara! 🙂 That’s what I keep telling myself: I’m working on things, so it’s not like I’m lazy all the time.
      Lucky you! The apartment we’re renting doesn’t have AC, so I’m roasting whenever it’s over 80… >.>
      I can’t tell how close I am. On one hand, I’m 2/3 done with the current go-through. On the second hand, I feel like another one might be needed (and I dread it).
      And on top of that, I’ll need to go through all that again with Inq, my husband, because I’m unable to edit my English to the native level. And this part will be the slowest one.

  3. portiabridget

    Summer time and the livin’ is easy…or not. As long as you move forward everything is fine.

  4. J.R.Bee

    I reckon if you combined your editing with your writing you’ll probably find that you’ll have surpassed all your goals, so I wouldn’t get so down hearted 🙂

    1. melfka

      True. I still should find more efficient way to deal with both now that I really do have time for them.

      1. J.R.Bee

        It’s all a learning curve, or at least a wobbly line with mostly down slopes.

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