A Month of Writing – August 2016

MoW-ENIt’s been half a month already, and I’m only now getting to write the August edition of my A Month of Writing series that chronicles my adventure in the 365k Club. As always, I had plans of catching up with everything, but it seems that summer still held its spell over me, so I didn’t do quite as much as I planned.

Of course, I kept writing, and I’ve not only met my word count goal, but I’ve managed to catch up a bit to the yearly goal. If I keep my pace, I might even be able to build up some buffer, and I do use those extra words to cover for the less fruitful days. As much as I liked being challenged last year to always meet my 1000 words a day goal, I love the flexibility of “I write little today, and twice the quota tomorrow” approach, though at the same time I feel it requires even more discipline. Last year I’ve said it was easy to keep going once the writing momentum was there, and the real challenge awaited when taking a break, and this year proves it. Sure, I can write 200-300 words for half a week, but then I need to plan to write more if I want to make up for the missing amount. Sure, I don’t really have to, but it could be so easy to just lower the goal to 500 words a day and never strive for more.


I’m also still on track with my consecutive writing, so at the end of August I’ve hit 4 months of writing days. Building up my routine again feels good. If only I could do the same for editing…

Because, unfortunately, while I succeeded at writing, I turned out a total failure at editing, and I’ve hardly touched my novel. Partially it was being out of the routine for too long (proving that going back to it can be much more difficult than keeping it up), and partially because I made myself into over thinking the chapters I’ve already done. Since this round is supposed to be the last one (except for strictly language-related editing), I was tempted to go back and improve the previous chapters even more instead working on the new ones. There’s a lesson to be learned in that, since I ended up doing close to nothing when it comes to editing.captainbadge

I’ve also found another excuse for not editing, which was beta-reading. I felt quite behind with it even though I don’t have firm deadlines, so I put quite a lot of time into working with other people’s texts. This made me feel less guilty about my own projects, since beta-reading is a learning experience too: spotting issues in someone else’s story is easier that dissecting mine, but at the same time it helps to develop the tools that help to recognize the problems within my own writing. I like to believe that beta-reading helps me to produce better drafts myself as I’m aware of the traps I might fall into.


So my August was quite lazy, but all in all not a bad month for writing. Still, I feel like I could do so much more in my current situation, so I decided to give myself a deadline. With 365k Club already taking care of my writing goals, I set another one for editing: to be done with my fantasy novel before the end of the year. And I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s going, so if I better stop slacking.

How are your goals? Are you staying on track or did summer influenced you as well?

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 8 Comments

  1. Rachelle M. N. Shaw

    My ability to meet my goals this year has been pretty abysmal over. BUT I have made progress, so I focus on the positives and that instead of what I haven’t accomplished. Keeps me going. 🙂

    1. melfka

      Progress is always good, and as I recall, you’ve also tried new things, like the YA contest, and sometimes one goal needs to make way for another one. 😉

  2. portiabridget

    In my very humble and completely lackadaisical opinion you are doing exceedingly well. My summer plans had gone to the devil long time ago.

    1. melfka

      Thank you for your kind words. I wouldn’t say I’m doing “exceedingly well” provided the amount of time I have on my hand at the moment, but I’m trying my best.
      It seems that summer is not a good time for writing for either you or me.

  3. saraletourneau

    In my honest opinion, Joanna, you’re doing a good job with all of your goals. Granted that the editing goal may have fallen by the wayside a bit, but you’re juggling writing, editing, and beta-reading all at once. And that’s no easy task.

    All that being said, I expect a report on your fantasy novel editing next month! 😉

    Looking back, I’m surprised by how productive my summer was editing-wise. I think it’s because I knew when certain big events were coming and would require time and attention, so I planned my work on my WIP around those commitments. Plus, I don’t like to spend a lot of time outside when it’s really hot or humid. So when that kind of weather struck, I stayed inside and worked on the WIP some more.

    1. melfka

      Thank you, Sara! I’m still amazed by your organization skills and discipline. If I were you, I’d probably let things slip, and you didn’t!

  4. sjhigbee

    Not sure how I missed this post – anyway I’ve just encountered it:). It sounds to me as if you’ve done really well with all your goals and as for the editing, if you’re concentrating on beta-reading then, as you’ve pointed out, you are actually working on honing someone’s text.

    I was wondering – are you able to effectively edit one novel while writing another? I can’t. When I’m embedded in one world, I find my ability to edit another, different book from a different world becomes compromised to the extent that I don’t get those flashes of extra inspiration that can take the story to a different level. It’s a pain, as it happens – I’d be more productive if I could continue writing and editing alongside each other.

    1. melfka

      Thank you for digging this one up, Sarah! 😉 I’m not sure how I’m able to do juggle my worlds. My only guess is that it comes from the way I grew up: I’ve always been reading, playing tabletop RPG, playing video games, and thinking up stories, so I got used to getting immersed “on the go” as I moved from one activity to another. This was also a way to fight “writer’s block” for me – jump into something else. It doesn’t always work, sometimes I’m just not in the mood to work on a particular story, and sometimes a story demands my attention more than anything else.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.