A Month in a Writer’s Life – February 2017

After a very bumpy January, I was hoping for a much better February. I planned on catching up with everything that fell behind, and was quite optimistic about it. I don’t know whether it was the winter aura lowering my mood or the stress of the previous month still lingering, but the start of the month was quite slow. I didn’t get sick, but my health definitely seemed a little bit worse (with some random pains disturbing me), and on many days I’ve found myself tired or sleepy which wasn’t helping my motivation.

As a result, I got to record quite a few zeroes in my word count tracker, and I had to give up on some writerly plans I’ve made for the month. Even though I’ve managed to hit my word count, it was quite a last minute victory.

On the other hand, I was a lot more successful in editing By the Pact, and after initial struggles I’ve managed to keep a steady progress on it. As a result, I’ve reached over 20 hours of editing in the month, shared between By the Pact and Humanborn (though the former got a lot of my attention) which makes a total of 30 hours so far this year.

I also haven’t read much books, reading some short stories in online magazines instead (which means that as of now, I’m already one book behind the schedule in my Goodreads challenge), but I did come across a very interesting comic book. Monstress had caught my attention some time ago with its beautiful and captivating artwork, but instead of buying separate issues, I preferred to wait for the compilation (it felt more book-like), and the wait was well worth it. Monstress is a dark story with rich worldbuilding and interesting characters. Of course, reading it resulted in my creative juices flowing, but with so many projects already on my mind, I tried hard to not to come up with another story.

So, what did I do except editing? I played some of my old video games, though none had caught my attention for long, and Inq and I have decided to do a marathon of Fast and Furious movies, which over the course of the series from “movies about car racing” had turned into “Mission Impossible, but with cars”. They provided us with some entertainment (surprisingly, the further, the more entertaining, though not necessarily “realistic), and not much more, though they did spark some interesting discussions about plot solutions and what makes characters likable.

Watching movies also meant I had time to work on some art. I’ve finished my “Book Wyrm” illustration, inspired by all those who feel more like book dragons than bookworms, and I’ve picked up a pen and ink to have some fun with a bit more abstract art—my Kraken’s tentacles aren’t ready yet, but I hope to share them next month. I also added an old picture of mine, a white rose, to the Society 6 and Redbubble stores.

It turns out, I needed such a creative break. I think this was what had helped me to catch up with my words at the end of the month instead of giving up.

Sadly, it didn’t transfer to my physical activity. With all the tiredness, sleepiness, and weird aches, I mentioned above, I didn’t managed to meat my working out goal: to work out at least half of the days in a month. Instead, I only reached one third. I hope to do better in March.

All in all, February wasn’t a horrible month, but was far from what I was hoping it would be. How did it go for you?

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 5 Comments

  1. J.R.Bee

    I think February is a tough month for most people, we’re all just waiting for spring, and wanting to do stuff, but we’re a bit vitamin D deprived 😀

  2. sjhigbee

    It may have felt something of a struggle, Joanna – but you met your writing target AND you also managed to spend a significant amount of time on your editing projects in addition to that beautiful rose… From where I’m standing, it looks like a very impressive month! Though I suspect you are viewing it through that word ‘struggle’. If you aren’t feeling at your shiny best, where everything is an effort and you are fighting through the lassitude that comes with being not exactly ill, but not well, either…
    So I very much hope that March will feel easier!

    1. melfka

      I know what you mean. It definitely wasn’t a failure with me meeting several goals (and failing at some other, but let’s not mention that), but you’re spot on: the feeling of the “struggle” took a lot of satisfaction away.
      March is proving much better, thank you :).

  3. saraletourneau

    You might have caught a case of “winter blues,” Joanna. I’ve had it a couple times, when you’re not exactly unwell but lacking the motivation and energy to do what you usually do; and winter is when it typically happens to people. I don’t know what winter weather is like in Arizona and Ireland, but did you notice a big difference climate-wise between Ireland’s winters and Arizona’s?

    And I agree with Sarah: Even if you weren’t as productive on the writing side, you got quite a bit of editing done and channeled your creativity in other ways. Those are both positives, so you get a thumbs-up from me. 🙂

    I have my own writing and reading update coming next week at the blog. I’ll go into more detail then… but in short, the past couple weeks have been frustrating for me on the creativity front. :/

    1. melfka

      You’re probably right about the winter blues. Arizona has more “proper” seasons than Ireland. In Ireland, the temperatures are mostly between 40 and 70 F, rarely going below or above, and there’s a lot of rain and cloudy days. Winter is horrible in a way, because it’s wet, cold-ish, and very dark (thick clouds blocking the sunlight). Arizona has some snow, but it isn’t overcast too often, and there’s definitely A LOT more sunshine in general.
      And thank you for your thumbs-up: it’s good to have someone to say in a nice way “stop moaning, you got stuff done!” 🙂
      I’m behind reading blogs (as usual), but I hope to get to your update today.

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