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A Month in a Writer’s Life – August 2017

August was another month that whizzed by faster than a speeding car. I found myself torn between taking it easy after the Camp NaNo’s final rush, and keeping the general progress, so I finally settled on writing three short stories I’ve been meaning to get ready. It seemed like a reasonable goal, but things didn’t go exactly as planned.


I started strong, writing over 6000 words in the first short story, then having it ready along with several rounds of edits. Then, a sudden roadblock came. It wasn’t even a writer’s block, more like feeling burnt out. I should have expected it since July was pretty intense when it came to writing, and so were the first two weeks of August. After struggling to work on anything, I followed the irreplaceable JR Bee’s advice to take a break from my projects, and relax a bit more.

August Badge

Of course, the very moment I decided I won’t be writing, my energy returned along with a rejuvenated interest in all my WIPs. I also came up with a very interesting (and – I believe – original) idea for a setting that could become my new big project. But at the moment I’m still letting it simmer. Even though I felt I was “back at the game”, I still took it easy, and by the end of August my daily word count gradually increased, and I hit the 24,000 mark, making it close to July’s output and ended up writing at least a bit every day.

6 months of daily writing badge

In terms of editing, I didn’t do much, but 10 hours is better than nothing, and I also found time to beta-read some texts for my friends.

3/4 of the yearly goal reached
3/4 of the yearly goal badge

This month, I earned 3 badges in 365 Club. I got to my monthly word count goal, I wrote every day, and I reached the three quarters of my yearly goal. The last one came a whole month early which will give me some wriggle space at the end of the year to plan for 2018.


When it comes to the more visual creativity, August began quite unexpectedly. My friends at Silverclock’s fanpage held a summer contest to depict sun in a creative way. I decided to help them out and prepared an entry, and found myself at a loss: I don’t have much of anything yellow. For a moment it seemed I’d be confined to markers or paint, but thankfully I remembered I have some gold polymer clay and matching metal pieces.

Thus, I entered the contest with a polymer clay pendant photographed on blue bubble wrap imitating the sun. To my surprise, I’ve won, and as a reward, I promptly received a three-word calligraphy of my choice. I have to say it’s been pleasure to work with Katarzyna who after interviewing me about my color and style preferences, managed to prepare a calligraphy that was a perfect match for me. If you ever want any text custom-made, she’s a person to go to!

At the end of the month, I had fun preparing a simple witchy graphic, and it’s now available at Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle.

I'm always a good witch
Available as mugs, notebooks, phone skins, t-shirts, and more.

I finally got into a proper reading binge, and finished 4 books in August. I’m still behind my Goodreads challenge, but it felt good to catch up at least a bit. Sadly, all except for one failed to go above “meh” and “ok” on my reading meter. I was really hoping to discover new, exciting book, but it seems that my writerly side is thwarting such efforts, and I notice all the shortfalls in fiction.

Entertainment-wise, I played a lot of Skyrim: Enhanced Edition, using the need for inspiration as an excuse, and we watched some anime and movies.

I also kept doing my workout daily, though the temperatures still haven’t dropped enough for me to get back to my full routine, but at least I kept it going.

How about you? How did your August go? Any achievements you want to share?

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. J.R.Bee

    Sounds like you were busier than you thought, even with me telling you to stop and take a break 😀

    1. Melfka

      I think it’s the break that made me more productive. Maybe I should take a break more often?

      1. J.R.Bee

        Yeah, breaks are important. I’ve learned (am still learning) the hard way that all work all the time makes for less progress.

  2. sjhigbee

    Aaand that’s what happens, doesn’t it? You tell yourself that one particular thing is going to happen, or not – and then something changes everything… Huge congratulations on hitting all your writing goals – I’m really impressed:). I also love your Sun – it’s so delightfully squiggley:)). I have enormous respect for anyone who is clever with their hands, given just what a fumble-fingered eejit I am. I hope that September is a successful, productive month for you – and cools down sufficiently so you can get some keep fit done!

    1. Melfka

      Indeed. I’m a firm believer that to be successful, one has to adapt to changing circumstances and adjust priorities accordingly.
      I’m glad you like the sun pendant. I enjoy making this type of jewelry: very relaxing.

      1. sjhigbee

        It is apparent that you enjoy making this – a joyous energy shines out of it:)

  3. saraletourneau

    Funny how that works, huh? You decide to take a break, and then a wave of inspiration hits you. 🙂 But I’m glad you made that choice to go a little easier on yourself, and that it led to increased productivity in the end.

    And congrats on winning the art competition! I love how the gold of the clay matches the gear’s coloring really well. 🙂

    1. Melfka

      Yeah, it’s very funny how our brains work. Like children who won’t do anything all day long, but when it’s time to go to bed, they suddenly want to do EVERYTHING. 😉
      And thank you :). The gear is actually made of separate pieces: golden ring and little knobs. It’s a benefit of Inq working in mechanics: he brings home things that would be thrown away and I get to use them for art. 🙂

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