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A Month in a Writer’s Life – October 2017

I look in the calendar and can’t believe October is already gone. It was a bumpy and uneven month in many aspects of my life, but all in all I can’t complain about it. An anthology with two of my stories had its launch day, I managed to keep writing daily, and I launched my Facebook page.

Writing Daily

I wasn’t very focused this month. I knew I needed to start revisions of Humanborn, my contemporary fantasy set in Ireland, but I needed more time to digest beta-readers feedback, so it didn’t happen. In the end, most of my words went toward blog posts and my side project which was rewriting my fantasy romance.

Monthly Wordcount Goal Badge

And then, mid-month, I found myself in a writing slump. None of my projects – all of which I usually love – seemed worth working on. I tried to write my way out of it, but it wasn’t helping. So instead, I took two weeks off. I maintained minimum writing routine (100-200 words a day) to stay with my daily writing routine, but that was it. Instead, I played a lot of video games. It helped. At the end of the month I restored my excitement and drive, but it left me with only few days to catch up with my wordcount. It was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to hit my monthly goal.

8 Months of Writing Daily Badge

As I mentioned above, editing didn’t really happen. I don’t think these 5 hours I did last month is even worth mentioning.

Other Creativity

Mid-month Inq, who is not a fan of any type of squash, got me a pumpkin. I got to cook it and eat for as long as I also carved it. Not a bad deal, if you ask me. It was gigantic in comparison to what I used to buy back in Ireland, so I got very excited about the design. After an evening of sketching out ideas, I set up to work and it took me good several hours in two days to finish it, but I’m definitely happy on how it turned out.

Sadly, the carved pumpkin lasted about two days in our warm apartment. I didn’t want the design to vanish, so I converted the idea into an image. It’s a simple one as I wanted it to reflect the crudeness of the carving and lit pumpkin.

Later in the month, ironically exactly when I was taking break in my writing, I had an idea for a more Valentines-like design. “Writer for Life” design was fun to make as I got to experiment with colors to make them match. Yellow and deep pink aren’t my usual “go to” palette, so I got a bit out of my comfort zone.

Both designs are available on Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle on variety of products. In October, Society6 had added stickers to their products which was great news. I always loved the idea of being able to customize everyday items, and stickers sound like fun.

Writer’s Life

As I mentioned above, I finally launched my fanpage on Facebook, and I started sharing a series of #thewordwitch drawings which I’ve been creating throughout the year. If you’re on Facebook, feel free to check it out, and if you prefer it as monthly updates, hop over to my October roundup blog post.

Sadly, this month I missed over a week of exercise. I seemed to have pulled a muscle on my back, and even though the pain mostly went away after a few days, I didn’t want to risk it. My workouts stopped entirely to give it time to heal. I confess, going back to regular exercise after the break was even more of a pain that the muscle itself.

Other than that, we enjoyed watching the new season of Netflix’s Voltron and catching up on Kuromukuro – two anime series featuring big robots. We also binged on Stranger Things 2 as soon as it came out. And as I mentioned above, I played some video games which I’m hoping to write about soon in the Gaming Writer’s Saturday series.

How was your October? Any accomplishments you can share? Any setbacks?

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 11 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    What a beautifully carved pumpkin – I bet it drew lots of comments. And I love the design you were left with, too. I also love the heart with the pen through it. Your commitment to your writing wordcount is impressive – I think your October is really successful. I hope that November is a happy, productive one, Joanna:)

    1. Melfka

      I’m glad you like the pumpkin, Sara. I was very happy how it turned out, and making the design was fun.
      Considering I took so much time off writing, I guess my October didn’t turn out too bad. 🙂 I hope your November is also going well. I’m hoping to catch up with all the blog posts before the year ends.

      1. sjhigbee

        I’m very impressed – and touched – that you are taking the time and effort to do so, Joanna:). As for that pumpkin – that is just awesome!

        1. Melfka

          I guess reading blogs is like reading a series. I don’t want to miss out on the middle just because I’m unfashionably late. I appreciate that you’re so patient with me, allowing me to catch up and still have a conversation about things you probably already forgotten.

          1. sjhigbee

            Oh blimey – that’s not me being patient! That’s me enjoying the chance to have a conversation about previous reads, which is always a treat:)).

  2. J.R.Bee

    I concur with sjhigbee, looks like your October was more productive than it seemed to you. Sometimes taking a break is the best thing to do 🙂

    1. Melfka

      Thank you. I’ll try to do better in November. 😉

  3. saraletourneau

    And next thing we know, it will be December… and then 2018… but it’s not a good idea to get too ahead of ourselves, right? *lol*

    I have to agree with Sarah and J.R. You still had a really good October creativity and productivity wise. Sometimes we need to take a break, even if it’s just for a day, to refresh ourselves after working so intently or for so long on a project. If that means playing video games instead of writing, then go right ahead. 😉 I recently took a day off from writing my WIP to draw a map of the fictional college campus where most of the story takes place. It wasn’t a break from the story itself, but I’d been meaning to do it for a while so I could have a better understanding of the locations of academic buildings, dormitories, etc. And I’m not an artist in the drawing sense, but I was quite happy with the map when I finished it.

    I love the pumpkin carving! And I just noticed the new #Wordwitch drawing (“Shiny”) in your Twitter feed. That might actually be my new favorite of the bunch!

    October was a weird month for me, too. It was incredibly stressful for me on some fronts, but somehow it didn’t hurt my creativity. I think I might have had my most productive month on the new WIP despite what was going on… Which I take as a sign that this manuscript is good for my mental health right now.

    1. Melfka

      Taking a break from writing a story but still working on things related to it is the best, isn’t it? You get to rest from words but feed your brain with new ideas.
      So… (uncomfortable question coming! 😉 ) How much can you relate to the “Shiny” drawing? 😛
      And I’m glad that the WIP is helping you to get through stress. When writing is not only a hobby, but also a way to heal or relax, it’s probably the most pleasant time. (Because later, revisions and editing comes… 😉 )

      1. saraletourneau

        I actually don’t mind revisions and editing so much. I feel confident enough in those skills that those stages of the writing process don’t intimidate me so much. It’s the only way I can explain cutting the previous WIP from its bloated 132K size in Draft #1 to 98K in Draft #3! *lol*

        I relate to the Shiny drawing only in desire. I have lots of story ideas I’d love to play with, but I’m too dedicated to working on one at a time to actually do it. Unless you count writing poems in between sessions on the novel. 😉

        1. Melfka

          I don’t find revisions intimidating (I re-read my own work about 15-20 times during that time), but they are tedious at times, especially compared to the fun of writing.
          I work at several projects at the time, so I have to be more careful about Shiny New Ideas. 😉

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