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A Month in a Writer’s Life – December 2017

Another month went by, and with it—another year, therefore December’s A Month in a Writer’s Life will be a bit of cheating, summing up my whole year. It didn’t go exactly how I thought it would, but I can’t say it was bad.


For the third year in a row I took part in 365 Writing Club, but with so many things written in the previous years, I decided to focus on revisions and editing instead of writing new words. Therefore I lowered my daily word count goal to 500. It was a good idea. I still had plenty of writing done, but it helped me balance new words with revising the old ones.

In the end, I wrote 215,798 words in 2017 which was about 30,000 words over my goal. At the same time, I managed over 150 hours of editing. It probably was more since I didn’t log all of them, not including re-reading with light edits.

I wrote multiple blog posts, several short stories, and worked on pieces of novels, including a rewrite of my fantasy romance. The latter was my low-priority go-to project when I didn’t feel like working on anything else.
I also managed to be very consistent when it comes to daily writing. In 2017 I only missed 4 days: one in February, one in September, and two in December.

I had two stories published in Polish, in a double anthology. I also had one acceptance in English, but that’s the news I’ll be sharing in 2018 when the anthology is out.


One of my goals for the last year was to become more consistent with my blog posts. I don’t consider myself a blogger, but I hoped I could get one post a week ready. In the end, I didn’t manage, but with 47 (if I’m counting correctly) posts, I got close enough.

I also joined the 10 Minute Novelists blogging team, with four texts published so far:

  • Foreign Phrases in Your Novel
  • How to Write Foreigners in Dialogues
  • 7 Gift Ideas for Writers
  • Bullet Journaling for Writers

Sadly, I fell behind with reading blogs I’ve been following, and even though I was determined to catch up before the year’s end, I’m still nearly two months behind.


Throughout the year, I created 14 designs which I added to the Society6 and Redbubble stores (some of them are available on Zazzle too). It’s been both fun and a great learning experience as I’ve been learning new skills in the Photoshop.

It’s hard to say which one is my favorite one, but others seem to like the writerly ones a lot, <3 Writing (sometimes) and Write. Edit. Repeat.

I also had some fun with polymer clay, creating various pendants.

Writer’s Life

I’m more of an indoors person, so there isn’t much to report (unless I go in length about the video games I play) in my writer’s life.

Back in February, I visited the Grand Canyon. It’s been a great day, and you can read more about it in my Birthday Week post. There are pictures too!

In September I went down to Phoenix, for a fun-filled day with my fellow 10 Minute Novelists (plus friends and family). It was wonderful to finally meet people I’ve been talking to online, and I hope I’ll be able to meet them in August 2018 on the 10 Minute Novelists Conference in Cinncinati.

The last notable outing came in December when, on Christmas Day, Inq and I decided to “climb a mountain”. I’ve been dreaming about conquering Humphrey’s Peak ever since I arrived to Northern Arizona. Sadly, even though we took it easy, we only made it about one third up. My lungs didn’t take the thin air well, so in the end we had to turn back. I likely won’t get another chance at it, but at least I can say I tried.

And last but not least, I passed my driving exam! After a year of on-and-off practicing, we realized that my learner’s permit was about to run out… And I didn’t even get to practice parallel parking yet! We squeezed in about 30 minutes of it before the permit expired, and then the next week I went to extend my permit and sign up for the exam – because it didn’t hurt to try, right? Needless to say, I am now permitted on the roads on my own. (Inq wanted me to add: Americans, beware!)


As 2017 had already become a memory, I’m looking forward. With some serious changes on the horizon, I’m very cautious with setting my goals, but you can be sure there will be writing, art, and video games!
How about you? Did 2017 treat you gently? What are you looking forward to in 2018?

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

    2017 wasn’t awful, but it could have been better. Can’t really remember most of the things that happened in it… But bring on 2018!

    1. Melfka

      RIGHT ON!
      (not that in 2019 we will remember most of the things that happened in it, but shhh… 😉 )

      1. J.R.Bee

        I hope there will be lots of good memories at least.

  2. sjhigbee

    Congratulations – that is a very creditable word count. And while 2017 may not have been wonderful, your outpouring of creativity with a series of lovely designs and lovely octopus pendants are truly impressive. I am also very envious that you managed a journey to the Grand Canyon – it’s on my bucket list… I very much hope you have a happy, successful 2018:)

    1. Melfka

      Thank you, Sara. All in all I see 2017 as a year of slow progress and steady working toward my goals. I’ll likely have to wait years for everything to come to fruition, but it’s important to see the progress of things.

      1. sjhigbee

        Oh yes – and I think you completely succeeded in that goal.

  3. saraletourneau

    Wow. 200K+ is a really good total word count for the year, even if all those words were spread out among multiple projects. It just goes to show how well you’ve done at making writing a consistent, nearly everyday habit. The same goes for your artwork and jewelry making. You had a good year in that regard, Joanna. 🙂

    Btw, I look forward to your short story news when you’re ready to share it. And congratulations on passing your driving test!

    1. Melfka

      Thank you, Sara. 365 Writing Club really helped me to get on track with my writing and figuring out my process. I was a bit sad I didn’t aim for 365k words last year, but with the amount of revisions I managed, I’m still very happy with the outcome.

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