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A Month in a Writer’s Life – October 2018

As the year comes close to an end, I feel like I’m finally regaining my footing. I never expected that the move across the States that happened back in March would affect me so much and for so long, but it also came with a few other changes in my life, including starting to work more intensively as a freelancer. So the process of “getting back to the routine” was constantly disrupted, and whenever I felt like I was just getting there, something else came up. I’m still behind a few things, and I have little hope to catch up, but I’m doing my best moving forward.


The month started as a natural continuation of my previous struggles, with very little written. But as days went by, I finally found my motivation and determination to write more and focus on the things that needed finishing. I made significant progress on Myth-touched, book 2 in my contemporary fantasy series set in Ireland, finally finding solutions to the issues that made me put that story aside months ago. It still requires some more work before I can call the first draft done, but I’m positive I can make it happen by the end of the year.

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying working on a new project that at the moment I consider being written for my own entertainment. I’m unsure yet, whether it’ll turn into something more serious.

In the end, I still had words missing at the end of the month, having written only little over 25,000 of them, but for the first time in months I actually felt like I’m back on track and getting somewhere. It’s a nice feeling. On top of that, I have written every single day for 10 months now.

Short story publication

My Scourges, Spells, and Serenades being published in the third issue of StoryHack magazine was the news I’ve been sitting on since the beginning of the year. This sword and sorcery short tells yet another tale of two of my favorite characters, arcanist Kamira and mage killer Veelk, so I was excited to be able to share it with others.

It’s a second short story published this year, and it reminds me that even though writing and publishing is a slow process, things eventually happen every now and then.


Quite unexpectedly, encouraged by my acquaintance, I took part in Inktober. It’s a challenge for artists, inviting them to draw and post daily pictures. As I don’t really consider myself an artist (though maybe I should?), and I knew my focus would be on words, not images, I picked a simple theme for myself – my favorite bugs, dragonflies. I felt that doing so, along with following the official daily prompts, would give me enough of quick inspiration to complete the challenge without too much time consumed.

In the end, I had immense fun with them, and the response to my dragonflies was stunning. When the month ended, everyone wanted more of them, and I regretted I wouldn’t be able to keep up with daily drawings. But maybe, in the future, I’ll be able to post a few new ones each month.


After a month of family visits, October was pleasantly quiet. I enjoyed some video games and watching series with Inq. We had a quick unexpected trip to Norfolk, and arriving there at the rush hour left a very bad impression of the town.

We didn’t do much for Halloween. I still kept to my personal tradition and carved a pumpkin. It wasn’t as elaborate as I had last year, because we only got a small pumpkin, but when I came up with the idea of making it into a cat, I couldn’t resist it. Maybe next year I’ll try something more ambitious again. The cat, of course, was promptly turned into a delicious pumpkin soup…

How about you? Was October kind to 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 7 Comments

  1. J.R.Bee

    Seems like although you haven’t managed to write as much as you would have liked, it looks like you have achieved a lot more in other areas, so hopefully you see it as more of a win than a fail 🙂

  2. sjhigbee

    I LOVE the dragonfly drawings – you have such a clever, twisty imagination! As for the writing – congratulations on getting another short story published – I know how much of an achievement that is. And go you for having managed to get your writing rhythm on track by the end of the month. Glad that October was kind to you, Joanna:))

    1. Melfka

      Thank you, Sara!
      Everyone seems to enjoy my dragonflies, so I’m planning to bring them back in January – though I don’t think I’ll manage daily drawings.
      October was, indeed, very kind – it seems that most autumns are. I guess it is my season.

      1. sjhigbee

        I think weather very much affects people’s creativity – I know I feel more empowered and creative during the summer…

        1. Melfka

          It seems that I’m the opposite: summers seem to be my slumber time.
          On the other hand, the last years seen some moves and huge changes in life, so I guess I can’t be sure – maybe when I really settle down, summers will get very productive for me too. 🙂

  3. saraletourneau

    So much to love about this post! Your writing is back on track, your Inktober drawings were lovely (I really enjoyed following them on social media), and then the story story news to top it all off. Who cares about being behind on an annual projected word count when there’s this much goodness and creativity to be happy about? 🙂

    I know, it’s maybe a hyper-positive spin on everything. But this autumn generally seems to be going well for several of the writers in my “inner circle,” so it’s been so fun and satisfying to watch the past several weeks unfold for everyone.

    1. Melfka

      Sometimes we need that hyper-positivity to balance out the steady and sneaky negativity that seems to pester writers almost every step of the way.
      And Autumn is great. I didn’t get out much, but even seeing the beautifully-colored trees were like a soul balm. 🙂

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