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A Month in a Writer’s Life – November 2018

Oh what a month it was! When I was making plans for November, I’d never thought that cutting down on my activities would mean I’d get even busier! Shortly after it started, my freelance work took over, pushing everything else to the side, and making me chase various deadlines and last minute requests. As you can guess, it wrecked havoc among my perfect schedules. But, nevertheless, it turned out to be a splendid month.


As you might recall, with “that time of the year” coming, I was once again pondering whether I should try NaNoWriMo. In the end, I decided against it, because being a “rebel” who works on multiple projects (so exactly what I’d be doing anyway) seemed like defeating the whole purpose of taking part in it.

But with my dear writer friends all taking part, I took it upon myself to keep up with them. I also played with the idea of catching up with my miserably low word count for the year, so I set a really ambitious goal for myself: 60,000 words, so 2,000 words a day on average.

11 months of writing every day.

It seemed delightfully impossible to reach it, but I tried anyway, and got a glimpse of why so many writers enjoy NaNoWriMo. Sprinting together with my writer friends, encouraging each other to keep going, or setting goals for others with our own word count turned out to be a great motivator. And in the end, even though it was a close call, I got my 60,000 words (plus 69 extra!), stretched across several projects. I finished the first draft of a dark fantasy I briefly mentioned some time ago, and started a new fun project prompted by my writer friend’s comment.

It felt good to be writing so intensely again. After a year of “barely making it” and “being behind again”, I finally felt like I’m getting back on track with some serious writing.


Being busy with work and writing meant I didn’t have much time for art-related activities. I did manage to work on my dragonflies a bit: no new bugs to add to the collection, but I’ve been making progress digitalizing the existing ones. Since I didn’t draw them as clean outlines, playing with shading, preparing clean versions takes a bit longer than usual.

Sadly, I missed two of the four #TheWordwitch postings, so the November pictures will end up in December’s summary post instead.

Goofing around with matching outfits – Fallout 76.

If you read the Gaming Writer’s Saturday post, you already know that Inq and I were looking forward to Fallout 76, and despite the mixed reception, we are still greatly enjoying it. Even if so far I didn’t have as much time as I’d like to for exploring West Virginia, it’s been great to relax with the game.

November is also Thanksgiving time in the US, but we didn’t bother with a big celebration. Because a turkey would be too much for the two of us, we opted for delicious steaks instead, and we enjoyed a pleasant and quiet long weekend, away from Black Friday sales.

How about you? How did your November go? Did you participate in NaNoWriMo?

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. J.R.Bee

    Go you with your writing deadlines, and the meeting them thing!

    1. Melfka

      Yes, sometimes I succeed. (Let’s not mention how often I fail, in comparison 😀 )

      1. J.R.Bee

        For every moment of success is a mountain of failing and learning. It’s just that people don’t often see that part.

        1. Melfka

          It’s because of that blinding flash of the… success. 😉

  2. Salem Wolfe

    Now I feel like trying out NaNoWriMo next year! I didn’t participate this year, but I managed to push myself to an article I needed to write within a deadline. It’s still not as much as I should have been doing.
    I took some time to play and I noticed that the plot-driven games really helped spark ideas or concepts I needed to integrate into my stories. So my takeaway is to always make time for games. Because all work and no play makes us dull indeed. 😉

    1. Melfka

      If you want to try, sticking around a group who does it might be fun (and no pressure if you’re just sprinting/hanging out with them). Or participating in CampNaNoWriMo (April or July) that allows you to set up your own goal to reach – so you could go for a lower number just to see if it works for you.

  3. sjhigbee

    Huge congratulations with hitting such an ambitious target, Joanna! How wonderful that not only did you complete one project, but also got a good way into a new one:)). I look forward to catching up on your other posts in due course – I’ve fallen horribly behind on my blogging visits and commenting recently:)

    1. Melfka

      Thank you, Sarah! I think you’re all caught up – I post once a week at most (because I happen to skip weeks as well), so it’s somewhat easy to keep up.

      1. sjhigbee

        Well at least that’s something! Thank goodness:))

  4. saraletourneau

    Gosh, I barely remember November now… I was going to say that if I’d read your post last week, maybe I’d remember it more clearly. But I was sick last week… so maybe I still wouldn’t have. XD :/

    I’m glad you were able to meet your unofficial NaNo goal, though! 60K words in one month – that’s incredible! And it must feel good to have that first draft of the dark fantasy story finished, too.

    1. Melfka

      At certain point (age :X ) months seem to become a blur, don’t they?
      Yes, it felt great to have something finished. Of course, this story will need A LOT of work when I get back to it, but since it’s written down, I can take my time now without fearing the ideas would scatter while I’m not looking. 😉

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