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A Month in a Writer’s Life – December 2018

December has been a bit of a blur, but come to think of it, the whole year seemed like that. Due to our move across the states, we’d lost pretty much the first four months of it, packing, organizing, settling in, and working out problems that arose along the way. In the end, it left with me with a feeling of constantly trying to catch up with everything and never being on top of my game. Yet, looking back, I can’t say it was a bad year.


In 2018, month after month, I was failing to meet my 1000 words a day goal, but I stayed optimistic. I knew that I could catch up. And after stunningly impressive November, I managed to close the gap by half of the missing words. Yet, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to repeat that feat in December. Of course, I could have pushed through and had another month full of words, but being a writer also means the ability to prioritize. And I needed that time to prepare for 2019.

The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror cover

Yet, even if December ended up below my daily goal again, I still managed to get close to my goal, having written over 315,000 words throughout the year, and not missing a single day this year. It might have been only as little as 100-200 of the days of travel, but hey – I still wrote something!

I also had two short stories published. Karel on the Other Side appeared in The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Volume III (which you can get for free from Smashwords), and Scourges, Spells, and Serenades was featured in the third issue of StoryHack.


Throughout the year I’ve created some designs, adding them to my Society6 and Redbubble shops. A few of them still need polishing, so I’ll likely be sharing them in 2019.

I was very happy that I managed to finish the “We’re All Mad Here” and “Overthinking” designs. The first one required weeks of taking breaks as I wasn’t sure how to link all the elements. The second one took months of redrawing and redesigning the idea, because the first attempts turned out too complex and hard to read.

Compared to that, “More Words,” “We’re All Goo(d) Here” and “Out of Order” were quite easy and fun to finish, though with the latter I got to discover some new techniques in Photoshop.

In the end, I had 5 finished designs and a few more works-in-progress, so creatively, it wasn’t a bad year. And that isn’t counting polymer clay creations I had fun with.

I also took part in the Inktober challenge, and managed to draw every day for a month. The dragonflies turned out to be a lot of fun to create, and had garnered a lot of positive response, so I decided I’ll be going back to drawing them in 2019.


Early in the year, we packed up all of our belongings and made a mad rush across the United States to move from Arizona to Virginia on an extremely tight deadline. As much as it was an adventure, it also introduced a lot of chaos into our established routine. In the end, it took some months to rebuild it, affecting the rest of the year as well. I caught up on few things, but many fell behind, getting postponed over and over again. I’m particularly sad that I didn’t manage to read through the backlog of blogs I truly enjoy, and I can only hope that eventually I’ll close that gap.

Traveling across the states

I also started my freelancing business, and so far it’s been a great experience. Of course, learning the ropes, figuring out paperwork and legal aspects of it was a bit of a challenge, and I admit that once or twice I felt like a deer in the headlights. Yet, at the same time, it was exciting to figure things out and move forward, and as much as I used to enjoy my old office job in Ireland, I do like working from home, despite several drawbacks to being a freelancer.

As my poor birthday orchid eventually didn’t survive, our 3-day journey across the states taking its toll, I took Inq’s suggestion to grow something from a seed. The choice could have been only one: my favorite pansies. We planted them late and not exactly according to the guidelines, but they grew healthy and wild, taking over the flower pot like an overgrown bush. They also bloomed beautifully throughout the hot summer, ignoring the frequent beating from torrential rains. And even though it’s the middle of the winter now, with

Into the future

2018 wasn’t what I thought to be, and I had to reevaluate some of my plans and goals. But at the same time, it provided some great insights that I’m going to use to move forward in 2019.

How was your December? What do you think of your year? Did it meet your expectations?

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 6 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    I think your year has been amazing – packing and travelling such a distance is a massive disruption to your life. I know you say that it impacted on your productivity, but that wordcount is incredible. And you have continued working on your artwork throughout the year, producing smart, funny and beautifully crafted drawings. I’m delighted that working as a freelancer from home is successful and you are enjoying the experience. I also enjoy doing the bulk of my work from home.

    It seems you have laid the groundwork in 2018 to take everything forward during 2019 – and I hope it is every bit as successful and productive as you could hope for:))

    1. Melfka

      Thank you for your kind words, Sarah!
      Here’s to hoping that 2019 will exceed our plans and expectations (in all the good ways).

      1. sjhigbee

        Oh that would be marvellous – I do hope so!

        1. Melfka

          I’m sure we will both work to help it happen. 😉

  2. saraletourneau

    I know the feeling about 2018 being a much different year than you’d anticipated… But I agree with Sarah: You still had a great year in terms of productivity, creativity, and excitement. Two short stories published, lots of artwork that brings joy, smiles, and laughter, and those beautiful pansies. 🙂 Now that you’ve had some time to settle into your new home and figure out your new routine / lifestyle, you can take you learned and accomplished last year and apply it to this year. I look forward to seeing what 2019 brings for you!

    Almost forget: You’ve been incredibly diligent with catching up on friends’ blog posts. Maybe you didn’t get to as many posts as you wished you could have, but I noticed. And I admire your dedication. 🙂

    1. Melfka

      Thank you, Sara 🙂
      As for the blogs – when I like them, I don’t want to miss them. Thankfully, posts are there months after posting, so I might be late to some news, but I still get to enjoy reading through life happenings, books read, and all that. To skip only to catch up would feel like skipping half a season of your favorite tv show 😉 (though blogs are read are definitely not the drama type 😉 ).

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