This week wasn’t too bad overall for me. I managed to get myself a little more on track for my goals and get myself organized. I’ve started doing weekly “tracking” pages so I can make my to-do lists for projects and keep track of what I do and when and how much I get done, etc. It’s helping a lot to see my progress. I’ve been doing a lot of world building instead of chapter writing and it’s been bothering me, but I know myself and I obviously need to be working this stuff out before I get much else done. It’s my way, but sometimes I feel like I’m failing (even though the words still count? I don’t get it either). Last night alone I managed 2k in world building notes and even got a few hundred fresh words toward a scene! So that’s something.
May wasn’t an especially productive month, admittedly. As evidenced by the radio silence I’ve had here for so long.
I spent a good chunk of time saving all my work off a site where I’d spent a few years participating in a number of collaborative works and independent projects. Over 1000 posts. It was sad to say goodbye to a place that had helped to define me and the way I write. As I spent hours (and hours, and hours) going through all of this, I really began to miss the collaborative nature of things. Whether I realized it or not, it was a huge help to have others to be accountable to. If I went too long without writing a chapter, I’d feel guilty. It kept me motivated. Not to mention the wealth of experience I got from working with others and learning how to develop an idea with so many other minds.
Aside from that, I have been doing a lot more world building than actual chapter writing, but that’s the nature of things sometimes. My notes are inching up on 39k already for the year.
I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not a race. I can catch up on my words, and I’m not even *that* behind. I hate being behind at all, though.
I am truly godawful at these updates. I suppose it doesn’t much matter, as they’re for me and mostly serve as a means of tracking how I feel during this challenge and boosting my word count with something easy. Still, I feel a certain sense of guilt when I fail to update when I intend to.
I’m working on something to share as an excerpt, but the longer this challenge goes on and the more I find myself working on the same few projects, the harder it gets to find something fresh and self-contained. Excuse or explanation, it’s up to you to decide.
In the meantime, this last month was not horrible. Neither was it great, but it is what it is. I’m still chasing that same exhilaration and success of that first month. It is elusive.
I got about 24,300 words in April. A few thousand short of the overall goal, which puts me behind. I’m trying to remind myself that I can catch up (those random 5k days certainly help) and that it’s just a matter of time, but the frustration is real. Channeling it into motivation is another matter. Otherwise, I’ve begun drafting up a few new blog posts as well. Nothing’s ready yet but I’ve definitely got some ideas I’m working on.
I keep considering dabbling in something playful and stress-free. There was once a time I could write ten thousand words for a chapter of fanfiction, though those days are long ago. It might be fun to pick up a little pet project and play around, though; and there are certainly plenty of fandoms ripe with inspiration and tempting me off my own projects. Honestly, though, working on anything besides #WBMAM feels a bit like cheating nowadays. I tell myself that once it’s finished, maybe then I can play around in another world and really give it my focus.
Most of my progress was in #WBMAM this month, which should be expected if you’re paying attention, with the rest broken up between #MoEm, #ITPOGAM, and general notes (brainstorming notes) I’ve handwritten.
For anyone who hasn’t been to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 yet:
Go see it. What are you doing, sitting there, reading this? GO. GO NOW.
You will not be disappointed.
My expectations were pretty high, which I try to reign in because of many recent disappointments with films, but even with them being high, they were blown so far out of the water that I’m still amazed.
I don’t think I stopped smiling with sheer glee for probably the first ten minutes and even after that there were only brief periods in which I was not grinning like a fool.
Highly recommend. 11/10.
You guys, I’ve been having a really down month or so in regards to my writing. I’d started this year with very high hopes and a big commitment to this 365 Challenge.
January was great – I was riding high on excitement and basically launching myself happily through scene after scene.
February was a dramatic downward arc. March offered little fresh excitement. I’d hoped April would kick me back into gear (especially with Camp starting), but the first two weeks were in the same monotonous colors as February and March had been.
But last night, though it took me most of a ten hour period, I wrote 5,000 new words. That’s FIVE DAYS worth of my daily goal. It happened without expectation, too. I have no idea why the words suddenly came back, but they did!
I’m hoping I can make use of my last day off (today) in a similar way.
I know I’m practically a bajillion years late with an excerpt, but truthfully, I’ve been working on #WBMAM and I already have a bunch of excerpts posted for that, so I don’t really want to over-share from one project.
Once I get something share-able from another project, I promise I’ll post it straight away!
When my poetry blog was still active, I participated in NaPoWriMo every year for 4 years.
My blog in general was a project I started with the intention of writing poetry every day for one year, then I did it again the second year, and the third, and kind of for the fourth. That’s when I knew it was time to take a break and try something new.
Spontaneously, last night (err… 3AM), I wrote a poem. It’s been probably 6 months or more since I’ve written a poem. I thought it odd but in general I try not to doubt my inspirational instincts so I went along with it. In another group today, someone mentioned NaPoWriMo and I realized immediately why I’d written a poem last night.
Because it’s April, and I’m already behind! I think this year I’ll worry less about a poem every day and more about working on poetry every day, even if it’s the same poem. I mean, I am participating in another, arguably massive, writing challenge as it is.
The website is apparently unofficial, but it’s a great start, and seeing as I’ve never seen an official site for NaPoWriMo, it’s just nice to see somewhere that people can gather.
I hope some of you consider participating.
I’ve decided to share research bits and such here as well, so here’s something I researched today in the name of Character Development.
Synesthesia: a neurological condition in which a person experiences “crossed” responses to stimuli. It occurs when stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway (e.g., hearing) leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway (e.g., vision).
Types of Synesthesia
chromesthesia – associate sounds with certain colors.
grapheme-color synesthesia – associate colors with letters or numerical digits.
hearing-touch synesthesia – develop tactile feelings whenever they hear specific sounds.
lexical-gustatory synesthesia – are able to taste words.
mirror touch synesthesia – feel exactly what others feel.
number form synesthesia – mental mapping of numbers appearing involuntarily with every thought of a numerical figure.
ordinal linguistic personification – associate ordered sequences (like the months of the year) with behaviors and character traits of personalities.
time-space synesthesia – feel like time has a physical characteristic.
touch-emotions synesthesia – experience physical emotions when they touch specific surfaces or textures.
Original curiosity about this was sparked by this post in which an artist with chromesthesia paints songs. Her name is Melissa McCracken, and you can find the original interview I read here. The post featured image (above) is one of her paintings, titled “Iron and Wine, Boy With a Coin”, pictured in full below:
I suppose it’s time I admit it: This month was not very successful for me. I’ll offer no excuses. I had a disappointingly low word count overall, with most of my measly 18k spread between some project development notes and what should be considered my Primary WIP (#WBMAM). There are still a few days left but it’s not likely I’ll tap out another 40k in 2.5 days. 😂
With Camp coming up, I’m hoping to crack down and get some serious words written again! Not every month can be a huge success and though I know that, it still sucks to have one that is so unsuccessful.
The year is far from over, though.
Additionally, I’m working on a spreadsheet setup that will allow me to screenshot progress without having to shrink everything down to an illegible size.
As this entire 365 challenge is a first for me, everything is basically a big experiment. So far, I’ve learned that Bi-Weekly Updates and Monthly updates are unnecessary, so I’m cutting the BWU and sticking with End of the Month Updates, which will tally up everything. The next update you’ll see will be in the first week of April, tallying up the totals for this month.
Another thing I’ve realized is that weekly excerpts are a lot to maintain. It seemed like a perfectly do-able idea when I figured I would be bouncing from project to project (52 excerpts over a year, with 30+ novels on my list? Sounds easy!), but so far my primary progress has been in three specific stories and I don’t want to share too much of those. So I think we’ll try bi-weekly excerpts, but I’m already feeling like monthly ones are more likely. I suppose where that leaves us is that you can expect one to two excerpts posted a month. 🙂
I have a few more Writing Practice posts brewing, so keep your eyes out for those!