Woo, boy, does that post title make this sound boring AF. After writing the post, I can confirm that it is relatively boring.
I've determined that updating quarterly will probably work the best with how I'm currently writing, so here I am, wrapping up second quarter this year. And I have updates!
First, I did spend the remainder of March writing! I didn't do anything at all in April (after writing 7,600 words in the last seven says of March, I think I was a bit burned out). But! In May, I settled in and finally finished SP 2.3. Yay! It's longer than any other adventure so far, and it takes over half of the story to get into the main plot, so it'll need some major edits. But it's written. And I've written about 400 words for SP 2.4, so I have a jumping off point when I'm ready to work on that one. Maybe later this quarter.
Also in May, I reread and poked at Chain Letter Choice for a few days. I'd had plans to actually finish writing that next, but short of making some notes (important notes that allowed me to figure out how they beat the boss at the end), I only added a few hundred words.
In June, I wrote almost a thousand more words for CLC, but I was having a hard time settling into it. So I let myself write some some Disney's Descendants fanfic, then a few days later, I tucked into MystWatch.
I read through the first book in two days, making minor fixes, then I pulled out my notes for book two. And got overwhelmed and didn't know how to start. The first two chapters had huge edits that would set the stage for the edits of the rest of the book. I spent a couple of days fiddling with that, then took some time off, thinking maybe I wasn't actually ready for it.
But, after spending a day working on Once We Were Witches, I determined that MystWatch was still where my head was, so I buckled down and started into it. And I've been making progress the last few days. Only about a chapter a day, but as long as I keep at that pace, I should have this done by August. That's the goal.
As I often do, when I get into a writing groove, I start making project timelines. It's somewhat counterproductive, because I get overwhelmed by the amount of projects I have left to work on, and if I miss deadlines, I have to throw the whole thing out the window...but at the same time, it helps me to see what all I have to work on. And this time, I have only put projects I'm actually excited about on this list.
My tentative plan in my project timeline spreadsheet is to assign 3-4 projects each year and work on them as I have time and energy. Because I sat down with it one day and figured that I can either:
- Write 2 books a year; or
- Write 1 book, edit 1 book, and write 2 SP a year
Which means I can have writing years and editing/SP years or I can try to both write and edit in a year. And what I determined was that I want to be able to do both writing and editing in a year. Writing two books a year is unreasonable, anyway. It's a lot of words and doesn't leave much room for SP. So, I'm aiming for the writing one book and two SP a year, and also editing a book a year.
Of course, right now I have books half-written, so I should be able to write 1.5 books a year. Plus, I'm not in any sort of position to edit anything other than MystWatch right now. So the next year or so of wrapping up projects I've started might alter the timeline a bit.
The only trouble with the plan I've come up with is that I will need to increase my current word count goal of 5k a month to 10k-15k a month for this to work. And that's actual words, even, not including brainstorm. I think I figured 10k for 10 months, estimating 20k for SP and 60k for novels. Which also probably includes this year, since I'll probably take at least another month to edit MystWatch 2.
I'm never sure if this kind of tracking helps or hinders me. Mostly, I have put dates on my various projects of when I'd like to get them done. CLC by midyear next year (with the idea that I'll work on it some this year after MystWatch and SP 2.4). Sleepy Shoals by the end of next year, Druid Wars 2 the year after that, and OWWW the year after that. That's four books by 2024, and I think seven more SP adventures.
Anyway. That stuff is boring. It's the kind of stuff I wanted to stop spending so much of this blog talking about. All my plans end up derailed at some point or another, anyway. But I do like setting these goals. It gives me word count goals, and project goals, and a feeling like I know what I'm working on next so I never lose momentum.
Of course, at any point, I might rearrange what book I work on next. And it may turn out I need more time for projects. Or I may need to insert more projects in (like professional edits if I do decide to start self-publishing). Plus I am going to be taking a class in the fall, and editing for Rachel, so maybe trying to write 14k words a month is too much. And sometimes I go to write SP and nothing comes out. That's likely the one I'll get behind on. Or maybe a new book project will pop up and everything else will fall by the wayside.
Who knows. I'm just playing by ear and assessing this by quarter. And none of it really matters, because I'm mostly doing this for myself and for friends and family and other people that I know.
But I've been having a lot of feelings about writing, and some of them are because of writers group. Writing group is hard, because while I get excited to talk about writing with them, we're all at such different stages. Dianne talks about submitting short stories, Amanda is querying a novel, Rachel is self-publishing and so is Neil. I am excited for them, and my brain immediately goes, if I did x, y, z, I could do that, too! And then I have to take a step back, because that's not the path I'm on anymore.
And I don't think I want to be on the paths they're on? But it's hard. Because maybe I do. Maybe secretly I do, but if I actively say it or work toward it, I will drive my fragile creativity to stagnation again.
Right now, I want to push myself to finish my projects because getting them done feels good, and going back to read something I've written and polished is my favorite thing in the whole world. Once I have more projects done, we'll see how I feel about next steps. Right now, it really just has to be for me.
I'll check back in at the end of September to talk about how it's all going. Hopefully I'll have Mystwatch 2 edited and be close to done the next SP adventure. Then I'll be gearing up for a couple months writing on CLC!