Thursday, July 5, 2018

July Update: Setbacks

Nothing like finding a pattern, accepting that it changes, then having the whole thing go out the window.

At the end of May, I had the first in a long line in some health issues. Then friends and family had health issues. And, not surprisingly, all of that really sucks creativity dry. I barely had the energy to do my normal day-to-day stuff, so there wasn't anything left for writing.

Don't get me wrong. I love writing. It's a great escape. But it takes up a lot of space, both time-wise and mentally. Especially when trying to write on the level that I am.

So, when I hit the last week of June and hadn't done much at all, I adjusted my goals to be more modest. I still didn't make those goals, so now I'm just calling June my mid-year break. I think sometimes I need a slower month. Especially when life happens beyond its normal scope.

I did get a Cafe story written, and wrote a few thousand on book three, so I managed to pull out just under 6k words written for the month, with about 10 hours of editing various things (mostly my Cafe story and some tweaks to book three as I was re-familiarizing myself with characters and tone). Not too shabby, all things considered.

This month, I had originally planned on writing the next SP adventure, but at the last minute, I decided I was in the mood to keep working on book three. So now my goal is to finish it up this month. That way I can keep my Camp continuity like I wanted in April. I just broke 100k for the book, and the rest of the scenes should be fairly straightforward. We're rushing toward the climax now. I know all the scenes that need to happen to get me there. And right now, when I do sit down to write, the words come easily. So I'm optimistic I can get this done this month.

That means I might not get to Druid Wars edits. Which means I might be ruining the one agent like I got on Twitter for #SFFpit. But I don't mind too much. A like is a like, so even if I don't get around to submitting it to her until, like, October, she'd still be interested, right?

Anyway. Because of this little snag in my writing progress, I'm having to revamp my project timeline. MystWatch and Druid Wars are my big projects now. I want to get both of those done this year. Which means that, yet again, Pandemonium book one is getting pushed back. I'll work on it next year.

And that shifts everything else back almost a year. So. I might be waiting until 2021 to publish MystWatch. And that's okay. Looking that far ahead is fun, but making definite plans for the future is silly, because it's so easy to get off track and really berate myself for that. I'd rather focus on the progress I've actually made than the goals I've failed to meet.

The most important thing I think I've realized after deciding to push all my goals back is that I have all the time in the world right now. I can take two years to write a book. I can take a full year to edit a book. I don't have fans or contracts or deadlines. And right now, I really like that. I can read books and watch shows and take time off. Just because I can write 15k a month doesn't mean I have to do it every month.

I know I've realized that before, but I'm trying to remind myself of that frequently. There's no rush. I've got time. The longer I wait, the more material I'll have built up, which means the less I'll have to push myself in the future. I need lots of space and time.

I do want to query Druid Wars this year. I do. But I want to finish book three first, so I can focus on it better.

And then for NaNo, I want to write something new! I don't know what yet. But I also don't really want to think about it yet, because I got tired of my NaNo idea last year before I'd even really started. I'd love to do a real NaNo this year. Really push myself to write a crazy novel in a month. Participate in events and stuff. Not worry about markets or agents or editing or messing up continuity in a given series. I hope I can pull that off.

But I have to get everything else done this year first.

So. For July, I will aim to finish book three. That's it. In August, I'll edit Druid Wars, then once that's ready to start submitting, I'll write the SP adventure I didn't write this month. September, I'll start editing book three, maybe write Shane's short. In October, I'll finish editing book three and maybe write another SP adventure. Then, I'll be ready for NaNo in November. Then in December, I'll tie up any loose ends. If there are no loose ends, I will rest.

And that's as far as I'm planning. A year at a time, Sara. Baby steps will still get me there, in the end.