By the numbers, during July I wrote 42,042 words. I wrote every day, which put my writing streak at 289 days in a row as of July 31. July’s scribbling puts me at 318,560 words for 2018—on track for 500,000 words for the year. Those 318,560 words include fiction, 7 article assignments, content work for clients, and things for my Wanderers, my patrons on Patreon.
But I’ve gotta be honest, y’all.
July was hard.
Some days felt like a big slog, and it could be a struggle to keep putting one word after another. That’s not my normal though, so during August I’ve been reflecting on why July’s writing was so hard.
Part of the problem: Someone else’s writing process was in my head, and I was over-criticizing my own gut-checked, heartfelt, head-ratified, experience-forged process. Not to say that I can’t improve. I consider myself a lifelong learner who’s always trying to improve what I do and how I do it. It’s good to reflect on new ideas, and see what works well for your own process. So I’ve done that, come to my own conclusions about what I can improve—and I’ve kicked the rest out of my head and writing room.
I also realized I had my fiction too all over the place, and it was making it hard for me to focus and motivate. I’m making some tweaks on my fiction, with the idea that I pretty much have one book and one shorter piece of fiction going each month. Sundays I also don’t work on any writing but some straight-up fun and exploratory stuff, such as getting to know new Rucksack Universe characters, or riffing on some alternate history, things like that.
Since making these changes in August, my motivation is higher, and I’m finding the words more easily again. A sign that the creativity was there, it was just having a hard time finding the right direction to come out.
I’ve also been racking up more fiction rejections (with the most recent arriving this morning, in fact). But I keep at it. One word. One submission. One completed manuscript. One new release at a time.
Back to work.