Weekly Writing Update: September pt. 5

I had another somewhat unproductive week, though I did work on “Outcast” a little. I also spent some time getting ready for the local author booth at a local festival. That was today. It was terrifying at first, and I kicked myself for not saying the right thing after several interactions, but I did generate some interest in my future release, get some hits on possible future author appearances, and tell one teenager about NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program.

Tomorrow, I will start working on making a few changes to “Pithea” that I already know need done, then format it for the print version, and get a proof copy, which I will use to do a final revision, to be ready to publish soon. I will also start making sure I’m ready for NaNoWriMo this coming week, as Preptober starts on Tuesday!

Weekly Writing Update: September pt. 4

I didn’t get much done in the way of actual revising of either “Pithea.” or “Outcast” this week. I started to work on “Outcast,” but didn’t get far, due to some new things going on in my family this week, and trying to settle into a new schedule. I did make some decisions about the imminent release of “Pithea,” though, and hope to be able to make an official announcement next weekend! Stay tuned!

Weekly Writing Update: September pt. 3

For 5 1/2 years, I have tracked my writing work by time or by words, and reported it on this blog. I started this blog as a way to motivate myself to working on my writing regularly, and it worked most of the time. There were some small breaks here and there–weeks or even months long. And there was the 2 1/2 years where I did no type of writing outside of November (NaNoWriMo kept me coming back for at least that month), due to a difficult and time-consuming job.

A couple of months ago, I realized that I didn’t want my blog to focus so much on this anymore. I had started to post other things–writing advice, snippets of my own writing, and was planning to start posting book reviews. A daily update of what writing work I’d done just didn’t fit very well anymore. So since the beginning of July, I’d done a weekly update instead. And in the last week, I realized even further that I didn’t think quantifying how much work I’d done made much sense anymore either. I am at a point where I’m seriously working publication for my first novel and pretty deep in revision for the second. As such, I don’t really need the self-motivation of posting such specific amounts of work done.

I will continue posting an update weekly, but it will be an overview of what I accomplished on my books or other writing in the last week, without the specific time worked. This is a huge milestone for me, since, as I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I’ve recorded the time I spend working on my writing for a long time now. So anyway, without any more exposition, here’s my update for this past week:

I’m continuing to work with an advance reader to tighten the plot and world-building details of “Pithea.” I am really happy to know that, at least according to this reader, I can focus on details, because much of the book is otherwise sound. I have 2 other advance readers who are still reading, so I’m anxious to hear what they say as well.

I am very strongly hoping to have an idea of a release date by the end of this month, so that I have that information to share when I am at the local festival I am attending as one of several local authors. But at this point, I am mostly waiting (which is so difficult!).

I also spent some time this week working on “Outcast”. I did not go back to the draft I was revising, opting instead to use a couple of cards from my Writer Emergency Pack to try to brainstorm some more content for the book, since I now know for sure it will be too short. I’m not worried about making it as long as “Pithea” (a little over 100k words), but more than its current length of ~50k would make a lot more sense.

Weekly Writing Update: September pt. 2

Sunday: 2 hours working on formatting for “Pithea”
Monday: 1 hour, 30 minutes working on formatting for “Pithea”
Tuesday: 40 minutes of freewriting with prompts
Wednesday: 1 hour, 17 minutes revising “Outcast”
Thursday: 1 hour, 40 minutes, most of which was spent revising “Outcast,” with a little work on formatting “Pithea”
Friday: 1 hour working on some extra revision of “Pithea,” thanks to feedback from an advance reader
Saturday: 1 hour, 3 minutes working on some extra revision of “Pithea,” thanks to feedback from an advance reader

This week was an interesting one. I made some important progress on the 2nd draft of “Outcast.” I had my first feedback from an advance reader of “Pithea,” which was a little scary at first, but turned out to not be so bad. I have more work ahead of me on that, but I am optimistic about the outcome. (For clarification purposes, I classify this as “advance reader,” rather than beta reader because, to me at least, beta readers are earlier in the process. I have 3 different people reading what I considered to be a final draft, in an attempt to just tighten up the final product.)

I snuck some freewriting in there too, some of which is actually going to turn out to be a scene in an already-drafted book.

Weekly Writing Update: September pt. 1

Sunday: none
Monday: 1 hour, 30 minutes–part spent on near-final revision of “Pithea,” the rest spent on research related to marketing
Tuesday: 1 hour working on near-final revision of “Pithea”
Wednesday: 56 minutes working on near-final revision of “Pithea”
Thursday: 1 hour, 41 minutes–part spent on near-final revision of “Pithea,” part working on formatting it
Friday: 1 hour, 55 minutes working on formatting & other publishing things for “Pithea”
Saturday: 2 hours working on formatting for “Pithea”

I’m sure it’s not wise to abandon revising “Outcast”, especially so close to the end of the draft. The coming week, I’ll try to balance working on getting “Pithea” closer to publication and finishing the current draft of “Outcast.” But there’s so much that needs done for “Pithea,” and time is of the essence.

I just sent “Pithea” to 2 advance readers, who aren’t family, haven’t read any version of it before, and in general are completely fresh eyes. I am hoping that they will both enjoy it, and give me valuable feedback about if it’s ready to publish or not.

Weekly Writing Update: August pt. 4

Sunday: 52 minutes freewriting from prompts
Monday: none
Tuesday: 1 hour, 45 minutes at writing group
Wednesday: none
Thursday: none
Friday: 1 hour, 30 minutes working on cover & other publishing things for “Pithea”
Saturday: 35 minutes working on cover for “Pithea”

This week wasn’t the most productive for me, but it was an important week for several reasons. I went to the writing group at my local library for the first time all year, and from that came a very exciting, though also very scary, opportunity. I’ll post about that more later. I’ve made some official decisions on what I want to do with my completed novel “Pithea,” which will start with making a few small changes, which will be the last.

Wednesday and Thursday, our internet was down, which shouldn’t have prevented me from working on the novel I’m currently revising (“Outcast”), but it did. I’ll be diving back into that, while simultaneously working on those final changes to “Pithea,” this week. I’m excited to see the results in next week’s writing update.

Weekly Writing Update: August pt. 3

Sunday: 1 hour revising “Outcast
Monday: none
Tuesday: 45 minutes revising “Outcast”
Wednesday: 50 minutes revising “Outcast”
Thursday: 1 hour, 6 minutes revising “Outcast”
Friday: none
Saturday: none

Most of the time this week was spent either putting revisions into the computer or writing a couple of brand new scenes. Friday and Saturday I hit a low point, and just didn’t feel like there was much point in working on it. I think I’ve shaken that off, thanks to some time spent praying, talking to my husband, and eating tacos (not all at the same time), though I think today’s writing time is going to focus on some freewriting just to shake out what’s left of the depression.

I’ve also noticed a sudden desire to go back to the writing I was doing a few years ago about the two weeks my dad was in the hospital back in September of  2016. I started writing it during NaNoWriMo that year, but it was pretty rough–maybe a little too soon. After I finish this draft of “Outcast,” maybe it will be a good chance of pace for a while to work on this instead of more revision. Or maybe I’ll do both.

Weekly Writing Update: August pt. 2

Sunday: 58 minutes revising “Outcast
Monday: none
Tuesday: 1 hour, 30 minutes revising “Outcast”
Wednesday: 1 hour, 30 minutes revising “Outcast”
Thursday: 1 hour, 9 minutes revising “Outcast”
Friday: 1 hour, 12 minutes revising “Outcast”
Saturday: 1 hours, 3 minutes revising “Outcast”

I’m approximately 90% of the way through this draft, though up ahead is a good amount of rewriting and new scene writing, so that will take a while. When I get to end of the revision, I will evaluate the word count, which I expect to be a bit low. I was dreading possibly having to figure out how to add filler, but now I’m confident in my ability to brainstorm and come up with quality additions (rather than fluff).

Weekly Writing Update: August pt. 1

*See announcement about blog title at bottom of post.
Sunday: 1 hour, 21 minutes doing writing practice from 2 prompts
Monday: 1 hour, 5 minutes revising “Outcast
Tuesday: 43 minutes revising “Outcast”
Wednesday: 1 hour, 16 minutes revising “Outcast”
Thursday: 1 hour, 4 minutes revising “Outcast”
Friday: 30 minutes reviewing outlines for 2 other Pithea books
Saturday: 1 hours, 12 minutes revising “Outcast”

Friday I needed a break from “Outcast,” especially after some stresses from the day. I started thinking about NaNoWriMo and wondered what I might write in November. I have a few Pithea books that need redrafted and a few that need revised. But for NaNoWriMo, I prefer to go the traditional route of writing a brand new novel from scratch. That really only leaves me with one option right now–a book that I have a preliminary outline for that takes place after the 7 that are on the list in the above link. So instead of working on “Outcast,” I took some time to read over the outline for that book and refresh my mind on it, as well as the book that comes right before it and will have a lot of connection to it. It was a nice break from “Outcast” revision, while still keeping my mind in the same space.

I won Camp NaNoWriMo, on Tuesday, July 30th, which is just so much less exciting than winning NaNoWriMo proper. Oh well, it’s coming soon! Anyway, I finished the month with an average of 1 hour, 15 minutes worked per day, which makes sense, since the 1st half of the month, I worked 90 minutes per day, and the 2nd half of the month I worked 60 minutes per day (plus some extra to make up for getting behind in the 1st half).

2019-Apr Camp Winner-Facebook-Cover

*Now for an announcement! My blog has been titled “Keeping Procrastination at Bay” since I started it 5 years ago. The original purpose of the blog was to give myself a semi-public location to hold myself accountable to working on my writing. In the last year or so, and especially the last month, it has evolved to a point where I only post weekly updates on my writing work, because I’d rather post things that people can actually get some use out of. I realized this week that the blog title makes no sense anymore. I changed it to “A Journey of Words” because I’ve added reading posts to my writing posts, and overall, words are a big part of my life, and my blog, now.

Weekly Writing Update: July pt. 4

Sunday: 1 hour, 23 minutes revising “Outcast
Monday: 1 hour, 12 minutes revising “Outcast”
Tuesday: 1 hour, 12 minutes revising “Outcast”
Wednesday: 1 hour, 4 minutes revising “Outcast”
Thursday: 1 hour revising “Outcast”
Friday: 1 hour, 14 minutes revising “Outcast”
Saturday: 1 hours, 2 minutes revising “Outcast”

I spent over half of this week putting changes from the first half of revisions into the computer, partly so I didn’t have to do the entire story’s worth later, and partly so I could get an idea of how many words I’d added. It wasn’t many, but a few thousand is better than going down in word count.

I then went back to revising and am now about 2/3-3/4 of the way through the draft. When this draft is done, I’ll likely go back through and read the entire thing at a quicker pace, since I added several new scenes, get my story structure and scenes straightened out, and then see if I can recruit the TCSTB to be my first beta-readers and get an idea of where the story stands and how much work it needs. It’s been quite a while since we revised “Pithea” together though, and we’re all in very different places in our lives, so I don’t have any illusions about the possibility of us working together intensively like we did then. But I still highly value their feedback.

I was able to get caught up to par for Camp NaNoWriMo, making up the deficit I had going into this week.  There are 4 days left now, so I’m confident of a win (maybe even a slightly early finish).

2019-camp