2020 Update #16 – End of July

Again, just another brief update to keep myself honest against the targets I set out at the start of the year. July was a strange month where I had 10,000 words at the halfway point and 10,000 words at the end as I spent the final two weeks just editing stuff that needed to be edited.

So where did that leave me?

  • 10,906 words for the month; and
  • Two completed, final draft short stories for the month.
  • 78,906 words written for the year so far.

I’ve also continued my run of writing (or editing) at least 15 minutes a day for nearly two whole months now!

Expect some more substantial blog posts in the coming week or two as I also promote a couple of stories in several publications.

Until next time!

2020 Update #15 – End of June

So, first off, I did not return to the weekly updates. At the moment, I seem to be writing daily without the threat of having to justify my failures at the end of each week, so for now I’m just continuing on with the monthly updates.

In the first month post-novel, I wrote:

  • 13,725 words;
  • Two completed short stories; and
  • One finished first draft awaiting an edit.

This is one of my best months yet so I’m feeling good about this. I have also written for at least 15-20 minutes a day for 21 days in a row now. So, things seem to be doing well. I’m now up to 67,910 words for the year, which definitely puts me on track for my most productive year of writing so far.

Just got to keep the momentum going!

2020 Update #14 – End of May

Another strange month down for the year. Again, I dispensed with the weekly updates as I have focused solely on finishing the first draft of my novel. I did have a goal to have it completed by April, which I fell short on, so I was committed to finishing it this month.

And I did (just).

At 11:15pm, 31 May 2020, I finished the first draft of In Search of Solomon. It clocked out at 98,336 words, and while I have no intention of looking at it again for a couple of months, I feel good about the draft and I’m looking forward to coming back to edit it later in the year. We’ll see where that goes.

For the month of May, I came in at 10,102 words so I have also continued to write at least 10,000 words every month, which I’m pleased with. Now that the novel is completed, I’m going to get back to concentrating on the other goals I set myself this year, especially writing more short stories. The weekly updates will likely return too. I think, anyway.

2020 Update #13 – End of April

The eagle-eyed might notice that these weekly updates have gone from “end of March” to “end of April”. I guess it was unlucky number 13.

I haven’t been doing the weekly updates for the simple reason that I haven’t been writing that much. I’m working from home during these crazy pandemic times and I’ve found that after spending all day in my home office doing law work, I’m not particularly inclined to then spend time writing in the same.

In saying that, I did actually manage 10,038 words this month (and now 44,083 for the year). Nearly all of that was directed toward the novel. I did have a goal to finish it by the end of April, and while I’ve missed that, it’s mainly because the novel is slightly larger than I first suspected. It’s now at 88,000 words and getting toward the end, so I’m hopeful to finish it this month only one month behind schedule.

And hey, I still managed to pull off 10,000 words even in a pandemic.

One other piece of (good) news is that “Proof of Concept”, my short story at NewMyths.com, made it onto the shortlist for Best Short Story in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards. Thank you to everyone who nominated it!

2020 Update #12 – End of March

At the start of the year, I set myself a series of goals for my writing year. You can find them here: https://jamesrowlandwriter.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/2020-a-year-of-goals/ – One such goal was to do a weekly update measuring myself against the goals so as to provide myself with some self-imposed oversight. 

Update #12 – End of March

Another month up. The last week has been a total wash with barely any writing done. However, I have at least gone to work in submitting some stories, and my submission tracker is looking a lot healthier than it was.

Anyway, considering that I basically only wrote for 75% of March, how does it stack up against the goals I set myself at the start of the year:

  • Write 10,000 words a month – I fortunately crossed this threshold before writing came to a total halt. I ended up with 10,964 words for March. My word count for the year is now at 34,045.
  • To finish a short story each month – well, uh. No. First failure of a target this year – I have about 80% of a story done, but I just couldn’t get around to finishing it. Fortunately, I have been going along at two stories a months, so I’m still ahead of the curve, but I’m disappointed to miss this. Let’s avoid doing that again.
  • Write 20,000 words a month and two short stories a month – less said about this stretch goal the better.
  • Finish a first draft of In Search of Solomon by April 2020 – good news on this insofar that most of my word count for March was dedicated to the novel! Just under 80,000 words now and very close to the finish. Looking good!
  • Blog weekly about how my writing is going – yes! This one was deliberately late to cover the end of the month.

So, a strong start to the month and an abysmal end to it. I think working from home and being penned inside is something I need to deal with. Hopefully, with April starting, I can get back into a routine and do better in writing a bit everyday. I did an entire month of writing each day before breaking the chain, so I’m hoping to do another full month for April.

The targets are to finish the first draft of the novel, and then I now have possible short stories lined up. So no lack of ideas at least!

Until next time.

2020 Update #11

At the start of the year, I set myself a series of goals for my writing year. You can find them here: https://jamesrowlandwriter.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/2020-a-year-of-goals/ – One such goal was to do a weekly update measuring myself against the goals so as to provide myself with some self-imposed oversight. 

Update #11

A very brief update as we push up against the end of the week. I’m about to settle into a life of social distancing here in New Zealand, working from home as the Covid-19 situation continues to threaten.

However, some writing has continued on. I wrote 3,186 words this week, which means that I’m now at 10,964 for the month and pass the 10,000 goal with plenty of days to spare. About 70% of that was from a new short story, which is nearly finished so as to make sure I keep up with the “finish 1 short story a month” goal.

The other 30% has been the novel. Coming up to 80,000 words now and getting to the climax. April should see it done.

Stay safe, everyone!

2020 Update #10

At the start of the year, I set myself a series of goals for my writing year. You can find them here: https://jamesrowlandwriter.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/2020-a-year-of-goals/ – One such goal was to do a weekly update measuring myself against the goals so as to provide myself with some self-imposed oversight. 

Update #10

Just another really small update. Again, it’s been a week of just slowly working along the novel, and making sure to write at least 15 minutes a day. The key thing is I can see the finish line of the novel approaching and I should definitely meet that goal to have a first draft done by the end of April.

Number wise:

  • 3,095 words for the week;
  • 7,778 for the month; and
  • 30,859 for the year.

The exciting thing about that number is that because I love my statistics and I have a nerdy spreadsheet for my writing, I know that at this point in 2019 I had written 20,212 words and in 2018 I had written 18,760. So I’m writing a lot more this year, which is fantastic.

I’ll have to think about the “write one finished story a month” non-negotiable monthly goal soon, but I think I have a short and sweet story to work on for that while continuing on the novel.

2020 Update #9

At the start of the year, I set myself a series of goals for my writing year. You can find them here: https://jamesrowlandwriter.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/2020-a-year-of-goals/ – One such goal was to do a weekly update measuring myself against the goals so as to provide myself with some self-imposed oversight. 

Update #9

Last week, I said: “But also, I think my focus really has to shift off short stories for a while and onto the novel. I’m thinking I’d like to hit the 10,000 mark by the middle of the March with all of that on the novel”

So, how have I gone with this mini-makeshift goal so far? Well, at the end of the first week of March, I’ve written 4,683 words, with nearly all of that on the novel. I’m really happy with that. The novel is now at just over 75,000 words. If I can keep this up, I’m definitely going to have the first draft done by the end of April. So, with that in mind, I’m going to focus on the novel again this coming week and hopefully get close to the 10,000 mark for the month.

This means I don’t really have much else to say here. Just taking a general stock at my writing habits this year, I’m now getting into the swing of writing at least fifteen minutes a day, and hopefully I can continue that on. However, I have let submitting work get away from me. I haven’t sat down and committed an hour or two for sending out stories for a while and a lot of my stories are just “sitting there” and out at places for consideration. That’s something I might do in the coming week while also working on the novel.

Anyway, short update for this week – novel is coming along. Hopefully it’ll continue.

2020 Update #8 – End of February

At the start of the year, I set myself a series of goals for my writing year. You can find them here: https://jamesrowlandwriter.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/2020-a-year-of-goals/ – One such goal was to do a weekly update measuring myself against the goals so as to provide myself with some self-imposed oversight. 

Update #8 – End of February 

Another month up. I’m feeling a little under the weather today, but the weekly enforced self-judgment must continue without interruption.

So, how does February stack up against the goals I set myself at the start of the year:

  • Write 10,000 words a month – well, February turned out to be a close one but I made sure I hit the goal. I ended up writing 10,174 words for the month. I’d obviously like that number to be higher, but I’ve also got to make sure I don’t get too caught up on just word count. I was writing poetry a lot this month, and that obviously has an impact. I was also editing stories. On the whole, a moderate success, but with room to improve. My word count for the year is now at 23,081.
  • To finish a short story each month – yes! Like January, I finished final drafts for two stories. Non Angeli Sed Aliēnī and Ambassador of Shadows will now be ready to start the long journey of trying to find a place to publish them.
  • Write 20,000 words a month and two short stories a month – these were stretch goals. Like January, I hit one and I failed on the other. As mentioned above, I’ve got two finished drafts. So, again, I’m very pleased. 20,000 is looking like a pretty aspirational target right now, but I’d like to hit it either for March or April if possible.
  • Finish a first draft of In Search of Solomon by April 2020 – I made a bit of a start on this. I’ve added another 3,000+ words to the novel, which takes me to the final stretch. However, I’m definitely going to need to put in two really productive weeks at least to hit this target before the end of April. It’s definitely on my radar now.
  • Blog weekly about how my writing is going – haven’t missed a weekly update yet and I continue to think there’s a lot of worth in them. I do feel like they convince me to write on some occasions where I wouldn’t necessarily want to, just to make sure that I hit those targets.

So, what does March have in store? Well, first, I hope that whatever is making me feel blah today goes away quickly. But also, I think my focus really has to shift off short stories for a while and onto the novel. I’m thinking I’d like to hit the 10,000 mark by the middle of the March with all of that on the novel – this should take me close to the end and should also leave me in a good place to hit that 20,000 word goal for a month as well.

We’ll see.

2020 Update #7

At the start of the year, I set myself a series of goals for my writing year. You can find them here: https://jamesrowlandwriter.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/2020-a-year-of-goals/ – One such goal was to do a weekly update measuring myself against the goals so as to provide myself with some self-imposed oversight. 

Update #7

Well, I said I hoped to work on the novel this week, and I can say that I did work on the novel. I’m well aware that I’ve set myself the target of having the first draft done by the end of April, and that will start to creep up. However, I finished a difficult chapter this week which has taken me nearly to the finish line. All the pieces are set for the climax of the book. It’s now up to 71,027 words, and I expect it probably has another 15,000 to go. So I think I’m well set to finish by the end of April.

Since I’ve just been working on the novel, I feel like there isn’t too much to say beyond this. Just to keep track, the numbers are:

  • 3,199 words written this week. Again, a reasonably busy week where I was working out of town Friday and was out at shows Wednesday and Thursday, so I’m pretty happy with how this is going. I’m finding time to write even when I’m busy.
  • 8,600 words for February. Obviously, the 20,000 word stretch goal is going to be a step too far. But I should definitely clear the 10,000 goal which at least will make that 2/2.

Next week, I have two main goals. A) Make sure I hit that 10,000 goal mark. This will probably be achieved by continued work on the novel, at least for one more week. Also, B) Edit my “Shadow Ambassador” story so that I have two completed short stories for the month.

I’ll call that a very successful start to the year!