January Update and Plans for February

A whole month (and almost another half!) has already gone, how time does fly!

I thought I would take the opportunity to review what I’ve done across January and (in trying to be honest about how well/badly I’ve done) use that to formulate a plan going forwards.

In one of my last posts I was talking about my plans for the entirety of 2017 and also showed some of the self-imposed deadlines I had put on myself.

Broadly I did manage to do most of what I wanted:

  • I’ve almost finished the plan for Priest of Ashen Bone
  • I finished at least one short story
  • Most days of the week I wrote at least 750 words

But in reviewing the other deadlines I set myself I definitely didn’t finish planning as many stories as I had originally wanted and there was a slump in the last week of January in the actual writing.

Looking back on I think that I was trying to do too much.

750 words per day isn’t too much, especially as I pulled that back to just weekdays, and if I get into a writing-groove on the train I can usually have it done and some by the time I pull into my home station. But I have also found that if I’m between projects and I’m writing 750 words of something completely new or just unrelated I start to feel a little burned out. Part of that is likely when I’m forcing myself to write and another part of that was also the range of stories and deadlines that I gave myself so I felt spread very thin and that I wasn’t giving my brain enough time to rest/regenerate before forcing it to sit down and write something else. Inevitably this led to days where I didn’t write – which is why I have decided that any writing done at the weekends is a bonus.

To try and combat this fatigue I’m going to provisionally limit myself to two projects at once: one short story and one piece of longer form fiction.

Right now I’m working on The Business of Spiderwebs which I have just started writing up properly and I’m making some good headway into it. I am also almost done planning The Priest of Ashen Bones but before I start work proper on it I want to look at the various different storylines I’ve got going on and compare them side-by-side to make sure they fit nicely together.

The plan for February in a nutshell:

  • Finish The Business of Spiderwebs
  • Begin work on The Priest of Ashen Bone
  • See if I can’t beat my word count for January (15,600 words)

For slightly more nebulous goals for February I would like to begin work on draft 2 of The Wind Borne King and try to make sure that I’ve got a plan in place for another short story to work on in March (or before if all goes well). But those plans are only tentative as I’d rather do a smaller amount of work consistently than trying to pile too much on my plate and doing no work at all.

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