The Wednesday Pen || August 2020 Writing Recap

Wednesday Pen banner, showing a feather quill with a scribble of ink

The Wednesday Pen is now a quarterly publication!

At least, it will be at this rate. 🤦 There hasn’t been a Wednesday Pen since May because of my hiatus, and I’m going to be recapping an entire three months’ of writing today. Buckle up, too, because apparently I had the bug during my hiatus.

And naturally, it was on every project except the one I set out to do.

August Progress

Like I said, the project I meant to tackle? That puppy that’s going to require about 20-40k words out of me?

Didn’t touch it.

That’s just where my life seems to be at right now. I see a shiny new idea, I chase it, and the rest falls into the hands of chance. Chance did, though, play nicely with everything but the old project, because I clocked in some solid totals!

For June, I saw 21,752 words hit the page! Some of it was on a short fiction commission basis, but some of it was also just playing around with self-indulgent fic. At this point, that’s the profile of most of my words this year, but so be it.

Meanwhile, July put me at 16,125 words within the first two weeks, after which I didn’t write a damn thing. That brings the two-month total to 37,877, still an impressive number!

And sitting here in August, with an open tab to judge me for not finishing a high-priority project, I’m looking at 11,842 words, bringing my total for the summer to 49,719.

Now that I see the numbers (I don’t total these things until I write my posts, just for my own sanity), that’s nothing to sneeze at! And I still might get to that open tab before the end of the month, if only to stop it from judging me any longer. It’s less than 300 words to cross the 50k mark, so why not just do it?

Maybe this wasn’t the best summer for blogging, but it wasn’t too shabby for writing!

August Lessons

One thing I’m learning? Stop with the precise word count goals. Sure, they’re great during NaNoWriMo, or for estimating how much time and effort a project will take, but just on a regular basis? I’ve got to start thinking in chunks instead. Write the first chunk of Project A. Outline the first half of Project B. Just plop myself in a chair and crank out Project C before it goes stale.

Of course, that’s no guarantee I’ll have real progress by the time the next Wednesday Pen rolls around. The fickle beast that is depression sometimes sinks its teeth into my goals and shakes them around like a dog intent on murdering your favorite pair of slippers. You don’t get anything done because now you’re cleaning up the cottony crime scene your dog left behind. Hardly helpful.

Still, I’m realizing feel a little more in control and under less pressure when I work in terms of blocks rather than numbers. And knowing that, it’s going to (hopefully) change how successful the Wednesday Pen feels next month!

September Goals

This is where I put my brain to really good use and stare long and hard at August’s lesson. Just take it all in, one word at a time…and try really hard not to throw it out the window.

I will not measure September’s goals in word counts! I will not do it!

Instead, I’m going to shake things up. That 20-40k project I’m stalling on (because let’s face it, I’m stalling, what else could it be at this point)? I’m not going to set my goal as “write all of it, damn it.” My actual goal is to write the first arc of four! Just a quarter of it! Maybe it’ll be 5k, maybe it won’t, but I just have to do a chunk of it.

We’re going to trust this works a lot like coaxing myself into doing things I don’t want to do, where I do it for five minutes and then want to get it over with, so I stick with it for the next twenty until it’s finished. That tends to be a pretty good technique even on bad brain days, though it’s not 100% foolproof. Will it work for September? I have no idea! But we’ll find out in about a month, won’t we?

 

So there you have it: three months of writing in one tidy little post. No too bad for someone who was on hiatus, huh? I actually stayed on hiatus and did things other than blogging! Amazing!

We’ll just have to see if I can keep up this momentum in the months ahead. Drop by at the end of September to see where things are at!

And for you fellow writer types out there especially, I sometimes talk about my writing on Twitter! Be sure to follow me there if you want to hear about writerly break-throughs. Or frustrations. Or how I dreamed about the latest hot plot I’ll eventually forget to use. 💛

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