Project October 2018: Week Four

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Day 22: 2,174
Day 23: 0
Day 24: 0
Day 25: 0
Day 26: 0
Day 27: 0
Day 28: 0
Day 29: 0
Day 30: 254
Day 31: 0
Total: 17,021

Day 22, another Sunday, another of those one day of the week days that I have to myself. It took a little while to get into the writing. I started one blog post but it hadn’t had enough time rolling around in my brain. I wrote two other blog posts instead. I went online, added and scheduled all the blog posts I’d been writing onto my blog and then wiped clean my whiteboard, which was full of all the blog posts that would be appearing in the second half of 2018, the things I’ve been writing during this Project October. I find it very motivating to have a whiteboard full of dates showing when blog posts still need to be written for. So now it shows the first half of 2019 just waiting to be scheduled. I didn’t write as much as I would have liked to but sometimes you just can’t avoid having to do other stuff. Continue reading

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Project October 2018: Week Three

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Day 15: 0
Day 16: 1,412
Day 17: 0
Day 18: 0
Day 19: 184
Day 20: 0
Day 21: 0
Total: 14,593

Day 15 was a Sunday, traditionally a good writing day, except it was also football day, so I headed to my grandfather’s and watched the game with him. I had good intentions of coming home early and writing into the night but it just didn’t happen. I’ve never done a Project October of blog posts before and I usually have longer to come up with ideas and let them roll around in my mind. Because I’ve written thirteen pieces, I’ve steamrollered through the ideas I’ve had and I feel like I’m down to the dregs. I need some more ideas. Continue reading

Project October 2018: Week Two

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Day 8: 0
Day 9: 0
Day 10: 0
Day 11: 1,198
Day 12: 0
Day 13: 0
Day 14: 3,860
Total: 12,997

Finding the time and the motivation to write this week seemed harder than last week, although in retrospect it shouldn’t have been. I’m brimming with ideas, more than I can turn into blog posts without coming up with new ideas. The writing just didn’t flow like it did in week one. Continue reading

Project October 2018: Week One

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Day 1: 2,723
Day 2: 0
Day 3: 0
Day 4: 1,151
Day 5: 0
Day 6: 0
Day 7: 4,065
Total: 7,939

Last year, I set out to do a Project October intensive writing month (31,000 words in 31 days) and ended up writing a grand total of zero words (you can read all about it here, here, here and here) due to a variety of circumstances. Almost immediately after that, I went back to a full-time, non-writing job that has ever since taken up an awful lot of my time, more than I ever planned for it to. And even though I’ve written a little bit here and a little bit there, compared to the three years I spent writing full-time, I feel like I’ve written virtually nothing.

As I approached the half way mark of2018, I decided it was time for another Project October. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to work on any of my fiction. I was still trying to finalise and publish my latest novel, Black Spot, and while I wanted to be writing, I didn’t want my focus pulled away from getting that book out there. Plus, I was running out of blog posts rapidly. So I decided to aim for 31 blog posts in 31 days. Not only would that fill out my blog post schedule for the next seven months, it would be a significant contribution towards finishing Project June, the third book in my series of non-fiction about the writing, editing, publishing and marketing process (since Project December, Project January and Project June are all collections of my blog posts). Continue reading

Writing Is What Happens While You’re Busy Missing Deadlines

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About eighteen months ago, I published my most recent book, Project January: A Sequel About Writing. But I’d actually planned to publish it about four months earlier. Yet as the deadline I’d set for myself arrived, the book still wasn’t finished. I still have the publishing plans for it and my next four books written on one of my whiteboards:

*Project January: A Sequel About Writing – November 2016
*Black Spot – November 2017
*Trine – November 2018
*Project February: A Trilogy About Writing – November 2019
*Matriarchy – November 2020

I eventually finished and published Project January in March 2017 and you can read about how I did that in my post on how to psych yourself into writing a book. But because it was four months late (or at least four months later than I’d planned to publish), suddenly my subsequent publishing plans were also thrown out. (Obviously I like the idea of publishing roughly one book a year.) Continue reading

Holding Yourself to New Year’s Writing Resolutions

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It’s been a whole year since I made four New Year’s writing resolutions. Given my previous lack of success in making plans and sticking to them when it comes to writing, I gave no guarantees about achieving any of them but because New Year’s Eve is right around the corner again, I thought I should review them and see if I managed to tick any of them off the list.

Resolution #1: Publish Black Spot
Straight off the bat, a big fat no. I didn’t publish Black Spot. I said at the time I made this resolution that I was just waiting for a couple of rejections from publishers before going ahead and self-publishing. Of course, that was before Black Spot was shortlisted for the 2016 Text Prize for Writing for Children and Young Adults. Although I didn’t win, I did get a lot of great feedback, did another rewrite and sent it off to a few more publishers. So I’m still waiting for a few more rejections. One way or another, Black Spot will be published in 2017. (I won’t call that a resolution, just an inevitability. There aren’t any more reasons to keep putting it off.) But as with everything when it comes to publishing, it’s just taking a little longer than I thought it would. Continue reading

The Beauty of the Midnight Blog Post

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I was speaking with another writer at an evening function recently about the structure of our writing days and told him, “I do most of my writing between eight and two.” “Me, too,” he said and he seemed to like the idea that we had similar routines but I knew immediately that it wasn’t the same eight and two I was talking about. “At night,” I clarified. “Oh,” he said as the vast difference in our approach was realised.

I could tell just by looking at him that he was a morning writer. The fact that it was mid-evening and he was blearily drinking his beer and rubbing his eyes made it obvious he was getting ready to go home to sleep. Meanwhile, I was as bright eyed as I normally am at that hour and preparing to go home to write for a few hours. Continue reading