Writerly Update

I figured I should post about how I’m doing on the writing front, specifically.

I feel as though yesterday was a pretty typical day for me. I got to the computer by 9 AM, wrote 500 words of a Medium post in 30 minutes.

On the one hand, that was awesome. It was a good pace, what I’d consider normal.

On the other hand, I could only write the first half of the article. I find that’s my issue currently. I can start an article, or I can finish one, but I can’t write one from start to finish at this time. I don’t have the brain to figure it all out, or the stamina.

Took a break after that, then wrote 250 words of fiction in the next 30 minutes. I was not goofing off, looking at my phone, or anything else. That was just how slowly the words were coming out. I had to work at it.

At that point, I’d hit a wall, and I needed to nap for 30 minutes. I went down hard and slept hard.

I spent the afternoon doing publishing things, like writing a newsletter and uploading files. Put a book up for pre-order. Fixed website stuff. Read some fiction for Blaze.

When I approached the surgery, I had been under the horribly mistaken belief that I’d be able to write immediately after the operation. HA! I’m still struggling with it.

I recently listened to a podcast – Six Figure Authors – where they talked about their struggles as authors. One of the hosts was recovering from surgery. Most of the time I don’t need external validation about, well, anything. It was still so nice to hear from someone else about how the pain pills messed with her ability to concentrate and write.

I had been contemplating doing Nanowrimo next month, thinking that maybe my writing brain would be back. At this point, I understand that would be a terrible idea, just setting myself up for failure. I don’t have the ability to write that consistently at this time. My stamina is still shot.

I’ve been on a writing streak since December 15th of 2020. I’ve maintained it with the use of three “streak-freeze” amulets. I only get three amulets in a year, and I’ve used all three up. I figure I’ll be able to maintain my streak through December of this year, unless something awful happens.

Two of those amulets were 100% necessary. I wouldn’t have been able to write that day (one of those days being the day of my knee surgery). One of those amulets, maybe I could have pushed and written anyway. Maybe not.

Trying to maintain that streak has gotten me to the keyboard more often than anything else I’ve ever tried. Sure, there were times when I didn’t push more because all that mattered was that I wrote, I didn’t have a word count goal. However, generally speaking, maintaining the streak has made me produce more words, not less.

Sometimes I wonder what the hell am I doing, trying to maintain a writing streak during one of the most stressful and busy years of my life. I tell myself that if I can maintain a streak during this year, it’s going to be so much easier from here on out. I’ll always be able to do it, regardless.

I’ve written more words during the month of October than I did in September. I averaged 360 words per day in September. My average for October is 450. I’m actually quite proud of that, because it shows I’ve been making the effort even if my writing brain is not fully back.

So I guess I’m making progress, and that’s the key takeaway that I need to focus on. It’s easy to counsel others to be gentle with themselves. It’s a whole different exercise to be gentle with yourself.

But that’s my challenge at this time. And I’m working on it. Gently.

What are you working on, either gently or all gung-ho?

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