Just a quick note this week, since it’s been a busy one.
When I last checked in for my October novel progress I was working on typing up the revisions from the 3rd draft and had gotten through 55 pages, or about 20% of it. That was pretty good, but not great.
November’s progress was similar: as of today I’ve gotten through 120 pages of revisions, or roughly 40% of the draft. That’s also good (and slightly better than last month’s progress!), but not even close to where I’d like to be.
I am happy this month that I was able to spend more nights actually working than in previous months. That’s partly because I developed a rhythm of sitting down to type at the end of my usual 8pm to 11pm worktime as a way of unwinding, and after I’d finished work that had more immediate deadlines. This also made novel work something I could look forward to, since knowing I could get back into the novel-writing world, even for a short time, has been enough incentive for me to focus up and get my other shit done with fewer distractions.
Also, if you’ve spent any time reading this blog you know I spend a lot of time thinking about good work habits, and I’ve found that by scheduling time to work on the novel (and I mean REALLY scheduling time and sticking to it, as in, this Thursday is going to be a solely novel revising night, and next Monday after I finish sending those emails is also novel revising time, etc.) then I’m about 100% more likely to actually sit down and work than if I just set novel work as a vague goal or activity for later. (Well, maybe not 100% more likely, since sudden emergencies still come up, but let’s say 80% more likely just to be safe ;-)
You might also remember that last month I was working on a few other things all at once, namely finishing the Art Swap and making headway on not one but two Secret Projects that came up kind of suddenly. I’m happy to report that Secret Project #1, which was taking up WAY too much of my time, is now finished and done with, and Secret Project #2 is also nearing completion (hoping to be done by Christmas!) and has gotten way more manageable in the mid- to later-stages. So that’s pretty rad.
Also, as I wrote about last week, I put the finishing touches on my Art Swap zine making fun of passive-aggressive put-downs and got all the swap packages mailed out, which was really, REALLY good to have done and helped me sleep a lot easier.
Which brings me to now, where I’m facing 3 major obstacles impeding my novel progress for December:
Challenge #1: Secret Project #2
Secret Project #2 still needs finishing. It’s not too huge of a task (a 25-ish page writing project currently in revision), but it’s still vying for my time, especially on weekends.
Challenge #2: End of the Year Overtime
My Day Job has gotten CRAZY busy for the holiday season, like, people staying until midnight and coming in on weekends and falling asleep in the break room crazy. I won’t go into too much detail here for secrecy reasons, but fortunately my position is such that I’m able to avoid the worst of the overtime pressures and so far I’ve been able to get away with working what I’d consider a manageable amount of overtime (all paid, of course!) and still squeeze out some good creative worktime most weeknights. The craziness has only been in swing for the past two weeks, but I’m hoping I can keep things up at my current pace and maintain a healthy life+Day Job+creative work balance for the holiday season—that’s the plan, anyway…
Challenge #3: Holiday Prep
Christmas is coming, and I’ve got to buy presents. This rarely takes a super-long time, but my biggest challenge has always been thinking up solid gifts for people that they’ll actually enjoy. Multiply this challenge by the number of people on my list and that means a lot of extra stuff to think about(!).
So that’s all for now—I think anticipating the challenges and being aware of them is the first step toward facing the battle ahead, and clarifying where I’m headed is a big part of the reason I’m writing this—that, and giving myself more incentive to get to work so I don’t embarrass myself when it comes time to post the numbers.
OK, enough blogging time—there’s always more to do.
Looking for more of my novel-writing progress series? Check out the rest of my novel updates here.