Last time, I wrote: “I’ve decided since the last update that I will continue doing this weekly, whether I ‘get enough stuff done’ or not.” And I had every intention of doing that, but my habit-building obviously needs more work still.

Despite the fact I’ve missed almost half of my self-imposed challenge so far, though, I am sticking with it, now in week 18, 34 more to go. And I stuck with writing too, for the most part.

What I’ve Been Up To

Plotting is still underway. I’m done with the initial character work and am now filling out some holes in my worldbuilding. The last few days I’ve spent working on the Elven forest and the city within it, as I had some issues imagining the full scope of it until now. A few of the worldbuilding details were already in place for Allanar in Halfblood’s Destiny, but I’m only now trying to describe and define the place fully.

This is not a fast process for me, as my aphantasia prevents me from just taking off with a concept. Rather than putting my imagination into words, I have to first think it through and flesh out the world by exploring various ideas and possibilities so that I might find out what it all looks like. I got some cool ideas about how Elves might live, though, and I’m looking forward to writing it.

Picking Up Speed

I’m slowly building consistency and my speed follows, which I’m very happy about. But, there’s plenty of room for improvement: my longest writing streak in August was 6 days, and I logged words on 11 days; in September the streak was 9 days (interrupted by illness), with 15 days where I did some writing work. My words per hour count has improved from 478 in August to 734 in September.

I’ll work on improving these stats further, because the more consistent I am, the easier it will be for me to determine how long it takes me to finish a book. And that’s essential for planning releases. Right now, my aim is to have the first Fateweaver book done by late February 2023, but as I’m still wrapped up in plotting, it’s hard to say right now if that’s going to happen. But even if I don’t make that deadline, if I strive for it, I’ll still have a book done next year. And from there, it’ll be much faster.

Strengths for Writers

As always, I am continually working on my craft and improving my process, trying to settle into a rhythm of easy productivity that has always been difficult for me to attain, especially after burnout. A couple of weeks ago, I found something that might help me with that: a coaching cohort by Becca Syme called Strengths for Writers. I signed up, and I’m eagerly awaiting the start of it on October 10.

This program is based on Gallup’s CliftonStrengths test and it covers how writers might apply their strengths to refine and better understand their process. It sounded too good to be true to me, and so I had to try it, but I was impatient and completed the test before the start of the course. So, I already know my strengths (#1 Restorative, which is no wonder in hindsight, considering how much I enjoy editing and writing broken characters with transformation arcs), but I’m still relatively clueless on how to apply them.

I’m hoping this will be the next piece of the puzzle along with PMC that’ll help me finish this year strong and start off 2023 the best way possible.

Next Steps

I hope to be done with the Elves by the end of the week, and with the rest of the worldbuilding by the end of the month. Strengths for Writers also lasts until the end of the month, so it’ll be fun to compare changes in my process after that.

I think in future posts, these beginning-of-the-month updates might be a bit longer, like this one, and weekly ones could be relatively short, just with whatever updates there may be. At the beginning of this challenge, I didn’t want to do just monthly updates because I wanted to train becoming consistent, and I still hold to that, but the updates week-by-week aren’t really that exciting when one’s bogged down in a single plotting issue for a month. ?