January in Review

We only have a few more days until the first month of 2017 is checked off our lists. Well done for making it this far, my friends! Keep up the good work, and here’s to the next eleven months still to come.

I announced at the beginning of this year that I intended for January to be a time of creative gathering. I have read some, watched a lot, and spent a good amount of time with my notebooks, my memos, and my friends–all ways to keep track of new thoughts, little frustrations, and exciting turns. Few words were committed to the page, but writing is more than just cranking words. Thinking about writing, and gathering for one’s writing, even resting so as to return refreshed for the writing… all of these are essential, I believe, to the process.

What’s more, while no words have yet been written on this project, I signed up for a charity auction early this month where I put up an offer for a 5,000 word-long fanfiction to the highest bidder. I am delighted to say that I received a bid from a dear friend of mine, and am looking forward in the next month to writing for her. Some brainstorming on this project has already gone through. The next steps will include creative gathering (in this case, re-watching relevant episodes to write the story), and some outlining to check by my commissioner.

All this is not to say that the act of writing itself came to a halt. Writing for enjoyment and for friends both tend to occur even in relatively dry spells. As I write this now, eight thousand words alone were put down for a story involving a mute protagonist, her role as an underground rebel, and where her patience finally runs short. I have written flash pieces from prompts, expanded upon outlines, and kept up this blog.

Small things, perhaps, but I also believe that every word written gets you someplace where you weren’t before. No matter if you delete those words later, or if no one else in the world ever sees them. Every time you make a decision to put down a word, you learn something from it. The act of writing begets further–hopefully, better–writing.

With that in mind: January saw a few thousand words written, outlines re-written, inspiration gathered. February, going forward, begins to look that much more exciting.

The NaNoWriMo website has once again come through for the writers and has set up Goal Trackers. The bars that keep you up-to-date on your progress during the official month of NaNo are now available in the off-months. Writers can set their own goals and be able to track their progress over the set amount of time they choose. You set your own wordcount–can specify words written, or words edited–and can set the time frame to encompass up to three months.

If you are someone who likes to have a visual representation to track your progress, both for your own satisfaction and so that other friendly writers and followers can hold you accountable… then this may be the very tool for you. It certainly is the tool for me!

I have set my personal goal for 20,000 words written in the month of February. It should be, I think, entirely doable.

February is still a few days away, but I am already looking towards next month, and very definitely looking forward to the projects that are still to come. Among the things I hope to progress in the coming days, I have:

  • The Lock-Breakers (See above: the piece currently at 8,000 words, which needs, I imagine, about 2,000 more before it is completed)
  • My commission piece, tentatively titled, “A Treatise on the Complexities, Compromise, and Congeniality between Recent Exiles and New Roommates”
  • A completed second outline for the novel I will be re-writing in April
  • Further work (possibly poetry-writing) on the Land of the Grapes series

…and possibly more, come to that. This is by no means an exhaustive list. It is, however, a decent start.

Here’s to it, and here’s to putting one word down after another. As ever: to writing!

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