Camp NaNo July Results

This month was a lot. My A/C went out on July 2nd, and it wasn’t fixed until the 8th. I got very little writing done during that time period. After that was fixed, I…continued not to write very much.

I genuinely haven’t been very motivated to write this month. I’ve mainly been working on blog posts, and I’ve had quite a bit of success with those – I’ve written and scheduled 22 blog posts – but actual outlining for Broken Sword? I only wrote 2,849 words.

My original goal was 20,000 words. I changed that to 10,000 on July 20, since there was definitely no way I was going to reach 20k. This is actually the first time I’ve ever had to change a Camp NaNo goal.

I outlined myself into a corner with Broken Sword. I have a few options on how to start the next section of the story, but unfortunately, none of them seem any good. Outlining is essentially on hold until I figure that out.

I did, however, start re-outlining the first chapters of Samael, a story I first started writing in 2015. I reworked it into a setting I liked in 2019 and wrote the first four chapters, then stopped to focus on The Land of Two Moons and The Book of Immortality. I’ve been thinking the story over in my head this whole time, and now have some better ideas on how to start it and have certain ideas & themes carry on through the entire story.

Also, it’s a story that takes place in 2023 (in a cyberpunk version of our own world, with some fairly major differences) so I’d like to start finishing chapters and start posting it here sometime in mid-2022 at the latest.

Anyway, I ended this session of Camp NaNo with 11,964 words. Hopefully the next couple months of writing will not be as chaotic as this one.

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Camp NaNo July Plans

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I’ve been so busy these past few weeks that I haven’t had any time to think about Camp NaNoWriMo. I know I want to get a lot of blogging done. I’m going to continue outlining Broken Sword like I’ve been trying to do for the past month.

I have no other goals at the moment. This is probably the most unprepared I’ve been in years!

I’ll definitely think of other things to do in July, but at the moment I’m seriously coming up with nothing.

My profile on the website is here in case you want to follow along or friend me.

The problem with having too many interests

I have a lot of creative interests. I draw. I write. I paint. I worldbuild. I create conlangs. I (used to) draw comics.

Each of those things is fairly time-consuming. If I’m drawing, that’s time I can’t write. If I’m working on a conlang, that’s time I can’t be painting. Time spent working on one interest is time taken away from everything else. If what I’m currently working on takes longer than expected, it makes things even worse.

Back in May, I set a goal to complete 1 painting per month. That happened in May, but the end of June is quickly approaching and I haven’t had time to even sketch out an idea. And since I will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in July, I doubt that month will be any better.

I know most creative people primarily focus on one thing. It allows them to actually improve their craft and have hobbies on the side. Sometimes I wish I’d decided to do that instead of spreading myself thin over several different things.

If I’d focused on my artwork, would I be a working artist? Would I have learned and improved at a faster pace? Would I be making money with it? Would I have an audience?

I’ve been posting my artwork online since 2007. I’ve had very little attention on all the websites I used. Maybe that would have been different if I’d tried harder to find an art community instead of just doing the bare minimum – drawing – and then immediately moving on to different things.

I have the same feelings about my writing. Less so about conlanging. My particular feelings on not being able to draw comics any longer will be addressed in a different post (probably).

I know if I picked one thing and stuck with it, I wouldn’t be as busy and wouldn’t feel as guilty taking time for myself. But I want to do all these things, and I genuinely like doing them, too.

I guess I’ll just continue onward. Slowly.

A few thoughts on my recent writer’s block

I didn’t have a blog post scheduled for this morning, but I happened to think about this while I was at work. Yay for last minute ideas!

I had a fairly good month in May with regards to outlining. I did a lot of necessary worldbuilding and made all of the character profiles I needed. I even made a couple of naming languages. I got all of that out of the way first so that I could focus on outlining and only outlining in June.

Since the beginning of June, I’ve barely done anything. I’ve “outlined” three chapters. What this means is that I organized my initial stream-of-consciousness ideas into something resembling a chapter outline I can actually used. There have been eight days this month that I’ve actually worked on this outline, which is…not very much. I work on outlines fairly slowly, but it’s usually more of an every day thing.

I’ve been a lot more busy in June. I had a job interview and started a new job. I did a ton of (very late) spring cleaning and donated a bunch of old clothes. My air conditioning went out while it was 115F (46C) and it was a very uncomfortable 2.5 days where I could barely do anything at home. I’ve been slowly updating my wardrobe (necessary, since the last time I seriously did something like this was when I was in high school) and looking into getting a credit card (solely because I want a better credit score).

There’s been a lot going on.

I’m starting to think that the vast majority of “writer’s block” is simply my body refusing to allow me to tire myself out to the point of burnout. I’ve had problems with that before, primarily when I was drawing comics, where I had way too much to do for months on end and was constantly tired and uncreative.

So I think I would like to say…I think this particular case of writer’s block is actually good for me?

Camp NaNo April Results

How did I do in April? Well, I wrote 22,074 words. My goal was 20,000, and I reached that on April 26th.

Originally, I planned on finishing The Illuminated World and the outline for Venére Magic. I wrote less than 500 words combined before I decided to set them aside and move on to the other things I wanted to get done: updating conlang documentation and writing blog posts.

Working on conlangs

I finalized the documentation & updated the dictionaries for 7 conlangs: Qitiniasaaq, Célis zisun, Ciniáne, Rennukat, Kitlinar, Fèdzéyí, and Askeisk. I’m pretty sure the only reason I was able to get through this many is because these were the conlangs that just needed tidying. Most of the grammars & dictionaries were 90-100% complete and all I had to do was organize the information I already had.

The conlangs I need to work on now are the ones that I never got too far into. I’ll be doing a lot of work from scratch, so I doubt I’ll be able to finish more than 1 per month. Hopefully I’ll be able to get them all done by the end of the year. Maybe I’ll make that a goal for July Camp NaNo?

Blogging

Early in the year, I made a schedule and list of the things I’d like to blog about. Originally, that schedule was Monday/Friday. It later changed to Monday/Wednesday/Friday when I realized I had a lot of things on my list – not just posts about writing, but also about art, conlanging, and a couple of other random subjects.

My original goal for April was to write 6 blog posts. I hit that in a couple of days, so I changed the goal to 12, then to 15. I ended up writing 20 blog posts in total. This was the rest of April’s blog posts, all of May’s (except 2. One is a first impressions of Mass Effect Legendary Edition and the other is May’s Recommendations), and art & conlang posts in June and July.

Venére Magic & The Illuminated World

I really need to rethink what I want to do with Venére Magic and The Illuminated World. I’m not enjoying working on them, which is a serious problem. I’m not being paid to write. I’m not under any sort of deadline. I’m writing in my own free time because I enjoy it – and if I’m not enjoying it, then why am I writing?

It’ll be sad to abandon another project, of course, but I seriously need to find something to write that’s actually enjoyable.

Which might be…

I ended up outlining a bit of a story I’ve been thinking over for the past couple of months. I’ve been turning it over and over in my head for long enough that outlining has turned out to some of the easiest writing I’ve done all year.

This is the “Broken Sword” story I mentioned previously in this naming post. No, I haven’t managed to come up with a better name for it yet. That’s definitely still something I need to work on.