2018: The Writing Year That Wasn’t

To help me keep my shit straight, every year I create a writing calendar. I fill in each month with the projects I’m going to work on. This gives me an easy way to look at what I’ve been working on, what I need to work on, and the progress I’ve made throughout the year. Sometimes I’ve got months planned well in advance. Sometimes I’m filling out the month as I’m writing up the blog post about what I plan to work on for the given month.

On this calendar, at the beginning of the year, I make a list of projects, the big things I want to work on during the course of the next twelve months. These projects range from things I absolutely must get done to things I would ideally like to get done to things that are just wishful thinking, but hey, I might get bored.

My projects list for 2018 was more than reasonable, I felt, and I thought that I’d easily get four of my top 5 done this year.

I did two and that’s because I’m counting two items as half-done and/or attempted.

Between the fatigue issues caused by the anemia the first part of the year and the summer lost to the crash and burn of the day job, shit did not get done.

And I’m feeling pretty down about that.

It’s easy to say that I faced some challenges this year; that it’s understandable. The problem with that is that I didn’t really overcome any of those challenges, now did I?

It took me the better part of six months to complete one project that in the previous year took me maybe two all together. It’s very hard to look at that, challenges included, and not feel like I biffed it big time. I’m looking back at that wondering why I couldn’t push through, why I didn’t work harder, why I didn’t find a way.

It does me no good to do this, I know. I’m not going to find any satisfactory answers there.

But I do find some lessons.

There are times that I don’t push myself as hard as I could. I get lazy. I give up too easily on the days that I struggle to focus. I don’t adapt and adjust to changes and challenges as well as I’d like to. I have a tendency to be too bullheaded when it would be in my best interest not to be.

These are the things that I’ll be working on in 2019.

Along with another list of projects.

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December Writing Projects

Ah, the end of the year. Finally.

Yes, it’s a been a long, struggle of a grind of a year and I’m glad to see it coming to a close. And since 2018 is wrapping up, so am I. I’m going to spend the last month of the year tying up some loose ends and plotting for 2019.

I’m going to schedule and ebook Season 3 of Murderville. Once that is done, all I’ll have to worry about is letting people know when the episodes go live. It’s going to be a huge relief knowing that it’s off my projects list. And since the first drafts of Season 4 and Season 5 are done, I’ll only have to worry about revising them. Maybe I’m finally getting the hang of this.

I’ve been wanting to put together a small flash fiction ebook, and I think that might be something I can do this month since I have most of the stories written and it shouldn’t take me too much time and effort to pull it off. A little fun thing that gives the illusion of productivity.

With 2019 looming, the other thing I need to do is look at my mess of a projects list and decide what I need to work on next year. This year was sort of a disaster, so I have plenty of things to work on. Which is sort of the reason why I’m not looking forward to figuring anything out. It’s going to be a drag.

In non-writing projects -or mild-writing projects, as it may be- I’m going to do some serious, actual work on a podcast. If you’ve listened to me ramble with Dan (he doesn’t ramble) during our chats about The Green Hornet on Eventually Supertrain, then you know I’ve teased about doing the Book ’em, Danno podcast about the original Hawaii Five-O. I’m going to attempt to make that tease a reality. I know what the basic show format will be. It’s just a matter of some research and recording. Simple, right?

Sure. Always simple in plan, not so much in execution, as we all know. We’ll see.

The year might be coming to a close, but the fun rages on. Murderville patrons already got an exclusive look at Season 3, but everyone can check it out on December 11th. Also, $2 patrons get their final bonus of 2018 on December 18th. Don’t miss out! Become a patron now!

November Writing Projects–It’s NaNo Time

Hard lessons have been learned this year, ones that I do not wish to repeat. So for this year’s NaNo, I’m going write Season 4 and Season 5 of Murderville. With the first drafts done, I won’t have to worry about having the same struggle with them that I had with Season 3 this past year. They’re both outlined and ready to go, though I have a feeling that writing Season 4 may possibly be easier than writing Season 5. We’ll see.

Though this will eliminate a repeat of this past summer, NaNo will not be without its struggles. My productivity has been shit for various reasons all year. Writing at least 2,000 words a day used to be easy. Now I can’t say that. I may be finding my old groove, but this still looks pretty daunting to me.

I’m also faced with the possibility that the two novellas combined might not hit 50,000 words. Season 3 clocked in at less than 25,000 words (I’m not exactly happy with that, but that’s another rant) and I’m worried that there could be a repeat of that during NaNo, most likely with Season 5.

Fingers crossed, kids.

It’s been a while since NaNo has been hard.

But it’s not the only thing happening this month. The teaser episode of Season 3 of Murderville goes live on November 13th. If you want a sneak preview into what’s coming for the residents of Munsterville next year, become a patron! $1 an episode let’s you read. $2 an episode let’s you read and gets you swell bonus content every other month.

October Writing Projects

It is that time of year again.

Ah, yes.

Time to prep for NaNoWriMo.

And prep I will. But first, I have to finish the revisions on season 3 of Murderville.

Yes, I know. I’ve been working on this forever. Believe me, I feel it, too. Probably more than you. I’d love to be done with it. But it’s a two-fold issue. Number one, the rough draft has required a lot more rewriting than the previous two seasons. Like, I’m redoing a whole section of plot. Yeah. I’m also not thrilled with this and I’m not exactly sure what the hell I was thinking when I both outlined this and wrote the first draft.

On the plus side, I got a nice little side thing that happened in the first draft that I didn’t anticipate and it’s been nice to sort of bring that out and shine it up a little.

The second issue I’ve been having is with my mental health lately. My brains are scrambled eggs. While a lot of my energy issues resolved themselves when I started the iron pills for my anemia, my concentration is still shit in a lot of ways. I’m thinking it’s the usual culprits anxiety and/or depression. Leaning towards the former.

Anyway. It’s been a struggle to get through some days let alone a couple of pages of revisions. I’m going to attempt to step things up and try to push myself back to what I was doing before I was derailed about this time last year when the anemia started to worsen and I thought it was just me being lazy. I used to be able to revise entire “episodes” in one day. I need to get back to that.

Especially with NaNoWriMo looming.

2,000 words a day just doesn’t happen.

But what did happen? We hit another goal over on the Murderville Patreon. All patrons have been enjoying their reward and later this month, $2 patrons will be enjoying a bonus in the form of a cryptic poem dropping hints about season 3. Become a patron and get in on the goodies.

September Writing Projects

Some good news on the Murderville front. Season 2 has come to a successful close and I hope all of my patrons enjoyed it. I also finished writing the first draft of Murderville Season 3. It’s a damn mess and it’s going to need a lot of work and that’s what I’m going to focus on this month.

Last month I also revised and polished the Season 3 preview story. Normally, I’d put that out next month, but until I get a good handle on where I’m at with Season 3, I can’t commit to that. Unless I’m sure that I can have Season 3 ready to roll on time, I don’t want to get ahead of myself with the previews and such.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that the day job is no more. Due to various reasons (some of which I may detail in another post), it didn’t work out, so I’m back to where I was at the beginning of May. In theory, I should be able to play catch up this month and put everything Murderville-related back on schedule. But again, I don’t want to commit to anything considering I’ve basically been disappointing if not everyone, then at least myself all summer with my ability to live up to my commitments. It’s been a very frustrating season for me.

But, it’s not frustrating for my patrons because the ebook of Murderville: The End Of comes out this month. Become a patron now and get in on this sweet deal.

August Writing Projects

Wow, look at that. August already. This year is just rolling by.

And I’m still working on stuff that I swore I’d have done in June.

Yeah.

So, this day job is turning into one of the hardest retail jobs I’ve ever had and what was supposed to be an easy part-time gig to help pay the bills is actually a huge time and energy vortex that I’m getting swallowed up in. My plan was to write at least a page on all of my current projects on the days that I work and then really rack up the words on my days off. The struggle with that, though, is that sometimes I don’t have the time (or energy) to get in my one page on everything, and then on my days off, I can still only manage the absolute minimum because I’m recovering from working.

If there’s going to be anything new, then August will see a shift in priorities. As much as I hate to stop working on a project in the middle, The Coop Run rewrite has to go on the back burner for now. Season 3 of Murderville needs to be my focus until I get it done, and I need to get it done as quickly as possible. Ideally, I’ll have it finished in the first couple of weeks of the month so I can let it rest a bit and then revise it in September. Because here’s the thing. Season 3 needs to be done all the way down to the eBook before NaNo. I’m already way behind my usual schedule. Now I have to play catch up and hope I don’t fuck up.

I also need to make some time to revise and polish next season’s preview story. But that’s a problem for next month me.

Right now, it’s all about finishing Murderville Season 3.

I’ll work out the rest later.

Speaking of Murderville, the very last episode of season 2, The End Of, goes live on August 14th. Don’t worry! It’s easy to catch up. Just become a patron and you’ll get access to every intriguing moment. $1 an episode let’s you read; $2 an episode lets you read AND gets you swell bonuses every other month, like whatever is happening on the 28th. Don’t miss out!

May Writing Projects

You know, I said last month that April was my oyster. Apparently, I forgot that I don’t care for oysters. I did my page-a-day and my poem-a-day. I submitted a short story twice (same story, two different markets, a rejection was involved) and I submitted (Vampires) Made in America to a new agent.

And that’s about it.

I thought I’d be able to find a project to work on, but the best I did was rearranging my To Do List of Doom so it made more sense. I’ve still got a massive list of projects in various states and none of them made any progress in April.

I have my speculations about the reasons for this, but I’m not going to get into them here.

Instead, I’m going to move on. New month…well, same me, but actual stuff to work on.

I’ve decided to dedicate May to my Patreon. I’m going to outline season 3 of Murderville and write the first draft of the season 3 preview story. I’m also going to brainstorm ways I can be more involved on Patreon. Right now, it’s very much set it and forget it. I feel like I need to provide a little more content in order to entice new patrons and keep the ones I have. Can’t get by on my looks here.

Or anywhere, really.

Speaking of Murderville, episode 5 of The End Of is live May 8th. We’re over the half-way point here. Become a patron and enjoy the ride. $1 an episode lets you read; $2 an episode lets you read AND you get some really sweet bonus material in the form of other stuff I’m working on. It’s never too late to head to Murderville!