March 2022 Update

Last month’s update wasn’t very cheerful, but that’s no surprise given how things have been going lately (lately here means “since 2020”, I guess).

I’ve been more active here, even if my posts are still a bit late. If you’ve seen my latest Word Count post, you might have noticed that my monthly word count has been plummeting ever since September 2021. And this year, January and February have been especially dreadful.

Well, let me tell you now: March was even worse. I guess if you count updating my blog and my two unfinished short stories, my numbers are not that bad, but I really want to focus a bit. Wish I could.

In fact, I even had to stop writing the newest short story because I had planned to make it fun, add some dark humour but make it a light sweet story, and I couldn’t keep it up. I was either lowering the tension because I couldn’t deal with it, or making all the lighter scenes depressing. I had to stop because I realized I wasn’t in the best mindset to approach that story, and I wanted to go back to its original idea. I hope I can revisit it once the war and/or the pandemic are over

At least I did the minimum I intended to do: I wrote four letters, several e-mails, and finished my latest notebook. I’ve already chosen the next one. I also created a Smashwords account and organised a giveaway on Twitter, discovered a couple of my favourite reads had been translated into Spanish, made some reference files, rested a bit, and started reading again.

Spring has been quite a relief, to be honest. A week afterwards, I started reading again, which is always a good sign. Maybe I’m being optimistic, but I hope the longer days keep working their daylight charm on me so I can go back to writing my projects, especially the funny ones.

However, I don’t think that will happen any time soon, so my objectives during the month of April will be to write a bit during the spring holidays and to keep my blog updated. Oh, I also want to organise another giveaway for the World Book Day. I’m looking forward to it!

A field of sunflowers under a blue sky. With the horizon separating the blue and the yellow, it looks like Ukraine's flag.
Although I think the yellow in the flag is supposed to be wheat, the sunflower is Ukraine's national flower.
Photo by K Zoltan on Pexels.com

February 2022 Update

My last monthly update was a bit late, so this one is too. February was a very difficult month for me, so I couldn’t fulfil all my goals. Again. I will keep trying, but we all know that the possibilities of March being a good month are rather low.

In any case, February started pretty well. I managed to rest, back my projects up, write a bit, update my blog, start a new short story for a charity anthology… and then life happened. And it hasn’t stopped happening, as you know.

I’ve tried to finish the short story anyway, even though it wasn’t on time, because I thought I could use it for another anthology or as a freebie. But then I realized that what had started as an amusing story was becoming more and more depressing. I did like the original idea, so I’ve decided to wait until things get better and I can reconcile with my own sense of humour.

And regarding my goals… Well, I did update my blog, even if I still have a few pending posts —the word count wasn’t that interesting, so I might wait until I have more info to share. But I haven’t finished the notebook I was in the middle of… I only have a quarter of the notebook left, so my goals for the month will be to finish the notebook and write some letters and e-mails I should have sent a while ago. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get anything done during March, but I’ll do my best.

Take care, everyone. And be kind to yourselves.

A cemetery covered with green grass and old tombstones. It looks like a hill with some beautiful trees. It's a bit cold and misty, probably the end of winter, and the sun is setting, painting the cloudy sky with warm colours.
Photo by Anna-Louise on Pexels.com

January 2022 Update

Happy New Year!

You might have noticed I haven’t posted any updates in a while. In fact, my last monthly update was back in November. These past months haven’t been very eventful writing-wise because I’ve been sick and/or terribly busy, but at least I enjoyed the holidays and my health has improved a bit.

I suspected that my goals were too ambitious, and they were indeed. But I had written a lot during the winter holidays the previous year, so I was trying to be optimistic. But now I realize I actually had three goals instead of two: to finish transcribing a notebook, to finish writing another one, and to post my book recs. I managed to do two out of three in as many months, and it took a lot of effort, so I guess I should be happy.

I AM glad I finished transcribing the notebook. It took ages! I mean, I started last year, so there’s that. And I’m proud of my list of favourite books I read in 2021. But that’s not all I’ve done during these two months! I’ve created a personal Discord server to keep track of my WIPs, research and writing progress. Someone recommended that on Twitter, and I decided to give it a try. Although I already use Scrivener, OneNote and my notebooks, I’ve found it very useful. It’s very easy to add links, images and threads, then scroll through them and add reactions, so you might appreciate it if you’re a visual person.

I also organized a couple of giveaways on my Spanish account, worked on a short story for an anthology but didn’t make it before the deadline, got a new illustration for a project, read a couple of books, received new ones from the Reyes Magos…

So I’ve managed to get some stuff done, but I still need to finish the new notebook, which was another of my goals back in November. I’ve just reached the middle, so maybe it could become one of my two goals for this month. The other one will be to update my blog more. At least, I would like to post about the illustration soon and about my word count before the next update.

We’ll see how things turn out next month, I guess!

A group of paper lanterns that look like balloons floating in the dark. They have different colours and patterns.
Photo by Expect Best on Pexels.com

November 2021 Update

I can’t believe it’s been less than a month since I posted my last update and this year is almost over! Well, I still haven’t assimilated we’re not in 2019 anyway, so maybe it’s not that surprising.

This month I have good news: I achieved my two goals! Both the October’s challenge I hadn’t finished yet and my secret challenge, which was… transcribing the notebook I finished in September. After adding all the information to my Scrivener projects, I updated my word count here, and I’ll tell you more about it soon.

I also backed up all my projects to the Cloud, made a new reference file for the Academy project and organized a giveaway on Twitter.

I had the feeling that I’d done very little during November, but writing this post made me realize I was wrong. I’ve had better months, but this is a very busy season at work, so I should be proud to have done so much.

I’m still looking forward to the winter holidays, though.

Anyway, my goals for December will be: transcribing the notebook I finished in October… and finishing one more notebook!

I’ll try to keep my posts up and work on this year’s ranking as well, so there will be more activity on my blog before the year ends.

A hearth with glowing embers and fire licking the wood. The wall in the background seems to be made of some kind of stone, but it's too dark to see properly.

October 2021 Update

It’s been three years since I started writing these updates that are now a monthly tradition. They might be boring for you all, but they’ve been a huge help for me.

Learning to choose feasible goals has made an impact in both my writing and my mental health. For instance, last month one of my goals was to postpone my other goal if I thought it was too much, and that’s exactly what happened. I wanted to finish two challenges, but I made it to one and a half. I want to finish the other one during this month, because who cares which month it is if I can finish? Only me, right?

A year ago, I also started adding my Word Count on these update posts, and it was so helpful that I’ve made separate posts so I can add graphs and everything! I’m still surprised every time I see them. I’m writing more now than when I had big goals I could never fulfill, but it took me years to learn how to make them feasible enough for me.

I’ve been very busy during the month of October due to medical reasons, but I managed to finish another notebook and one challenge, so I think it’s more than enough. November will be a busy month as well, so my new goals will be to finish the other challenge and… well, to be honest, I’m not sure about my second goal. There are two other things I want to do, but I don’t think it will be feasible, so I’ll need some time to decide which one will be my second goal. I’ll let you know next month!

Spoiler: It’s not NaNoWriMo. That’s not feasible at all, unfortunately.

I hope you all enjoy NaNoWriMo if you attempt it, though!

Two jack-o'-lanterns, eyes, mouths and noses glowing in the dark.
Photo by Toni Cuenca on Pexels.com

September 2021 Update

Better late than never, so I’m sharing my delayed monthly update now! Last month was much better in general, although it had its dark moments.

I’m still not able to use my laptop, so I’ve started a new notebook. I was so glad to finish the previous one, that I had all the motivation I needed to start another of my bigger notebooks. I’m not using the pocket notebooks at the moment because I have to stay at home most of the time, so I don’t need to carry the notebook everywhere. I’ll save the smaller ones for the future! Since I’ve filled half of the notebook already, I think it’s a good approach.

During September, I got to share a new aesthetics post for my Heroes project, and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

I also shared the word count post I promised, but I wonder if I’ll be able to check the new word count during this month. I had to reorganise the house a bit to be able to use an old computer to make that one… So I could try, but I don’t have much free time right now.

By the way, I do have some really good news: my dear friend Lee Welch has been the first to honour The Pact we made and publish a new book! And I even got to beta-read it, which was very enjoyable, and also an honour. Please find out more about it here. I got to re-read it after the release, and it was an amazing experience. Loved every minute! Thank you for sharing your work!

During September, I also got to attend some online lectures by Spanish writers, and one of them mentioned something that I thought might be helpful in my case: making a playlist for each project in order to listen to a couple of songs before I start writing. Apparently, it’s very useful when you need inspiration and/or motivation, so I’ve been working on making some for my projects, but it will take a long time to finish them. Still, I’m having fun and it totally counts as writing because I need to check the plot and the characters every time I add a song.

And now it’s time to choose my goals for the following month, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to work on them every day. I’ve joined some October challenges on my Spanish account, so I guess my goals are to complete them, but also to delay the daily challenges until the weekend if I don’t have enough time.

Hope you all enjoy autumn (or spring if you’re in the southern hemisphere)!

Red and fluffy squirrell in the snow.
Photo from Pexels

August 2021 Update

I gotta be honest: this has been a tough month for me.

It started well enough, as I managed to continue writing the short story I mentioned on my previous update and it unsurprisingly got longer and longer. I also updated the backups of my projects and joined the tent for people who want to finish projects at the virtual writing camp, but then life happened and I couldn’t manage much more.

Still, I found alternatives and adapted my goals. I realized I felt like doing something artistic, so I decided to start making aesthetics posts. I realized I wouldn’t be able to finish that not-that-short story, so I changed my camp goal to finishing my current notebook instead. I felt like talking to some friends, so I contacted a few. One of them, who is a crochet expert, helped me with some WIP-related questions. Another one, who is a writer, talked to me about making decisions, self-doubt, and second-guessing one’s WIP. Plus, her questions about my Oracle project were very enlightening even for me.

You might have seen it already, but I also made a new pinned thread on Twitter to tell people more about myself!

So I guess I should be proud of taking care of myself as well as I could, and I do feel thankful for my wonderful friends, who are always there with their kind and encouraging words ready for me. But I also can’t help feeling a little bit guilty because I wasn’t able to do more, one way or another. Old habits die hard.

At least I’m getting better at choosing feasible goals, so for September I’ve chosen two that I need to achieve in here before I do anything else: I’ll make an aesthetics post for my Heroes project, and I’ll share with you the word count I couldn’t share today.

Maybe I should make my Word Count posts different from my update posts? I’m thinking that, right now, I have data from different months, so I could even make a bar chart on Excel? We’ll see.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your holidays, if you had them. And, for those who didn’t, I hope you’re taking care of yourselves. See you next month!

A mosaic with tiles of shattered glass that reflect rainbows.
Photo from Pexels

July 2021 Update

One more month is over! And I’ve met the goals I set last month. Basically, I’ve joined the virtual writing camp, which has just ended, and I added my OneNote notes to my projects at the beginning of the month (which means I already have more notes to add).

I’ve been very busy at work and I haven’t had much time for writing, but I started a short story thanks to the writing camp. It’s a spin-off story for my Fireflies project, so it’s not a new project. The idea was to make something quick I could finish by the end of the month, so I chose something that already had some world building, but it’s taking more than I thought because it might end up being longer. I’ve finished the first four chapters of Draft 0, and this time I wrote in Spanish, which was both strange and interesting.

In other news, I’m still adding things to the customized Scrivener template I’m creating for my future projects. I also created some more reference files and now I have reference files for more than half of my projects. Making those meant I had to re-read a couple of old projects and it was a nice surprise. I had left those projects on hold when I was feeling all my ideas were bad and boring, but now I think they are not as bad as I remember. Note to self: it’s always good to leave the projects steeping when you get frustrated.

Another good idea is to rest before you get burnout. As I finished writing my post about burnout, I realized I’ve been feeling that way for a while. I hadn’t recognized it because it wasn’t as bad as before, but I decided to stop and rest before it got worse. Three days later, I started to write the short story for the writing camp, so I’m very glad I noticed on time. By the way, being able to share that post about burnout was an accomplishment in itself, as I’d tried to write about it two months ago, but I wasn’t feeling well enough at the time. So thank you very much for your likes and comments. They meant a lot to me.

I could tell you more about the short story, but I don’t want to bore you with the details, especially since I need to finish the Fireflies project first. And who knows when that’ll be? Not anytime soon, that’s for sure! For now, my goals for August are: to join a different tent at the virtual writing camp (this one will be focused on finishing projects, which I definitely need) and to update all the backups of my projects. May this serve as a reminder for all of you to back up your projects as well.

Enjoy your summer/winter!

Blurry close-up of a Mimosa plant with its small yellow flowers.
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