August 2021 Challenge - Build a Writing Habit!

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Magnus

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This is a thread open to anyone who wants to build a long-term writing habit, which can include writing, editing, research, etc. or anything else that supports your writing like self-care or just putting bread on the table.

By sharing your efforts here you'll get some accountability to help boost your motivation. And you'll be part of a community of fellow habit-builders who encourage and support each other!

Feel free to start the month out by stating your goals and to chat a little with the other participants as you report in. But it's up to each person how they wish to participate in the thread.

Here are some tips to start you on your path:

Set achievable goalsThis is by far the most important rule. Set your goals so that you can reach them consistently. That generally means aiming lower than you think; you'll want goals you can hit on the days you're feeling less motivated. Hitting a small goal will give you a confidence boost and set you up for success the next day, building momentum. A good goal is a little bit challenging but doesn't overwhelm you.

Accept failure and move on – Even with a small goal you'll inevitably fail some days. Don't worry about it. Failure is a natural part of improvement. Try to figure out why it happened and how you can prevent it in the future. Then forgive yourself and move on. Don't stack your goals, but start fresh the next day.

Be patient and persistent – It takes a long time to build a strong habit, and sometimes you won't notice the progress you're making day-to-day because it happens in tiny increments. Keep at it. Sticking with the habit gets easier with time, but that being said: don't trust it to run on autopilot. It's when you think that you've 'made it' that it's easy to stumble. If you keep at it, your progress will be slow and steady; it's the only type of progress that lasts.

Be adaptive – Not everything that works for others will work for you, and sometimes what works for you changes with time. Always be ready to mix things up if you're stuck in a rut. Does reward work better than punishment for you? Is it better to get the writing out of the way or to get other stuff done first so you can relax? Do you perhaps need different goals for different days of the week? Do you need skip days? A good habit is one that works for you.

See you on August 1st!
 
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Layla Nahar

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August - the birthday month of this thread. I think this year it turns 4, but Magnus will correct me if I'm wrong (I hope)

I'm not reporting my write + take care of life list of 3 these days because after three years of this thread, I feel ok about my ability to keep writing, at least in terms of letting Life be an excuse to clobber Writing.

I work three* long days (12 and 10 hour shifts) so I've decided to let anything other than the needful go on those days. I still struggling with the "block" so I'm really happy to get anything in on the days when I have time. So here's to the words flowing for all of us this month!

*and one short day.
 

Cindyt

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YaY Magnus!

  • Continue work on A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET with an eye toward a late 2021 publishing date.
  • Continue writing & publishing Growing Up Buford articles.
  • Prepare DRESS HER IN CHAMELEON for paperback format to compliment my published ebook.
  • Do something every day to sharpen the writing habit.
Good writing, Everybody!
 

Pterofan

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Gonna give it another shot. Main goal: finish at least one book in the series. I've got three started, so I've got a jump on it. If I can figure out and establish a workable schedule, that'll be a bonus. Time management isn't my thing.
 
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LadyRedRover

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Hi everyone! I'm so glad to be joining you for this round :D

My goals for August are:
- Work at least 5 days a week on my WIP novel, Honey Sisters.
- Complete a flash fiction story for Cosmic Horror Monthly.
- Finish drafting out my current D&D campaign.

I have a few reading goals that I'd like to add in, but I think this will keep me busy lol
 

Animad345

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Hey guys! Same goal as last month - write every day, even if it's only a line or paragraph.
 

The Second Moon

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I have a lot going on this month. I have a cruise and I'm moving. I'm not sure if I will get much writing done. I'll still post here when I can. I guess that's my goal.
 

karasunoyashi

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Another month, another attempt at writing some fiction every day and post here everyday.

Day 1- 108 words

Good luck with your goals everyone.
 
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Kerry56

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Hey guys. Good to see so many in here.

I've been writing a little each day since I started my latest project, but haven't kept count of how much per day. Two and a half chapters and 6k words in one week, so that's good progress for me.
 

Carrie

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Greetings! I've had a bit of time off as I've just moved to a new city, I've been editing my manuscript, and looking for new representation. But I've realized that finding a new agent might take a while and I really can't take this manuscript much further without either a new agent or a major epiphany, and those are hard to plan! So I'm going to get back into my daily writing routine, even though I have no idea what I'll be working on. I'll be here Monday - Friday with relatively modest goals at first. I would like to see at least 5000 words per week to start and we'll see where we go from there. Great to see you all!
 

Cindyt

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Day 1

DEDICATED DAY OFF

LadyRedRover – :hi:

Animad - :hi:

April – Good luck on your goals!

Moon – Have fun and stay safe. Looking forward to your posts!

Kara – Nice word count for the first day!

Kerry – Awesome possum word count!

Ptero – Good luck!

Carrie - Good luck!
 

Layla Nahar

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Kara - nice 108

& Hello all -

Day 1 - 10 hour shift - skipped writing
 

karasunoyashi

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Day 2- 250 words.

I spent most of my free time today watching videos of speeches and interviews by various authors in order to get motivated again.
 

Pterofan

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Day 1 - not an auspicious beginning, as I spent most of the day wrapping up paid work to make deadline. I did end up writing flash, and it was a goodly amount--almost a full page, at least 300 words. All that leftover adrenaline, I guess.

Today I'm going to relax a bit, before I once again attempt to set a workable schedule. Thursday will have to be a day off because I'm getting a tooth pulled. At least the lawn is mowed, so that's out of the way for a while. One step at a time.

Cindy - thanks for the extra luck. I need all the luck I can get. :(
 

Carrie

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Started the new thing. No idea what it is. I don't like the character who appears to be the protagonist, but it's not as if I get a choice. Off we go!
 

April Swanson

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Cindyt: Hope you enjoyed your day off!

Layla: Yikes. 10 hours!

kara: Nice 250. Can you recommend any particularly inspiring speeches? I could always do with a boost!

Pterofan: Nice 300!

Carrie: Yay for starting new things! Are you a pantser?

I edited the majority of two chapters for Book 5--about 1200 words written--but I still need to add in a few scenes. First, I need to figure some stuff out, but I'm hoping to still squeeze it in tonight.
 
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Carrie

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April: Good job on the 1200 shiny new words!
In answer to your question, I hadn't even heard the term "pantser" until I participated in NaNo last year. I would say, reflexively, that I am not. If I have to invent something (a name, for instance) I can spend 30 minutes doing it! No, I already know the story I am writing, it's just not in the part of my brain that knows I know. Almost all my writing (except the occasional name or similar detail) has already happened and what I have to do is remember it and describe it.
 

Kerry56

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April... good work on editing. After a month of it, I know how that can wear you down. Wish you luck on adding more tonight.

Pterofan... every bit counts

Carrie... I'm not sure I understand, but if you've got a good grasp of your writing process, that's what really counts.

I'm very much a seat of the pants writer, which can sometimes lead you into blind corners, or very interesting tidbits that don't actually fit into the story. I'm on a clearly defined section right now, and added another 1400 words while finishing the third chapter.
 

LadyRedRover

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Day 1: I had a pretty good writing day, even though I started off feeling pretty unmotivated lol I wrote 520 words on my manuscript and finished a pretty clean 500-word draft of my cosmic horror short story (tentatively titled 'In the Dust, It Waits') I might post it up for critique after I've had a good nights sleep :)

Good luck to everyone on their goals this month and have a good night!
 

Cindyt

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Day 2

WORD COUNT 705

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET – Billy walks into the hideout living area and discovers Carolina has apparently grown close to God while he was at DEADco headquarters.

RESEARCH​
  • Had a look at the interior of a Ferrari Testarossa to see how visible the passenger floorboard was from the driver’s seat. Billy can plainly see Harry curled up where he fell off the seat in his sleep and stayed there. This is important to the scene where they arrive back at the hideout. (BTW Harry isn’t injured in the fall.)
  • What do you call the containers that frozen mashed potatoes with chives and sour cream come in. I couldn’t find it, so I’m calling them “boats.” Makes sense to me. And now I’m hungry.
  • My great grandfather was a full-blood Cherokee Indian, a great hunter, and a fisherman. Me? I love to eat em. Especially crappie. So, you’d think I’d know how to spell it. For some reason, I looked it up. And, naw, c-r-a-p-p-y is not correct. Gah.
April – Nice 1200 word count. Good luck with those scenes. I did enjoy my day off, but I so missed writing. Lol.

LadyRedRover – Awesome! Welcome to the 1k club!

Layla – I know those 10-hour days up close and personal.

Kara – Great 250!

Kerry – I am most def and pantser and love the surprises which outweigh all that outlining.

Ptero – Nice 300 words. We all need luck and blessings. You’re welcome!

Carrie - May your new project thrive!
 

karasunoyashi

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Day 2- 202 words
Ptero- Any creative writing after a day of work writing is amazing to me so good job.
April- WTG on the editing an 1200 new words. Good luck with the additional scenes.
I don't really remember any of the speeches but I found the Julius Schwartz talks at MIT motivating and interesting. Their is one with Neil Gaiman and another with JMS, the creator of Babylon 5 and the writer of the movie Changeling.
Kerry- Congrats on the 1400 words.
Layla- Please get some good rest.
LadyRedRover- Well done on the 520 words.
Cindyt- Good work on the 705 words. You can buy frozen mashed potatoes with chives and sour cream? I've never seen that just by itself. That's interesting.
 

Carrie

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Day Two: 1110 new words. Since this is the first chapter, I don't know how many words are left, but it's a good start!

Kerry: good job on the 1400 words!
Lady Red: Nice work, going from unmotivated to making progress on two things!
Cindy: Thank you for the good wishes. (And I love, "Carolina has apparently grown close to God." It makes me very curious to know what the telltale signs might be!)

Happy writing, one and all!
 

April Swanson

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Carrie: Wow, that’s such an interesting process! (And great 1k!)

Kerry: A whole month? Wooft, you have my sympathies. Editing really can be a grind. Excellent 1400 words!

Layla: Happy skip!

LadyRed: Starting is always the hardest part. Excellent 500!

Cindyt: Very nice 705. I agree re the surprises of pantsing. And outlines never work for me. They always lead to stories that make no sense.

kara: Cool, thanks for sharing. I’ll have a look. Nice job getting 202 :) I’ve been watching the Simone Biles documentary for some inspiration. Safe to say it worked!

Another two chapters revised. Added about 300 words? I think I'm through the toughest bit, so fingers crossed the rest should be easier from now on.
 

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