December 2022 Challenge - Build a Writing Habit!

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. You can also chat a little with the other participants as you report in, offering words or encouragement or tips (but please post only once per day to avoid cluttering up the thread). It's up to each person how they wish to participate!

Here are some tips to start you on your path:

Set achievable goalsThis is the most important part of successfully building a habit. Set your goals so that you can reach them more often than not. Hitting a smaller 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. Don't stack your goals, but start fresh the next day. Forgive yourself and move on.

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 the easiest to stumble. If you keep at it, your progress will be slow and steady, and that's the only type of progress that lasts.

Experiment – 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 in December!
 

Taylor Harbin

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Okay peeps and creeps. December is going to be a touch and go month for me. Lots of personal stuff coming down the pipe but I’m going to try to carve out a little time for writing stuff, even if it’s as small as merely thinking about a story. So, my goals, if possible:

1. Begin draft of superhero tribute short. I’ve decided on 1st person past tense. This will be the best way to infuse the emotion I want the reader to feel.

2. Research some stuff related to my movie monster rescue story.

3. Journal often to process all the feels I’ve been experiencing, especially now that I know I have GAD.

4. Edit/submit Woodcutter’s Wife to new markets.
 

Ink-Soul

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Last month of the year, wow! Well, here we go:

1. Finish the first draft of This Is How Hearts Beat: The novella I've been working on for most of November. There are only 5 chapters left (6 if I decide to include the epilogue), and they shouldn't be long.

2. Revise This Is How Immortals Die: The novel. I need to revise the new chapter I wrote in November and other details that have been changed because of this new chapter.

3. Translate/rewrite the first book of the series: Continuing with Book 1. I couldn't write the three chapters I wanted to in November because of the novella, so this time I won't specify any amount.
 

Magnus

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On the days when it is possible (depending on my plans), my goal is to write right after breakfast (15-minute social media first is allowed, I have a blocker set) and do at least three pomodoros. I need to decide the project I should write on the day before so I can sit down and get right to it, or it's too easy to get distracted.

Here we go!
 

anaemic_mind

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Back after a stressy November that meant writing took a back seat. But I did manage to get a little further on with my re-drafting thanks to a few good sessions.

Even with Xmas prep looming, December will be a much calmer/quieter month, fingers crossed. So, my goals:

1. Complete act 2. [This *should* be possible. There's only 1 full chapter left and 1 or 2 paragraphs left of another]
2. Start redrafting acts 3/4. [A lot of act 3 needs outlining again and act 4 is a massive mess of different drafts that need consolidating so I know it's going to be hard going and I will lose faith many times before they're done. So, I'm not going to set any specific goals for this or do it in any kind of order. Just dip in and out of scenes and chapters to keep chipping away at it all. I will also count reading or just thinking about them on bad days to keep my mood up.]
3. Do more tidying of the series bible/wiki.

Here's to a good month for everyone :fistpump
 

Nether

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I'm kinda thinking my December will involve checking off as many of the feasible older goals as possible instead of starting something new so I can start the year fresh... but I'll probably want to draft something at some point (although I don't have anything I'm super-interested in working on just yet). There's a chance I might try to more casually draft something. No firm plans right now.

With any luck, this'll be the last time you see many of these goals (and I might remove the querying/beta ones since those aren't necessarily controllable at this point, given they're contingent on other people's involvement)

November

1) Draft 50k+ words of LP (Done)

2) Finish drafting LP (Over 71k into it, so shouldn't take long)


October goals



3) QR that project (Will be restarting reading Christmas slasher once I finish drafting LP)

4) Maybe start mark-ups?

5) Finish drafting "SAPS" and/or "D2G." Not sure which will be faster. (Not sure I feel like doing either anymore, but who knows)



September goals



5) I guess beta something? I know I have specific titles as prior goals.


August goals


2) Re-do RRWARB query (nope)

3) Re-do RRWARB synopsis. (Didn't get around to it)


6) Re-do HHH query (Nope)

7) Re-do HHH synopsis (Nope)



July Goals



2) Start working on Formantasy. Will be trying out a new approach. (No real progress -- possibly moving away from this)

3) Start plotting out Money Magic. Was thinking about it today, although the core idea was probably around for a while. (Still nothing. Not sure how much I care about this.)


June Goals


3) Getting a lot further along with planning/outlining Formantasy (tentative title). I might wind up doing an expanding thick outline for this. It'll throw off my daily word counts when I go to write it, though. (No major updates. -- possibly moving away from this)

4) Find some younger reader hangouts to... well, hang out in. And try to connect with some YA micro-influencers / influencers for feedback and guidance. More for learning the space and trends, to make sure I'm querying (and even editing) effectively. (Still need to do)


May Goals



May8) Start an agent list. The goal is more the format than the quantity of agents at this point. (Still zero progress)

And then obviously my goal of finding beta readers for book 7 still needs to be done, after I finish the second pass on the edits. (Finished the pass the OTHER, other month, haven't found the betas.)

April Holdovers


Ideally I'll have something ready to query in May, but who knows. (Still didn't happen. Now starting November and I haven't done this.)

March Holdovers


M6) Probably start looking for beta readers for book 7. I'm less sure about when I'll do this, given it's dependent on #3 & #4 (Haven't started. Need to get on that.)


February holdovers


F2) I need to create some additional back-up sources for my manuscripts. Right now I'm sending copies to a few email addresses, and I have a thumb drive. I need a physical storage held elsewhere, and some additional email addresses. (Still working on it, but again I've made progress.)

January holdovers:


J1) Apply the book 4 edits. (Haven't got around to... again)

J4) The idea list for that YA series. It'd been marked as a maybe for last month, so not getting around to this one last month was less of an issue. I might just use a Saturday or Sunday to comb through ideas and brainstorm concepts (Kinda still not done, although at the same time I’m not sure it’s a priority since it’s not like I’ve ever lacked ideas for it – at least, not so far. In some cases, I’ve randomly come up with stuff as I went along. However, I should still finish that list. Maybe 10-25 ideas whereas… not really sure how many I have now, although some are also sequels)
 

Pterofan

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Here we go again. I kind of faded out toward the end of November, due to paid work getting the better of me and my usual floundering around after I complete something. But last night I wrote something, and it wasn't flash! I did a little more this morning. It's another side project, not series-related. I want to explore it and see if it goes anywhere. It doesn't have a plot yet, but neither did the last one when I started. If it doesn't pan out, I can always go back to the series.

Plan for December: establish schedule of longhand writing in the morning, paid work in the afternoon, writing/typing in the evening unless something good is on TV. Take time off every now and then to get out of the house and buy food. Let's see if anything gets done by the end of the month. Maybe if we had longer months...

Taylor - I can't decide between peep or creep. Can I be a preep? :greenie
 

Magnus

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Writing off day 1 because I am tired due to a medicin I'm taking (it's temporary, no worries). Got some other things done around the house but writing just wasn't possible due to lack of focus. I should probably feel better tomorrow.
 

macchiato

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Oh, I need this! December is going to be crazy with a LOT of travel and visits from family, plus things are crazy busy at the day job, so accountability would be good just to keep me from completely abandoning my poor WIP. So my very nonspecific goal is "just keep picking away at it regularly," but more specifically it would be awesome if I could get those first three chapters of my B plot rewritten!
 

LuciusW

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Right. Goals.

1) Starting the 15th, revise/rewrite my short story. Hopefully alternating that with the novel will stave off the boredom.

2) Keep writing the historical fantasy novel.

3) Words/day goes up. I'll go for a minimum of 300.

That being said. Let's go.

Day 1: I've written chapter 2 and the first third of chapter 3, for a total of 3870 words. Switching viewpoints is quite fun and it keeps me on my toes. More tomorrow.

I felt really well today. It's been a while, and I'm grateful for it. T'was a cause for celebration, so after dinner I engorged mine stomach with popcorn. Haven't had popcorn since I last went to a film theater, back in 2019. Now I'll go read some stuff. Don't know what. Le Guin's 'Steering the Craft' has been on my reading list for a bit, but I don't feel like taking on something which'll probably prove quite technical at this late an hour, so I'll probably take on some light fantasy stories.

All the best to everyone!
 

Woollybear

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Well, I got more feedback on my four openings, goal #1, and I will continue to do this through the month.

Did not touch goal 2 or 3 but I was busy with errands through much of the day. (Those went well I think.)

I did get a review written for a fellow indie-author, and up on Amazon.
 

Ink-Soul

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Day 1:

My first day of December was dedicated to revising This Is How Immortals Die. I used Word's read-aloud function again, and I'm finding it way more useful than I expected! New chapter revised and alterations made. There are a few other points that I want to revise, but those were the most pressing.
 

Nether

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Day 1 was a paltry 715.

Procrastinated through the usual early session then decided to skip it, taking a kinda-day off after November. Of course, the bigger half of it was just not knowing where I wanted to go with the portion, which includes a big "fight" scene... and I'm still not sure about that. Anyway, even the late session was low.

So although this was a massively down word count day, it was by choice rather than just bad circumstance. Tomorrow might be a bit lower, too. Regardless, I should finish the draft within the next few days (if not by the end of the weekend, maybe Monday or Tuesday), and then I'll start on some other goals.

I used Word's read-aloud function again, and I'm finding it way more useful than I expected!

At first, I was like, "Ooooh! I want to try that!"... and then I realized my version doesn't offer it.
 

Lea123

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DAY 1
I mean, I had good intentions? That counts? Right?

DAY 2
Read through 3 scenes and gave myself a pep-talk. It's alright. I've not touched that part of the WIP in probably a couple of months and so it as a bit 'forgotten' which was nice when rereading. Restored a bit of faith in my ability anyway.
 

LuciusW

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Day 2: Getting close to finishing Chapter 3. I just have to land the ending, but I'm a bit sapped. 1585 words. Not too bad.

For tomorrow, I hope to end the chapter and dive into numero quatro.

I also bought a whetstone. Time to sharpen some of my older knives. Who am I kidding? I'll probably ruin them, but it's for a good purpose I promise. My Zwilling will need sharpening someday so I'd best practice on cheap stuff first.

Cheers!