January 2018 Overview

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with blog posts this year, and the best thing I’ve come up with is to put up a post on the last day of each month. That post will detail what I’ve accomplished in that time period.

So what have I done in January?

Fortunately, I’ve made some progress on the goals outlined in my previous post.

Complete 52 drawings. I’ve completed nine pieces this month, of which 4 were concept art, 6 were comic thumbnails, and 1 was an comic pages. One of those pieces of concept art is a 3D model I did in Google Sketchup. I’m counting it as a “drawing” as I actually had to design & sculpt the thing.

Read 52 pieces of fiction. I’ve decided to expand this to include nonfiction, such as essays and research materials. That said, I’ve read three pieces this month and am continuing to read a book I started in December.

Find an apartment and move out. I have compiled a list of places that fit my criteria. I haven’t actually visited any of the places yet, but I did drive by a few to see if I liked the area.

Continue learning Swedish. I’m currently working on memorizing vocab through Memrise. Vocab is my main problem. Grammar hasn’t been a problem as Swedish is quite similar to English, but I still need a dictionary every time I want to write or read something. I have not started the Swedish journal. I should start the Swedish journal.

Continue learning basic Japanese. I have a much better grasp on hiragana than I did a month ago. I can read words in hiragana (and a few kanji!) without much difficulty now.

I’ve also started work on a short comic. If you’re following me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen my tweets about it. I’ve finished the script, concept art, thumbnails, and am currently working on drawing pages (1/6 completed!).

I’m still working on The Book of Immortality, though it’s basically been on hold since I started working on the short comic. I have plotted out the next few chapters, so it won’t be too difficult for me to pick up writing again.

One more thing I have to do now is look for a new laptop. My current one had a random boot failure on the 27th (I lost nothing, thankfully). It hasn’t experienced any problems since then, but I don’t trust it anymore.

What do I hope to achieve in February?

I want to finish drawing the short comic and post it online – I’ll most likely post it on Tumblr and link it here, or just upload the pages here as well. I haven’t made my decision yet.

Start writing a short story I’ve been plotting out. It’s a fairly simple story that likely won’t be too long or take too long to write. I’d also like to continue the trend (if I can even call it a trend, since I’ve only done it for one month) of writing one piece of short fiction each month and posting it online.

Continue writing The Book of Immortality. I’ve fallen behind quite a bit on my writing goals due to the short comic. Unless my laptop fails spectacularly and I can’t get access to another one in a few days, I don’t see this being much of a problem.

And that’s all I’ve got for January! My next post, if it isn’t the update about the short comic, will be on February 28th. See you then!

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A Year in Review & Looking Forward into 2018

What happened this year?

I stopped being able to follow the news on a day-to-day basis (maybe an hourly basis?). I got a job in April. I worked on The Gate at the End of the World, and I decided to set it aside. I bought a car! I won NaNoWriMo 30 minutes before November ended! I got a new job, which starts on January 2nd, and quit my old job the week before Christmas. I went to see The Last Jedi (twice!), and I really, really liked it.

That’s really all the significant things I did this year. When it put it in a paragraph like that, it doesn’t seem like very much, but since I’ve gone through several milestones in my life this year, I’m going to say that it is, indeed, a lot.

Without any further delay, let’s go into my goals for 2018.

2018 Goals

  • Complete 1 drawing per week for a total of 52. I want to work on things I don’t usually draw – like landscapes and buildings.
  • Read 1 piece of fiction per week for a total of 52. Again, the majority of this will be short fiction, not novels.
  • Post 1 blog post per month. I had serious problems with blogging in 2017. I’d like for it to not happen again.
  • Find an apartment and move out. This should be feasible after a couple of months.
  • Continue working on learning Swedish. I have a good understanding of basic grammar, but I don’t know that many words and have to keep referring to a dictionary a lot of the time. Also, I find it harder to write than read, so I’m hoping to keep a daily Swedish journal.
  • Continue learning basic Japanese. I started learning hiragana in early December and I’d like to continue. I don’t actually plan on becoming proficient (at least not to the level I am with Swedish) but I’d still like to learn a language completely different from one I already know.

Like in previous years, I’ll probably end up adding more goals to my list.

One thing to do before the year ends

Back up your work! Make multiple backups! Flash drives, external hard drives, cloud backups – do it all. Make sure that you’ll never lose your work if one method fails you.

NaNo2017 Week 5

25 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 41,666

Words Written: 36,568

Wrote 548 words. I fully intended to write about 3k today, but that plan got derailed since I went to go look at cars (something I’ve been doing for over a month now) and actually bought one (which is really great! Now I don’t have to look anymore!). That whole experience was way more exhausting than I thought it would be.

As I have the next day completely free of any obligations, I have no excuse not to get to 40k.

26 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 43,333

Words Written: 39,080

Wrote 2,512 words. Finished chapter 13. I’m not at 40k like I wanted to be, but with the hand cramps I’m starting to develop, it seems safer to stop here.

27 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 45,000

Words Written: 42,017

Wrote 2,937 words. Finished chapter 14. I got kind of stuck, and introduced a conflict that allowed me to write a few scenes that I thought I wouldn’t be able to put in anywhere! Also, I wrote the first actual action sequence of the story.

28 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 46,666

Words Written: 42,271

Wrote 254 words. Finished chapter 15.

29 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 48,333

Words Written: 45,500.

Wrote 3,229 words. Finished chapter 16.

30 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 50,000

Words Written: 50,004 (50,131)

Wrote 4,504 (4,631) words. Finished chapter 17. I am exhausted, but I WON, with about thirty minutes until midnight!

Overview

What an utterly exhausting month!

I was behind for weeks. You can see below how much I wrote each day and what the actual goal was.

2017_11_nanowrimo
This year’s (2017) writing stats.

As bad as that was, it was not nearly as bad as in 2015, when I was in my senior year of engineering school. I somehow managed to write 18,000 words in three days and win on the 29th.

So what am I going to do now?

I plan to continue working on The Book of Immortality. At the moment, I am barely one third of the way through the story. I intentionally planned it to be a long journey story, but just how long it’s turning out to be is surprising me.

I’m going to take it easy for a couple of weeks and do more plotting than writing until the end of the year. I’m also going to go through the script and make notes on what needs work – I already know there are pacing and characterization issues in places. That will make editing (which will happen sometime in the next two years) much easier.

What about The Gate at the End of the World?

Honestly, I have no idea. I’m feeling a bit iffy about continuing it. Over the months of writing and drawing it, I had a hard time actually liking the story or the characters. I’m going to continue drawing and posting pages until the end of the year, then make a decision on where to go with it.

I previously said it was going to return on the 5th. I’m changing this to the 9th (Saturday) to give myself a little more recovery time.

Now let’s end this blog post:

I don’t expect to post much in December. I’ll do my customary end of the year post, but I don’t have anything planned other than that.

For those of you who were doing NaNoWriMo, how did you do? Did you win? Did you learn something about yourself, or your writing?

NaNo2017 Week 4

18 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 30,000

Words Written: 25,208

Wrote 2,052 words. I planned on getting to 27,500 today, but ended up stopping early because of excessive sleepiness and my wrist starting to hurt.

19 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 31,666

Words Written: 27,212

Wrote 2,004 words. Finished chapter 9.

20 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 33,333

Words Written: 29,011

Wrote 1,799 words. Finished chapter 10 and came up with a new plot thread. I did not have a good day, mentally, and that definitely affected my writing. I’ve also created a few more background characters that need names.

However, I already feel pretty good about chapter 11, since it’s mostly going to be a breather, basically, and focus more on character development instead of being plot-heavy and tense like the past few chapters.

21 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 35,000

Words Written: 29,191

Wrote 180 words. Ended up being a lot busier than expected.

22 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 36,666

Words Written: 31,218

Wrote 2,027 words. Finished chapter 11. I didn’t expect to write this much at all, but had a sudden burst of inspiration late at night.

23 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 38,333

Words Written: 33,221

Wrote 2,003 words. Named all the characters I created on the 20th and finished chapter 12.

24 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 40,000

Words Written: 36,020

Wrote 2,799 words. I am in currently writing chapter 13, which is 3,901 words and not stopping. It’s my second-longest chapter so far, after chapter 1 (4,926 words).

Overview

I am still behind, but I’m less behind than I was a few days ago. I plan on using the rest of the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) to get as caught up as possible. I don’t actually think I’ll reach Sunday’s goal (43,333) but I do want to write at least 5-6k over the next two days.

How was everyone else’s writing week?

NaNo2017 Week 3

11 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 18,333

Words Written: 18,001

Wrote 2,267 words. Finished chapter 6 and started chapter 7.

12 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 20,000

Words Written: 18,311

Wrote 310 words. Ended up being a lot busier than expected today.

13 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 21,667

Words Written: 19,334

Wrote 1,023 words. Finished chapter 7 and added a few scenes to a previous chapter. I planned on writing more, but had an absolutely terrible headache for most of the day and decided that sleep and recovery was more important.

14 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 23,333

Words Written: 20,008

Wrote 674 words. I hit 20k finally! I’m about to get to an exciting action-y sequence in my script, so hopefully that’ll give me a lot of words.

15 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 25,000

Words Written: 20,153

Wrote 145 words.

16 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 26,667

Words Written: 21,821

Wrote 1,668 words. Today was a fairly good writing day! I’m still three days behind, but I’m feeling much better about things.

Some related Tweets:

17 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 28,333

Words Written: 23,156

Wrote 1,335 words and finished chapter 8. I fully intended to write at least 2k, but was way too tired and had to go to bed because I couldn’t concentrate on anything.

Overview

This wasn’t a particularly good week. I only wrote 7,422 words when I should have written 13,333, so I’m more than 5k behind at the moment. I plan on using the weekend to get back on track. Hopefully, that’s what will happen. If it doesn’t, the NaNoWriMo website’s “Words to write per day to finish on time” feature is telling me I only have to write 2k per day, which isn’t that bad.

How is everyone else doing?

NaNo2017 Week 2

04 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 6,667

Words Written: 10,003

Wrote 4,881 words and finished chapter 3. It’s not quite 5k, but it’s close enough. Made a $10 donation and now I’ve got a spiffy halo on my avatar.

05 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 8,333

Words Written: 10,504

Wrote 501 words. Taking a bit of a break today to get some outlining and plotting done, since I wrote so much yesterday. I also decided on what direction chapter 4’s going to go in. There are some new characters and plot points to introduce, and this is a good enough point as any other.

06 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 10,000

Words Written: 10,790

Wrote 286 words. Totally wanted to get to 11,667, but things came up.

07 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 11,667

Words Written: 11,672

Wrote 882 words. Very close to being done with chapter 4, but I feel like I’m hitting the week two blues a bit early.

08 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 13,333

Words Written: 12,701

Wrote 1,029 words. I did finish chapter 4, and now that I’m back to my main characters, I’m feeling a bit better about things.

09 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 15,000

Words Written: 14,045

Wrote 1,344 words. I’m getting caught up, slowly.

10 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 16,667

Words Written: 15,734

Wrote 1,689. Finished chapter 5.

Overview

I’m a little under 1k behind, which isn’t too bad. A couple of 2k days will get me caught up. Plotwise, I’m right on track. It actually feels like I’m behind since I only have 5 chapters and 15.k words, and I usually have 2k words to a chapter. But I’ve never written a script for NaNo, either – just prose novels – so that may be part of the weirdness.

NaNo 2017 Week 1

01 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 1,667

Word Count: 1,703

I’m off to a pretty great start! However, I already have a bunch of characters that I’ll probably need to name later.

02 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 3,333

Word Count: 3,407

Wrote 1,704 words. I’m finally getting into the interesting bits of chapter 1.

03 November

NaNoWriMo Target: 5,000

Word Count: 5,122

Wrote 1,715 words. I’m finally finished with chapter 1! And I finally created names for the major characters I’d been using placeholders for previously.

Overview

I fully intended to have a detailed outline before I started writing. That didn’t happen. However, it hasn’t been a setback at all! I have enough random notes written down and enough plotted out in my head that writing has been going very well.

How is everyone else’s writing going?