A Month in a Writer’s Life – September 2017

A Month in a Writer's Life

Yet another month goes by in my writer’s life. This time it was full of excitement: some planned and long-awaited, some unexpected. I also managed to be quite productive, as if with the summer gone, my body woke up from the “heat slumber”.

Meeting Fellow Writers

The highlight of the month was just at its beginning. Last year, Ian, my fellow Admin from the 10 Minute Novelists group who is UK-based, revealed his plans to visit Arizona and asked whether I’d want to meet with him, and another Admin, Stella, who lives in the Phoenix area. I couldn’t say no to such opportunity, and even though back then “September 2017” sounded very distant, we started making tentative plans.

They all came to fruition on Saturday, September 2. Inq and I got up early, as we live 3 hours drive from Stella’s house who was kind enough to volunteer her place for the meeting. I got some serious driving practice that day, driving us all the way down to Phoenix. We switched before we’ve hit the city, and I became the navigator instead.

Writer's Life: Writers' Meeting
As you can see, we’ve had so much fun, we couldn’t even stand properly for the picture.

The day was unimaginably great. I got to meet both Stella and Ian (and their partners) for the first time, but it felt like we’ve known one another for ages. We spent the day talking, eating homemade food, and enjoying Stella’s pool. We were having such a good time, so no one had time to take any pictures, and if we didn’t line up for some photos at the end of the day, we wouldn’t have anything to remind us of this great day.

This was the second time this year when I missed a day in my writing routine (we left home at 7am, and returned at 3am), but it was definitely worth it!

Writing

I see a pattern slowly forming when it comes to my writing. This was yet another month I started strong, with high daily word counts, and slowly sloped down to less impressive outcomes. I don’t mind such imbalance, as I still write almost every day. As I mentioned above, I’d missed one day in the beginning of the month, and then another one at the end of it, bringing my yearly total to… 3 days without any words written. I can’t complain about it, can I?

Reaching monthly goal badge

Not only I managed to hit my monthly goal, but I’ve also done some editing and beta reading. I reached another milestone with both, bringing my total of editing hours for the year to 100 and critique hours to 20.

Editing badge 100 hours

I also joined the 10 Minute Novelists blog team. My first post, Foreign Phrases in Your Novel, already went live, and there will be a new one monthly.

Also, as writing successes go, I had one of my stories accepted in an anthology. Its release is scheduled for the end of January next year, and I’ll be happy to share more news then.

Critique partner badge 20 hours

Other Creativity

This month I managed to create two new designs. One of them was a result of playing around with Photoshop and one of my previous designs, Purple Patchhills. I learned new things and I ended up with an interesting pattern, and all in all, it didn’t take much time.

Purple Patches Graphic Pattern Design

The “Ideas Cauldron” took a lot more effort to complete. I finished the sketch fairly quick, but the Photoshop coloring required much more effort. I got to learn new things, and I was very happy how it turned out. As usual, I added these designs to the online stores: Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle.

Writer’s Life

Entertainment-wise, Inq and I watched some series, and one in particular caught our attention. A Korean series, “Oh My Ghost!” turned out a lot of fun that one could have expected from the drama. Maybe it’s because of the supernatural element. A ghost of a dead girl who possesses other girls in order to resolve her grudge which she believes is having died a virgin. When Soon-ae’s path crosses with Bong Sun, a kitchen apprentice, things get complicated. They both chase after Bong Sun’s boss, the handsome chef, Kang Sun Woo. Of course, this is only the beginning of the trouble. Soon-ae discovers the truth about her own death, and gets her unwilling host in all sorts of trouble.

I loved almost everything about that series. It’s only one season, and it tells a complete, complex story. The characters are likable, even if a bit quirky sometimes, and their past plays an important role in the story. Several plot lines are weaved together in a masterful way, and the pacing is really good: even though the episodes are 1 hour each, they don’t feel too long. Problems are presented, used, and resolved without dragging them out in a manner than some of the Western series do. The plot twists and the steady reveal of important information change this romance-oriented drama into a more complex and engaging show. All in all, it’s not only interesting to watch, but also a great case study for writers.

Gaming

September was also the release month of Divinity: Original Sin 2. I supported it on Kickstarter two years ago, after having a lot of fun with the previous game. As Inq was away for a week, I had some time alone for gaming. The second installment in the series is even better than the first one, and you can expect my impressions of it in one of the future Gaming Writer’s Saturdays.

Sadly, all the other entertainment meant less reading, and I didn’t finish a single book in September. I’m also behind reading blogs, although I have serious plans to catch up on both, books and posts.

How about you? How did your September go?

3 thoughts on “A Month in a Writer’s Life – September 2017”

  1. You had such a successful September, Joanna. I really enjoyed your article on including foreign phrases in your writing. Your 6 hour round trip sounds fabulous – but wow… such a journey! Though clearly worth it, judging by the photo. I also love your new design:)). And I’m so impressed that you are still keeping up your dailing writing regime AND editing. Huge congratulations on your story being published and I hope that October continues to be a creatively fruitful month for you:))

  2. I loved reading about your get-together with your 10 Minute Novelist friends! It’s so much fun to meet online friends (especially writer friends) in real life. That’s the feeling I get whenever I’ve met other DIY MFA writers. One of the newest columnists actually lives two towns away from me (!!), so we’re hoping to meet in person in the next couple weeks.

    And that’s great that your September was so productive and full of good news on the creativity front. Especially the anthology news! (That’s not the same Polish anthology you talked about in a different post, right? Sorry if I’ve mixed things up – it’s been a long week.) Hope your October turns out to be just as good. 🙂

    1. There’s something magical in meeting online friends, right?
      And yes, it’s a different anthology. The one I posted about recently is in Polish, and it’s been long coming (I wrote the stories for it last year). It was also “by invitation”, so I knew I was in.
      This one is in English and is to be released in January 2018 (most likely by the end of it), and I’m all excited about its release.

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