What I Read in January

I don’t read nearly as much as some people, but I do try to read a couple books a month so I thought it would be fun to share what books I read this month. I’m not going to review these books here though because I feel there are plenty of people out there expressing their opinions on books much better than I ever could.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t read as much as I would have liked in January. Hopefully February will be a bit better for completing books.

Now on to the books!

Books I finished reading in January:

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Books I’m currently reading:

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In February I’m planning to continue reading Discworld books, but I’ll probably throw some other books in there too because I really don’t want to burn out on Terry Pratchett because his books are so much fun.

What did you read in January? Do you have any reading plans for next month?

The Dreams: Chapter Twelve

the dreams cover

Cover by A. R. Shellnut
  • Project: The Dreams
  • Chapter: Twelve
  • Word count: 3,265
  • Chapter Index

This was another chapter that caused me all sorts of trouble while editing. Hopefully my editing efforts will make it a bit easier to read.

My supporters over on Patreon continue to be an awesome source of encouragement. Thank you so much!

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American Classics Checklist

How many of these have you read?

From Jess’s Reading Nook. Copy and paste this list onto a post and highlight the books you have read in a different color.  Post in the comments below a link to your post so I can see your list.

26/50

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

My Antonia by Willa Cather

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave by Frederick Douglas

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J.  Gaines

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Call of the Wild by Jack London

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

Anthem by Ayn Rand

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Native Son by Richard Wright

My Writing Week

My goal is to write every day and so far this year I’ve done a good job of sticking to that goal. I thought I’d share my weekly writing routine for posterity. This is what works for me right now. It will be fun to look back and compare it to what works for me months or years from now.

Now, on to the routine!

Monday: Write The Dreams. Post my writing progress to my blog.

Tuesday: Edit the next chapter of The Dreams. Write if I finish editing.

Wednesday: Continue editing the next chapter. Write if I finish editing.

Thursday: Continue editing the next chapter. Write after I finish editing.

Friday: Write The Dreams.

Saturday: Write The Dreams. Post the new chapter to my blog.

Sunday: Write The Dreams.

This schedule works for now, but I plan on having the first draft of The Dreams finished by the end of April so things will start to get switched up then. By May the plan is to start the first draft of a new novel while continuing to revising The Dreams chapter by chapter to post here. Things won’t really start to get chaotic until The Dreams is fully posted, I start sharing my next novel and I tackle draft 3 of The Dreams.

I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but there’s plenty of time for me to figure it out.

Do you have a weekly writing schedule? Do you find assigning certain tasks to certain days to help or hurt your writing process? I’d love to hear about your routine as well as your thoughts on mine.

Writing Progress January 18 – 24, 2016

DailyWritingProgress

January 18

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 90,821
  • Today’s word count: 661
  • Thoughts: I got to write a really fun scene today. That made struggle to get started worth it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Focus on editing Chapter Eleven and try not to stress about adding to my word count too much.

January 19

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 90,845
  • Today’s word count: 24
  • Thoughts: Super low word count, but that is okay because today was an editing day.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I’d like to finish editing tomorrow, but I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself. Right now I’m not a big fan of Chapter Eleven so I’m trying to take my time with it.

January 20

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 90,894
  • Today’s word count: 49
  • Thoughts: More editing today! This chapter is not being very cooperative.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Get the editing done! I really want to get it over with so I can get back to writing or at least get back to thinking about writing without feeling like I’m abandoning my editing responsibilities.

January 21

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 90,940
  • Today’s word count: 46
  • Thoughts: I finally finished editing! I posted a chapter teaser for my Patrons and gave them a little artwork bonus as well. I’m pretty excited to have some goodies to share with them.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Tomorrow I’m going to write and get snowed in. It’ll be great!

January 22

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 91,137
  • Today’s word count: 197
  • Thoughts: I thought the snow would be the perfect way to keep myself from being distracted. I was so wrong! I spent a good portion of the day making sure I wouldn’t need to go outside for the next few days for any reason. Then it got dark and the snow started and I was too excited to sit still for long. I’m as bad as a little kid.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: 1. Get snowed in. 2. Actually write a lot because there isn’t much else to do.

January 23

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 91,373
  • Today’s word count: 236
  • Thoughts: The snow is more of a distraction than anything. Everyone wants to talk about the snow and check in and make sure we’re okay. The heat is in overdrive too. 78 degrees is a bit warmer than I’d like.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Write and try to avoid getting cabin fever. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about shoveling out!

January 24

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 91,802
  • Today’s word count: 429
  • Thoughts: Not bad, but I was still hoping to do better. I’m making progress with a scene that is giving me trouble so it could be worse.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Keep writing. Try to hold off cabin fever for another day.

I haven’t been outside since Friday afternoon. We’re still pretty much snowed in, but the main road is clear at least. I’m sure I’m not the only one still not going anywhere for at least a few more days thanks to this storm. It’s funny how staying home because of the snow is so much harder than staying home because I don’t want to go out.

The Dreams: Chapter Eleven

the dreams cover

Cover by A. R. Shellnut
  • Project: The Dreams
  • Chapter: Eleven
  • Word count: 2,128
  • Chapter Index

This chapter gave me all sorts of trouble. Hopefully it was all worth it. Be sure to let me know what you think!

As always my supporters have kept me going this week. I don’t think I’d have it in me to keep going at this pace if it weren’t for these guys. If you’d like to join these awesome people visit my Patreon page and pledge a dollar or more!

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Writing Progress January 11 – 17, 2016

DailyWritingProgress

January 11

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 88,009
  • Today’s word count: 1,035
  • Thoughts: I’m pretty proud of my writing today. I didn’t get as far as I expected, but there is a lot of really interesting details I had not thought of before added to the story now.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Editing and hopefully some more writing. I don’t want to lose this high word count streak I’m on.

January 12

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 88,234
  • Today’s word count: 225
  • Thoughts: Not the best word count, but I did edit all of Chapter Ten in one day. I’m pretty proud of myself for that feat. Now I’m just waiting impatiently to post the chapter.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Get back to writing and get another high word count day under my belt.

January 13

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 88,326
  • Today’s word count: 92
  • Thoughts: Awful, awful word count today. My stress levels went through the roof and then my anxiety took control.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Get back on track and make up for lost time.

January 14

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 89,018
  • Today’s word count: 692
  • Thoughts: I had a slow start, but once I got started today was better for writing than yesterday.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Keep going and have another good writing day. Finish up the scene I’ve been working on and start the next one.

January 15

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 89,578
  • Today’s word count: 560
  • Thoughts: I would have like to write a bit more today, but I really cannot complain about writing more than 500 words in a day.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I would like to have a writing marathon. I don’t know if it will really happen, but right now it seems like a possibility.

January 16

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 89,827
  • Today’s word count: 249
  • Thoughts: Not my best writing day. I wish I would have had better focus, but even when I had time and sat down at my computer I was still barely making any progress.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Try to have better focus. I’m starting a new scene so hopefully that will make a difference.

January 17

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 90,160
  • Today’s word count: 333
  • Thoughts: I wish I would have written more. I felt restless most of the day and didn’t sit still for very long at a time. I blame the snow. Hitting 90,000 words was certainly cause for celebration though. Only a couple thousand words until 100,000!
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Write and drink plenty of hot tea and coffee. It’s supposed to be very, very cold so I’m staying put and keeping warm.

Overall I’m very happy with my progress with The Dreams this week. As always, I wish I had written more most days, but I did my best. How has your writing been going lately?

My biggest regret is how much I’ve been worrying lately. I worry that I haven’t been giving enough of my attention to my writing or to my blog. I wish there was a way I could know I am doing enough so I could stop wasting time worrying and spend more time doing. Once the weather is less cold and grey I’m sure I’ll feel more optimistic.