Writing Progress August 22 – 28, 2016


August 22

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 157,105
  • Today’s word count: 718
  • Thoughts: It took me all day to get into my writing groove. It was worth it when I did, but I hate fussing over my writing all day without making any real progress.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. Hopefully I’ll find a way to write during the day.

August 23

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 158,053
  • Today’s word count: 948
  • Thoughts: I had a really good writing day. Even so, I didn’t write as much as I would’ve liked. Somehow writing a lot earlier in the day sapped all of my energy before I reached my, usually extremely productive, late night writing session. I had no more words left in me so I went to bed instead.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Some revising. Lots of writing.

August 24

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 158,716
  • Today’s word count: 663
  • Thoughts: Not a bad final word count for the day, but I’m a bit disappointed in how much time I wasted today. I could not focus on writing for some reason. I did a decent job making up for it before bed, but I’d rather find more than one good writing session per day.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Revision time. There’s so much revising to do. I hope I can get it all done. I’m regretting putting it all off until Thursday again. Someday I’ll learn.

August 25

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 158,760
  • Today’s word count: 44
  • Thoughts: My word count is really low, but today was an amazingly productive day. I revised two chapters for a total of over 9,000 words. On top of that I wrote a little bit before bed. I proud of how much I accomplished in one day, but it isn’t something I’d like to repeat any time soon.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Writing. A little more writing. Formatting chapters for Saturday.

August 26

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 159,290
  • Today’s word count: 530
  • Thoughts: I can’t complain. I wrote over 500 words. I just wish I managed to do it before it was already past my usual bed time. Sometimes things just happen that way though, so I’ll just be glad I was able to write the words.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Posting extravaganza. Two chapters! More writing, too, of course.

August 27

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 159,387
  • Today’s word count: 97
  • Thoughts: I didn’t get nearly enough writing done. I did manage to post two new chapters though!
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Back to writing lots and lots of words, I hope.

August 28

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 159,604
  • Today’s word count: 217
  • Thoughts: I really wanted to write more, but my bad sleeping habits over the last few days caught up with me and I fell asleep hours before I expected. My best writing time is usually late at night so I completely missed it this time.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing after getting enough sleep so I can stay up and utilize my best writing time.

This week marked the one year anniversary of the first chapter of The Dreams being posted to this blog. To celebrate I posted Chapter Thirty Eight and Chapter Thirty Nine over the weekend.


The Dreams: Chapter Thirty Nine

the dreams cover

Cover by A. R. Shellnut

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the first chapter of The Dreams getting posted online I decided to post an extra chapter today! I hope you enjoy, even though the story has been getting more serious lately.

With this chapter like every other chapter I owe a huge thank you to my fantastic supporters. If you want to support my writing please consider becoming my Patron. Just $1 per month can make a huge difference.

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The Dreams: Chapter Thirty Eight

the dreams cover

Cover by A. R. Shellnut

I’m so excited to be posting a new chapter today! One year ago I posted the first chapter of The Dreams to this blog. So much has happened since then. I want to thank those of you who were part of the first year of my writing journey. You’ve helped me grow so much. Let’s keep working together into the next year and beyond!

As always this chapter is brought to you by my amazing supporters. You guys rock! If you want to support my writing please consider become my Patron. As little as $1 per month can make a huge difference.

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On the Two Types of Inspiration — By Elan Samuel

This is a great post explaining types of inspiration and how to use inspiration as a writer. Inspiration combined with discipline can accomplish amazing things.

John Robin's Blog

Today, Elan Samuel returns to EFW to discuss inspiration. After convincing himself that he was donewaiting for inspiration to strike, he decided that he could seek it for himself. Read more below. For more by Elan, click here.

Image from Threadless.com

Over and again I hear (or read) established authors being asked about where they find their inspiration or how they “do it,” where it is simply “write books.” It’s a question I can certainly relate to, after a fashion. Truth be told, I’ve asked it many times. The reality of the creative process is not so glamorous, and folks like me (the less experienced and those of us on the beginning of our authorial journey) want to know the secret sauce. How is it that people like Brandon Sanderson and Stephen King can write so much? How did author x or y even come up with their incredible ideas? How can…

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Writing Progress August 15 – 21, 2016


August 15

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,953
  • Today’s word count: 532
  • Thoughts: I feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things, and that’s great. Every time I take a break from writing I struggle to get back to it. This time it seems a bit less difficult than other times.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. Maybe revisions? I haven’t decided yet.

August 16

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,708
  • Today’s word count: 755
  • Thoughts: I’m fighting my way through a scene that wants to make me suffer while I write it. Usually I’m all for writing things that make my characters miserable because it makes them interesting, but this situation just breaks my heart. This is the only natural course the story can take at this point so there is no sense in fighting it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Start revising. Write more.

August 17

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,107
  • Today’s word count: 399
  • Thoughts: Not as high of a word count as I would have liked to see, but I did write and I made progress on a difficult scene.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Revisions. Hopefully writing some more after.

August 18

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,003
  • Today’s word count: 896
  • Thoughts: Revisions took almost all day so I didn’t expect to end the day with a very high word count, but I had a huge burst of productivity before bed (and stayed up late because I couldn’t stop).
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Keep writing! I think I finally made a breakthrough with this scene and I don’t want to lose that momentum.

August 19

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,701
  • Today’s word count: 698
  • Thoughts: I finally finished the scene that has been tormenting me, but I was too drained to start the next one.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Post this week’s chapter! Write some more.

August 20

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,735
  • Today’s word count: 34
  • Thoughts: Not a productive writing day at all. I spent most of the day on errands and chores. By the time I allowed myself to sit down and write I was too tired to do much more than sit down and watch some videos.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Get up early. Write lots.

August 21

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 156,387
  • Today’s word count: 652
  • Thoughts: I did get up early, but writing a lot was a real struggle. I finally did make some progress later in the day. My characters were being stubborn and antisocial, which made it hard to get the plot moving.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Even more writing, I hope. Now that the characters are out of their slump I should have a bit more luck.

The Dreams: Chapter Thirty Seven

the dreams cover

Cover by A. R. Shellnut

I don’t know what to say about this chapter. I don’t love it or hate it. I’m just looking forward to the next few chapter much, much more.

With this chapter like every other chapter I owe a huge thank you to my fantastic supporters. If you want to support my writing please consider becoming my Patron. As little as $1 per month can make a huge difference.

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Why Do Creative People Burn Out?

This is so true. I tend to feel burned out right around the times my life circumstances change. I want to pretend I don’t need to redefine my expectations, but I need to accept sometimes I have to do less or I’ll end up doing nothing at all.

A Writer's Path


by Meg Dowell

Creativity is, in many ways, like magic. We start crafting something out of nothing and, suddenly, the whole world looks and feels different. We can do anything. We can BE anything.

This line of thinking has its downsides. It implies that, because we are creative, because we have moments when we feel invincible and unstoppable, we don’t need to slow down. We don’t need to rest. And this just isn’t the case. I’ve learned that the hard way. Perhaps you have, too, and that’s why you’re here.

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Writing Progress August 8 – 14, 2016


August 8

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 151,436
  • Today’s word count: 1,024
  • Thoughts: I’m really happy with the progress I’ve been making recently and I hope I can keep it up. At this rate I’m sure I’ll be able to finish writing this novel very soon.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. I would like to work toward making this pace of writing a habit.

August 9

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 151,872
  • Today’s word count: 436
  • Thoughts: My word count did not quite soar like I hoped it would, but I’m not complaining about the words I did write. I reached that awkward point where I had to spend a lot of time considering how everyone involved in the scene would act and react and that slowed me down quite a lot.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Back to 1,000 words a day, I hope. Maybe start revising?

August 10

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,474
  • Today’s word count: 602
  • Thoughts: I’m getting back on track word count-wise. I’d like to write 1,000 words a day right now, but I’m thrilled if I can get over 500 words every day. It would be a lot easier if the weather would calm down and cool off just a bit. Writing in high heat and humidity is awful.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Revisions. Writing. All the things!

August 11

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,308
  • Today’s word count: -166
  • Thoughts: I spent all day revising! This week’s chapter is a long one, even after I trimmed it back a bit.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Back to writing things.

August 12

  • Project: Commission
  • Total word count: 344
  • Today’s word count: 344
  • Thoughts: I started working on a commission project today and then got totally lost my will to continue being productive due to the heat.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Go to Hershey Park. Have a great time.

August 13

No writing progress made

August 14

  • Project: The Dream
  • Total word count: 152,421
  • Today’s word count: 113
  • Thoughts: I didn’t feel well enough to write until almost bed time. Days like this are the worst. It hurt even more because I was away all day yesterday and didn’t write at all.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I hope to get back into the swing of writing.

I had a 61 day writing streak. I knew it was going to get broken on Saturday because I had an all day trip planned for quite a while, but it still hurts to see a 0 again on my progress chart. This was my longest writing streak in recent memory. The last time I wrote that many days in a row was many, many years ago. It’s wonderful that I’m able to make writing such a priority again.

What’s your longest writing streak? Does it bother you when you miss a day of writing, even if you know it will happen ahead of time?

The Dreams: Chapter Thirty Six

the dreams cover

Cover by A. R. Shellnut

This chapter was revised during one highly motivated revision session so hopefully everything is as it should be. This chapter is being formatted and updated a day later than it should be. I was out of town all day yesterday and time management failed me so I didn’t have the chapter set to go as a scheduled post. Let me know about any formatting issues in particular as I’m struggling with it this week.

With this chapter like every other chapter I owe a huge thank you to my fantastic supporters. If you want to support my writing please consider becoming my Patron. As little as $1 per month can make a huge difference.

Read More »

Habitica: Or How I Keep Myself Accountable


I really love Habitica. It’s part to-do list (with emphasis on forming good habits) and part RPG. If you’re looking for a cute, fun way to keep track of everything you need to do on a regular basis you should check it out.

I’ve been using the site since 2014. There are some RPG features that require you to pay, but you can also get the gem currency by winning guild challenges. Even as a free user there are still plenty of fun RPG collecting activities and quests available.

One of my favorite parts is collecting all the costume pieces as well as finding eggs to hatch into pets and mounts. I love being able to decorate my avatar, and getting some neat buffs from the armor pieces is nice too.

Another way I use the site it to “charge” myself for things I like that aren’t necessarily good for me. By completing tasks I earn gold and I set up custom fees for things like soda. If I haven’t completed enough tasks to build up my gold stores I’m not allowed to have a soda that day. I love using the site to determine if I’ve done enough good work lately to earn a treat rather than trying to judge how good I’ve been based on my flawed and biased memory.

This site has done more to help me track my productivity than anything ever before. Do you use any sites or programs to help keep you accountable? Have you ever used Habitica?