What I Read in July

July is always a month of chaos for me. It’s hot. I want to spend time outside doing summer activities and there’s Camp NaNoWriMo to worry about. Sometimes reading books falls by the wayside. I feel like that happened a little bit this month.

I read some books, but I feel like I lost the momentum I built up while reading in June. I wonder how long it will take to get my reading mojo back.

Books I finished reading in July:

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Books I’m currently reading:

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What books did you read in July?

Does summer weather motivate you read more or less than other times of the year?

Writing Progress July 20–26, 2020

daily writing progress

July 20

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 182,644
  • Today’s word count: 350
  • Thoughts: Getting the words out today was a struggle. My focus hasn’t been great the past few days, but I managed a decent number of words today. It took more effort than usual, but it’s done. I’m almost on track for Camp NaNoWriMo so I just need to keep this up until the end of the month and I should have my first ever Camp win.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same. I’m hoping it won’t be as much of a struggle as it was today, but even if I struggle I want to get the writing done. I’m getting so close to a win. I have to keep pushing.

July 21

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 182,988
  • Today’s word count: 344
  • Thoughts: Oh boy. Today was full of distractions. I felt like I was doing everything but writing. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a choice. I just felt compelled to do a lot of things other than writing. I got around to it eventually and finally writing felt great.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Hopefully writing can be more of the focus of my day. If it isn’t, I hope I can at least get a decent amount of words in while doing the other things.

July 22

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 183,099
  • Today’s word count: 111
  • Thoughts: Today wasn’t the best day for writing. I don’t know exactly what went wrong. I think I was just enjoying the cooler weather too much. The day started out oppressively hot, but we had a huge thunderstorm that really cooled things off. That storm gave me so much energy. I couldn’t sit still after that.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Back to writing, I hope. I need to get back on track. I’m itching to get this draft finished. It’s getting close!

July 23

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 183,304
  • Today’s word count: 205
  • Thoughts: Things were a little better today than yesterday but my focus still wasn’t entirely there. I tried to do too many things. Even when I set aside time for writing my mind was too full of everything else I’d done to easily settle into writing. I should probably write first and do stuff later, but I’m terrible at writing early in the days.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: It’s going to be chaos. I have errands to run in the morning. Who know how long I’ll need to spend decompressing from that. I just hope I manage to write something.

July 24

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 183,330
  • Today’s word count: 26
  • Thoughts: Wow. This was the most Friday-like Friday I’ve experienced in a while. I was tired. I was busy. I tried to write and it when nowhere. Not a fan of this sort of day.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I hope I can manage to write more than I did today. It shouldn’t be hard. I just need to avoid unnecessary distractions. I don’t even need all day. I just need some time to sit down on my own and concentrate.

July 25

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 183,496
  • Today’s word count: 166
  • Thoughts: Although today was undeniably better for writing than yesterday, I’m still not happy with my progress. I allowed myself to be distracted too much and for too long. It’s not a bad thing to do things other than writing, but it’s not great when I have a goal and a deadline looming.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I’m going to be a bit busy again, but I’m still hopeful that I’ll find the time and energy to write in the evening. That’s my most productive time for writing anyway so I think I can make time for everything.

July 26

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 183,723
  • Today’s word count: 227
  • Thoughts: I was out of the house a lot again today. I had fun and somehow I still had some energy left for writing when I came back. Maybe I would have written more if I spent more time trying to write. There’s no way to know. Some days I have all day to write and I don’t manage to do any better.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: It’s going to be a ridiculously hot day. I’ll be hiding away in one of the cool rooms which will hopefully create the perfect environment for me to write a lot of words.

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July Camp NaNoWriMo Week 3 Recap

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The first half of the month was smooth sailing. Week 3 was a disaster in comparison.

Things weren’t all that bad, honestly. Comparing it to weeks 1 and 2 just makes things seem worse than they are. I had a couple good days and a couple not so good days in the last week. I’m still doing better this month than I’ve done during any other Camp NaNoWriMo event ever.

Going into week 4, I do have a bit of catching up to do. It’ll be a little bit more work, but I think I’m up to the task. My goal is within reach!

Screenshot_2020-07-23 NaNoWriMo

I still feel a little bit guilty for having a goal of only 10k, but 2020 seems to be all about lowering our expectations. This month has been pretty stressful. Having a goal I can reach without either setting aside several hours or counting on an intense burst of productivity every day is exactly what I needed. Managing expectations and taking care of myself is my primary goal in every aspect of life these days.

The best thing about this month is that I want to write. Even after a less productive week, I’m feeling motivated to work on this story. I love this story. It’s familiar to me, but still exciting. The excitement pushes me to keep writing. The familiarity makes it easier to get to work on the days I have anxieties weighing me down.

This week I also found my favorite (non) statistic provided on the NaNoWriMo challenge page for my project. I haven’t entered any writing times when I input my daily word counts which results in a blank “when I write” statistic. It’s adorable! Screenshot_2020-07-23 NaNoWriMo(1)How did week 3 of Camp NaNoWriMo go for you? Week 3 is always a bit of a struggle for me so I hope you are able to stick with it into week 4.

Writing Progress July 13–19, 2020

daily writing progress

July 13

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 180,651
  • Today’s word count: 242
  • Thoughts: I didn’t need to hide from the heat today. It was a relief, but I think being free to wander around and do whatever I wanted gave me too many options that weren’t sitting my butt down to write. My word count isn’t terrible, but it isn’t fantastic.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. I think the weather is going to continue to be pleasantly warm so I won’t need to hide away again. I’ll have to find other ways to stay motivated and productive. As long as I keep writing I know I’ll be okay.

July 14

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 181,012
  • Today’s word count: 361
  • Thoughts: I struggled today. My anxiety kept distracting me. It was like being tortured twice. I wanted to write, but I was so worried about the fact that I wasn’t writing while also panicking because there were things I could do instead of writing. I made myself miserable. Somehow I managed to write something which did help me feel a bit better.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing and less anxiety. It’s supposed to be hot again so I’ll probably have to resort to hiding in a cool corner again. Will it help my word count? I hope so!

July 15

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 181,513
  • Today’s word count: 501
  • Thoughts: That’s another hot day with another decent word count. Hiding away in a cool spot really does work wonders for my writing. I even had time to clean up a scene and post it over on Patreon. And I played a video game! It’s was a really, really good day.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: It’s not going to be hot enough to justify hiding away to cool off. I’m going to try to replicate the scenario without the air conditioner and see if that works.

July 16

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 181,645
  • Today’s word count: 133
  • Thoughts: Weather was nice. I didn’t write as much. It’s a definite pattern now. It’s okay though. I did manage to get another scene up for my patrons. That’s two scenes this week! This month is teaching me to work as hard as I can on the productive days so the less productive days don’t hurt as much.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: It’s going to be hot again. I’ll be hiding somewhere cool. I should be able to write, however, it will be Friday and Fridays always mess me up. I’ll try my best.

July 17

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 182,022
  • Today’s word count: 377
  • Thoughts: Did the Fridayness cancel out the magic of hiding in a cool corner or did the cool corner cancel out the Fridayness? Today was just average. I can’t complain. I got some writing done and then I played video games. Things could’ve gone worse.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: It’s going to be even hotter than today. It also won’t be Friday. That raises my expectations a bit. Can I manage to make it a really great writing day? I have a goal. Let’s go!

July 18

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 182,121
  • Today’s word count: 99
  • Thoughts: It was so hot today. I hid away and stayed cool. It just wasn’t enough to make for a great writing day. I had the right formula, but I wasn’t prepared for a headache to hit. That just ruined my ability to focus. Even worse, I think the heat caused it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I want to sleep off this headache so I can get back to writing. It’s going to be another hot day. There are going to be a lot of them coming up. I just want to adjust to it enough to get back to reasonably productive writing days in the rooms we air condition.

July 19

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 182,294
  • Today’s word count: 173
  • Thoughts: At least I made it into triple digits. Today could have been so much more productive if things had been less chaotic. I blame the ridiculous heat. Everything felt wonky and I couldn’t follow anything resembling a usual routine so getting back on track felt impossible.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I’m hoping I can get more writing done. The heatwave is going to continue. Maybe I can start to make new routines for this sort of weather so I can have some sort of normal day.

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July Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2 Recap

Camp-2020-Writer-Twiter-Header-768x256

I can’t believe we’re two weeks into Camp NaNoWriMo already. This month is going by really fast.

Somehow, for the first time ever, I’m staying on track with my writing for Camp. I’ve attempted to write for every Camp NaNoWriMo session since it started in 2011. I don’t think I’ve ever been this consistent at the end of the second week. Ever.

Screenshot_2020-07-15 NaNoWriMo

I’m starting to feel like I might be able to do this.

Seeing myself on the path after two weeks of writing has brought up some questions. What am I doing differently? Why now?

The first thing I’m doing differently is setting a lower goal. I cut my goal from April Camp NaNoWriMo in half. That sounds drastic, but looking at my results it seemed necessary for my sanity. Back in April I didn’t even reach the halfway point of that goal. Based on that, 10,000 words still seemed like a stretch.

Another thing I’m doing differently is getting to a place where I’m truly cut off from distractions. This is working out partly because of social distancing and other restrictions in place because of the pandemic. No one is asking me to go out and do fun, distracting things this month. Another thing keeping me away from distractions is the unbearable heat and humidity. The weather isn’t awful every day, but I’m spending enough days hiding in a cool space that I’m a lot less likely to be playing games or drawing on my desktop when I should be writing. Apparently, there are some benefits to having a laptop that can’t do much more than run Scrivener.

The final thing that’s different this month is that I just want to write. I’m at a place with this third draft where I’m itching to finish it. I can see the end in the distance and I need to get there. It might be the best motivation ever.

Going into week 3 I’m feeling very optimistic. I think I can do this. I’m motivated. Distractions are limited. There’s a very real chance this will be my first ever Camp NaNoWriMo win. This is my 20th attempt at Camp NaNo. I think I deserve a win.

How was your second week of Camp NaNoWriMo? Is this month of writing easier or harder than usual for you?

Writing Progress July 6–12, 2020

daily writing progress

July 6

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 177,955
  • Today’s word count: 441
  • Thoughts: Today was another extremely hot day. I was determined not to allow that to eat away at my will to be productive. I did everything I could to keep cool so I would have energy to dedicate to writing. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to get out a decent number of words. I hope I can repeat today’s success in the future since the heat wave isn’t going anywhere.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Keep cool, write more. It’s possible. I just have to be mindful of doing too much in the heat or I’ll need to take precious writing time to cool off and recover.

July 7

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 178,077
  • Today’s word count: 122
  • Thoughts: I couldn’t get into my writing today. My heart just wasn’t into it. It was also noticeably cooler today and I wanted to take a bit of time to play a game on my computer. It gets mad if I try to play in the heat so I’d been missing it. Maybe it was too much of a distraction.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. It’s going to be really hot again. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’ll try to keep cool and write plenty on my laptop.

July 8

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 178,797
  • Today’s word count: 720
  • Thoughts: Well, I bounced back and had a good writing day. I stayed in a cool corner and got to work. It felt great. I didn’t even realize how much I’d written until I took a break and looked. That’s always a sign of a really good written session.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. I’d love to surpass today’s word count, but I’ll just be happy if I can write a decent number of words. I’ll be hiding in a cool corner again so we’ll see what happens.

July 9

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 179,465
  • Today’s word count: 668
  • Thoughts: I had another productive day! I don’t know what the magic behind this productivity might be and I’m afraid to analyze it too closely. Maybe I should just keep going and hope the writing mojo sticks around.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing! It’ll be Friday but I think I’ll be able to write some words anyway. Let’s keep the writing mojo going. I’m having too much fun to stop now!

July 10

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 179,542
  • Today’s word count: 77
  • Thoughts: Today was definitely a Friday. I felt it to my very core. I was ready to have a productive day. Then errands happened. A headache followed. Writing just wasn’t in the cards for me. I tried, but I didn’t have the great success I had earlier this week. Fridays are cursed.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: It won’t be Friday anymore. I hope I’ll be able to write again. It’s also supposed to be hot, but not too hot. I don’t know if that will help or hurt me. Maybe I’ll end up hiding away from the heat and write a ton of words while doing it. That’s happened a lot lately.

July 11

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 179,736
  • Today’s word count: 196
  • Thoughts: Things were better than Friday, but I still hadn’t gotten back that powerful writing energy I had earlier in the week. I didn’t go hide in a cool corner of the apartment. Maybe that was the missing piece. Do I have to do that to be reasonably productive now? I hope not.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: It’s going to be even hotter. I probably will need to hide away somewhere cool. Let’s see if that brings back the writing mojo.

July 12

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 180,409
  • Today’s word count: 673
  • Thoughts: I think I’ve figured out the magic behind good writing days. I have to hide in a cool corner on my laptop and write. If I try to write anywhere else I’m too easily distracted. Cool corners are usually out of the way places. There isn’t much to see or do there. I’m also not as easily found. I’m less distracted.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Keep cool and keep writing. I don’t think it is supposed to be quite as hot so we’ll see if I can make the magic formula work if I’m not desperate to find a place to cool off.

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July Camp NaNoWriMo Week 1 Recap

Camp-2020-Writer-Twiter-Header-768x256

Did I just have a good first week of Camp NaNo? Is that legal?

Things went pretty well for me this week. That almost never happens. When it comes to Camp, I struggle every day for a month. What’s different this time?

First of all, we did nothing for the 4th of July this year. We stayed home and relaxed. That gave me more time to write and I didn’t have to spend time recharging from being around groups of people. However, the excessive at-home fireworks this year has been an annoyance. I’m used to some fireworks going off around 9 pm on weekends around the 4th, but this year it has been every night and often closer to midnight than sunset.

It’s also been hotter than usual around here. Normally we get a blisteringly hot day or two and then it’s back to regular summer heat. Not this time. It’s been uncomfortably hot almost every day so far this month. That’s kept me from going out to walk around town for inspiration (procrastination). As long as I’m in a cool room, writing doesn’t cause me to overheat.

The library isn’t open. This sounds like it’s a bad thing. Overall, it’s terrible. However, I like to lie to myself and say I’ll write better at the library. I drag my laptop there and spend a few hours browsing the shelves and people watching. It’s fun, but not good for my word count. Since I can’t do that, I’ve had to stay home and actually write.

There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the the world. These aren’t easy or fun times for anyone, but compared to April, I feel like I have a better handle on things now. I have a clearer picture of the situation and I have some experience with keeping myself and my loved ones safe. I don’t feel as helpless and that has freed up some space in my mind for creative work again.

Even with all these variables working in my favor, I’ve kept my Camp goal low. I want to push myself to write, but making myself stretch too far to reach it will only discourage me. I’d rather aim for something just a little bit beyond what I can typically achieve. Maybe this month will be my first ever Camp NaNoWriMo win? I could really use a win right now.

How was your first week of Camp NaNoWriMo? Have you kept your goal low or are you aiming higher?

Writing Progress June 29–July 5, 2020

daily writing progress

June 29

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 176,236
  • Today’s word count: 621
  • Thoughts: I did it! I had another great writing day. Finding a cool corner to write in has done the trick. Bribing myself with a video game after I wrote at least 500 words probably helped as well. Honestly, I’m impressed I had the willpower to actually follow through with my bribe. I dread the day I realize no one else is holding me accountable and I could play the game first if I wanted.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing! I’m building up endurance/momentum for CampNaNoWriMo. I can’t believe that’s starting this week.

June 30

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 176,396
  • Today’s word count: 160
  • Thoughts: I pulled back a bit. I knew I was going to be starting a writing marathon at midnight so I didn’t want to wear myself out before I began. I also wanted to write so I tried to strike a balance. I think I could have written more.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Camp NaNoWriMo! It doesn’t feel like it should be July already, but I’ll be writing. Hopefully I can manage my first ever Camp NaNoWriMo win this time! I’m keeping my goal low to give myself a better chance. It hasn’t worked before, but maybe this time will be different and I’ll break the Camp curse.

July 1

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 176,738
  • Today’s word count: 342
  • Thoughts: It was the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo! I actually reached my (very low) daily goal for Camp. That’s always a good start. I hope I can keep it up.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, of course. It’s supposed to be very, very hot for a while. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up my pattern of being productive on my laptop because I’m going to need to use it so I can hide in an air conditioned corner for a while.

June 2

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 176,789
  • Today’s word count: 51
  • Thoughts: Ehh… I’m not all that mad. I wasn’t at my computer very much at all today so I’m happy I wrote something. It wasn’t a bad day. It just wasn’t a writing day.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. It’ll be Friday. Those tend to be unpredictable. The pattern lately is for not so great writing days on Fridays, but that could change at any time. Maybe tomorrow will be that day. I won’t know until I try. I’m excited to see what will happen.

June 3

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 177,022
  • Today’s word count: 233
  • Thoughts: This wasn’t a bad day for a Friday. I didn’t spend all my free time writing, but I spent enough time to get some words done. I also cut my own hair today which took a ridiculous amount of time. Maybe I would have written more if I didn’t but I really needed a haircut.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. I should have some time to dedicate to it, but it’s going to be ridiculously hot again. Hopefully I can hide in a cool place and get the words out.

June 4

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 177,237
  • Today’s word count: 215
  • Thoughts: Today was a pretty ordinary day. It was hot again. Nothing too special happened. I tried to keep cool. I managed to write a bit. I think I could have written more if I wasn’t hiding away in a corner to keep cool.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. I should be home with not much to distract me. Hopefully that will be a recipe for success. Maybe I’ll bribe myself by setting a goal and playing a game once I reach it.

June 5

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 177,514
  • Today’s word count: 277
  • Thoughts: I seem to have found my comfort zone writing-wise during this heat wave. I can manage to write over 200 words before I get distracted by looking for somewhere cooler or comfier to be. I need to optimize my writing conditions in the air conditioned rooms so I can write more.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same. I need to keep cool and write as much as I can manage while doing so. The weather doesn’t seem like it is going to change any time soon so I need to figure out how to live as normally as possible while hiding in just a couple rooms so we don’t have an enormous electric bill.

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What I Read in June

I didn’t feel like I read a lot in June, but looking back I guess I did read a decent amount. That’s a nice feeling. I was enjoying reading so much it felt like I needed to keep reading more.

There’s a lot going wrong in the world these days, but books are still a great escape.

Books I finished reading in June:

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Books I’m currently reading:

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What books did you read in June? I hope you’re able to escape into books for at least a little while. We could all use a break these days.

Writing Progress June 22–28, 2020

daily writing progress

June 22

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 174,726
  • Today’s word count: 156
  • Thoughts: Holy crap. The heat today was oppressive. My desire to do anything was low. My ability to think was nonexistent until things cooled off later at night. It didn’t give me much time to get things done. Oh well. This is just how summertime works for me. Things will get better when the weather cools off.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I hope for a better day for writing but I know it is going to be just as hot so I don’t want to count on it. I’ll try. I just don’t want to disappoint myself.

June 23

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 174,866
  • Today’s word count: 140
  • Thoughts: The heat got me again. I thought I might be able to endure it, but I ran out of energy so quickly. Just sitting at my computer was too much effort. I need cooler weather!
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I’m picking strawberries in the morning! I’ll be getting up early to do it. I don’t know if I’ll sleep enough beforehand. If I don’t, I might not have much energy to write later in the day. Maybe I’ll need to take a nap. Hopefully I’ll be able to write while fueled by strawberries.

June 24

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 174,894
  • Today’s word count: 28
  • Thoughts: I was worried this would happen. The situation ended up being even worse than I expected. I barely slept last night. I still picked strawberries and completed all the other chores I had lined up for the day. It just took everything I had to get those things done. I didn’t have anything left to give to my writing.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Sleep. Stay home. Write. I have to make up for lost time. I’m going to be climbing the walls if I don’t get this story written soon.

June 25

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 174,970
  • Today’s word count: 76
  • Thoughts: Did you know social media can be really, really stressful? It wasn’t a good day. I tried to write, but I felt so discouraged. Some days are just like that.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I really don’t know what to expect or hope for. It’ll be Friday. That’s already a mark against the day’s productivity. It’s also going to be hot. Heat doesn’t agree with me. If it saps my energy I expect even less writing will happen than a typical Friday. Hopefully I’ll have a better day than I’m expecting.

June 26

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 174,974
  • Today’s word count: 4
  • Thoughts: I was worried today was going to be a bad day for writing. I had time to write, but I had no motivation. I played video games and just relaxed. It helped, but I never got the motivation back. It was worse than an average Friday, but not the worst ever. I can bounce back from a day like this easily.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Hopefully I’ll be able to keep cool and write some words. Keeping cool will be a little bit difficult, but if I can manage it, the writing part should be a lot easier.

June 27

No writing progress made. I just didn’t have the energy or willpower to do much of anything. The heat is draining me. I just wanted to be still and keep cool. I did a decent enough job of that. Writing just wasn’t going to happen. I can see that now. It’s hard, but sometimes days are just like that.

June 28

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 175,587
  • Today’s word count: 613
  • Thoughts: I knew I needed to write today. I sat down and got to work. For once it just worked. I set a goal of writing 500 words thinking I would have to work very, very hard to get there. I passed it. Realizing I’d written more than I intended felt great. I want to do it again!
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing! I can’t let this motivation slip away. It’s still awfully hot and it’s going to be that way for a while. I’ll have to hide in a cool corner somewhere and hope that will be enough to keep my energy up enough to get the writing done.

Enjoy my content? Want to be one of the first to see the new version of The Dreams? Pledge $1 on Patreon to gain early access to my work, bonus content and our Discord server!

Help others find my work! Vote for The Dreams and Inbetween on Top Web Fiction to help my serials climb the ranks and reach more readers. Voting is free and there’s no log in required.