Mental Burns, Heatwaves, & the Chaos of a New School Year

What did I work on this week?

Not as much as I’d like…but also more than I was expecting? I chunked away on the novel work-in-progress and actually pounded the keys on a new short story, when the beginning suggested itself to me after a particularly challenging bedtime routine with Thing 2. But after writing over 2k on Wednesday in that flurry of inspiration, I was BURNT Thursday/Friday, so didn’t get anything really done. I’m not far behind on my overall word-count, though, but I need to stay focused this week. I’m definitely hitting a slowdown on the book, when I need to start connecting things and generating inspiration just takes more effort. But it’s coming along.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I just started reading Old in Art School by Nell Painter, which is both fascinating, invigorating, and oddly traumatizing as someone who adores the idea of becoming “an artist” but also recognizes her own tendency to just do whatever the hell she wants, painting-wise. I’ll probably never be a “true artist,” but I sure as hell will have fun.

I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking out-loud, trying to figure out a working pattern that will function for my life, while also not just continuously pushing things off “until I have more time” because HAHAHA, I never will. Right now, I’m looking very seriously into utilizing the NANO energy to generate a whole smorgasbord of short fiction during November, which will then give things time to rest before April, when I might be able to edit them. Juggling a novel WIP and generating new stories is HARD.

Also started watching Fatal Forecast on CuriosityStream, which has been interesting. I found the Heatwaves episode particularly interesting, because it really broke down why heatwaves are so dangerous to humans. Fascinating and horrifying stuff!

I also updated my writing planner, which has been sorely neglected after a week of not going into the office (a combo of traveling adults and Andy being on-call), and I went a little nuts and got a bunch of new stickers. (Why? Because I love stickers!) If you’re a notebook freak like me, keep an eye on my Insta this week, because I’m planning on posting some shots of the writing planner.

What am I working on this coming week?

Getting back up to word count! I’ve been tracking progress not based on daily word generation but on a months-long running total spread sheet. That way, I know where I ought to be in order to hit my deadline, but also it takes the pressure off the production of an individual day. For example: I’ve calculated my running total based on 500 words added every day until my expected word count (right now, ending about mid-October), but I often write more than that in a sitting, so I’m usually a little ahead of schedule. This helps me buffer for when I don’t write on the weekends/miss a day here and there, but still helps me see when I might need to push a bit more to get back on target.

Also, it’s the first day of school this week, so schedules will be a-changing, and things are going to get a little unsettled and nuts for the next couple weeks. I often mistakenly think I’ll get a lot more done once Thing 1 is in school, but I usually don’t. XD Thing 2 keeps me on my toes.

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