Previously, on The Semi-Columnist:
That was over two months ago, so I guess I have some explaining to do. Most of my followers probably think I died, but rest assured that I am very much alive. Time to give an update on what the heck happened to me over the last two months.
Did I Win National Novel Writing Month 2020?
As some of you may recall, I dedicated myself to winning National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2020, which meant I had to write 50,000 words from the 1st of November to the 30th. For many writers, this is a gruelling task that requires extreme discipline to manage.
Me? Well, I blazed through almost 18,000 words in the first six days (helps that I work part-time). From there, it looked like I’d reach the finish line well before November 30th. What could possibly go wrong?
I also told myself that I was going to write an update blog post every day for a month, talking about my progress with the book. That lasted the first six days—until some personal circumstances started overwhelming me and I needed to take a break from the updates for my mental health. That was supposed to go for only a few days, but here we are, over two months later.
So what happened next? Well, I didn’t realise it at the time, but I had a mild asthma attack that lasted about a week before I stopped being an idiot and called the doctor, asking why I couldn’t breathe well. She said I probably didn’t have COVID and it was likely just because of my hay-fever, so I needed to get a ventolin inhaler. And after I started taking that, I was pretty much fine.
But the point is that I basically didn’t write anything for a couple of weeks. By the time I felt better, I was well behind in NaNoWriMo, despite my great start.
From there, I knuckled down and absolutely crushed about 30,000 words in eight days. The result? My first real NaNoWriMo win*.
*I have won NaNoWriMo twice before, but the first time was in the youth version, where you set your own target (mine was 30k). I won in 2019 as well, but it was by revising A Fate Entwined rather than starting a new book, which is technically against the spirit of the competition.
Did I Finish the Manuscript?
While I’m quite proud of myself for managing to write 50,000 words in basically half a month, I decided to put my story about a kid who can time travel by drawing in the dirt on hold for a while. I think it has the bones of a great story, but there are a few elements that really aren’t working for me at the moment.
Particularly, I think the magic system needs a massive overhaul because it really influences everything in the world and I was just making it up as I went along. I want to give it a real look before pushing forward and finishing the draft.
For now, I’ve just decided to focus on querying A Fate Entwined. I might also try to write some shorter fiction and hopefully get that published, as I think that’s a better career move and won’t take too long. After that, I’ll likely get back into Art-Magic Time Travel Story, as I’ve been calling it, also known as Project Canvas.
But What About December and January?
What’s that I hear you saying? “Sure, that’s a perfectly legitimate reason to abandon writing the daily blog posts in November, but what about December and January? That’s like 60 days in which you could have made a post.”
Yeah, well, I definitely have my reasons. I just need to check under the…
Oh, that’s right. It was Christmas in December, and Christmas is always a busy time. Plus, I totally had a house inspection earlier this month, so my time was going into preparing for that. And it was my wife’s birthday a few days ago, which makes it hard to get around to blogging.
Not to mention, I’ve had to watch WandaVision, since that’s new and I don’t want to get spoiled. That took up like… an hour of my time. Then there’s the Mandalorian, and the fact that I’m in multiple Dungeons and Dragons groups (even though we have barely played over the last two months…). You know, just stuff that prevents me from blogging.
See, perfectly legitimate reasons to put off writing a blog post explaining my absence for so long.
And besides, it’s my blog, so I’ll post whenever I feel like it.
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