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SEPTEMBER STATS

Days Writing: 11
New Words: 1,635
New Chapters: 0.5

Total Word-count: 87,132
Total Chapters: 23.5

September wasn’t the best month for my novel. 11 days of writing is a bit low, and 1,635 words written is especially low. For perspective, each month I generate about 12,000 words for my story blog.

And honestly, the disparity between my blog and my novel has stood out to me for a while now. I usually prioritize work on my blog in the morning, leaving the evening for my novel. I had thought that would give me more uninterrupted time to write With the Beast, but the reality is that putting off the novel to the end of the day makes it easy for it to get squeezed out by other needs and distractions.

I’ve told myself to “just dig deeper” numerous times already, but when my output continues to be the same regardless, sooner or later I have to be frank with myself and say that while I could accomplish more in a day, it may not be realistic to expect that I will.

All of which is to say, if I simply don’t have the capacity or the discipline to do both blog and novel…then I’m going to choose the novel. Before I make that decision, though, I want to give myself one more chance to manage both.

During the month of October I am going to flip things around. I will not write any new blog material first thing in the morning, I will work on my novel instead. Specifically I will write or edit 500 words each day before I move on to any other work. Hopefully I will find the time and energy before day’s end to also write my blog, but if I don’t then I don’t.

I’d hate to let go of my blog, and honestly I expect the fear of losing it to be a powerful motivation for “digging deeper” like I’ve been talking about. In either case, on November 1st I’ll come back and let you know how things went and what my decision moving forward will be.

For now, here is a segment from my new material this month.

“This matter of harvesting the cane…you think it’s an impossible problem?”

“Yes…well…no. Honestly I wish that I did. The truth is I have a sense that there is a way to accomplish this, but I just won’t be able to find it. Whatever I choose to do, it will be the wrong thing, and it will spoil the entire field.”

“Do you mean that you’re destined to fail?”

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” he runs his hands wearily through his hair. “I suppose yes, that is what it feels like.”

“Then do it.”

William blinks rapidly. “I beg your pardon?”

“If all the world has conspired to make you fail, then why are you running away from it? Just get it over with!”

William is flabbergasted, and shakes his head, unable to process what he is hearing.

“Are you–are you making fun of me?”

“Absolutely not! Listen, I’m not going to try to argue with you whether fate has marked you for failure or not. Maybe it has, maybe it hasn’t, I don’t know. But if I ever felt that I had to take a fall, then I’d rather go ahead and get it over with as quickly as possible. Then I could get back up and move on to the next thing.”

“Accept defeat? Just like that?”

“If there’s no alternative, why not? Accepting defeat is only disgraceful when one still has other avenues left to pursue, but if there really are no alternatives left, then there is no shame in embracing it.”

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