Update on My Novel: Month 34

Here I am, having just completed my one-month hiatus from With the Beast. I explained at the start of February that I needed to take a break after finishing the first draft of the story. I needed to let that leg of the journey feel truly good and done before getting started on the next.

And to be perfectly honest, it’s been very pleasant not having to fit the writing into my schedule this month. It isn’t as though it was taking a very large slice of my time, but it was just another thing nagging at the back of my head, making me anxious each day until I had it checked off.

This by no means that I want to give up working on the novel, but this last month has been further evidence to me that I am stretching myself too thin with all of the projects I am trying to accomplish. Exactly what that means moving forward is still uncertain, but I am entertaining some possibilities, including changes to this blog. For the time being I am going to continue as usual, though, while I continue to work out exactly what the best way forward is.

I do intend to also return to full work on the With the Beast. I am going to keep my expectations for the novel conservative while I try to decide what my plans are long term, but I want to keep some momentum on the book moving forward.

I’ve experimented in the past with trying to one small thing each day, and I’ve also tried setting daily minimums. When I try to get too little done in a day, I tend to not feel like I’ve actually accomplished anything and my motivation wanes, when I try to do too much I tend to get stressed out.

Understanding this, I am going to impose a very simple guideline for what I want to get done this month. Each day I want to sit down with a clear idea of a singular task that I want to accomplish. That task might be large or small. It might be a character interview to conduct, or a chapter to review, or a single scene to rewrite. I don’t care, just so long as at the end of it I feel that a real piece of the novel has been completed. What’s important is that my progress feels manageable, consistent, and meaningful.

I know this is a simple and lightweight goal, but I want to ease back into this work, walking before I get back to running. I’ll let you know how this process went at the start of next month. See you then.

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