(A Belated) May by the Numbers

Last Updated on: 5th March 2020, 05:15 pm

Well, here it is, halfway through the month of June, and I’m just now getting around to posting about my writing progress for May. That tells you a lot about what kind of month it was, and how my writing is going in general.

The most significant thing I did last month was re-submit Ghost of a Friend after it was rejected several times. I ended up rewriting it a little bit every time I submitted, which got a little nerve-wracking after a certain point. I started worrying that my changes weren’t actually improving the story.

Before I submitted that last time, I cut around 800 words. The story was starting to feel a little bloated, so I decided that cuts were in order. I also discovered that there aren’t many markets willing to accept a story longer than 5000 words. I didn’t manage to get it under 4000 words like I’d hoped, but I did cut out a few superfluous scenes.

I received my fourth rejection a few days ago, but I haven’t gotten around to resubmitting yet. It’s definitely a bit demoralizing, sending your work out into the world only to get back nothing but rejections. That said, I don’t know if I’m quite ready to send it to somewhere a bit less challenging. I’d like to keep shooting for the stars.

However, it turns out that the best way to keep myself from obsessively rewriting is to submit the story to a slow-moving market. I’m planning on tweaking a few small things before I submit again, but I’ll probably pick another slow market. It was kind of a relief to be able to put the story out of my mind for a few weeks while I waited for a response.

As for the rest of my time last month, there were a lot of days where I wrote in my journal as a last resort. That’s probably why it feels like I didn’t do enough. I didn’t make any inroads on another short story, but I did write a handful of blog posts.

The biggest bright spot came near the end of the month when I had a very productive brainstorming session for another project. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I can dig in and start writing.

My final counts for May 2016 were:

  • 14 hours of related work
  • 1 script page
  • 565 words of fiction
  • 6548 words of non-fiction
  • 7113 total words

Definitely an anemic showing for new fiction, but that’s probably because I spent so much time deleting words from my story. I wrote a bit more non-fiction during the month, but it was mostly journal entries rather than blog posts.

Overall not a terrible word count, and I did finally spend a little bit of time working on a script, so I’ll count that in the win column.

These were my goals for May:

  1. Start something new, whether it’s a short story or a script for a new web series.
  2. Spend some time working on the outline for my screenplay. Don’t let it lay fallow for too long.
  3. Don’t leave writing until the end of the day. Write more before work or during my lunch break. Take time to write at the library or a coffee shop.

Here’s how those goals played out:

  1. Nope. No luck here.
  2. Hops Arcana isn’t getting much love in these parts, but I did spend some serious time brainstorming for another project.
  3. Man, I struggle with this one. I’m never awake enough to write first thing in the morning, I never feel like writing on my breaks at work, and I’m tired in the evenings. It’s a no-win scenario. The good news is that I’m on such a streak these days that the momentum forces me to at least write something before I go to sleep at night.

Here are my goals for June:

  1. Ideally I want to finish the outline for my current project, but we’re already halfway through the month as I write this, so it might be a tall order.
  2. I’d like to write a blog post for Full of Words that isn’t another book review. It’s been a while since I’ve written one of those.
  3. Spend some time researching or brainstorming for Hops Arcana.