April Recap: The Month of Productivity

April, why can’t every month be like you?

Thanks to Camp NaNoWriMo, I was incredibly productive the month of April. I wrote 52,540 words, which averages to 1,751 per day. I hit my goal during Camp, and I made tons of progress on my project.

On the reading side, I only read 7 books, which is less than I wanted. But in my defense, I’m very close to finishing three books right now, and I’m reading two very long books (Anna Karenina – still, and 11/22/63).

Other accomplishments this month – I finally caught up with Mad Men, which involved watching 2 and a half seasons over the course of the month (it’s a lot of TV). I think Daredevil is up next. Saw Furious 7 and The Avengers: Age of Ultron in theaters, which are both great movies, for different reasons.

Goals for May: Write 30,000 words (and maybe finish Project), read at least 8 books, finish Daredevil on Netflix, and watch Avengers at least 100 more times (okay, okay, maybe I won’t accomplish that one).

Good luck to you all this May!

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March Recap: Vacation Edition

March was a mixed bag. On the reading side, I read 10 books, including two from my 2015 Reading List.  I’m still on track to complete my goal this year of reading 100 books. Notably, I read The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, which has been sitting on Amazon’s Best Sellers list for quite awhile, and I finally read two classics, The Time Machine, and Lord of the Flies. My 10 books included 2 history books, as a result of my traveling, which I always find a little harder to get through.

On the writing side… mm, not so productive. I wrote a total of 8,677 words, which evens out to a sad 279 words per day. As I’ve written on here before, part of this was because I hit a block in my current project that I just couldn’t bypass. Another reason for this was just focusing on things other than writing (I know–what??). My day job has been busy and stressful, and by the time I got home and decompressed, writing was pushed to the back of my mind. There is more going on there, I think, but I’ll save that for another post.

But that needs to change this month. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo! Honestly, I’m wavering back and forth between excitement and reluctance. I need to just buckle down and work. I’m returning to the same project I started last April during Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve done a detailed outcome, and I’ve split my Scrivener file into parts, so I think I have a good road map. This project is connected to my novel, The Historian, though I’ll keep the connections vague in case you haven’t read it. It’s currently sitting at about 13,000 words, and I hope to get another 50,000 this month. I know I can do it, because I’ve hit 50,000 in both of my previous Novembers. I just need to push myself.

What are your April goals, readers? Anyone else doing Camp NaNoWriMo?

February recap: Or, in other words, where did that month go?

February has never been my favorite month. It’s always cold and dreary, and this year was no exception. It was a month of snow and sickness and not much else. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t accomplish much at all this month.

But these recaps are for accountability as much as anything else, so I need to own up to my underachievement.

Total words written: 9650. Yikes! That’s less than half of January. I’m not sure what happened here. I was feeling uninspired and, frankly, lazy. I’m at a good point in my project, and the action is starting to pick up. So, I don’t know exactly why I was so bad about updating my project. I’m going to try to write more in March, though I will be on vacation for 10 days where I’ll be away from a computer. Oh, well – I’ll just have to make it up on the other days!

Total books read: 5. Again, not great. Less than what I was hoping. Part of this is because I started two long books–Anna Karenina and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (which has got to be one of the longest books I’ve ever tried to read). I still spent a lot of time reading, but I just wasn’t able to finish as much.

Total Best Picture nominated movies watched: 6. This is really what I was doing with my time in February. I try to watch as many Oscar nominated movies as possible, and I did pretty well this year. My pick for Best Picture was Boyhood, which was an excellently crafted film.

Total episodes of House of Cards Season 3 watched: 5… and I’m on #6 as we speak!

I have high goals for March. I want to match my January word count. I want to match my January book count as well–I think this will be easier to do, because during my trip, I’ll have long flights and train rides on which to read.

I hope your February was more productive than mine! Any advice for how to beat the winter blues writer’s block?

January recap

I consider January to be the dreariest month of the year, so I’m happy that February is finally here. One of my goals this year is to be more consistent with my writing – e.g., less spurts of 7,000 words over the course of a weekend and more consecutive days of writing, even if it’s a little bit. After all, slow and steady wins the race, right?

In total, over the course of January, I wrote 22,329 words, which averages to about 720 words per day. It’s not my goal, which is 1,000 words per day, but it’s something. Most of those words are on one project, although I did stray a couple times and work on something else. I set an end date goal for that project of April 16th, and I’m currently on track to complete that by a few days, even though I’ve missed several days in the latter half of January. I’m hoping to get that average back up this month.

On the reading side, I finished 9 novels, which are outlined on my Reading List page. I’m on track to hit my reading goal this year, which is 100 books.

In other news, I’ve been slacking when it comes to movies this year. I try to see most, if not all, of the Best Picture nominees, along with the scattered films that pick up other big nominations or awards. To date, I think I’ve only seen three or four movies that are big in the awards scene this year. There just isn’t enough time in the day for all of the writing, reading, and movie watching that I need to do!

Last (but not least), I’m going to be running a promotion starting tomorrow, February 3rd, for my novel, The Historian. It’ll be a Kindle Countdown Deal, so it will be available for $.99 for a few days, and then $1.99 after that. Pretty good deal! Check it out if you haven’t yet.

Hope everyone had a productive January.