The Writing Journal #49

October may have officially begun last week for the rest of the world, but on the Writing Journal I decided to buck the trend and extend September by six days in an attempt to catch up after a whirlwind month of unexpected distractions. The question now is, has it paid off?…

Target Number 1: Spend a minimum of 20 hours editing my novel.

Status – Failed ☹

It actually happened. After a run of months where I somehow managed to miraculously meet the novel targets at the eleventh hour, my luck finally ran out and I came up short on the number of hours spent editing the novel. There’s a slim chance that I did unwittingly meet the 20 hours, after the mishap with my timer right at the beginning of the month, but I’m not going to clutch at those straws for too long. Fifteen hours for the four weeks after that was still a more than fair target that could, and perhaps should, have been met.

It’s obviously disappointing not to have met the time target this month – there would be no point in setting them if I didn’t care – but at the same time it hasn’t been an entirely wasted month. When I was setting September’s targets, I had no idea at all the feature would need looking at, let alone that it would take so much time out of my schedule with the work I ended up doing on it (work that has ended up making that a much more valuable project in my portfolio, in my opinion at least). The novel itself is also in a much better place now, despite the lack of time spent on it, because I have finally been able to move out of Chapter 3! The mental blockage that has been dogging me for weeks about this particular section has been flushed away and it feels great to finally be able to move into a new chapter, both literally and metaphorically. It will hopefully lead to a new lease of life so that progress on the page can match the progress being made with the world-building around it.

In terms of the set target, September has been the first failure for quite some time which is obviously disappointing, but with so many other things to cheer about, it would be wrong to write it off entirely based on that. With that in mind, what areas should I be focusing on for October to come?

Target Number 1: Spend a minimum of 20 hours editing the novel

There may have been a slip up in meeting this target last month, but I still think it’s a good marker for pushing the novel forwards whilst other jobs and projects move around it. If the novel takes on more external interest, or things move in different ways, then I will consider upping the hours for a target, but for now it is challenging yet attainable enough for it to stay the same for now.

Target Number 2: Complete the visual moodboard for the feature film.

Many dominoes seem to be falling into place around the feature at the moment which makes it the ideal time to push it forward on its development journey. Not only did the competition come along to invigorate me into a much-needed polish, but a number of real-world news stories have come to the fore that tie in very nicely to the story and themes of the film. No, it’s not about impeachment hearings or the B-word, but some tech stories that have emerged in recent months could end up making my sci-fi dramedy quite timely in the not so distant future, meaning extra motivation to get it out there now and get “ahead of the curve” when it comes to adding my story to the conversation. One such way of doing that will be to ensure the overall package for the film is as strong as it can be, and part of that could be in finishing the visual moodboard that I started at the beginning of the year which, combined with the script and the pitch, could make all the difference in the funding, development and pre-production stages to (hopefully) come.

Something familiar and something sort of familiar to be getting on with this month. Let’s hope the wet weather and longer nights will help to focus the mind and lead to a few more successes than we had in September…

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