Monthly Review: July 2017

I’m trying out a monthly review for the first time.

Creatively Productive

what did I make last month?

  • Total Words Written: 6,676
  • Total Hours Writing (Scrivener): 21 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Hours Editing (estimate): 4 hours 40 minutes

I reached an exciting milestone in my novel revision, wrapping up the first part of the novel.

How I stayed productive on creative goals

I completed weekly novel progress reports for the first three weeks of July: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

Gaps and Challenges in My Creative Practice

  • The closing of my favorite coffee shop has put a little damper in my writing practice. I’m looking for a replacement that I like. My after-work replacement seems good, but I’m not sold on my new weekly meetup location. 
  • After reaching my milestone, my progress dried up, and I took a full week off from writing. I think I need a better system for setting milestones and creating a workplan with deadlines that I’m accountable to – right now I have the weekly workplan I put together each Sunday for what I hope to accomplish that week, but I don’t have mid-term deadlines for myself.

What to try to produce creative work in august

  • Keep going to my regular writing sessions
  • Try to make a timeline for the entire next part of the book, and a goal for the overall completion
  • Reinstate my daily Pomodoro requirement (at least one 25-minute writing session) Continue reading

Weekly Novel Update: Week of July 17, 2017

Writing Stats for July 17-23, 2017

  • Starting word count: 141,703
  • End word count: 137,882
  • New words written: 1,119
  • Scrivener hours (per Rescue Time): 7 hours 45 minutes
  • Editing + outlining hours (estimate): 2 hours

status updates for the week

  • Wrote final scene for Chapter 6
  • Wrote final scene for Chapter 13
  • Updated Chapter 14
  • Revised Chapter 5 (removed 469 words / 15%)
  • Revised Chapter 10 (added 20 words)
  • Reviewed and revised outline for parts 2 and 3
  • Removed unneeded scenes from parts 2 and 3
  • Started zero draft for first scene in Chapter 16

Writing Practice

Tried out another coffee shop in biking distance from my house: good food but only a handful of tables and time-limited wifi. Don’t think I’ll become a regular there.

writing at the tea shopTested out a local tea shop for my weekly solo writing session: we may have a winner! I was worried it would be awkward to stay and work, but there were a few other people who stayed as long as I did, so I’m calling it good :) Plus, yummy tea! So many coffee shops have bad tea options and I’m not a coffee drinker.

work Plan for Next week

  • Revise Chapter 8
  • Revise Chapter 11
  • Outline / zero draft Chapter 16
  • Write Chapter 16
  • Outline / zero draft Chapter 18



Lawn Replacement: the Pollinator Garden 3 Years Later

NOW – my garden, three years after lawn replacement

Three years ago (spring 2015), we ripped out our lawn and replaced it with a pollinator-friendly, drought-tolerant, and native garden. We happened to pick the worst possible summer to replace the garden – the drought was so bad the water districts called for voluntary water reductions and asked people to stop watering their lawns etc.

BEFORE – same view of the garden in September 2015, the year of planting.

Continue reading

Staying on Track with a Monthly Review

I’ve appreciated other people’s monthly reviews, and am going to try out my own to help me stay accountable with my goals other than writing (as well as writing). In the past, I’ve tried to do mid-year or quarterly check-ins on my annual goals, but that feels a bit too intermittent, and easy to forget.

Structuring My Monthly Review

To start, I’m structuring my monthly review based on the priorities I identified for myself in my annual review process:

  • Creatively productive
  • Healthy habits & routines
  • Active lifestyle
  • Comfortable, sustainable home
  • Strategic spending & saving

For each priority area, I’ll assess how I did the previous month with a combination of tracked statistics and narrative evaluation. I’ll discuss my tracking tools and processes, then identify gaps and challenges that are holding me back from meeting my goals. Last, I’ll evaluate what I can do the next month to improve, whether it’s a new tracking method, a new technique to try, or a new habit to develop.

Continue reading

Weekly Novel Progress: Week of July 10, 2017

Writing Stats for July 10-16, 2017

  • Starting word count: 144,583
  • End word count: 141,703 (removed outline docs, existing chapter 13 and prologue)
  • New words written: 2,048
  • Scrivener hours (per Rescue Time): 6 hours 45 minutes
  • Editing hours (estimate): 2 hours 50 minutes

status updates for the week

So close, but still not done with part one!

  • Revised Chapter 15
  • Wrote new scene for Chapter 13
  • Edited most of Chapter 5 (on paper)
  • Rewrote Chapter 9

Writing Practice

Gave the new coffee shop another shot, with the addition of biking there :) Also went to another writing meetup that I hit a few times a year.

Still need to figure out where to write on Thursday afternoons. Attempted to do a smidge of work at the local library but it’s not a comfortable workspace and I wound up writing emails instead.

work Plan for Next week

  • Outline and write remaining scene for Chapter 6
  • Fill in small gap in Chapter 15
  • Revise Chapter 10
  • Write remaining scene in Chapter 13
  • Review outline of Part Two