Hard to believe it’s already March. It doesn’t look all that different from March last year for some of us.
After spending a year stuck inside a 860 sq ft box of an apartment, I’ve come to some decisions. First, decision was made last May when I had decided to launch VeL to the best of my current ability. Not long after we published our first anthology, Graveyard Visits Vol 1, and for the first few weeks it was in Amazon’s top 1,000 titles for Horror Anthologies. Not bad for our first book. Next we’ve gotten a few dozen submissions which we’re still going through because we’re a small team here but it still blows me away anyone would look twice at us. Let alone, trust us with their manuscript.
It’s been a wild start but while this was all happening I was trying to find ways to better my work habits. We tried scheduling but that fell through after a week. Whiteboards, alarms, everything you could think of. It all came back to the fact that I am ADHD and I have executive disfunction and it had gotten worse during lockdown. Without concrete deadlines, I have been finding it harder and harder to get stuff out in a timely manner.
After talking it out with my husband, I called a mental health clinic and started seeing a therapist to get me back on some well needed Adderall. This time I won’t randomly decide I’m good without it, shooting myself in the foot for another ten years like I did right after college. Not everyone with ADHD needs to be medicate. I’ve learned over this past decade that I do. Think about what I’ve already accomplished without it and then double or even triple that. That’s how I am on Adderall.
Why did I take myself off of it? It’s a long story but shortened version is I was 20, lost my pills for almost two weeks – they rolled off my desk and got lodged between my dorm room bedframe and mattress – and still did great in my classes. Figured, I didn’t need them anymore. Didn’t take into account just how structured college was, especially when you were taking 8-9 classes a semester because overachieving was the only thing to do in that dinky town.
That being said, I haven’t started on it yet and probably won’t until at least the end of April. For those who are not aware, Adderall is a very regulated med because of it’s ‘street value’. What this means is college students used to sell them all the time because for neurotypical brains, it’s like a massive energy drink straight to your heart. For people with ADHD, it’s the opposite. Because of this insurance might fight us for a few months just to fill it.
That all being said, my week of writing wasn’t as fruitful as I would have hoped. A good chunk of time and my brain power was focused on getting back into actually managing my ADHD again. Still, I wrote words. This is up on time. I’ve been able to accomplish some of my smaller goals, still wrote every day, and started outlining. That combined with still making sure I are three meals every day, showering and basic hygiene was still met, and I found time to cuddle both my cats separately. The week wasn’t 100% a success but it was more than enough for me right now.
Quick project update.
CHAINED HEAVENS – This project has been the easiest for me this whole week, which I am extremely thankful for. CH has the highest word count of all my project so being able to play a little catch up has been great. I am nowhere near where I should be in terms of word count but I’ve been slowly lessening that divide. As of today, I should be around 71k words but as of right now, I’m only at 43k. The goal is to make up the difference by end of April. By doing that I should have exactly what I need to start compiling the first volume of short stories which I will then have to find the time to edit and rewrite what needs to be before sending it off to the editor. Kind of an exciting thought to be that close to having something to show for all of this.
VeL – Like always, these are still hit or miss but I’m starting to see the curve of it getting easier. I had been lucky enough to get three posts completed with two of them going live this week and the third going live next week. If we have any downtime this weekend, I hope to get a few more pre-written and scheduled ahead of time. Trying to get better at that whole not leaving things until the last minute habit us with ADHD are known for.
The word count, as of today, for where I’m supposed to be is just under 27k. I am at least well over halfway there with almost 16k words written. I’ll count that as a win.
CLOAKED RITES – This project has been in a sort of stopping and starting pattern all week. It’ll probably stay like this until I can find the time to sit down and really plot it all out. I really am interested in trying the Snowflake Method but it seems like it’d take a full day to do from start to finish which needs to be scheduled for one of the days my husband is home since it’ll probably be best done with a sounding board at the ready. So, for this upcoming Monday, I have put it on my schedule to spend the day doing this instead of writing. No matter how caught up I am at that point. There’s been almost no progress to report.
The Stormbloods Saga – This is my only project that has exceeded the actual word count goal for the day. My aim for each installment when finished to be no less than 30k words and no more than 40k. I’m already at almost 18k words into the first installment and a thousand words over the daily goal. There’s at least 2k of filler in there that needs to be cut but I still feel really pleased about my progress. Also, thanks to this story I really want diner food again. It’s been too long.
DLPSW – Just over 12k in and I’ve finally gotten to the big trope in my first romance novel, the fake relationship. I’m a little behind where I should be but since I’ve passed all the setup and info dumps I have a feeling this story will start to write itself. The word count goal for today is just a touch over 17.5k which means if I really hustle in the next few weeks I could have two projects back on track or even ahead. I will say one of the hardest parts of the set up was finding a believable, more or less, way for the Werewolf pack to ‘by accident’ find out these two have been ‘dating’ and just didn’t tell anyone because of reasons. I had mapped out five possible reveals but ended up poking holes in all of them.
Finally, I just said screw it and started writing. If I write it odd or wrong, it can just be fixed with my editor at a later date. The most important thing was to just to keep the story flow going, to get words to page. Not sure who said it but a quote I try to remember often is ‘you can’t edit a blank page.’ Cliché but true.
I’ve also gotten into the habit of just glossing over scenes that I can’t get to work in the moment with a line in all caps telling me to work on this during revisions. I also try to put in a random word that I know probably won’t be written anywhere else in the project like for example, mopery. Mopery means a violation of an imaginary or trivial law. Nowhere in my manuscript will I ever actually use mopery so I put it there. That way later I can use ctrl-F and search for it.
If you think you’d like to use this method but don’t know what random obscure words to use, try wordnik.com. It’s very useful in that regard.
The Keepers Chronicles – This project is the furthest behind for many reasons. The first being, that even though I loved the characters from the first story I wrote, it was supposed to be a standalone horror short story. Now, I’m expanding and haven’t had to time to fully sit down with that idea. I’m aware now that this was short-sighted on my part when I set this all up. Next year I plan on structuring my projects very differently, having none but the major ones spanning the whole year. I’m over 10k short for this project and probably will be for a little bit until I can straighten out some of the larger word count projects.
To everyone else participating in #onemillionwords or just trying to do better this year, how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below