August 1st, 2022
I’m sure me starting each of these by waxing poetic about the woes of time is growing old, but it’s hard not to do it again after this last month. I knew July would pass with startling speed, but I never quite anticipated time moving quite the way it did. It’s been a whirlwind of a month. Four of the best weeks of my life have come and gone and my return to work is imminent.
The bad news is that I got almost nothing done in July. This was expected. I spent the month’s entirety vacationing with friends in a foreign country — that sort of environment is not overly conducive to work. I did get a chapter of my novel written, plus a second one started, but not much else has been worked on, let alone finished.
Like I said, this was expected. My plan was always to make up for the slow July with a very busy August.
This is where the good news becomes relevant — I feel incredibly refreshed. These four weeks have all been among the best of my life, but I am ready to be home and eager to work. That’s not something many say after a vacation like mine, but I’ve missed writing. The old adage does hold true, as cliche as it might sound. If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. I love writing — it is among my greatest passions and brings me immense amounts of joy. I also just understand that, as an artist, breaks and recharges are necessary. I have had mine in July and am eager to see what August brings.
So far, I’ve talked a lot about how inactive I was this past month. It’s going to be a theme throughout this blog, so I would like to take the time right now to thank my patrons. I am terrified to see how many leave after such a quiet month and that fear has been the source of much stress these past few weeks. What has got me through that is the knowledge that, through thick and thin, you have always stuck with me. You have trusted me more than I trusted myself and enabled me to do things I once never dreamed of. Your support has changed my life and leaves me humbled each and every waking moment. For all of that, I thank you.
I plan to take the month off of podcasting. This is so I can focus on my two top priorities this month, which I will talk about soon. There will be at least one pre-recorded podcast released on Patreon — the episode featuring MJ Bradley that was recorded some time ago and that I keep falsely promising will come out soon — but otherwise, podcasts will wait until September because I have plenty on my plate in August.
Here’s the part of these blogs where I go over each of my stories and explain what I got done the last month, plus what I plan to do in the month to come. I’m going to skip the former step given the fact I wrote no full chapters of fanfiction in July, so assume no progress was made.
Ashes of Chaos will almost definitely remain untouched in August. I know people are growing restless and eager for the next upload, but I have a lot on my plate. My writing focus will be on a different story this month and I still have almost the entirety of PoP book 3 to revise. Those two things are going to take a lot of time and both would likely suffer if I tried working AoC into the rotation.
I must also admit that the lack of motivation I mentioned last month regarding this story persists. It’s a difficult mind trap. I have come incredibly far these past few years. I have difficulty looking at things I wrote in 2021, let alone the early chapters of this fic, which were largely drafted all the way back in 2017. I feel very restrained by my past ineptitude and displeased with the product as a whole. This makes working on it more difficult for me, which is another reason I’m taking a break to avoid a complete and total burnout. I may do a dedicated Ashes of Chaos update blog at some point, but it won’t be in August.
Moving onto more optimistic things, August will be a BIG MONTH for Conjoining of Paragons. I will be arriving back home on August 7th. I’ll take that day to recover from travel and then I’ll probably begin work on CoP chapter 37 that next afternoon. Once I start, I plan to work almost exclusively on this story for the entire month of August. That’s three dedicated weeks of me just writing CoP, keeping in mind that about half my time will be focused on PoP book 3 revisions. I think this is going to lead to some very pleasing results, both in terms of quality and output.
I envy the way someone like Brandon Sanderson balances multiple projects. He writes a book until it’s finished, then shifts focus to the next. I often wish I could do that with fanfiction but fear it would work poorly on Patreon in particular. Don’t consider this a test run, exactly, but consider it me trying to find a happy medium between what works well for my readers and what I think my ideal writing process is.
Given the fact I plan to work on this fic for three consecutive weeks, my hope is that I will post AT LEAST six CoP chapters in August. This would be a single-month record for output on this fic and I think CoP readers will be appreciative. I too want to make some significant progress on this story in the next few months, so I’m excited to see what August brings. I’m hoping to surpass my own goal, but six chapters would put me in a very nice spot.
Goals are tricky things. My goal prior to vacationing was to revise a chapter of PoP book 3 each day before my departure. I underestimated the preparations for that trip, not to mention recording nearly 10 hours of audio in the week before leaving, plus my own writing and editing. All of that compiled and made time for revisions scarce. I have currently revised only the first two chapters of PoP book 3 — both of which are in the beta stage and have not yet been updated on the website — but I plan to change that upon my arrival back home. I am going to hold myself more strictly to the one chapter per day regiment, at least through the first number of chapters.
My pace may slow the later I get into the year. I am already HEAVILY revising/cutting/rewriting prose, but that stage will require completely new scenes, relatively major alterations, and all sorts of time-consuming things that will slow me down. My current goal is to finish the revisions some time in September, but we will see how successful I am. I want to start publicly posting this again sooner rather than later, so I hope I can make good progress, but I have never been a swift editor.
I mentioned earlier that I would work ‘almost exclusively’ on writing CoP in August. The qualifier exists because I also hope to take a few days and finish the Percy/Calypso one-shot I mentioned during last month’s blog. That shouldn’t take long, it’s just a matter of deciding when this month I went to fit it in.
Then there’s FoF. I did actually toy with this story while vacationing. Certain sights presented a bit of motivation, so I have worked on the next chapter. It’s not finished yet, but some prose have been written.
Mentioning prose is probably the best excuse I’ll get to talk a little bit about my novel. It’s the only project I have made noticeable progress on this month, like I said. There’s not a whole lot to add other than I wrapped up a set of chapters from one character’s point of view and have moved on to a new point of view. I don’t write this book in a linear fashion, so don’t read too much into that. Instead, join me in the pride of knowing this last chapter I wrote was, in my opinion, the best I have ever penned in terms of prose.
I really am excited to get back. This trip has been all I ever dreamed of and so much more, but I miss this. I’m finishing this at nearly 2:00 AM, but just typing so much again raises my energy and makes me eager to do more. It’s the perfect mindset — let us hope it leads to the perfect storm.
I hope patrons are excited for a lot of CoP in August and I hope you all have enjoyed your summer as much as I have enjoyed mine. Thank you all for your continued support despite my long vacation — it means the world to me, as always.