Alex Callahan

Perfect mix of magic and mayhem

Writing Update – January (so what if it’s a little late)

When I was making goals this year, I told myself that in order to stay motivated, I needed some kind of accountability. And yes, being friends with another writer and having regular writing/editing weekends with her does help to keep me on track. But I wanted something more, and so I decided to post regular updates on the blog so that there were other people (a lot of them imaginary, let’s be honest) who would be able to keep track of my accomplishments and poke me if need be.

I’m not going to lie, at first I thought I would be making weekly updates, but with my day job and how much time I can realistically commit to writing, those would not make for very interesting, or very long posts. As a result, I settled on monthly updates.

We shall not speak about how late this January update is. Let’s just be grateful it’s here at all.

The Good

I kept up with my writing streak, writing a little every day. And while some days (especially when I had to pull overtime at work) it was really little, every word and every sentence counts and I’m kind of proud of myself.

I’ve written 2425 words in January, and it’s definitely over 2k I wouldn’t get otherwise.

I also did a lot of work on this blog, with planning and brainstorming blog post ideas and researching the mystical target audience… I even managed to keep up to the frequent posting schedule I wanted for a while. Basically, I tried doing something that would get me closer to my goals, which does bring us to the other side of January:

The Bad

It wasn’t all sunshine and daisies, unfortunately. While the beginning of the year was nice, work-wise, and I was prepared for the uptick in activity I would have to handle, what I wasn’t prepared for was my coworker going on sick leave, leaving me with all the work. There was a week where I didn’t even know what my name was by the end of it.

It did mean aside from writing every day (thank God for Evernote, allowing me to write on my phone while on the train) I had to halt everything else I was doing and planning on.

I’m not entirely sure how long it’s going to take for my day job to slow down again, so I’ll need to readjust my plans and action steps, but hopefully, I won’t have to stop altogether. I might have to adopt a less frequent posting schedule on the blog for the next couple of months, but hey, as long as I’m moving forward, all’s good.

Struggling with Writing Burnout

Writing burnout, burnout, in general, is something every writer (or creator) fears. My entire creative career has been a constant struggle to find the balance between being productive, creating new things, and burning out because I’m taking on too much and the stress is killing any motivation I might have.

And it really is a struggle for me. I can have a really good 6 months of writing and creating, only to not write a single word for the rest of the year (last year was an example of that, and years before weren’t exactly burnout free).

This year, as I am trying to adjust my writing ambitions to the new reality of having a full-time job that brings me satisfaction, and trying to come up with a new plan of pursuing what’s always been my dream, I’m once again faced with the reality that if I attempt to do too much, too fast, I might fail.

And failure is not an option.

I can’t even tell you why, but there’s this certainty in me, whispering in my mind, telling me there’s only so many times I can go back to the start, make another attempt, come at it from a different angle. Yes, each time I started from scratch, I learned from my mistakes, I figured out the limitations and realized that while working under pressure and setting up rigorous plans can get me where I want, it’s not a pace I can keep in the long run.

Because if I try, no matter how exciting I am, I will burn out and be right back where I started.

So this time, I’m hoping that slow and steady will win this race and that small steps will get me where I want to be. So the word for the year is


Wish me luck!

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