Redefining Success (February Update)

This month’s blog is written whilst looking out on a grey and dreary February morning. It’s before work starts, before the world wakes up, and the only sound outside is the sound of the birds welcoming in the day, punctuated by the occasional car driving too fast down our road.

February has been somewhat of a difficult month. It’s been hard to get motivation to write due to the other 1000x pressures on my time and energy. I’ve found even when I did have the time, I just couldn’t bring myself to write.

My goal was another 30,000 this month. So far I have just over 20,000. Which is an amazing achievement if I flick back to my tracker in September last year when even reaching 10,000 words was a long off dream. But saying that, it still feels like I could have done more writing. Pushed myself that little bit harder. Created just a little bit more.

WIP (Assassins Book 1) Updates

I’ve called this post “Redefining Success” because this month has been a lesson in that. My WIP had a huge (I mean, Grand Canyon sized) plot hole that I spent two days puzzling over until I found a solution. Does mean I have to re-write a lot of the earlier story so my main character can learn fighting skills and be introduced to some of the secondary characters earlier. But I solved it.

And yet, there isn’t “proof” of this success, outside of what is buried in my head, still cooking away until it gets written down. There are no words, no pages, no added text documents on my Scrivener. I might, if I have the energy, write a few lines on my “STUFF TO SORT OUT” text document that sits at the start of every section, reminding me of the large enormous pile of plot holes that need to be ironed out before I can have a coherent story.

But saying that, it is a success. As my fiancé pointed out to me, it might not have a word count value but it still has value. Even if I can’t capture that in my little spreadsheet, it’s still work towards my goal. Like the rest of the worldbuilding (which is still very rough round the edge) or the secondary characters or the over-arching plot drivers. Working those out may not have a word count, but it does have an impact.

My overall wordcount on this WIP is almost 120,000 words. Which is completely bananas that I have this many words on one story. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that. It’s current status might not be great, the plot only might make sense in my head at the moment, but it’s 115,000 words more than I had at the start of November last year. And I’m still enjoying the story, enjoying the characters, and enjoying the challenge.

That’s success, I think. Maybe not in terms of wordcount, but in terms of my writing confidence. I’m writing a novel, it’s starting to look like a novel, and it’s bloody hard work but it’s also bloody brilliant fun.

What’s in a Name (Again)

For those of you eagle-eyed you’d notice that I went ahead and put my initial back in my pen name again. It was only after my sibling tried to find me on IG that they pointed out “Alex Cobalt” is still quite generic. So I went ahead and made it “Alex.J.Cobalt”, because then my handle could be @alexjaycobalt. I still like the “J” and “Jay” pun from my original pen-name, so it’s nice to include it even if it’s just in my username.

What else in going on in Alex’s world

I’ve been trying to write more “Prompts on a Theme” once a week, which has been a lot of fun to keep stories short enough for IG but also still pack a punch. Most of these stories I write in the 5 minutes it takes for my lunch to heat up in the work canteen microwave. I’m sure I’ve been given some strange looks hunched over my mobile tapping away furiously, but it’s the only real time I have to write on a weekday. I’ve received some really lovely comments & likes from my slowly growing IG following, which is really nice (and motivational to y’know write my long projects too). I’m still very much figuring out IG – as someone who is notoriously private in real life, sharing stuff with the world is something to get used to.

I’ve been keeping up with my 100 Words and Teacup Stories on WordPress too, something that I really want to keep doing. I think another goal for this year would be to interact more on wordpress to get to know people, but like with IG, I’m still getting used to talking to people. Got to love social anxiety!

And I suppose the final “Big Thing” coming up next is I get to refer to my Fiancé as my Husband in the next two months. Which is pretty damn cool, exciting, and will probably result in an uptick of sappy happy stories.

That’s it from me! Hope you have all had a lovely month, and thank you as always to those who take the time to like or leave comments on my stories. It really means the world to this writer.

Image Credit – Photo by Kundan Ramisetti on Unsplash

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