NaNo What Now?

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Building a Writing Life

start a writing habit, find time to write, discover your process and commit to your writing dreams Non-Fiction

In which I confess that this summer has completely and thoroughly kicked my butt

by Aug 15, 2012External Stimuli, On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Personally..., Word Count Updates and Writing Goals2 comments

Can you spot the moment my life went off the rails?

It’s been an… interesting summer.

Stressful is a grossly over-used word (especially by me… guilty!) but it’s really the only word to describe the last few months. All sorts of stuff was and is still going on, some of it good, much of it bad and nearly all of it stress inducing in big ways. To sum it all up in a gross understatement: I haven’t been on my A game. As the graph above shows, my productivity and output has taken a serious hit while I was muddling through and it’s going to be no small matter to reclaim my normal life as the status quo gradually restores itself (assuming, of course, that it eventually does).

That said, there’s much to be grateful for. For as much drama and badness as there was in the last few months, just about everything has worked out so that even the negatives have ended on a positive note (or as close to one as possible). It’s nice to emerge on the other side of chaos with a sigh of relief.

But I’m obviously incredibly behind on my writing goals since I’m behind in just about everything in my life. It’s not hard to understand how I got in trouble: When I have less time to work (be it because of less time or mind-squishiness), I take the time I do have and focus on the most important things (read as, the things that make the most money) first. When I go into this mode, any writing that doesn’t directly lead to profit (and even some that does) gets put by the wayside.

I haven’t completely given up on my 2012 writing goal of 500,000 words this year but, at this point, the potato and I think it’s unlikely I’ll hit it on time. I’ll still try to get as much done as possible, but I can’t even pretend to know where I’ll be by the end of the year. Right now, I’m frankly delighted with anything I manage to get done. It’s just been that sort of year.

To my readers and Twitter followers, I greatly appreciate your patience. I realize I’ve been quiet on Twitter and a sporadic blogger across my various sites and all I can do is promise you that’s it’s been for very good reasons. I’d love to say that, like some kind of social networking phoenix, I’m about to rise from the BBQ scented ashes of summer to triumphantly blogging and writing regularly again right away but my goals are presently far smaller. I’ll be awkwardly crawling my way back towards normalcy this fall.

Baby steps.


  1. Katie B

    Thanks for the update!  Don’t worry – you will find a good balance and get back on a good track. 🙂

  2. SpaceVegetable

     Life can be a real pain in the patootie sometimes. I’m currently between day jobs at the moment and yet, even with all this extra time I should have available, I haven’t managed to get much of anything done. It’s a crazy summer all around. I hope things get better for you! No more whooping cough or other nasty ills!



  1. Are you a slave to your routine? Is familiarity a comfort or curse? » The Whine Seller: e-commerce, eBay, selling online, self-publishing, marketing, social networking and more - [...] currently find myself in the midst of a spot of chaos and days like the one I described above,…
  2. Hillary » There is no place like home (aka remind me never to leave my house again) - [...] I mentioned, this has been a weird summer. In addition to some personal chaos, I’ve been travelling much [...]

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Hillary DePiano is a playwright, fiction and non-fiction writer who loves writing of all kinds except for writing bios like this.


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