I realize that every blog update I’ve posted this year has begun with “it’s been a weird month”, and unfortunately, the trend continues. The motivation woes and pessimistic defeatism I posted about last month have thankfully abated, but unfortunately, I spent most of April not feeling well due to a smorgasbord of health problems that had me suffering a lot of pain, nausea, and fatigue. But, after a month of new medication, changes to my other meds, and a new diet, I’m starting to feel better. Plus, I got my second COVID-19 vaccine last week, so I’m looking forward to worrying less about catching the virus every time I have to leave the house.

With my health woes, I didn’t get much writing done. But that’s okay. I’m trying to do better about taking care of myself, so I didn’t press myself to work on the days I didn’t feel like it, choosing to nap or play video games instead. After so many years pushing myself too hard and not giving myself the space to rest, I still sometimes feel guilty for abandoning the grind or get major FOMO, but then I remind myself that the glory of the hustle is the lie of modern capitalism, and burning myself out will do more harm than taking a month (or two or three or ten) off.

While I’m not 100% yet (and honestly, I don’t know that I’ll ever be back to the same levels of energy and motivation and productivity I had before, depending on how these health issues shake out), I am improving. I feel like doing things again. I’m reading again. And I’m motivated to finish BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL again, thanks to some encouragement from my writing friends.

I spent a few days putting together a rough second draft by rearranging my first draft scenes according to the new outline order. That way, instead of trying to rewrite each scene fresh to a blank page, I have existing material to work with. I’m hoping that will make finishing the second draft easier.

Otherwise, I spent the last of April taking care of a variety of tasks I’ve been putting off, and May feels like a fresh start. I want to make the most of it while the feeling lasts.


Word Counts in April:

Blog/Newsletter: 874
D&D: 796

Total Words Written in April: 1,670
Total Words Written in 2021: 29,511


Plans for May:

With a new month ahead, I’m hoping to dig back into BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL and make some headway on the second draft. I would like to get through the first five chapters by the end of the month.

With the revisions I’ve already done, I’m about 25% finished with those scenes. Also, I’m hoping that having an entire “draft” to work with will make it easier to work on different scenes, even if it’s out of order. That way, if I’m having trouble revising one scene, I can switch to an easier scene and keep making forward progress. I get really frustrated when I’m stuck, and I think that was part of the reason why I was having such a hard time with the book earlier this year.

The first five chapters are currently just over 37,000 words. I don’t know how much of that will be pared down with revisions, but I’d like to trim at least 10,000 words off of that number if I can. Most of Part 1 is actually pretty solid, other than a few key scenes that are really giving me trouble. Once I figure those out, the rest should be pretty straightforward.

For the revision, I divided the book into five parts, 4-6 chapters each, and my goal is to complete each part before moving to the next one. The current total word count is about 235,000, which is already 35,000 words shorter than the first draft, but I know part of that is excluding the scenes that haven’t been written yet, as there is no first draft scene to copy over (especially Part 2).

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