One Million Words #IWSG

Though I didn’t intend to take a hiatus from online life during the month of May, it happened regardless. Now you might be thinking the post title implies how many words I wrote during my time offline. Sadly, that’s not the case. But it is how many words I consumed.

When it comes to “reading”, I prefer audiobooks because I can listen while doing things like vacuuming, folding laundry, mowing the lawn, or taking my daily walk at lunch. I can also adjust the playback to 1.3x speed. Doing so, I managed to complete the three books available in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive in under one month.

Book 1 – The Way of Kings – 384K
Book 2 – Words of Radiance – 398K
Book 3 – Oathbringer – 454K

And people chastise me about having long books.

I guess that ties into the IWSG Question of the Month: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

What can I say? I happen to enjoy sprawling epics.

Alright, alright. Thanmir War can be slimmed down from it’s 170K mark, but I’m determined to finish writing the series before returning to revise my debut book. Isto is presently sitting at 185K, and based on my task list, it will probably grow.

? Prune the Prologue (2K cut!)
? Add initial encounter between Main Character and monsters
? Trickle in affects of said encounter
❏ Rewrite illness-cause discovery scene
❏ Rewrite MC’s wife’s encounter with monster
❏ Rewrite the big battle (this will probably add to the word count)
❏ Renumber the chapters

I should be further along than I am, but the weather did it’s usual Idaho thing, fluctuating from sweating sunburns to frost on the window within the same week. Multiple days of rainy skies sent my mood spiraling into a depressive funk, which resulted in nothing accomplished writing wise. It didn’t help that I dwelt on how problematic my writing is. Talk about being an insecure writer. I mean, I get the benefits of critique groups. Heck, I even created mine and have been running it for over six years now. But I can’t fight off the despair brought on by the fact that everything I submit needs to be reworked with drastic measure. And the chapters I’m submitting are past the first-draft stage. For me, it’s a clear indicator that everything I produce is crap. *heavy sigh* At least I’ve managed to rewrite and resubmit to the satisfaction of my peers, so there’s a plus. But it does leave me wondering how terrible the chapters I haven’t submitted are.

Does weather ever drag you down? Do you enjoy audiobooks? Have you read the Stormlight Archives?

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You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

38 thoughts on “One Million Words #IWSG

  1. The weather in Kansas City has been pretty terrible too. I’m lucky to have a sump pump. No floods for me and I’ve been on the tale end of several severe storms. Thank goodness it was jus the tale. Write what you love. I hope this month is incredibly sunny and productive for you 🙂

  2. I’ve just been getting back into audiobooks too and listen to them when I walk and garden. The ones you have read have huge word counts.

    It’s been super rainy here too and is raining right now. I try not to let me down. Even though your first drafts need heavy revisions, it sounds like you are doing a good job of revising. Much of writing is revising so maybe you just need to look at your writing differently.

  3. I don’t usually read audiobooks – I get too distracted – but I never say never. 🙂

  4. I’ve hear of people listening to audiobooks on a higher speed. Never tried it, but now I’m curious to see how it works.

    Don’t despair about your writing – it doesn’t matter what number draft you’re on, there’s always something that can be changed, fixed, or revised. I have to remind myself not to despair after beta reader feedback. I always end up having to make significant changes.

    Cheers – Ellen

  5. Jennifer Lee Hawes

    Rain sets my writing mood on fire! I don’t know why I adore rain and thunder storms. They make me want to write and never stop. We’ve had our fair share of rain here. Ugh. We are flooded!! The longer a book is, the more I like it, because I read quickly and always finish a book so fast.

  6. I totally didn’t know you could adjust the audio speed! My brain just grew! I didn’t get writing or blogging done last month either but I have made some progress this month, so I’m with ya!

    • P.S. One of this things I finished this month is a total rewrite of the opening of the book you beta’d for me. Now to integrate the other 80k words. Easy, right? LOL

  7. I bought “The Way of Kings” years ago and still haven’t gotten the nerve to tackle it yet. I love listening to audiobooks too, although now that I’m not commuting to work, my listening time has dropped dramatically. Are you an Audible subscriber?

    • I actually check out most of my audiobooks from the public library. They use Overdrive for ebooks and audiobooks. Sometimes I can’t find what I’m looking for, but I always cheer when I do!

  8. Don’t think your writing is crap! If you’re writing epics, I’m sure there is A LOT to get writing. I’m not even writing an epic and there’s a ton that’s taken me forever to figure out. Don’t get discouraged. You WILL get there.

  9. I have listened to a couple of novels on audio, but prefer to listen to lectures, like Great Courses. When I read, sometimes I like to look back or look something up and I can’t do that with audio.

    Weather certainly affects me, physically and mentally. I suspect my unusually productive writing this spring is due to the extraordinary amount of rain we’ve received. Once summer sets in, with its glaring sun and high temps and humidity, I’ll turn into a sloth.

  10. That’s a lot of reading! It’s been a long while since I read an epic tome. I tend to avoid them though once I’m into one I start enjoying the experience and often wish it would keep going. I guess a series is one way to stretch things out.

    Maybe super hot weather affects me most negatively (as well as driving up my electric bill running the AC more than normal). When I get a huge electric bill it can be a real downer for me. I guess I shouldn’t complain though when I hear how much some folks back east pay with AC running 24/7.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  11. Anna

    I love audio books and weather does get me down. Or it did. I lived in Vancouver BC for years and I swear it rained every day except for a few weeks in the summer. I fought it by pretending it was sunny and kept my back to the windows. Or—in the winter—I’d go skiing above the cloud cover.

    It worked for me. Keep the curtains closed and the lights bright. 😉

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  12. David Powers King

    Weather certainly drags me does, and sometimes headaches when pressure changes. I have one sprawling epic in mind, but I’m not sure I’m cut out to deliver a door stopper. Maybe one day, though. 🙂

  13. I don’t read audio books. I love reading on my iPad. My daughter has long solo trips, so she listens to a lot of audio books, and at a faster speed, too. The weather always gets to me. If the day is bright & sunny, my mood is too. But rain and gloom make me feel depressed and listless. Hope you have a great month.

  14. Book Three in my fantasy series is currently clocking in at about 136k, and all I do is think about how much more story I have to tell. I like writing big books, and I cannot lie. That’s the nature of writing epic fantasy stories, I suppose.

    I’ve personally never had much luck with audiobooks because my mind wanders too much and I end up missing huge chunks of story. Of course, these days, I find I’m just lacking in overall focus.

  15. That’s a lot of words.
    I like sprawling fantasies as long as they have an end. I gave up on Wheel of Time years ago because it was never going to end.
    Don’t let the funk get you. Keep working on the rewrites and edits.

  16. May was not a productive month for me here in California. Lots of emotional ups and downs, don’t even start me on this ridiculous weather, and if one more thing breaks, bubbles over, spurts, or sends flames shooting skyward, I’m truly done.

    Re-writing even after many drafts is something I’m still a tad cranky about, but every once in a while, I’ll strike gold and the re-write proves to be very worthwhile. Don’t let them get you down.

  17. I like audible books especially the dramatic ones that are acted out. I have Star Wars and Lord of the Rings on CD bought years ago. Happy IWSG!

  18. Ahh! Sssh!! You are an EXCELLENT writer. I loved This World Bites! We all have those shitty days where we just know everything we write is crap. But that’s all those are: shitty days. Sometimes they last for weeks…sometimes longer. You said it. You’re in a funk. And while I think critiquing is important, you have to remember that it’s YOUR story. You’re the one telling it. Don’t write to please other people, but use their suggestions to make YOUR story the best it can be.

    Believe me, you’re far from the crappy writer you think you are. 😉

  19. I don’t read audio books. I prefer the written books, and have always been this way. Even when I was at school or university, I preferred a textbook to a lecture. I absorb material better through my eyes, not ears.
    I also like fantasy, but not epics. My favorite books and writers tend to more personal, quieter stories, not wars and politics but love and life on a smaller, more intimate scale. With magic, preferably.

  20. I get more words down in bad weather than good, though the fluctuations from cold to hot brutalize my sinuses. Good luck with your epics!

  21. Kim Lajevardi

    I enjoy epics as well. I get you about the weather. We have bi-polar weather in my neck of the woods, and it can throw me for a loop when a spring day turns into a blizzard. Eating junk food and binge watching or binge reading are the only acceptable activities on such days. Doesn’t leave much room for writing, though. 😉

    Great post!

  22. Your stuff is not crap! It’s awesome and it’s seriously amazing the amount of work you’ve put into it.

    I’m the opposite – I love the rain. It’s so rare here. The cold…not so much.

    I used to love audiobooks, but I haven’t listened to one in a long time. Mostly because I know I’ll get interrupted. Heaven only knows how much it happens when I’m reading paper/ebooks.

  23. Oh wow! That kind of fluctuation in weather would have me hibernating until it settled down. 🙂 LOL! I’m deeply impressed that you’ve been running a critique group for six years. I just got started in one this year, and while it’s helpful it’s also a lot of work!

  24. I grew up in Oregon, so rain never bothers me.

    The first two books of my series neared the 200,000 word mark. It took a lot of editing to get them down to acceptable levels.

  25. Cathrina

    I don’t know how you can write such sprawling epic reads. I’m amazed. I’m having a hard time reaching 70k. I do know that many agents prefer lower word counts, for fantasy they can be quite a bit higher, though.

    As I sit here at the computer, it’s a down pouring. The weather hasn’t been good at all.

  26. The rain we had in May was so fierce! It really cramped my hiking style. I am definitely most at home writing creative nonfiction, and I do love audiobooks for the same reason you do. I used to listen them on dog walks, but have since decided I’d rather not have earbuds in when I’m outside for the most part. When I do listen to audiobooks and podcasts while gardening, I tend to just put my phone in my pocket and let it play sans earbuds. I guess I don’t like having things in my ears, lol.

  27. I love sprawling books if they’re well-written. Am reading Donna Tart’s Goldfinch at the moment and absolutely enjoying it. All the best with your goals!

  28. Whoa, step back a moment. Everything you produce isn’t crap. It may feel that way, but we all write, rewrite, and rework multiple times. That does not make it crap. That’s way better than those who never even start.

    And there’s nothing wrong with sprawling epics. People love that. Embrace what you are. Write what you love. And I’m sorry the weather has sucked. Maybe things will get better soon.

  29. I love the Stormlight archives and have read them all. Will probably reread all three when the next one comes out which might be end of this year or start of 2020. And three of my children own all three books too. LOL. We can’t share. We all love big long fantasy novels.

  30. The weather here in Idaho has been mixed up – even this end of the Treasure Valley. At least the tornadoes were further away – well, 24 miles away. I can’t blame the external weather for my bad days though. I’m impressed at your reading count.

  31. Are you sure we aren’t the same person? Or at least neighbors? I took off the month of May too. Or most of it anyway. The weather was also bananas here too. Still is. Although you got a ton of writing done. I got, um, some done. So, yeah, go you!!!!


  32. I’m backwards in my weather preferences. I adore snow, rain, thunderstorms, hail, clouds, wind, (but not tornados). Bright sunny days kill my eyeballs. Yep, weirdo. But I wouldn’t want those all the time. Got to get outside to maintain sanity. Hard to bike ride through rain.

  33. I’ve never read an audio book. I’m not saying that I never will… but I DO love the written word experience, as in, curling up with a paperback and losing myself in that world. I’m not sure that the audio experience would be as immersive for me.
    Congrats on the consumption of a million words!!

  34. I love audiobooks, and usually get the from the library. That Stormlight Archive just looks too daunting for me, though, I just don’t have that kind of attention span anymore.

    And the weather DEFINITELY affects my mood. I’ve only realized it recently, or maybe it’s become worse as I’ve gotten older, but the long winters around here REALLY hit me hard.

  35. The weather will definitely get me down and make my energy levels plummet. Then everything is hard to do and I just want to nap.

  36. It sounds like it was a productive month despite your having a break. Those are some hefty word counts in the audiobooks and it’s all grist to your creative mill. I would say writing longer is a good thing too, it shows you’ve got no shortage of ideas and they’re the engine that keeps the whole thing going. Hope the weather improves and you break that funk.

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