January ’24 Wrap-up

A good month for reading, writing, journaling and film-watching, if nothing else. Check out my nerdy tracker stats, and a rundown of my media consumption.

Flatlay image of an journal open to a January 2024 calendar spread. The notebook is beside a decorative black plate to the right, a sticker pile below, a fountain pen and a facedown phone to the left.

Habits & Health This Month

My daily tracker is simple: I have ten boolean (yes/no) trackers that help me track habits, streaks, and the last time I did a certain activity. Then I have four value (scale or plain number) trackers for things like health and writing word count.

HabitTotal Days This MonthBest Streak (Days in a Row)
Table of my first four habits: reading, writing, art and journaling

Not depicted are habits I didn’t allocate much resources to this month: coding practice and review, socials, exercise, spirituality practices like tarot, etc.

January was an excellent month for reading, writing and journaling. Despite breaking the streaks eventually, I was (and still am) quite proud I achieved the streaks at all.

I won’t talk about this one at length, and truthfully I’m only posting it for posterity. All you need to know is January did not feel like a good month, and my health tracker reflects that a little bit.

My word count tracker isn’t polished, since I don’t output word counts consistently, but here are some rough stats from both Obsidian and Scrivener.

Total words overall34,133
Total words in draft33,917
Average word count per day2,626
Record word count in a day6,568 (on 1/22)
Table of writing stats for January

If you’re wondering what spirit possessed me on January 22, I also don’t know. It’s a blur, sir.

Most of the writing output went to Project Stardust, my main work-in-progress which I’ll introduce at length in a separate post. The remaining amount went into blog drafts, a number that will hopefully increase in the coming months.

For context, I do not count words that go into outlining, brainstorming and plotting. This is not because they don’t count in that sense. (In fact, non-drafting days are still tracked as writing days!) They just tend to happen in places without automatic word counters.

Books Read & Films Watched This Month

Not pictured: the Fast & Furious franchise that my partner and I have been marathoning since December. While I do give numeric ratings to media in my journal, I’ve decided to go with a more playful and subjective emoji rating here on the blog.

๐Ÿ“• This is How You Lose the Time War, Amal el-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

Rating: ๐Ÿฅฐ

I had so much fun with this book, and I’m glad it was my first read of the year. I went into it with very little idea what it was about, and hence spent a fraction of the beginning wondering where it was going or if every detail was going to be important later. When it picked up, it really picked up.

๐ŸŽฅ Gomburza (2023) & ๐ŸŽฅ Firefly (2023)

Rating: ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ/๐Ÿ™„

I’m going to group these two together, since I watched them in the same context and have similar impressions of them. I watched both films from the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2023, during the last two weekends.

I liked Gomburza a bit more than I liked Firefly, because I have a soft spot for historical Filipino films โ€” following the footsteps of Heneral Luna (2015) and Goyo: The Boy General (2018). The production was, of course, amazing and the story was touching, but I wasn’t too happy with the dialogue.

I have the same (but slightly harsher) feedback for Firefly, during which I was making a lot of snarky comments to my partner. I didn’t hate it, of course, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have wanted to.

๐ŸŽฅ Rebel Moon Part I (2023)

Rating: ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ/๐Ÿ˜”

Rebel Moon disappointed me. So many things about this were just my type (conceptually), from the kickass female lead to the complex, socio-political wars of fictional worlds and societies. I might have enjoyed it more if I’d expected less. It was my partner’s turn to make snarky comments, pausing the stream often to show me a scene, character or concept artwork from Warhammer 40K that looked just like the frame we were looking at.

๐ŸŽฅ Saltburn (2023)

Rating: ๐Ÿ˜ณ/๐Ÿคฏ

This one was a… spicy surprise. You know, I think I’ll leave it at that. IYKYK. If you watch it because of this post, no, you didn’t.

January Introspection

I mentioned earlier that it hasn’t felt like a good month for me. This comes with reflexive pressure and disappointment because, historically, January used to be a good month for me. I used to set goals, clean up and look ahead. I felt bad that I might not have that anymore, because of things my body remembers every January.

I had some intentions softly set: look forward and not back, write everything down, invest in the future. I’ve done my best to fulfill those. I’m still trying my best to put one foot in front of the other at all times. But I do also want to sit with the feelings and make peace with them, lest I carry the baggage of the month into the ones ahead.

This Month, I’m Grateful For…

  1. Louie, my endlessly fantastic partner who puts up with me every step of the way
  2. Stardust, the creative project that’s had me in a chokehold since November last year and which might quite possibly be saving my life
  3. the roomies, my college best-friend group that allow me the joys of looking ahead and looking back in equal measure
  4. the ADHD Writers, the only writing group where I can be truly unmasked and partly unhinged in ways no one else can witness
  5. my room, which magically gets redecorated around this time every year and has everything I need to be creative, reflective, sullen, inspired, heavy, safe and true

How was your January, darlings? Let’s catch up again soon.

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2 responses to “January ’24 Wrap-up”

  1. […] but it has also evolved into a second brain/zettelkasten, a tool for daily journaling and habit tracking, and a digital notebook for brainstorming and saving reminders to myself. Case in point: Obsidian […]

  2. […] best habits from last month have tapered off, but I’m not unhappy about that. I wanted to devote some time to coding […]

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