How is it already August?!
In spite of my disbelief for how quickly time flies, this post’s delay actually isn’t because I lost track of the time. I wanted to give my Gap Year post (read it here) some space before posting again, and I honestly didn’t know if I’d get to writing this by August 1st.
Anyways, it’s here now—so let’s get into the writing update, shall we?
July 2019: Summer is a deceptively free time. That’s my excuse realization after a second consecutive month of not meeting my writing goal. Yeah, sadly, I did not finish my edit of the second draft of The Queen of Imagination. (And I didn’t even touch Our Company of Fools like I thought I might.)
But I did make huge progress: [as of August 1st] I’m through Chapter 28 of 37 (a number I reduced this month by combining a couple of chapters). That means I have only 9 chapters remaining to edit, so I’m very, very close to the end. That’s essentially a week and a half’s work, if I’m able to edit a chapter a day. But I’ll talk more on that coming up in my goals for August.
Now, as for my excuse realization, I say summer is a deceptively free time because (at least for me) I go in with high expectations. No school means more time to write. What I failed to take into account were all the other tasks on my to-do list as I prepare for graduate school and trips to visit friends and family, which, when combined, equal an unpredictable, inconsistent schedule. This inconsistency meant I lacked a daily rhythm and routine that made it easy to fit writing in. When I traveled and spent a couple of weeks out of state, too, writing was the least of my priorities. I wanted to spend time with friends and family, and if I did have free time during my visits, I needed to make progress on my pre-grad school summer assignment over my writing project. So, despite not meeting my writing goal of finishing Draft 2 of The Queen of Imagination, I don’t feel discouraged. Rather, I’m eager for the upcoming scheduled life, complete with a consistent day-to-day rhythm, so that I can best discipline myself to make time for writing.
August 2019 Goals: It’s hard to predict how much writing time I’ll have once grad school begins in full swing. But I have a hazy idea of what I might be able to accomplish, so I’m setting goals to motivate me to make progress, even on the days when I’m tired. Ideally, I’d love to have daily writing time, even if it’s just half an hour. If that proves unrealistic, I’m going to pick a day off (possibly Sunday afternoons?) as my weekly writing time. I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with this well into September to see what will realistically work with my schedule.
Goal Number 1 for August: Finish Draft 2 of The Queen of Imagination. Honestly, if I do not accomplish this task within the month, I will be more than a little mad at myself. The only reason I won’t get this done is if I’m abducted by aliens, or some other unforeseen calamity occurs in my life. In fact, I’m so confident in my ability to tackle this task once and for all that I’m aiming to finish this draft by my birthday next week. With 9 chapters left [as of August 1st], if I work on one a day, I’ll finish on August 9th (so, with two days to spare).
Goal Number 2 is spot edit Our Company of Fools and query it again. It’s a small task compared to a full draft edit, but it takes considerable brain power. Since it does take so much mental energy (at least for me), I’d love to knock this out before classes officially start at the end of this month. Maybe even the weekend before.
Goal Number 3 is pick what I’ll work on next and start it. My options at the moment are between another editing venture and beginning a completely new trilogy I’ve been inspired by this past month.
The editing project feels like a massive headache to me, not going to lie, as it involves tearing apart, stitching together, and doing some major physical therapy with the dreaded sequel to Our Company of Fools. This sequel project has been an on-again, off-again nightmare for me, but I think I’ve come up with the solutions I need to make it work. It’s just a matter of committing to the time, frustration, and tediousness of taking two semi-complete, trashy drafts and merging them, while also adding in completely new scenes. In other words, unlike The Queen of Imagination, it’s not going to be as fun or easy for me. But my motivation for picking up the Fools sequel is that I need it in order to build a bridge to the future installments of the Leah Pool saga. I’m still invested in Leah’s story, even though sometimes I do throw notebooks across the room and want to quit on her (but, alas, I don’t—or haven’t yet). So I need to get over this Book 2 mountain and do it justice so I can keep building this beautiful and tragic story I have in mind for her…
On the other hand, as necessary as Leah’s second book is for me to straighten out, I’ve also edited a lot this year. I haven’t really written. This new trilogy (which is unrelated to the “new project” I was focused on in the spring) gives me an opportunity to pursue a new story that’s epic in scope yet simpler than my more complex series ideas (like the “new project” of the spring). Plus, I’m intrigued by this plot idea and would possibly be able to jump right into writing with little up front development, a tactic that worked with Our Company of Fools and, to some extent, The Queen of Imagination in the past.
During a busy season (like the one I’m stepping into) usually it’s easier for me to muster up motivation to write over editing. That alone may decide it, but I also can’t deny that once I break through the wall of Book 2 of Leah’s story, I’ll be able to continue writing her journey—a notion that excites me. So I’m still undecided. I’ll probably start both, see which one sparks my passion, and carry on with that one.
Thanks for tuning in for this month’s writing update! Check back next month to see which new project I’ll be focusing on this fall, and stay tuned for next week’s special post!