Happy summer! Gone are the days of writing outside – we’re already hitting the 90s in Texas. Unsurprisingly. And, sadly, gone are the days of time freed up for (fiction) writing. I’m back at classes as of today. Still, I’m grateful for all that I accomplished last month and hope to keep up some sort of consistent writing practice. Maybe every other day? We’ll see.
So, what exactly did I accomplish? Like I mentioned last month, I decided to throw it back to my high school ideas. I thought I’d pursue editing The Myth-Keepers, but I ended up picking up my “Star Saga” series. “Star Saga” is my placeholder name for the new series I worked extensively on last Spring based off of the merging of two high school ideas. My reason for focusing on “Star Saga” over The Myth-Keepers is mostly because I wanted to actually write, not edit, as I haven’t written a new book since 2018.
In this new writing adventure, I sought to be fearless and take the writing plunge despite some uncertainty about the flow of the book/series. Doing this gave me freedom: freedom to write, freedom to explore, and freedom to see the early plot problems. Sometimes you really don’t know what will work and what won’t in your story until you just start writing, and that was certainly the case for me. I’ve already done some minor edits and brainstorming for alternate directions in places where what I initially planned wasn’t working. In a way, it’s also reminding me to be flexible in my own life and trust in the Lord’s direction. I like certainty, yet it seems that in my current season, I’m constantly being challenged—in life and in writing—to let go of control and surrender my life’s direction to God.
My first draft so far is messily wonderful and wonderfully messy. Beginnings tend to be extremely difficult for me. I’m encouraged by my track record: I’ve altered the beginning of The Myth-Keepers at least four times and added chapters at the start of Our Company of Fools before the stories made sense and flowed smoothly. Once I crack the code on the beginning, though, I usually get on a roll. I’m not letting myself get too side-tracked figuring out my beginning at the moment, though. I want to keep writing, keep expanding the story, and not get caught up in the minutiae of editing yet, as it might kill my momentum right now.
On a slightly disappointing note, I do feel like what I’m currently writing prose-wise is worse than some of what I wrote in high school. Writing doesn’t feel like second nature anymore, and it may take me some time to work back up to that point. Still, despite the feeling that I’m churning out floppy prose, I am encouraged by how much progress I’ve made so far. I wrote over 20,000 words during my two weeks of break.
Though I want to hold my goals loosely, I would love to hit the halfway point of this book by the end of June. That might be super unrealistic. Another potential goal I have is to finish the whole first draft by the end of the summer!
It truly was a blessing to get time to write and confront my writing fears this May through starting a new book. In many ways, it’s been validating even while challenging me and pushing me. I’m excited—and perhaps anxious—to see how I can keep it up while back in the swing of grad school.