Writing Update October 2022

It has been a while since my last writing update, hasn’t it? While I aim to do these quarterly, to be honest… there hasn’t been much to update? I originally had this update on my calendar for July. Then I pushed it back to August. Then I just decided to scrap the summer update and wait until Fall.

So, here we are.

Fairly major life update, but I’m back in graduate school again, working towards an MA in English Literature as a stepping stone into a PhD program for the same thing. It’s a challenge being a full-time student, teaching college courses of my own, and trying to keep up with my writing practice, but by the grace of God I’ve managed to balance it all. Well, most days, anyway.

Balancing grad school & writing can be a lot – this is a very accurate scene of daily life.

And some of that balance has included consistently writing my fiction! This is extremely important to me, because during my other academic seasons, I tend to let my consistency drop, which just leads to a cycle of self-doubt about my identity as a writer, questioning whether or not I will ever actually finish another book, etc. My writing mostly comes in little snippets and I do miss a day here or there, but for the most part, I’m keeping up with steadily writing my books and motivating myself with a monthly word count goal to work towards.

Let’s get specific on the writing projects I’m working on. I’m still pitching The Queen of Whitman Court and have received a total of seven rejections so far! Sometimes they do sting, depending on my mood when I get the email or what’s specifically written in the email, but overall I’m excited to be actually getting responses instead of just silence. Everyone who’s written me back has also responded very kindly, which I’m also grateful for.

I’m also working on writing the reimagined first book of The Myth-Keepers, though progress has been stop and start as I’ve jumped between working on updating world-building & character notes and actually writing the story draft. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve also run into a story hiccup, partly caused by feeling I don’t have a good enough handle on my main character Zeke’s motivations. I’m also questioning if this first plot is too big and I need to narrow its stakes. Figuring out Zeke is probably the bigger issue, but toning down the story would also take a considerable amount of rewriting. On a positive note, I’ve made kind of a breakthrough with DJ, my secondary POV character in this book, as she is becoming more intriguing as I write her journey of discovering her hidden, broken power. Because of this, I also played with the idea of just focusing solely on DJ and her twin brother Matt as the main heroes of The Myth-Keepers, but the idea didn’t last long. I kept coming back to the value and power of Zeke’s thematic arc and I just can’t let go of Zeke. This is his story.

Fall Writing Aesthetic

But there’s another reason why The Myth-Keepers progress is stalling a bit in the past month: I’m working on a pitch for a potential new writing project. I won’t share more details now, but if my pitch is successful, you’ll definitely hear about it…

As far as stories (other than my own) I’ve engaged with recently, I finished the TV show Psych this summer and absolutely loved it. It’s hilarious and the writing is quite brilliant. I’ve also been rereading Jill Williamson’s books and catching up on the new(er) releases I hadn’t gotten to yet. She’s always a delight to read, as I love her stories, characters, and writing so much. I also started playing Xenoblade Chronicles (the first game), which I’m enjoying as well for its intriguing lore and beautiful music, though since school has started, I haven’t had much of a chance to play it.

Looking forward, I would like to finish the first Myth-Keepers book by the end of the year. The majority of that push may come in December, to be honest, but that is my major goal for 2022. I will also keep pitching The Queen of Whitman Court and try to keep up with this blog as much as possible. I’ve got some interesting topics in the pipeline for the rest of this year, so stay tuned for conversations on Villains, Patience in Writing, and some more personal reflections over the Fall. (And, of course, my annual Reading Recap will be out at the end of December – and it is already massive. Maybe my longest to date, if I don’t cut out a few entries.)

That’s all the update from me! How’s your writing going? What are some writing topics you’d be interested in seeing on the blog?