Accountability Roundup: What I wrote and read in June

June went by quickly! Granted, there were two weekends of road trips and some pretty crazy things involved, but I constantly seem to underestimate just how fast the beginning of summer breezes by.

Needless to say, as you can see, not much writing, or rather, editing happened this past month. Instead I read a ton. Since it was Pride month, I decided to prioritize LGBTQ+ books, but let’s face it, I do this any other month, as should everyone, because representation is important.

Anyway, here are my totals for this month:

2016-07-01 22.42.24

Writing:

  • Goal: 500 words/day or 1 hour of editing
  • Total word goal for May: 15,000
  • Total Words written: 1,675
  • Total writing days: 1
  • Average words/writing day: 1,675
  • Best writing day: June 8 (1,675 words)

So, obviously I didn’t make my goal by a long shot, but some things that took some time were reworking my seven-point outline for Mental Note along with quite a few reincarnations of what is now the new chapter one, with which I am actually really happy, so there’s that. Add querying and research to that and I don’t feel like June was wasted in terms of writing. At least now I am doubly prepped to jump into #CampNaNoWriMo in July!

Reading:

  • Goal: 8 books/month toward a total of 100 this year
  • Total books read in June: 15

Yes, it’s been a most epic month of reading for me. So many good books! Here is what I’ve read:

  • WE ARE THE ANTS by Shaun David Hutchinson: My one-word description for this book? Beautiful. And so important. Thank you, Shaun David Hutchinson for writing this wonderful book about depression, loss, and dealing with going on.
  • WHO KNOWS THE STORM and WHO KNOWS THE DARK (Vigilante Book 1 and 2) by Tere Michaels: This was basically gay Batman, that is to say, really fun!
  • PLOT & STRUCTURE by James Scott Bell: One of the first great books on craft I read. Definitely recommend this one to anyone looking to brush up on plotting or deepen their understanding of plotting and structure.
  • THE ART OF WAR FOR WRITERS by James Scott Bell: The lovely David R. Slayton sent me this and it was full of concise and relevant advice for writers at every stage of the process. At this point, just read anything James Scott Bell writes on writing.
  • I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson: This was a slow burn for me. It sat on my TBR for much too long, but in the end I drank up every word.
  • YOU KNOW ME WELL by Nina LaCour and David Levithan: I read this the day after Orlando and this positive LGBT book about the power of friendship and finding just the right person exactly when you need them the most honestly helped me cope.
  • YOUNG AVENGERS by Kieron Gillen: How did I not know this series existed? Hulkling and Wiccan may just be my favorite YA superhero pair ever. And Ms. America is a queer Latina, yes!!
  • SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN by Jeff Garvin: I absolutely loved how pronouns are never an issue in this book. As a writer, Jeff Garvin pulled this story together incredibly well. Another one I am definitely adding to my classroom library.
  • READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline: I do love the audiobook version of this even though this much exposition just shouldn’t work. And, yet, I am willing to forgive many flaws as long as you throw enough nerdiness at me.
  • THE GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER by Tim Federle: This was a pretty quick read for me. I wish it had had a little more depth, but I still really liked how this explore love and loss through pieces of screenwriting.
  • TELL THE WIND AND FIRE by Sarah Rees Brennan: Fun retelling, but I honestly expected a little more from this. Maybe just not for me, but I experienced quite a bit of trope fatigue with this one.
  • HERO by Perry Moore: Finally listened to the audiobook version of this on one of our road trips. This book is probably always going to be among my top five favorite books of all time.
  • ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Alire Saenz: I just LOVE this book so, so much! And Lin-Manuel Miranda reading it? Yes, please!
  • JULIET TAKES A BREATH by Gabby Rivera: this was Gay YA’s readalong pick and basically so many of my lesbian book club books rolled into one fabulous YA book.

So, yes, there you have it. All the reading, plotting, and fairly little editing, but I promise to make up for it in July. I am honestly still working on not being so hard on myself all the damn time, but it’s a process. As far as July goes, I am participating in both #CampNaNoWriMo and the #JulyWritingChallenge to up my editing game. My goal for July is to edit and revise 20,000 words.

What about you? How is your summer reading holding up? What are your writing goals and what are your strategies to meet them? I know I need to rejig my methods for editing as that’s different from word sprints, so I am always down for new ideas.

Cheers and happy writing!

Alex

  1. “At this point, just read anything James Scott Bell writes on writing.”

    Yes, I agree! Bell has a way of breaking things down in a way that helps writers really *get* it. I adore his how-to books.

    Reply

    1. Yes, that’s exactly it. I love how his writing is all hands-on no bullshit, do this, it will help! It’s fantastic.

      Reply

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