So, August. The end of summer. The beginning of a new school year and a new semester of my master’s degree. And yet, I set out with the ambitious goal of writing 25,000 words this month to bring my current draft of Mental Note to 40,000 words. Here are my stats:
- Goal: 800 words a day or at least one hour of editing a day
- Total word goal for August: 25,000
- Total Words written: 24,571
- Total writing (and editing) days: 14 (+3 pure editing days)
- Average words/writing day: 1,755
- Best writing day: August 24 (3,872 words)
Okay, so, even though I’m 429 words short of my goal, I am considering this month a huge success. Yes, that includes the fact that I am finding that I totally have to go back and edit the shit out of the first 40,000 words of this new draft, but that’s okay. Thanks to writing group feedback I’ve pinpointed some of the underlying issues with this draft that I really need to fix before moving on and that’s a good things.
Another pattern that’s apparent is that my writing and editing momentum tapered off dramatically once school started. Seriously, my writing to nap ratio basically grew in the inverse. I am fixing that. As a matter of fact, today was the first day where I felt my old stamina and energy come back. With the beginning of the new school year and getting used to 240-ish new students that much was to be expected. As I’m facing September, I aim to do better. Also, huge shoutout to #AugWritingChallenge and the awesome people who have helped keep me accountable. Looking forward to September already! Plus, fall! My favorite writing season!
- Goal: 8 books/month toward a total of 100 this year
- Total books read in August: 15
Holy writing and reading month Batman. I guess writing begets reading. I do love when the two go hand in hand. I completed the fun Pokemon-inspired #ReadThemAllThon challenge, which was an added boost. Here’s what I read in August:
- Kiersten White – AND I DARKEN: I seriously cannot rave enough about this book! Just go read it!
- J.K. Rowling et. al – HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD: What can I say? I am a sucker for HP fanfic and probably always will be.
- Dahlia Adler – UNDER THE LIGHTS: Not my usual, but I enjoyed it. Vanessa was awesome.
- Kameron Hurley – THE GEEK FEMINIST REVOLUTION: This book incensed and inspired me. So much yes.
- Stacey Lee – UNDER A PAINTED SKY: I loved the prose and tense action in this one. Again, I don’t usually read Western, but this YA was just a lot of fun.
- Tanya Huff – THE HEART OF VALOR (Confederation, #3): This series just keeps getting voicer and more and more character-driven. Love the audio.
- Sarah Kuhn – HEROINE COMPLEX: Yes, I’m a sucker for subversions of comic book tropes. This was lots of fun.
- Sabaa Tahir – AN EMBER IN THE ASHES: I positively devoured this in one sitting. Could not put down.
- Sara Farizan – TELL ME AGAIN HOW A CRUSH SHOULD FEEL: I really liked how this book played with some tropes and twisted it into something that both made me happy and was totally unexpected.
- Kekla Magoon – HOW IT WENT DOWN: I mostly read this for my students. I think this fictionalized Trayvon Martin-esque story is important and I’m glad to have it in my classroom.
- Kate Elliott – COURT OF FIVES – I loved the nuanced way this book treated classism and family ties. More, please!
- Roshani Chokshi – THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN: The prose in this is gorgeous. I just wanted more plot to go along with it.
- Matthew Quick – FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK: Yeah, have to say, this book wasn’t for me. I thought that the treatment of mental illness and gay relationships was highly problematic, so, not for me.
- Heidi Heilig – THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE: This was such a cool, diverse twist on the pirate YA genre. I loved the world building and the writing. Also, Kashmir!
- Pat Schmatz – LIZARD RADIO: This read like dystopian conversion camps with lizards! Fast-paced and fun!
Okay, wow, that’s quite a list for this month. Anyway, I’m going to try something new for September and try to track my time edited instead of words written, because that’s basically where I am at with this WIP. Also, I upped my reading goal from 100 books in 2016 to 150. This might be as lofty as my TBR, but we’ll see. Challenges abound!
Until then, happy writing!