That’s a wrap! July 2020

In some ways, July has been par for the course for 2020, but I’m trying to focus on the positives. I’ve made some great reflections this month, have progressed my writing projects, and read some of my favourite books of the year. Come check out the details and share your achievements with me!!

Well, in several ways, July has been par for the course for 2020. But I have my health, my family and friends, my puppy Willow, and my job, so I know I’m one of the lucky ones! I hope you’re also as safe and well as can be! Despite everything, I’ve managed to get a fair amount done, and the key things to note about my month are:

Back in lockdown. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a “second wave” of COVID-19 here in Melbourne, and it’s definitely worse than the first. We’re now all back in lockdown until at least mid-August, and masks are now mandatory in public. Fellow Victorians, please stay safe, do the right thing, and follow all COVID-19 updates on the DHHS website.

Focus on wellbeing. I’ve felt the fatigue start to kick in this month: from working my first full time job, from the craziness that is 2020. So I’ve made a concerted effort to slow down my pace and take more “rest days”, and I’m feeling better for it. I definitely need to keep this focus up over the coming months. It’s important to keep things in perspective, right?

Thoughts about my blog. There seems to be something wrong with my blog theme right now. Margins are wider. Text doesn’t wrap around images properly. I’m 90% sure it’s an issue with the theme because I’ve tried coding changes that normally work but now don’t. It’s made me start thinking about the future of this website…more to come on that soon!!

As per my goals for 2020, I published 2 full blog posts this month, both of which really helped me reflect on the year so far. You can check these posts out below.

July has been another slow month for engagement with other blogs (sorry guys!), but I have been TIRED. Nevertheless, I’ve encountered a couple that resonated with me for various reasons, and recommend you take a look!

Despite slowing down my pace, I feel I’ve made some solid progress on my writing projects this July. I now have three key writing projects that span four separate novels, and the status of each is explored further below:

Holding Up the Sky

“The weight of the sky—of the whole world—was pushing down, and it was crushing me.”

Status: Querying

Word count: 84,878

What’s new: Although I haven’t had “success” with querying my contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky to date, this month I received some very encouraging feedback from agents I’ve queried. So, you know, “success” is relative, right? I’m quite selective about who I choose to query (this book is my baby!); it’s back to the drawing board for the rest of 2020, and we’ll see what happens from there!

Blood of Old (Graceborn #1)

“The Old has returned…and what once was, will be again.”

Status: Beta reading

Word count: 195,170

What’s new: Another quiet month for Blood of Old, the first book in my fantasy series Graceborn, but I’ve had some additional betas start and am excited to see what they think! I’ve also had a few ideas start forming in the back of my mind for how to address some of the feedback I’ve already received. They need a bit more time to stew, which is perfect considering I won’t look at writing the next draft until 2021.

First the Song (Graceborn #2)

The story continues…

Status: Writing 1st draft

Word count: 106,346 (46.2%)

What’s new: This month, I had to slow down the pace at which I’m drafting First the Song, the second book in the Graceborn series. Having said that, I managed to write >20k words! I think this draft will probably end up a bit shorter than I first expected, and I’m aware it’s going to need quite a bit more work. But I’m having a lot of fun. It’s so rewarding to see the scenes in my head come to life!

<Top secret project>

A brand new WIP!

Status: Structuring

Word count: 0

What’s new: This month, I commenced the “structuring” process for the contemporary YA standalone WIP that will be my NaNoWriMo project this November. The first thing I did was sort the scenes I’d brainstormed into some kind of cohesive order, thus finalising the plotboard I created using Scapple. I then spent the second half of July transferring the bare bones of the structure onto Scrivener in preparation for more detailed work to come. Exciting times!

Somehow, I read a total of 5 books this July, and I’m pleased to say that a few of them are now amongst my favourites of the year so far! I haven’t rated all of them, but the titles I finished this month were:



What have you been up to this July? Has your month had a specific focus? How are you coping in this strange new world we find ourselves in?

  One thought on “That’s a wrap! July 2020

  1. 31/07/2020 at 5:01 PM

    I too have experienced a second wave of sorts here in Malaysia, though it’s to do with the postal service closing its international mail services once more. Sending and receiving snail mail from my pen pals was quite the morale boost during these challenging times, but now that’s out the window, I have no idea where I’m going to get my paper-pen fix. Love your monthly updates. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 31/07/2020 at 6:30 PM

      Oh no! Sorry to hear that Stuart! This pandemic is certaibly impacting our lives in a myriad of ways. I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and well!! 😊


  2. 31/07/2020 at 9:31 PM

    Best of luck with everything! I did some writing this month, though I’m still doing a lot of book promotion on Twitter (and via this month’s blog post).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 01/08/2020 at 5:11 PM

    Looks like you’ve had a very full month! Thank you for the pingback, I’m glad you enjoyed the blog ❤ I've been slow at interacting this month too, but life often sweeps us away. Hope you're well ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • 02/08/2020 at 11:00 AM

      Thanks, and you’re most welcome! Sometimes I think we need to be kinder to ourselves…especially this year!! All the best 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Evy
    02/08/2020 at 3:07 PM

    Thanks for the update! I’ve had a relaxing July due to the uni-break and it’s given me plenty of time to reflect and look forward to what I’ll need to do for the rest of the year to keep myself healthy. So far I’ve been using the lockdown time to pursue creative hobbies but I’m thinking I might branch out into more social/cultural education opportunities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 02/08/2020 at 4:57 PM

      That’s a great idea!! Finding ways to (a) keep ourselves well and (b) keep ourselves mentally stimulated is going to be so important over the coming weeks. And learning more along the social/cultural lines is something we can all do better at. Have you looked into what opportunities are available yet?


      • Evy
        02/08/2020 at 8:17 PM

        I think I’ll try informal learning routes for now. Focus on podcasts and books. Often podcats recommend resources as well so they’re a good starting point.
        Good luck with own your investigations into how the website is displaying btw. Keen to see what happens with the theme.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 03/08/2020 at 8:59 AM

        Sounds great! Enjoy! More announcements re the theme to come in August!! 😊


  5. 03/08/2020 at 6:10 PM

    Ooh, I can’t wait to find out more about your blog plans. I’ve slowed down too this month, take it easy and stay safe. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

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