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