Journal, Monthly Newsletter, Writing

September 2019 Newsletter

Happy end of summer! I’m writing to you today from my new office desk, with a cup of warm tea and a blueberry lemon scone.

It’s still hot here in Nashville but you can tell that fall is just around the corner with the crisp air that we’re getting in the mornings and evenings. I’m fully in the fall mood – this weekend I’ve made chili, cornbread, and homemade pumpkin spice lattes.

Fall is my favorite season of the year and for me it always feels like the start of a new year (probably because I’ve spent so many years of my life in school or working in schools). Fall is a period of transition and the perfect time to reflect and embrace change. And for me, that change and transition is a refocusing on my novel and hopefully finally finishing it.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while now then you know that I’ve been working on my first novel (for almost two years!). Balancing a full time job, a family, and the passion project of your first novel is tricky, but it’s also the most exciting, terrifying, thrilling, and joyful project that I’ve taken on.

I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in July, with the goal of writing every day and working towards finishing my manuscript. While I didn’t finish finish my manuscript and I didn’t write everyday, I still made great progress. During the entire month of July, I wrote 13,591 words! While that falls far short of the traditional NaNoWriMo goal (50,000 words), for me, that is really impressive.

My writing in August slowed down. This was due in part to the start of the new school year (August is one of the busiest months for me at work) and the fact that I decided to build myself a new desk. You can see the finished desk on my instagram.

Even though August was a slow writing month I still continued working on my manuscript and my total word count is up to 46,913 words. Since this is my first novel, I have no idea how many words my finished manuscript will be – it could be anywhere from 90,000 words to 130,000 words. Either way, the goal still remains: finish the book!

I’ve imposed a sort of deadline on myself thanks to the existence of Pitch Wars. Pitch Wars is a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each to mentor. Mentors read the entire manuscript and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for the agent showcase. The mentor also helps edit their mentee’s pitch for the contest and their query letter for submitting to agents. Over the past seven years, Pitch Wars has changed many lives. Countless authors have been matched with agents and even gone on to book deals and successful careers.

I desperately want to participate in Pitch Wars. I wanted to participate in it last year, but my manuscript was nowhere close to being ready or finished. Now, I’m much closer but still not finished. Manuscripts have to be submitted no later than September 27, 2019, so that’s my self-imposed deadline. If I miss it then I won’t be able to participate again until next year, which seems like a very long time to wait. So, start the countdown to September 27th!

27 days should be enough time to finish a novel, right?

Stay tuned for future updates to find out if I meet my self-imposed deadline. In the meantime, here’s a taste of what’s been inspiring me for the last month:

Book Love

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle #1)

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

Procrastination Corner

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

Latest News/Monthly Goals…

  1. Finish the first draft of my novel! (eek!) Current word count total: 46,913 words
  2. Increase my website engagement (a.k.a. post an update more often than once a month).
  3. Participate in Pitch Wars! (double eek!!)

For Writers…

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them, by Francine Prose

I took one creative writing class in college and this book has stayed with me ever since. Every published author will tell you the best thing you can do for your writing is to read. Well, author Francine Prose shows you how to do just that in this New York Times bestseller.

“…acclaimed author Francine Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters to discover why their work has endured. Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart.”

Until Next Time…

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a wonderful September!

This is my little corner of the world to offer a peek into my writing and keep readers updated. If you want to fuel my writing habit then please consider buying me a cup of coffee by clicking on the button below:

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Have a question? Email me through the contact form on my website and I will do my best to respond!