Shoot for the Moon Challenge 2015 – April Roundup


We are now a third of the way through 2015, though that fact alone has me shaking my head in moondisbelief and wondering if Dr Who has been messing with the Time/Space continuum again… So how am I doing with the stupid ambitious challenges I set myself on New Year’s Eve, which was SURELY only the day before yesterday?
• I’ve gone through Dying For Space once, but this has been a particularly busy month. In addition to starting the summer term at Northbrook College, I also went on a wonderful short-break holiday to Venice with my family. So I need to refocus on the manuscript, printing it out and slashing passages with my pencil – I really haven’t found a better way to do it… I’ve had some thoughts about the book covers and need to get cracking on sorting those out, too.
Challenge – to have all three books of The Sunblinded Trilogy ready for self-publication by August. Um. Right now I’m not convinced I’ll make it. However, I should have Running Out of Space ready to go. I’m still waiting for feedback from my beta readers, brave souls that they are. And of course, if a major rewrite is necessary, then timescales may need some more shifting about.
• I’ve written 9 reviews this month, which means that my target of writing 100 reviews this year is still on track – although again I was a tad dismayed by the number of books I started and didn’t finish. But as I’m now reading more authors new to me, it is inevitable I suppose.
Challenge – to write and publish 100 book reviews on my blog during 2015. So far, on target…
• I’ve been submitting Mantivore Dreams and Netted to agents and now I’m in the situation where I’m waiting for responses. I’ve been impressed with the speed and efficiency with which my submissions have been dealt with, but obviously when a manuscript has been requested, it’s bound to take a little longer.
Challenge – to continue submitting Mantivore Dreams and Netted until I manage to get representation. Still ongoing.
• The new term has now started at Northbrook and I have slightly changed the structure to make the course a bit more interactive. Many of my students are regulars, who have been coming to the courses for several years. I wanted to take account of this and change things around a bit. I’ve now been teaching at Northbook for 6 years and I don’t want to fall into any kind of rut.
I am also now working one-to-one with a young student. It’s enormously rewarding, but takes a great deal of effort and thinking time to get absolutely nailed.
Challenge – to keep abreast of all my teaching commitments.

I’m finding Life a bit of a trudge at the moment, to be honest. I haven’t written anything creative other than a couple of poems now since the end of January and although I’ve tried – I cannot write anything worth the name while I’m hacking through the thickets of Editland. I’m the ultimate monotasker. It’s always been something of a handicap, but right now is really biting me in the bottom as my brain is starting to chew on itself while I’m not writing anything creative. It may well be for this reason alone, I’ll miss my target of getting the Sunblinded trilogy self-published by August. While I’m adorable, of course, right now I’m liable to suddenly morph into Bitchqueen of the Universe. And I love Himself too much to unleash Bitchqueen onto him more than is absolutely necessary…

I wrote just under 7,600 words in book reviews and blogs this month, my Northbrook and teaching commitments took just over 8,000 words, which makes my monthly writing total around 15,600 words and my yearly total so far to just under 85,000.

5 responses »

  1. “I’m the ultimate monotasker. It’s always been something of a handicap, but right now is really biting me in the bottom as my brain is starting to chew on itself while I’m not writing anything creative.”

    Awwwww. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Sarah. I actually think multi-tasking is a bit overrated. It’s difficult to concentrate on so many things at once without unintentionally letting something slide (or fall through the cracks). Just do what you can with the time you have. Pace yourself, and don’t forget to breathe. 🙂

    I actually went through something similar a couple weeks ago, when I realized how slowly my edits for TKC were coming along and was already doomed for my August deadline. In fact, that realization sent me into a mini panic attack – not good! 😦 So I scratched out the deadline and focus on working at a comfortable pace and hitting all the points on my revision checklist. And I feel much better now. I’m not at all saying that you should abandon yours; I just want to make sure you don’t put too much pressure on yourself during these last few stages with your trilogy. It’s not just about the destination; it’s also about the journey there.

    Speaking of which, I’m got less than 100 pages to go on Running Out Of Space, and hoping to get something to you in the next couple weeks. 😉

    And finally, if you’re interested in doing another blog hop or tag, I nominated you for the Reader Problems Tag. Here’s the link:

    • Many thanks for the tag – I’m delighted you thought of me! And particularly, I’m VERY grateful for the kindly words. I generally really enjoy my work, but I do feel that I’ll HAVE to incorporate some sort of writing into my schedule as I’m suffering ACUTE withdrawal symptoms!
      You’re so right about it being about the journey and I’m simply not enjoying it sufficiently because the editing isn’t fulfilling my need to write. Your timely advice has helped me decide to have a concerted effort into trying to run the editing AND some kind of writing alongside each other…
      Watch this space – it’s liable to get messy!

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