Now that I have the opportunity to get down to some uninterrupted work during this break, how am I progressing with the ambitious targets I set myself waaay back in the dying hours of 2015?
• I had another really brilliant reading month in August, reading 15 books again and reviewing all but two. Once more, it was a delight to have so many really good books to read – I loved Autonomy by Jude Houghton, which raises some uncomfortable questions in amongst a cracking post-apocalyptic, near future thriller; Janet Edwards’ Telepath was such fun – I really love her writing and Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Spiderlight was another gem from this talented, award-winning writer. But the two outstanding reads this month for me were Spellbreaker by Blake Charlton and N.K. Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate, the second book in her fabulous Broken Earth series.
Challenge – To review a minimum of 100 books during 2016 and widen my reading to include more authors new to me. As I have now read 106 books and reviewed all but a handful, this challenge has been achieved. Thanks to Netgalley, I am continuing to come across authors unknown to me and broaden my reading.
• I have continued to submit my work – another of my challenges I’ve been working on – which has entailed some major rewriting. I worked on the opening of Miranda’s Tempest at the front end of August, which went reasonably smoothly and then had another go at Netted. It is by far the hardest rewrite I’ve ever undertaken and twice since attempting it, I’ve ground to a halt. I’ve learnt these days that when I stare at the page and my mind blanks, I need to take the hint and walk away. If I try pushing through it, I write rubbish which just compounds the problem. I now need to make an editing pass and hopefully, get the manuscript in a fit state for resubmission by the end of the month.
Challenge – To continue to submit my novels.
• I am in the process of writing my course notes for this term’s Creative Writing class, which starts in a fortnight. Obviously, this deadline isn’t optional.
Challenge – To have two of my four courses written by the end of the summer break. No – that isn’t going to happen. The rewrites that popped up out of nowhere took a large bite out of my writing schedule this month and I am playing catchup with a number of other tasks.
I wrote just over 16,500 words on my blog in August and around 20,500 words on rewrites. With a paltry 500 words on teaching admin, my monthly total came to just over 37,500 words for the month, bringing my wordcount for the year so far to just over 200,000. What were your favourite August books? Do you read more in the summer or winter?
It sounds like your year is rounding out well, Sarah, even with not everything going as planned. Congratulations on meeting your reading and reviewing goal. I admire your dedication and perseverance when it comes to your writing.
Yes… it’s turning into something of a roller-coaster, to be honest. I love writing to the extent that I don’t think I could function well without it, but I’ve not been all that effective at ‘getting it out there’. It takes an almighty effort to continue submitting and polishing a m/s – and I’ve tended to go through the motions before plunging back into writing something else. Now I am determined to give it a real go, both self publishing and seeing if I can get a traditional publishing deal. And the only way it seemed to me that I’d go through with it, would be to hold myself accountable with a series of ambitious but doable targets. So far it’s working…
I am sooooo impressed! You have accomplished soooo much.
Thank you Rae:) Though of course when you are sitting in front of the keyboard, tapping away you don’t see it like that, do you? It’s one reason why I like to do the monthly roundup – to give myself a chance to step away from the sheaf of tasks on stickies festooned across the desktop screensaver and make sure I’m more or less on track!
That’s great to see how well you’re doing with this challenge. I love netgalley as well and it’s great for discovering new authors. You sure have read a lot this year so far!
Thank you, Lola:). Isn’t Netgalley a wonder? I think it’s one of the reasons why I’ve got so involved in the reading this year… Though I do read quite quickly, when I get going.
106 books… Wow. I don’t know how you do it, Sarah. That’s beyond impressive. Do you think you’ll have a hard time narrowing things down to a short list of favorites at year’s end?
And like other readers have said, you’ve done an amazing job with your goals this year despite your recent writing setbacks. Keep your chin up and your eyes on those prizes. You’ll get there, my friend. 🙂
Bless you, Sara:)). Thank you so much for your kind encouragement… Having a rather hard day, today. But yes – you’ve hit the nail on the head – I’m DREADING having to shortlist my favourite reads for this year as it has been an amazing year for some truly fantastic books – and there will be quite a long list to choose from.