Progress Update for July 2020

July is almost over, so I thought I’d run with a progress update today. It has been a whirlwind of a month writing-wise.

Hiring an editor

I hired an editor for a “beta read” type service after receiving a 20% discount from this spring’s #RevPit event. This was my first time hiring an editor for a full novel (and forking out some considerable cash to do it), so I understandably worked my butt off revising These Fleeting Flames before my time slot this month. Nothing like a deadline to keep you working hard, right?

After cutting the story down from 100k to 90k during June, I thought I was good to go. However, the beginning of this month saw me frantically rewriting the second quarter of the story after receiving some beta reader feedback (a big thank you, Ryan, for getting through those pages for me so fast!). Thankfully, I finished with two days to spare — days where I re-read the entire thing and ironed out consistency errors.

Scouting for beta readers

This month was the first time I went hunting for beta readers who aren’t fellow writers. It has been really encouraging collecting feedback from people who are within the audience for which I’m writing.

I spent a couple hours both setting up Google Forms to register beta readers and cold-contacting people. So far I’ve found a few readers willing to offer feedback. One of them has already read (and really enjoyed) These Fleeting Flames!

New critique partners

During my hunt for beta readers, I found two new critique partners as well, one for each of my completed manuscripts. I’m thrilled to be working with both of them! It seems if I go even a couple months without swapping critiques with someone it feels like something is missing from my life.

New projects

I’m going to let These Fleeting Flames sit while I collect feedback, and then do a final sweep on the story in time for PitchWars in September.

In the meantime… I can at last start outlining my next project! With every book I write, I learn more about my process, leaving me with fewer issues to tackle during revision. I’m excited to stretch myself with an entirely new project that I’ve been turning over in my head for months now.

SFFpit is July 29

Thanks to Allison (one of the aforementioned new critique partners) tweeting about this today, I’m also preparing my pitches for the upcoming #SFFpit.

Starting an August bullet journal

With so much going on I have a bunch of to-do lists and reminders on my phone and scattered across random pieces of paper. To keep myself organized and mindful of how I use my time, I’ve decided to give bullet journals a try this August. Hopefully they also help keep my stress down!

I look forward to dedicating several journal pages to my writing projects with some corresponding personal deadlines. It would be amazing to complete a second novel this year, and with most of the year yet remaining… it certainly feels possible.

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs from Pexels

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