Hello and happy Wednesday!
Today’s post is a little different than usual, and will (hopefully, for your sake, haha!) be a bit shorter. It’s simply a wrap-up, or a progress report, from the past month of my life.
Many authors/bloggers do this, and I always enjoy the chance to see what they’ve been up to, so I thought I’d give it a try too! Though the monthly overviews will hopefully be enjoyable to you, I’m also hoping the added motivation and accountability will help keep me on track – and it’s also just fun to be able to glance back and see the progress I’ve made.
So without further ado . . .
June has been insane. A very good and rewarding insane to be sure, but still, haha. Summers have never been dull for my family (I’ve never understood the summer boredom a lot of people talk about), but this year the activities, events, and obligations seem to have exploded. I’m told it’s this thing called adulthood.
One huge highlight was getting to counsel for the first time at a Christian young teen camp. With sixteen lively girls in my cabin, I stayed active, and I believe it was one of the most difficult and also most rewarding weeks I’ve ever had. What a tremendous blessing to get to know them and the other campers, and to help share the love of Christ with each and every one of them. God moved in many incredible ways.
After one day of being home, another highlight – a week-long writing workshop1 – began. Like last year, it was virtual again, and was also just as enriching, inspirational, and fun. Morning and evening sessions, daily critique groups, a mentor appointment with Allen Arnold, and laughter-filled evening activities . . . all within a close-knit, Christ-seeking community of writers. As time continues, I grow more and more thankful to be part of the OYAN family, and the things I learned from this workshop were so helpful.
Those events plus the busyness of everyday life and work definitely kept me occupied this month! However crazy at times though, I’m grateful for all of it, and it’s been wonderful to watch God work in each situation. The summer shows no signs of slowing down too . . .
All things considered, I’m actually very happy that I’ve kept up as much a writing habit as I have. Even while at camp and without my laptop or notes, I managed at least one-hundred words every day. Their quality is a bit suspect, but I’m choosing to ignore that for now, haha. My monthly total (through yesterday) is 4,881 words.
With that said, I have a lot left to write if I’m going to reach the goals I’d originally set for the summer. I’m hoping to put most my focus for July on fiction writing, and see just how much I can get done!
Goal (not especially realistic, but still goals) include:
~ Finishing the rough draft for the fantasy novel I’m currently writing
~ Outlining and re-writing at least the first half of my Cabin Girl prequel
~ Completing the outline for the dystopian novel I wrote half of in January (and then lost track of because I couldn’t figure out where to take the story . . .)
~ Finishing edits, proofreads, and formatting for Cabin Girl
If I actually manage all of that, I will be thrilled. Coffee and late nights, here I come!
On the Blog
Counting this one, I’ve released eight posts in June. Not as many as past months, but with the crazy schedule I’ve had, I’m glad I managed that amount! An added blessing was the opportunity to swap guest posts with author and friend, Jordyn Hadden. It’s always so fun to work with other authors, and especially ones that share your vision for positive impact.
Here’s the list of June posts (just click on the titles to read them):
~ Why Reading Makes You a Better Writer
~ 10 Timely Quotes About Fellowship
~ How to Stay Motivated in Writing (w/ author, Jordyn Hadden)
~ 5 Things I’ve Learned in My Self-Publishing Journey So Far (guest post by me)
~ No Regrets
~ My Favorite Childhood Shows
~ Celebrating Fathers
(and of course, this one . . . no link required, haha!)
I’m happy to report that I was actually able to read quite a bit this month! Fitting it in at camp free time, sometimes during meals, and any time I have a few minutes between tasks has certainly helped. I don’t expect to do much reading next month, as I’ll be trying to use any extra time to write, but I enjoyed it these past few weeks!
The list of books I finished (apparently all non-fiction!):
~ God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew
(I highly recommend this one! Very inspiring!)
~ How to Handle Adversity by Charles Stanley
(Another excellent book by an author that never fails to encourage and inspire me.)
~ The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
(I’ve wanted to read this for a long time, and it was just as informative, fascinating, and engaging as I hoped it’d be.)
~ Expecting to See Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz
(This is the first I’ve read from Anne, and I greatly appreciated her teaching and obvious heart for Jesus.)
~ The Path of Loneliness by Elizabeth Elliot
(Her books are always so full of wisdom and biblical encouragement!)
As well as continuing to work through non-fiction books on my list, I’d like to add some fiction in the coming months, too. I used to read nothing but fiction, and now I think I’ve swung the other direction, haha.
As I already mentioned, July looks like it will be just as busy as June – with highlights including continuing to help with my church’s youth group, housesitting, a two-week theatre program, work of course, and hopefully lots of writing! Also, time with my family (for obvious reasons), and beginning to write out the schedule and lessons for the fiction writing course I’ll start teaching at the end of August.
Because I know my focus will be stretched somewhat thin this month and I need to prioritize my fiction writing goals, I’m going to pull back on blog posts for a little while. Instead of 2-3 posts weekly, my aim will be to post just once weekly, alternating between Sundays (reflections on life and what God’s teaching me) and Wednesdays (writing-related).
This isn’t set in stone, and if I have the time and something valuable I feel called to write, I’ll probably throw in a couple of extra posts. But overall, I’ve been convicted lately to simplify where I can, and make sure that I’m setting aside enough time for the truly important things, like quiet time with God. I really do enjoy blogging, and I expect I’ll post more frequently again come fall, but right now I need to ensure that it doesn’t become an idol. And more time to focus per post will hopefully mean they’re better quality, too!
Well, there you have my June 2021 wrap-up! I don’t actually think it was any shorter than my typical Wednesday posts, haha, but oh well. Thanks for sticking with it this long! Or to summarize if you skipped to the end (I see you): I did a bunch of stuff in June and plan to do a bunch more in July. That’s it. Really, that’s the post. And now off I go, to do more!
What was YOUR June like? What kinds of things did you get to do? If you have a progress report on something, or books you read and would like to share, go ahead and let me know in the comments! And while you’re at it, feel free to include what you’re looking forward to and/or hoping to accomplish in July! As always, I’m excited to hear from you!
1.The writing community I’m referring to (OYAN) can be found here.