Hello and happy Wednesday!
Today’s post brings another summary of the past month of my life – with writing progress reports, reading accomplishments, and general updates!
So without further ado . . .
Well, we’ve made it through the first month of 2022. And I can hardly believe January is over already! I don’t know where the days have gone, but they seem to have flown. On the bright side, we’re that much closer to warm weather (at least where I live). Hopefully only another month or so of chilly temperatures and feeling like I’m allergic to winter, haha.
For me, January always feels like a welcome chance to reset and prep for the year ahead. Technically, we can set goals and change things at any point in the year – and I do – but there’s something about seeing the whole calendar laid out in front of me that helps me figure out what my priorities will be for the next twelve months. I’m happy to say I think I’ve done a much better job with my goals this year – ambitious but not unrealistic, and with plenty of room to move things around when unplanned life inevitably happens.
Things I’ve been thankful for in the past month include: New Year celebrations, the longer days and more sunlight, strength workouts, more time than usual to read, supportive loved ones and extra time with them, a chance to work ahead in some projects, Bible study (at home and with a group), that the class I’m teaching is going well (my students have started writing their own novels!), and essential oils for when the cold leaves me feeling awful.
I wrote a whopping 88 fiction words last month! Don’t ask me what they were for though, because I honestly don’t remember, haha. Maybe a drabble-type scene for Cabin Girl? I decided not to focus on fiction last month, but to have that be my main goal this month (Fiction February, I’ll call it). Because I want to make so much progress on Cabin Girl in the next two months, I spent January mostly writing and scheduling blog posts so I don’t have to have my focus split between numerous things.
Hopefully I’ll have a much better fiction wordcount to report at the end of February, although it is mostly editing at this point. So even though it’s a fiction project, I probably won’t have too many more words to add. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be cutting quite a few. At least it’s progress!
On the Blog
As I mentioned, my main writing goal for January was to focus on blogging. So I wrote and published 13 posts last month! In addition, I’ve also planned and prepared all my posts for February (unless something like a blog tag comes up, which I’ll then just do quickly this month). I’m most productive when I can batch content and work ahead, so it feels good to be on track with blogging right now.
Here are the posts for January (just click on the titles to read them):
~ 10 Quotes About Giving
~ 2021 December Wrap-Up
~ Fellow Author Cover Reveal: Sorceress of the Dryads
~ What I’m Learning About Courage
~ My 2022 Reading List
~ The Blogoversary Tag
~ My 2022 Growth Word
~ What I Wrote in 2021
~ The Single Line Story Challenge (Take 2)
~ Don’t Take Them For Granted
~ My 2022 Writing Goals
~ The Liebster Award
~ My Favorite Hobbies
As I shared in this post, I’ve officially set my reading challenge goal for this year at 55 books. I’m off to a good start this month, with five fiction (an entire series) and one non-fiction:
~ The Kill Order (Maze Runner series) by James Dashner
(Action-packed and interesting, but shallow and not as good as I remembered it. I can’t fully recommend it, mostly due to the level of violence and disturbing descriptions. In my opinion, it’s a decent read, but nothing super special.)
~ The Fever Code (Maze Runner series) by James Dashner
(I liked this one a lot more. It’s the next book chronologically, and another prequel to the main three books. There was still some violent content, but less than expected, and I really enjoyed all the backstory and tie-ins to later books. Also, the character development.)
~ The Maze Runner (Maze Runner series) by James Dashner
(This was also pretty decent, although I didn’t appreciate the ‘pretend swears’ and some crude content. The action and suspense kept me very engaged, and the world-building is very neat. I also enjoyed the diverse cast of side characters, and how they worked together.)
~ The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner series) by James Dashner
(I liked this continuation of the series. Once again, the action and intrigue kept me interested the whole time, and I enjoyed getting more clues into what’s really going on in the background. I disliked several of the characters, but liked the good ones even more.)
~ The Death Cure (Maze Runner series) by James Dashner
(Like The Scorch Trials, this one had a lot of tension and action. And even though the plot twists didn’t have the same effect on a reread, the first time I read it led to a lot of surprise and even heartbreak at the information revealed. Overall, I felt it was a good end to the series that circled back to the beginning and -surprisingly – held a tiny smidgen of hope.)
~ Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On by Stormie Omartian
(Encouraging, inspiring, and full of great reminders that God is always present – no matter what hardships we’re walking through. I’ve always appreciated Stormie Omartian’s books. I will definitely be coming back to this one in the future.)
I have big hopes for February and right now I feel pretty good about where I’m at with them. Only God knows what will actually happen of course, and I look forward to seeing what He orchestrates. But if he allows, I have a long list of goals and projects that I’d like to finish before March. We’ll see what happens!
Non-writing things I’m looking forward to this month include: teaching three more classes and watching my students work their way through the first quarter of their novels, a family member’s birthday, worship, youth group, and an event with my church, more work at both jobs, figuring out whether I’m able to attend a writing conference in June, hopefully reading some more books, and continuing to work at getting stronger physically.
My writing focus this month, like I said above, is fiction. Specifically, finishing the last edits and rewrites for Cabin Girl (Street team-ers, be on the lookout for some updates this month!). I do have a publication date in mind now, with very high hopes that I can make it, but I’m going to wait until probably the end of February to announce it. Suspense, haha. And that’s pretty much my only writing goal. I’m going to be deep in the world of pirates for a while. Let’s hope I return in March with all my limbs, eyes, and sanity!
What was YOUR January 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 February! As always, I’m excited to hear from you!