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 . . .
Spring is finally coming! Although the general muddy messiness of this time of year is never my favorite, I far prefer it to snow and ice. In addition to the increasing warmth, I’m especially enjoying the earlier sunrises, the chances to take more walks, and getting to hear the birds singing again. I’m hopeful that we’re finally past the hardest part of winter!
January left me in a very good place – motivated, organized, and on-track to keep up with my many goals. February came along and tried its hardest to undo all of the above, haha. (For example, I’d originally meant for this post to come out last week…) I see now that I was being a bit too ambitious last month, considering some of the personal events that were coming up. But it’s okay. For me, a huge part of learning balance is learning to accept when God’s plans are very different than mine. Some months I’ll be productive in my eyes, other months less so. But as long as I’m pursuing Christ, I should trust that my time has been well-spent.
And I think it has been. Though I didn’t have as much time for my own pursuits as I anticipated, I got to do a lot of wonderful things and spend good time with loved ones. Just some things I was especially thankful for in February included: sunrises, getting stronger, lactose-free cottage cheese (I haven’t had cottage cheese in at least a year!), laughter, Bible study, tubing, skiing and ice skating for the first time, hymns, finding out that I will be able to attend a writing conference in-person come June, and getting to work on Cabin Girl.
I wrote 7,338 words this month! Currently, I’m working on fixing up my narrative voice for Cabin Girl, and polishing up the final story, so I got this number by comparing the number of words in the first three chapters after I worked through them to those same chapters before I started. I trimmed words, added words, moved words around . . . it’s been a larger process than I thought, but I’m much happier with how those chapters are now. (Also, I did have one day of writing several pages of another story so I wouldn’t lose the idea for it.)
My goal for February was to finish rewriting Cabin Girl. Did I reach that goal? Honestly, no, I didn’t. I only finished the first three chapters. But I am honestly still thrilled. That’s much more progress than I’ve made in months, and I can tell that there’s genuine improvement. In addition, the third chapter’s wordcount is equivalent to about three normal chapters (not sure if that’s good or bad, haha), so it’s a big accomplishment. So while I’m not as far as I’d hoped to be, I’m making consistent progress – and that’s encouraging after so long of being stuck on this beloved story. March is going to be another pirate-intensive month!
On the Blog
Preparing February blog posts back in January was so helpful! With very little effort from me, I published 9 posts last month. Now to finish planning content for the rest of March…
(And a fun tidbit: February was my highest month for average views per day yet! Each month of 2022 – even though we’ve only had two so far – has brought that number higher. I’ve really enjoyed interacting with more readers!)
Here are the posts for February (just click on the titles to read them):
~ 2022 January Wrap-Up
~ 10 Quotes About Purity
~ 5 Tips for Finding Motivation to Write
~ God of the Little Things
~ Music While Writing?
~ Writerly Resolutions Blog Tag
~ How (NOT) to Succeed as a Writer
~ The Bookish Blog Tag
~ Why I’m Glad I Took a Gap Year
With fiction being a higher priority last month, reading definitely slowed down. But I still managed a couple books – one fiction, and one nonfiction.
~ The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers
(Deep, intricate, and moving, I enjoyed this story – even though the subject matter was definitely darker. I especially liked the realistic portrayal of most of the characters, and how Rivers showed the way that one life can affect so many others. I stayed very interested.)
~ Not Yet Married by Marshall Segal
(This held a lot of very valuable insights about singleness and dating from a Christian perspective. Although I think it could have been split into two smaller books – one on singleness and one on dating – the wisdom inside is very helpful, and I appreciated it.)
I’m also continuing to work through The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas. I’m reading one chapter per week, and am currently working on Chapter 8 of 18. I recommend it so far!
Thankfully, I’d already planned to take a bit more realistic approach to March, and my experience with February only confirmed that idea. There are more events and family obligations this month, so I’m going to try and keep a good balance between those things and my personal goals. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m praying God will open my eyes to the right ways to split my energy and attention.
Non-writing highlights this month include: helping family move (we already did this and it went well!), teaching three more classes, two family birthdays, youth group, attending a play my siblings are in, a church worship event, more work at both jobs, hopefully reading a couple more books, Bible study, making prayer more of a habit, and continuing to work at getting stronger physically.
Again, my writing focus this month is fiction. I have good momentum for Cabin Girl going and think it’s possible to make a lot of progress, not only with the final edits, but with the cover, formatting, and publishing prep as well. My ideal publishing date is going to be shared with my street team-ers soon, but the common knowledge version is that I’m working hard to not publish any later than May. I’m also going to try and get at least a few blog posts out, and continue to grow my Medium audience. Thanks for sticking around and joining me on my March journey!
What was YOUR February 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 March! As always, I’m excited to hear from you!