Hello and happy Wednesday!
(And may the fourth be with you!)
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 . . .
It’s May! Can you believe we’re already a third of the way through 2022? I don’t know where this year is going…but I sure am glad that we’re finally in nicer weather, at least where I live. While there are still cool and windy days, the grass is green, the sun has been making far more frequent appearances, and even most of the rainy days are still warm enough to walk in. I’m so glad!
If you read my post at the end of April, you know that I decided to step away from my blog for the last week or so. And while it was a difficult thing to do, it was so needed. Instead of the writing I had hoped to accomplish, I ended up being needed to work extra hours, and not having the pressure of needing to blog at the same time relieved a lot of guilt. In addition, it also gave me the space I needed to refocus my priorities and develop a more realistic schedule for my summer writing (I’ll get to that later).
It’s hard to write about this, as I’m still in the midst of figuring it all out, but I’ve never experienced burnout quite like this before. Over the past couple of months, lingering and confusing physical pain has led to mental and emotional burnout too…and even spiritual. It’s crazy how the Enemy uses all the little hurts, disappointments, and grievances in our lives to cause us to feel distant from God. Long story short, God has been so good to reveal Himself to me, even when I don’t know how to ask Him. I don’t have it all worked out, but I’m getting there, and I’m so thankful for the lessons God is teaching in the meantime.
To my surprise, as I looked back at my writing records for April, I found that I wrote 326 words, instead of the zero I was expecting! I’m not sure how well they count though, because I honestly can’t remember what those words were for…Either way, it’s more than March, so I guess I’ll take it, haha. Hopefully May contains far more than that.
As I’ll explain in the next section, my (self-imposed) blogging workload is going to lighten up for the summer, and that, combined with several other writing commitments coming to an end, means I’m praying that the next few months are full of fiction. I didn’t know I could miss writing fiction so much! In addition to finally finishing Cabin Girl, I need to make significant progress on another rough draft by the end of June for a writing conference.
On the Blog
I’m happy to say that I stayed on track with my blog posts last month, and even got a short break too! The final count was 8 posts – a mix of blog tags, writing advice, some things I’ve been learning about life and Easter, and a fun alphabetical short story challenge. This year also continues to be an encouraging one for site views so far!
Originally, I intended to switch to my lighter blogging schedule in June, as I’d like some time to work on fiction again over the summer. But after taking that break in April and realizing just how much I’m in need of a reset, I’m officially starting my new schedule this month.
I’m going to stay flexible and adjust if needed, but you can expect to see 4-6 posts each month over the summer. The plan is to switch every other week between a Sunday Reflections post and a Wednesday writing one, with the occasional blog tag or “just for fun” post on a Friday. I already have a tentative content calendar, but if you have any post requests for the next few months (or are interested in guest-posting), please let me know!
Here are the posts for April (just click on the titles to read them):
~ The Sunshine Blogger Award (#2)
~ 10 Quotes About Failure
~ 2022 March Wrap-Up
~ ABC Tag!
~ How I Plan My Blog Content
~ The “I’ll Get Around to It Later” Blog Tag
~ Don’t Forget the Cross
~ Temporary Blog Hiatus
April’s reading list looks almost as pathetic as March’s did – except that I finished several beta-reading projects now that I can’t list. Reading is another thing I’d like to make more time for this summer. Currently, I’m about eight books behind where I’d like to be to reach my 2022 goal. I’m a pretty fast reader though, so I’m not too concerned about it yet.
~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
(A friend loaned me this book after hearing of my burnout, and it was just what I needed to read. While the older, Puritan formatting and language took me a little bit to get used to, the content was so deep, convicting, and meaningful. I greatly appreciated the biblical truths in that powerful little book, and definitely recommend it!)
And as always, I’m also continuing The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas (now on week 14 of 18). This is another biblically-sound book I’d highly recommend. The insights and conversation starters have been very helpful to me so far.
I’m also currently finishing a few other books – fiction and non-fiction – and anticipate a much longer reading list by the end of May!
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I don’t have everything figured out yet. I definitely have goals I’d like to reach, but God’s really grabbed my attention lately, and I know I need to slow down as much as possible and make sure I’m giving Him the space in my life that He deserves. Everything goes so much better when I’m living life in step with Him. It’s not easier necessarily, but much more worthwhile and fulfilling. There’s a sense of peace slowly working its way back into my heart again, and I’m very grateful.
Some highlights of last month included: spending time with loved ones at Easter, attending one of my siblings’ track meets, teaching three more writing classes, celebrating a friend’s wedding shower, game nights with friends, counseling for a weekend at a church camp youth retreat, and serving at a local high school banquet that I used to attend.
This month is a transition month for me, as many things are finishing up and new summer stuff is starting up. Work is staying the same, with a few time changes, but I finish teaching classes, my church’s youth group that I help with is lightening up (meaning worship practices do too), and the Bible study I attend is coming to a close. A couple other things I’m looking forward to include my brother’s high school graduation, a Nerf War, and hopefully getting to write fiction again. We’ll see what all God brings in May!
What was YOUR April 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 May! As always, I’m excited to hear from you!