This August

Feeling the selfish need/desire to pat myself on the back this week. To say this has been a busy summer would be a colossal understatement, but even amid it all I managed to get some writing done that I can be proud of. My production was an eclectic mix, consisting of:

  • Worldbuilding and outlining my new novel (more on that next week)
  • Six short stories:
    • One involving rainclouds
    • One involving damned souls from Hell
    • One involving trash collectors
    • One involving town bylaws concerning the St. Lawrence River (seriously)
    • A literary horror loosely tied to vampires
  • Drafts of two other short stories (one involving assassination, the other involving centaurs)
  • Making notes for a new series of sci-fi poems
  • Posting more regularly here (yay!)
  • Organizing my writing practice a little more thoroughly (thank you, Ron Collins)

Oh, and that Silver Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future – yes, I’m still excited about it. Don’t begrudge an emerging writer his brief successes 🙂

Summer is usually the most productive time for me, being a high school teacher. The catch is that I only get August off because I teach summer school, so by the time I’m really on a roll like I’ve been the last couple of weeks, it’s time to start thinking about the new school year. The fact that I even get August is a huge boon compared to writers that work the typical 9-5, year-long jobs, so I’m not complaining – just pointing out the minor downside to this situation. The key now is to restructure my writing time for the school year, to try to maintain the kind of productivity that I’ve enjoyed this month while planning and marking my new classes (hopefully, since LTO assignments haven’t gone out yet – fingers crossed!)

If there’s a takeaway from this – I like to provide you with some sort of takeaway, instead of just following along while I try to talk myself up – it’s that taking stock periodically is a good idea as a writer. I actually had fun running through the projects I’ve finished this month, especially moments when I thought, “Oh, right, I did that, too!” Just a little bit of positive thinking to get you onto the next month is never a bad thing. I figure if you can look back and be proud of what you’ve gotten done, you’ll be encouraged to get the same amount of work completed, or more, over the next month.

If I can manage it, this is what I’ll be trying to accomplish in September:

  • Plot out the new novel and start writing Draft 1
  • Edit and finalize the story involving centaurs
  • Two additional stories:
    • One set at a sci-fi convention
    • One involving out-of-work tradesmen and robots
  • Maybe get something accepted by a magazine … you know, if I’m in the mood 🙂

Here’s hoping I can pull all of that off!


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