Working Summer

Well, we certainly find ourselves in interesting times right now. The husband and I are on day 93 of ‘safer at home’ behavior – schools went on spring break on March 14th and never came back. We transitioned to distance learning through the end of the school year, at which point I was immediately launched into this year’s #1000wordsofsummer. I came out of my Twitter hiatus to participate and am now back in protected tweets status. It’s nice to see posts by the writing community, and it’s easier to keep up with news and local information related to not only COVID-19 but also the protests. I am never going back to Facebook or Instagram, there be dragons.

My official second draft of my novel is now at about 16,500 words and growing. I’m using the Save the Cat! Writes a Novel book to help me structure and outline this time around as opposed to writing everything as a kind of stream of consciousness, what writers call ‘pantsing’ or “writing by the seat of your pants.” I stand by pantsing for a first draft to get all the ideas out there, but I am a huge proponent or organizing those thoughts into a real outline for the second draft and beyond. It’s going to make editing a lot easier. I’m not going to fully scrap anything from here on out – only editing, cutting, and expanding.

I’ve only taken one day off from writing since May 29th. As I’ve mentioned before summer is the only time that I have all of my thinking brain to myself and so I can dedicate the time and creativity to this project. Save the Cat says I’m almost to the end of Act 1, and I’m hoping to get there this week. If you are a beginning writer I can’t recommend this book enough. I’ve read other books that have inspired and motivated me, but this book has been instructive and a guide that has kept me from going off the rails.

We should know by July 1st whether we are returning to face-to-face instruction or continuing distance learning in the fall. Other than the anxiety related to that announcement my focus has been on having enough supplies here for both COVID and hurricane season and writing this book. Can I reach 100,000 words by the end of the summer? We’ll see! Just remember that no matter what you are writing, set a reasonable goal and write a little bit every day. Even ten words every day will add up eventually. If I can do it, you can do it too.