Summer Goals Update One

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Writing my Evan story by the Washington Monument in Washington DC.

A few weeks ago I wrote about my goals for this summer, which were:

1. Finish the first draft of my Evan story.

2. Edit my Evan story and start drafting a query letter.

3. Train for a half marathon.

So here is a little update. In the past few weeks my days have gone a little bit like this: I wake up, I write, I eat lunch, I write, I go for a run, I write, I eat dinner, I write, I type up what I wrote, and I go to sleep. Repeat.

79,081 words, 284 pages, and 27 chapters later, I have finally finished writing the first draft of my first book!

I have always wanted to be a professional writer and have always wondered what it would be like. I am lucky that I was able to take a few weeks to focus on writing. I work at a tutoring company and business is slow in June, so I took the opportunity of having only a few hours of work a week and decided to make writing my official job for the month. The first thing I did was set a deadline for myself. I decided that I wanted to finish my first draft on June 19th, and I created a writing schedule. I got a little taste of what it would be like to write full time this month, and it was both wonderful and taxing at the same time.

The last few weeks have been very hard in some ways. I have worked non-stop, sometimes writing for twelve hours in one day in order to meet my deadline. I think I have developed tendonitis in my left hand due to writing and typing. I have not been able to read fiction for three weeks, as I am finding it hard to turn my brain off. I have started analyzing sentence structure, characters, and plot in books to a degree that reading fiction has become work and not something fun.

But as I wrote my last sentence yesterday morning and closed my notebook, I was overwhelmed with a sense of thankfulness. I feel so blessed that I was able to take this month to focus on my writing. I am so grateful to my family and friends, especially Clare, for encouraging and helping me on this journey. I am so lucky that I have parents who read to me when I was little, took me to the library every week, gave me access to scores of books, and encouraged me to use my imagination and to write. And honestly, even though there were some hard things, I have had so much fun writing. I can’t wait to start working on my next project.

Now that I have finished this first draft, I am going to take a few days off from writing. Sometime next week, Clare is going to help me begin the editing process. I love my story and I love my characters, but this draft is rough and I need to clean things up a little. Hopefully by the end of the summer I will feel confident enough in this story to begin the agent query process.

All of that is a long ways away, though. Right now I am going to focus on editing and training for my half marathon. And even if this story never ends up bound and on the shelves in bookstores (though in my heart of hearts I’m hoping it will!), I am so happy that I accomplished this goal.

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This is my favorite place to write at my parents’ house. My cat, Bella, kept me company for many of the long hours.

Does anyone have some good book recommendations? I would love to get out of this reading slump!

Is anyone else working on writing projects at the moment?

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4 thoughts on “Summer Goals Update One

  1. Wow…so inspiring. Good for you and best of luck with the next steps. Also, good luck with the running leading up to the 1/2 marathon!

    Good book, to motivate for running, “Running with the Kenyans” by Adharanand Finn. Terrific book on many levels.

    • Thank you so much! And thank you for the book recommendation, it looks fantastic. I’ll have to get it from the library!

    • Austin, that is so exciting! Congratulations!! I can’t wait to buy a copy of your book! Miss you too, hope you’re doing well!

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