June marked the start of summer vacation for the kids and a lot less undisturbed time for me. It felt I spent most of the month spent finding balance between housework, playing with the kids, and finding time for me to continue working on my story. Still, I ended the month with the manuscript heavier by a surprising additional 22,000 words, bringing the total to about 57,500 words. Even with challenges, I managed to crank through roughly 88 pages. I’m thrilled.
At last I feel like I’m making some real progress. For the longest time I wasn’t sure about where the story needed to go or how to get it there. Now, with this month’s work, the story and it’s characters are gaining momentum and I can see where it needs to go.
Writing a first novel is much harder than it looks, you are not only discovering your characters and the story, but you are also discovering yourself as a writer. It’s taken years to find what techniques work best for me. Looking back the solution seems obvious now. If I could have figured out my style of working earlier I could have saved myself a huge amount of time.
Along with the progress made on the manuscript, June marks the first time I’ve received a formal rejection letter for a short story submitted to a contest. Although I would have loved it if my story were accepted, receiving a rejection is a milestone every writer must face. Having one says I’m submitting and putting my work out there. It won’t be the last rejection letter I receive and in time there will be acceptances as well.
I’m looking forward to July with its heat and long days. If I can make the same amount of progress that I did in June then I’m on track for finishing this draft by the end of summer. After that, the bulk of the work is done and I can start focusing on detail work and really making it shine.
I can’t wait.
Congrats on braving the world of submissions! “They” say you have to wallpaper a room with rejection letters in the course of a writing career. (I think I’ve covered 3 walls.) And don’t regret the time it took you to find what works best for you as a writer. Experimentation is all about building your strengths and exploring your art. Each attempt will only make you better and builds on those that came before. Best wishes! —Jadi
I agree! Although it has been painful to learn what works best I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Experience is worth it’s weight in gold.
That’s an impressive amount of writing with children underfoot. I suppose I’ve written that may words in June, but it was in the service of corporate America, not my novel-writing ambitions!
I’ll admit the numbers are a bit inflated, not all of that was written in June, about half was salvaged from a previous draft. Still, I’m pretty proud of myself. Here’s to another great month!
Well done, Jodi. And just the right attitude about the rejection which says only, “Not here, right now” without precluding “someplace else, some other time.”
Funny thing – I learned after all my noble “I’m moving on” sentiments that I could resubmit the story to the contest in future quarters. Go figure. I still think I’ll submit it somewhere else, just for variety.