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.