At the beginning of September, I set an insane goal of finishing my second novel by the end of the month. I knew it was crazy the moment it popped into my head, but I also had the belief that I could do it thanks to an exercise called the Love List, (see What I Love About My WIP).
It’s truly amazing what a surge of motivation can do for a Work In Progress! I fell in love with my second novel all over again and I literally could not wait to work on it every day. After working nine to ten hours at the day job, I’d go home briefly to eat and then head out to my favorite coffee café for my second shift as a writer. Every part of me is utterly exhausted, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.
As a result of focusing so much energy on one goal, some of my other goals had to be put on hold. Initially, this really bothered me, but ultimately it came down to listening to my muse and finishing something that means a lot to me.
1) Submit five pieces of writing to contests, journals, literary magazines, or the newspaper.
For the first time in three months, I did not submit anything. However, a small victory was achieved when I received my very first rejection letter. I framed the letter and hung it above my writing desk as a reminder that I am on my way, (see My First Official Rejection Letter.)
Thank you to my readers who participated in the Poetry Poll series, for the poems you chose helped me cross the threshold of receiving a rejection letter! All of you helped me get one step closer to achieving publication.
I set the goal of submitting of five pieces this year and I’m proud to say I can cross this goal off my list. Up until last month, I had the count listed at four submissions, but after reviewing my submission log I realized I was wrong. Earlier this year I submitted an entry to a competition in the Fourth Writers’ Platform Building Campaign. Seeing as I won that competition, I’ve decided it counts as Submission #5.
Of course, reaching this goal doesn’t mean I’m done! I’m looking to submit at least one more piece before the end of December.
minor changes in my first novel.
I’m sad to say I did not touch my first novel during the month of September. With all my energy devoted to Novel #2, I let Noah and his story sit. October will hopefully be a better month for this goal.
Starting word count: 7,975
Ending word count: 7.975
Total word count: 0
3) Work on my second novel.
This is the huge success story of the month. Through some serious dedication and stubborn determination I finished the first draft of my second novel. Let this be a solid piece of evidence that you can do anything if you want it badly enough. My passion for the story took over and pushed me to go further than I thought possible.
Starting word count: 66,210
End word count: 75,808
Total word count: 9,598
Let the revisions begin!
4) Send out five query letters and be ready with a synopsis.
My muse never ceases to amaze me as not only did she go nuts with inspiration for finishing Novel #2, but she planted the seed for a query letter. Towards the middle of the month, I began writing a short synopsis for the Novel #2, which eventually developed into a full query letter draft. It all started with one sentence that hit me while brushing my teeth. After chiding my muse for terrible timing, I found my notebook and wrote it down. From there, everything fell into place. Some things are just meant to be!
5) Keep up with my blog.
I may have disappeared during the last week of September, (see Into the Writing Cave), but I was very good about posting on a regular basis throughout the rest of the month. Thank you to all my readers for sticking with me even when I wander off for a bit. I promise it was for a good reason, (that I hope you will all get to read at some point!).
6) Network more with other writers.
My self-imposed immersion into the imaginary world of my second novel left me with little time to play in the realm of social networking. That being said, I was quite active on Facebook during the writing process this month. I hope those who followed me enjoyed the journey of a severely caffeinated author!
My thanks goes to everyone who has stopped by and followed me Facebook and Twitter.
My Facebook Page has grown from 188 to 198 Likes.
On Twitter, my followers have grown from 287 to 288.
To join in the fun, please visit my sidebar to follow me on either network. My goal for October is to increase my presence on Twitter and join in more conversations with other writers.
7) Inspire other writers to keep writing.
As always, I hope I am a positive presence!