I’m Starting Over

2019 has existed. It was mean at times and it’s just been an interesting one, to say the least. I haven’t had a “bad” year in a while, so I guess I was due. However, with everything that happened, I’m trying to move on, get past it all, and try to have a sense of normality again. With that, I’m starting over.

“Starting Over”

No, this isn’t meant in a literal sense. I’m not scrapping the blog or anything like that. But I’m going to basically pretend that this year didn’t happen. I wasn’t consistent on the blog, I rarely read other blogs, I missed so many comments, and I just haven’t engaged like I normally do.

I keep trying to think of ways to “get back into the swing of things.” I keep looking back at past posts and the long gaps in between them wondering how to get back into my usual routine.

At this point, it makes me overwhelmed. I have too many other things on my mind. There are so many projects I’m working on, I want to work on, or I’m collaborating with others behind the scenes on secret projects. This isn’t to say I want to stop doing any of these things – I want to continue them all. But I think that’s part of my problem. I’m trying to do too many things at once.

Between all that and real-life happenings on this side of my computer, 2019 has been pretty bad.

Thinking Outside The Box

In other words, I need to stop looking at what I have done and start thinking about what I need to do in order to move forward. I look back at the past couple of years, blogging daily, writing, and everything else. In my mind, getting back to normal is doing that again. But I don’t think that’s what needs to be done. I think that’s what I’m used to so I’m trying to get back into those habits.

I’m starting to realize that I need to form new habits. I need to work in different ways. It’s time things changed and that I shake things up a bit.

I need to stop trying to get back to where I was when 2019 started. A lot of things have happened, a lot has changed. I’m sorry to not go into detail about what these things were, but it’s put some things into perspective for me and I’ve come to realize that the “normal” I’m trying to get back to is not my “normal” anymore.

So, What Am I Trying To Say?

Well. I have to admit, this was not my original intention for this post. But, as I type this out, I realize I made a decision deep down and my mind is now just catching up. I think it’s the right decision too because I think I’ve known this for a while but just didn’t want to admit. So, with that said…

This blog is on hiatus until January 2020.

Yes, I know in my October goals I mentioned that I’d be getting back into the swings of things. But, as I just said, I think the normal I’m trying to get back to isn’t my normal anymore.

I have plans and ideas for this blog going forward and I think I need time to sort them out so I can implement them and enjoy myself while doing so. I haven’t been able to yet because I’ve been so busy trying to come up with content so I can start posting daily again. But I don’t want to post for the sake of getting something up here.

Not for nothing, but I originally started this blog in 2012 to share my creative writing. I’ve barely written a thing all year long. It’s hard to talk about writing when you’re not actually writing anything.

What About The Rest Of 2019?

I’m not stopping everything. Short Story Sunday will still be posting every week for the remainder of 2019. I am stopping Time to Write though. I love the writing prompts and will continue them in 2020, but for now, I can’t be sure I’ll check them each week to add your stories. I apologize for this. I will add the stories from last week on this Friday, but there will be no prompt to follow.

For the rest of October, I don’t know how often I’ll post (if I post). I definitely want to keep in touch so maybe, in addition to Short Story Sunday, I’ll whip up a post once a week or once every other week. The same thing will go for December. Between 2020 prep for everything plus the holidays, I’ll try to keep in touch and post a handful of times, but I make no promises.

November, on the other hand, is NaNoWriMo. I’m still going to participate in the event and will post at least once a week about my progress.

2020 Will Be Great

I have a lot of great ideas for 2020. Features, post ideas, collabs, and more. I’m really looking forward to it and I think taking a couple of months off from the actual blog content will allow me to start fresh with a brand new year.

A lot of things, unfortunately, fell to the wayside in 2019. I’m going to take a look at each and every on and either bring it back, as usual, bring it back in a new way, or just do without it. We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime… I hope 2019 was a lot kinder to you all. It was a good year – I don’t mean to sound pessimistic and say 2019 was absolutely horrible. But there were some questionable things that happened and it was just a weird year overall.

I appreciate you all being patient with me this year when I disappeared without a trace on a couple of different occasions. I’ll be back and ready to go in 2020, but I’ll keep in touch.

Talk to you soon!

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Goals [October 2019]

Goals October 2019 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I haven’t read any books for a long time. I’ve been doing research on some things which are technically reading books, but I haven’t read any fiction or the like. It’d be great to get back into the swing of things this month, but I think my plan is to just start reading again. I may or may not have any book reviews for the month. I might start that up again in November. I’ll certainly be trying to read something though. Even if it’s just one or two books.

Writing

Writing too has fallen to the wayside. I’ve been making a list of what needs to be done for each of the novels I’m working on and started to break them up into months. I’m figuring out what I need to work on this month and beyond through 2020. I’m sure things will change, but as of right now, I have a tentative plan. Also, NaNoWriMo is next month so I think that will also help me get back into the swing of things.

Blogging

October may look a bit like Swiss cheese. My original plan was to start blogging daily again this month, but September was busier than anticipated and I got sick for the last week. Needless to say, October is not ready at all and it’s already the first of the month. So, I’m going to take this time to catch up on some things. I actually have some ideas for 2020 so I might start implementing those and really get back into the swing of things come January. But I’ll still be here posting when I can. I’m hoping I can start posting daily again in November, but we’ll see how things go.

Overall

2019 has been a crazy year. So much has happened in the past few months that it’s too much to explain and even though I’ve lived through it, I can’t wrap my head around most of what’s happened. There have been good things and bad things and my writing and blogging have taken a blow due to it all. I’m ready to get back into my routine and bring things back to “normal” and what they were before. I’m just going to take it slow.

What are your goals for this month? Do you have any big plans? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!

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Goals [August 2019]

Goals August 2019 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I’ll be reading and reviewing nine books this month. I have a list of books I want to read – whether I’ll stick with it or not, I don’t know. Though I’ve been utilizing my local library more often lately and my to-be-read pile keeps on growing.

Writing

I’ll be working on a couple of different projects this month, as usual. I’m going to do some final edits for Crossroads so that I can publish it on Wattpad in September. In addition, I’m working on the next Sunday Morning collection as well as the first book in my mystery series.

I made a list the other day of all the books I want to work on. The list is growing and I’m trying to give each and every one the attention and time it deserves without working on so much at once. I’ll probably write a different blog post about that soon enough though.

Blogging

I’m still making some changes to the blog, such as updating the pages and post templates. In addition, I’m trying to get this month’s blog posts done as well as some other posts done for the future months.

Overall

August is going to be a busy month. I have a lot of work to do outside of writing and blogging, so I’m definitely going to need to find a new balance for the month. I’m going to try to come up with some sort of schedule to keep up with this work, around all the other work I need to do. New month, new goals.

What are your goals for the month? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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July 2019 [Wrap Up]

Wrap Up July 2019 | Creative Writing | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I read a good amount this month. They were mostly books that were on the shorter side, but I think that’s just what I needed in order to get me back into a reading groove. I read a lot of good books and all the reviews were posted on schedule – eight of them, which is great!

Writing

My writing was pretty good this month thanks to the 85K90 challenge and Camp NaNoWriMo. I made excellent progress on my next Wattpad story, Crossroads. I’m looking forward to finishing that up and diving straight into the edits within the next couple of days.

Blogging

Thanks to my vacation, I got super ahead with my blog posts. So July was all set for the rest of the month plus a little bit of August!

Overall

It was a pretty productive month. Super busy, but it was great.

Posts To Remember

1. July & August 2019 Writing Submissions
2. Housesitting For A Week
3. Getting Out Of A Funk [Mental Health Mondays]

How did July treat you? What did you get done? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Why I Chose To Self-Publish My Books

I self-published my debut book three months ago. It hasn’t been an easy journey and I’m certainly still trying to figure things out. I’ve been wanting to write this post and explain why I chose to self-publish my books for a while but never thought there was a right “time.” I recently saw someone on Twitter post something that rubbed me the wrong way and I figured now was as good a time as any.

Why I Chose To Self-Publish My Books | Creative Writing | Author | Indie Author | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

All Opinions Matter

I’m not going to name names or quotes tweets. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I recognize there are people out there who believe traditional publishing is “better” than self-publishing. On the flip side, there are people out there who believe self-publishing is “better” than traditional publishing. What I’m realizing is that these people all have one thing in common – they write what they know.

“Write what you know” is a big piece of writing advice that people toss around. The people who think one way of publishing is better than the other, do just that. They write what they know in the sense that traditionally published authors believe that’s better because they never tried self-publishing. Self-published authors think that’s better because they were never published by a traditional company.

Obligatory disclaimer: I, of course, don’t mean everyone. There have been authors who let go of their agents deciding to self-publish instead and there have been some self-published books that were picked up by agents. These things happen and if it happens to you, great. You get the best of both worlds and try out all the different angles of getting your work out into the world. Again, everyone is entitled to their option no matter how they came to the conclusion.

Here’s What Bothers Me

The tweet I saw basically said that an agent or publisher will pick you up if you write good books. Rejection means that’s it not good enough, it won’t sell. Therefore, keep working and try again.

I don’t agree with that.

Yes, rejection, in a sense, is good. It allows you to grow a thick skin, take another look at your work and keep improving. Determination, patience, all that fun stuff. Who is to really say whether a book will sell or not? There have been traditionally published books that didn’t sell and the agent left the author because… well, it’s all about money. I mean, fair enough. It is a business for agents and that’s their job. If they can’t make money off your book, then bye-bye to you.

What really bothered me about this statement – and maybe I misinterpreted it, but I think it’s worth talking about anyway – is that it said you’ll only get picked up traditionally if you write good books.

Well, who is to say a book is good or not? Certainly not one single opinion. Certainly not that person who has two books in hand and can only take on one more project and they just happen to enjoy that other book more than yours.

In my opinion, the readers decide that. If you market the target audience well and have a great following before, during, and after your book is released, you’re most likely good to go. No one said writing was easy. No one said it was a “get-rich-quick” scheme.

You will be someone’s favorite author someday. Even if it’s just a handful of people. Your writing is good. Your story matters. Don’t ever forget that and keep going. It doesn’t matter if an agent or publisher deemed your book “worthy” to see the light of day or if you took a chance on yourself and tossed it up on Amazon.

The Rules Of Writing

Okay, there are “rules” that we should follow when it comes to writing. Grammar is important. However, there are other general rules when it comes to creative writing. Show, don’t tell. Write what you know. No adverbs.

Well, rules were meant to be broken. People don’t speak in perfect English, so neither should your dialogue. Sometimes, it is better to tell than to show. Research is your friend – write what you don’t know. If it’s fiction, embellish a bit and make something up.

Do you know what this is called? Style. Every writer has their own writing style. This doesn’t make your writing “good” or “bad.” It’s your own unique voice. Some people may not be impressed but others will absolutely love it.

So, I ask again, who is to say a book is good or bad?

Which Is Right?

I have read some great self-published books and some not so great. I have also read some awesome traditionally published books and some that were not so hot. Why didn’t I enjoy these books? Not because the author was represented or because they did it themselves, it just happened to not be my cup of coffee. Maybe I couldn’t relate to the protagonist, but someone else out there does. Maybe I thought the plot was dull, but someone else out there thought it was fabulously well-executed. Maybe my copy was riddled with typos but someone else got a later edition than mine and that had been fixed.

You can say authors who are traditionally published are hard-working to meet their agent’s deadlines, determined to get that agent, and patient while they wait for their query to hopefully be seen. You can say authors who are self-published are hard-working to meet their man-made deadlines, determined to get their story told regardless of the number of rejections, and patient while they research their audience, trends, marketing plans, cover designs, and more.

There are people out there who self-publish because they were frustrated no one would pick them up. Or they self-publish because they just want to get their story told. They’re not looking for the money. They do it because they love it.

Some people go the traditional route because they don’t want to do the majority of the work or they don’t think they can. Or they want to see their physical books on the shelves in bookstores.

There are so many reasons people choose one or the other. They do what’s best for them, what’s best for their story. And that’s the way it should be. If someone wants to spend, potentially, a few years querying, then more power to you. Good for it and good luck. If someone else would rather do the majority of the work themselves and learn the ropes of self-publishing, then I say the same. Go for it and good luck.

Why I Chose To Self-Publish My Books

I’ve been writing since I was ten and, at the same, traditional publishing was the only “right way” to get published. Self-publishing wasn’t as big and it didn’t have a great rep around it. I didn’t know anything about anything, so I followed the crowd and thought my book would be on the shelves at Barnes & Noble from some big traditional publishing company and I’d be sitting in a pile of money.

Of course, ten-year-old me didn’t realize how obnoxiously wrong all of that actually is.

I chose to self-publish for two reasons.

1. I tried the querying game and didn’t like it.

I queried for a few years. Novels, children’s books, poetry. Nothing ever came to be. The rejections were hard, but I knew I just had to work harder.

Just because no one wanted my work, doesn’t mean I chose to self-publish as a way of “giving up.” I just didn’t like the process of it. This agent is currently not taking on new clients, this one wants the first three chapters, that other agent wants the whole manuscript, while this guy wants a blurb. The agent wants a paper copy, this one wants an email. It was hard to keep up and keep track of it all. Sure, I had a spreadsheet of which novel I sent, to who, which company, when, what format, when/if I heard back, etc. But it was time-consuming and the research was killer. (Seriously, I can’t begin to explain many agents and publishers I researched that I could find any of their information anywhere on their website… I hope this has changed since then because one of those agents could have been the one for me. But I shall never know now.

In addition to this, I realized something about myself as I got older and learned more about the process. Hence, my other reason for choosing to be self-published.

2. I want it my way.

Yes, sounds selfish, I know. But when I was in high school and was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, my therapist noticed something about me. They wanted me to get back into school, but she recognized my ambition and took that into account. Instead of trying to get me back into high school for my senior year, she found a dual enrollment program at a local community college.

I went to college for my senior year of high school. My courses counted toward my high school credits as well as credits toward my degree. I killed two birds with one stone – getting my high school diploma and getting my first year of college under my belt.

This was the best thing for me because she knew I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was already doing it. Writing in between school, homework, and my job. Not only did this allow me to continue my schooling and graduate high school, but it allowed me creative freedom and set the foundation for where I am now.

Later in life, I’d take a risk and quit my job and pursue this writing thing. I have worked harder than ever before, researched and taught myself so much. I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve become a businesswoman. I’m always looking to grow and expand my current work. I’ve learned about creative writing, blogging, website building, freelance, social media/marketing…

Hey, I even published a book myself.

And I’ve helped other writers and bloggers along the way, promoting their work as well. I’ve met a lot of great friends and have learned from them as well.

I have ideas. I know how to grow. I want to create bigger and better things. I can’t do that if I had to go through my agent who then needed to go through whichever publisher decided to take a chance on me.

I mean, I have a novel timeline through 2021. Do you know how fast publishing a book would go if I went through traditional publishing? I’m not sure, but I know it can take a year or two. Faster is not always better, of course, but it’s easier when you’re mostly answering to yourself.

Do What’s Right For You

I’m not saying self-publishing is better than traditional publishing. I’ve never been traditionally published so I have no idea what the pros and cons are. What I am saying is that self-publishing was the right choice for me. Some people may not enjoy my books, but I know there are people out there who will enjoy them. To those people, my book is considered good. And it wasn’t accepted by an agent or represented by a high publishing company.

Which route did you or will you take when publishing your books? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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July 2019 Goals

Goals July 2019 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

July 2019 Goals

So, this was certainly a weird couple of months, huh? I didn’t expect to take such a long hiatus – or even a hiatus at all. Mental health is a funny thing and it’s odd to me how I can feel restricted and depressed about some things I love to do such as blogging and writing. I can’t explain why it happened or why it took so long for me to get out of my funk, but I guess that doesn’t matter now. I’m back with my July 2019 goals.

I got myself through this funk and I’m ready to be back. This blog will resume the daily posts among other things and that’s the way I like it. I did think about cutting back, but I enjoy the daily posts and I even came up with more content ideas while I wasn’t blogging. That said, I’ve come up with a plan to cut back temporarily should this ever happen again.

Some things will be a bit different on this blog. I’ve updated a lot of things. (Seriously, go look at the different pages. I added some things, took away others, and updated and improved them all. I’m proud of how they turned out.) The content here won’t be 100% writing/reading. I know I’ve been talking more about my mental health recently but there may be even more than that. Plus, I want to add a lot of bits from life. You know, sort of bring this blog back to its roots. It’ll still be a platform for writers and readers though and the prompts, short stories, book reviews, etc. will all remain the same.

Thanks for your patience with me as I tried to figure myself out. I’ve missed you guys and I’m ready to get back to work. I appreciate all the comments and messages while I was away as well. I want to say though that I won’t be replying to any comments. I’ve gotten so behind on checking them that I’ve just decided to not… I think that would be more work than worth. I do my best to reply to them all, but I’m just going to start fresh with that starting with this post. So, I apologize for not responding to past comments, but I appreciate all them nonetheless.

Reading

It’s summer which means I’m going to be posting two book reviews a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I’ve gotten so behind on my reading goals and there are so many books I want to read that I’m excited to drown myself in stories again. I actually got a couple of books on the shorter side just so that I could get myself back into the habit of reading again that I read during the last two weeks of June. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

That and I’ve discovered that my local library has an app so I’ve been putting books on hold like crazy.

I’m still closed to review requests, but I did update the policy and the reading list if you’d like to check it out.

Writing

At the end of 2018, I sat down and created a schedule and deadlines for myself for my novels for 2019. I’ve sort of hopped off that schedule the past month or two but, surprisingly enough, I’ve stuck with it for the most part. I decided the other day to recreate it for the rest of 2019. I went a bit over my head and created a tentative schedule and deadlines through 2020 and into the beginning of 2021. I’m sure it will change throughout because things will happen but at least I have a good idea of where I want my stories to go. At this point in time, I have two books scheduled for self-publication in 2020, which I’m excited about. But again, that’s if everything goes according to plan because it’s not just me working on these books.

The hunt for an editor and a cover artist will begin soon for my mystery series, so if anyone has any recommendations, feel free to let me know in the comments. I’ll be shopping around for a bit. Thank you!

July is another Camp NaNoWriMo session. I wrote a novella for Wattpad during April’s session but never got the chance to edit it and actually publish it in June like I originally intended. So, I’ll be using July’s Camp session to edit it as well as August so I can publish it in September.

I’m also working on the second installment of Sunday Morning as well as the first in my mystery series. I’ve updated the My Books page and you find more information on all my Wattpad stories, Sunday Morning (paperback is on the way finally!) and everything I’m working on in the Coming Soon section.

Blogging

As I said at the beginning of this post, the majority of the posts are going to remain the same and I’ll be back to publishing daily content. However, some themes may change slightly as I make them a bit more personal and the like.

That said, I’ll be sharing blog space with my Patreon page. Every other Thursday is going to be a patron-only post which means you can only view the post if you’re a patron of mine and logged into Patreon at the time of viewing the post. I’m doing this because I want to integrate my blog with my Patreon page since they go hand in hand anyway.

The patron-only posts will be an exclusive short story and sneak peeks of my books. Pledging just $1 each month will give you access to an extra short story from me each month plus more information on my upcoming books such as excerpts, fun facts, early cover reveals, and more.

Of course, there’s no obligation to become a patron. Two posts a month will be locked but the rest of the blog is wide open and free regardless if you’re a patron or not. However, if you enjoy my work and love reading this blog, then consider becoming a patron because you’ll get more than just those two exclusive posts.

Becoming a patron helps me out in more ways than one, but financially it makes it easier for me to save up for an editor and cover artist. If you want to learn more, check out my Patreon page here or click the button below.

Overall

As you can see, I’m ready to be back and I’m happy to be back. I’m eager to get started on my goals again and continue making this blog the best it can be and keep on writing. Happy July and happy summer, everyone! Let me know what you’ve been up to lately. It’s been quite a while.

What are your July 2019 goals? Also, tell me how you’ve been lately. It’s good to be back! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Goals [May 2019]

Goals May 2019 | Creative Writing | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

It’s Mystery Month again! I’ll be reading four mystery novels this month in celebration. You can keep an eye on my Goodreads to see what I’ll be reading.

Writing

In addition to Mystery Month, it’s also an editing month! Following the 85K90 Writing Challenge calendar, I’ll be editing three different projects – George Florence & The Perfect Alibi (2020), Sunday Morning Volume 2 (2020), and Crossroads (Wattpad, June 2019).

I’ll be on the second draft for two of those projects and the other will be on its “final” draft. At least, final for me until I can find an editor.

Blogging

It’s Mystery Month, which means the majority of my blog posts will be about the mystery genre. My book reviews will be mystery books as will my writing prompts. Short Story Sunday will have a four-part mystery short story. So, I hope you’re all looking forward to that.

If there’s anything about the mystery genre you’re interested to know, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to do a post about it.

Overall

I’m looking forward to May. I feel like I have my head on straight again and I have a lot of good things planned. Plus, the warmer weather should be here to stay! I can’t wait to get started on my edits and work on some new side projects.

What are your goals for the month? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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April 2019 [Wrap Up]

Wrap Up April 2019 | Creative Writing | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I read a good amount during the month. I went into a bit of a slump toward the end and even skipped a book review. I’m not too worried though. I have the rest of the year to reach my 52-book goal. Slow and steady.

Writing

The writing was plentiful between the 85K90 challenge and Camp NaNoWriMo. I also self-published Sunday Morning: A Collection of 52 Flash Fiction (finally!) so please do go check that out if you haven’t already.

Blogging

I got behind in blogging. Like, way behind. So much happened this month and there weren’t enough hours in the day. I’m getting a good chunk of May done though. I’ll catch up soon enough.

Overall

April was crazy. I self-published my first book, participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, finished the writing part of the 85K90 Writing Challenge, so much happened at my church, it was Easter, there were a couple of birthdays, and, toward the end, my grandfather went into the hospital. It’s been a lot, obviously. I’m drained mentally and physically, despite most of the happenings in April were good.

I even skipped a couple of days of blogging, that’s how drained I was. My OCD will drive me nuts later, but whatever – I don’t want to post for the sake of posting and I needed a break.

I’m looking forward to May, though. Things should calm down a bit and hopefully, all will be well with my grandfather.

Posts To Remember

1. All About Worry Stones [Mental Health Monday]
2. Taking Breaks [Healthy Writer]
3. Sunday Morning Cover Reveal

How did April treat you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Writing Challenge Update

April is over tomorrow, which is totally crazy to me. It’s been a busy month, so I’ve decided to give you guys a writing challenge update. I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo and it was also a Finish month for the 85K90 Writing Challenge.

Writing Challenge Update | Creative Writing | Camp NaNoWriMo | 85K90 | Writing Challenge | NaNoWriMo | RachelPoli.com

Camp NaNoWriMo

I wrote over 50,000 words on my next Wattpad story, Crossroads. However, the story is far from over and I’m going to have a lot of editing to do. Like, a crazy amount of editing. I’ve kept notes and have a better idea of which direction I want the story to go in. In fact, I don’t even know if I’ll “complete” the first draft before I start editing. I have a better understanding of my characters and know what I want them to accomplish.

With that said, I think I’ll spend the next couple of days doing a more thorough outline. In the end, I ended up with over 54,000 words for the novel, so I’m pleased with that. There will be scenes that will get cut out, but most will stay.

It was a successful Camp NaNo session and I even had the chance to throw in a 10K writing day as well, which was great.

85K90 Writing Challenge

This year-long challenge is wrapping up the first portion. “Writing” months were January through March with April as a “Finish” month. April can be used as a break or to catch up if you’ve fallen behind. I counted Crossroads toward the 85K goal, though that still left me with quite a bit left over to write.

I edited a lot during the first few months of the year so I didn’t truly start keeping track of my progress with this challenge until March. Thank goodness Camp NaNo fell on a Finish month so I could kill two birds with one stone.

Aside from Crossroads, I counted any writing I did for Sunday Morning and George Florence & The Perfect Alibi. I also counted any short stories or flash fiction I wrote for my patrons on Patreon. This allowed me to reach the 85K goal just this past weekend. My sister and I went to Barnes & Noble and I banged out the final 4,000-or-so words I had left to reach the finish line.

What’s Next

I’d like to say I have today and tomorrow as a break, but I’m still working. May marks the beginning of the “Edit” months. I’m going to start working on editing the second volume of Sunday Morning, continue revising George Florence & The Perfect Alibi, as well as edit and revise Crossroads.

It’s going to be a busy month, but I have a calendar for the month on what I’ll be working on which days. May, as far as I know, should be a fairly quiet month too. There are no major holidays, no school vacations, or anything of the kind. It should be a smooth month for writing.

Have you participated in any writing challenges? How are you doing with them? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Coming Back With A Fresh Mind

Happy Monday, everyone! I feel like it’s been a little while since I’ve posted on here. I skipped two days last week, which is totally unlike me. I usually have my blog posts done in advance, but I got behind due to writing. I was also busy with my Dad’s birthday, Easter, and other things. I’ve been exhausted and blogging definitely got pushed to the back burner.

It’s weird because I haven’t missed a day of blogging in three years. Still, I’d rather post useful content than post just for the sake of posting. I’m coming back for a fresh mind now, so I thought I’d give a quick (which will most likely turn into a long) update.

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Writing

Sunday Morning: A Collection of 52 Flash Fiction

First things first, writing has been kind of crazy lately. I’ve been working on a lot of different projects and officially know what the self-publishing process is like. My debut book, Sunday Morning: A Collection of 52 Flash Fiction is now available on Amazon. It comes out tomorrow, April 23, but you can still pre-order it right now. I’m still working on a few things – such as getting the paperback set up as well as getting the book out there on other platforms. It’s a work in progress, a learning curve, but hey – it’s on Amazon. I did it. So, if you’ve enjoyed my Short Story Sunday feature on the blog, then please grab a copy of Sunday Morning.

Crossroads

I’ve been working on my next Wattpad novella – which has turned into a novel. Which will most likely have a sequel. It was not supposed to be this way. Still, I’m enjoying myself as I write it. I have a long road of editing ahead of me, but that’s okay. I’ve been keeping notes and ideas for when that time comes.

I’ve been using this story as my project for Camp NaNoWriMo and the 85K90 Writing Challenge. As I write this post, I’m sitting at 45,717 words for Camp NaNoWriMo. So, I only have 4,283 words left to right to reach 50K. I’m hoping to do that today once my blogging is done for the day.

I’ve also been using this story to catch up with the 85K90 Writing Challenge. I edited for a good chunk of the “writing” months so I’m using April’s “finish” month to reach the 85K word goal. Right now I have 77,033 words. I need another 7,967 words to complete the writing part of the challenge. If I reach 50K for Camp NaNo today, that’ll knock down 4-5,000 words and I should be able to finish the challenge tomorrow.

George Florence & The Perfect Alibi

I’m getting closer to completing this one. I have a publication goal in mind for 2020, though that’s all I’m going to say for now. I’m still working on it, it’s still happening. It’ll be here soon, I promise.

I don’t have too much else to say about it. I’m in the final self-editing stages. Then it’s off to an editor, which I’m currently shopping around for.

Blogging

Posts

I need to sit down and look at my planner again and really get my posts in order again. I’ve gotten behind in getting them set up in advance. I have plenty of ideas but I haven’t sat down to work on posts in a while. This is definitely on my to-do list for the week.

Admin & Maintenance

I’ve been wanting to go through my old posts for a while now. I need to upgrade most of the pages on this site and there are some new things I want to do with the blog. I’ve had the business plan for WordPress for over a year now and I’m just rediscovering plugins. I didn’t realize the many different things I could do with my blog and also how fancy I could make it look.

I’ve had something in mind for a while and I found a way to do it through my blog without creating a brand new website. If I can, I’ll definitely work on that so I only have to maintain this blog and have everything in one place. It’ll make it easier for all of us.

There are also a lot of simple upgrades I want to do for the blog as well. Of course, this is something I’ll be working on throughout the summer (at least, my goal is to have this all done by September). I won’t sit down and do it all at once – no one wants the blog to change overnight. These changes will be slow and subtle. Well, some may not be as subtle.

Still, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve finally found a way to do all these things I’ve been wanting to do for a while! I feel like I’m creating a brand new blog and it’s a good feeling.

That’s It For Now

I was super busy and totally overwhelmed last week with the launch of Sunday Morning and everything else going on. When I tried to get any work done, nothing happened, but I did brainstorm. Now I’m back and feel ready to continue as well as implement my new ideas and plans.

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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