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May 2018 Review and Summer Goals


As I predicted in my last post, this month wasn't terribly productive, but sometimes that's a good thing. Not being productive means giving yourself a mental break, which is something I needed with my writing. It means re-orienting yourself, which is something I really needed, coming back to the States after nine months in Italy.

Not being productive means preparing yourself to be more productive in the future.

Image from Pixabay.

MAY REVIEW

I did manage to finish the first draft of my YA high fantasy. Somehow. I don't really know how I wrote two novels in nine months--the fastest I've ever written--and during my most apathetic period in writing. *shrugs* Weird how some things work, right? I'll be terrified to look at these drafts whenever I return to them, but I don't have to worry about that day for a while, so moving on...

As expected, returning to the States after nine months in Italy was hard. Still is hard. Just like with college graduation, though, life is moving forward too quickly to give me much time to properly process/mourn the loss. I guess that's good, in a way. What kept my leaving from being absolutely unbearable is the knowledge that I will return, come January. I'll be in Florence, though, and under entirely different circumstances, so what still gets me is the thought that my little life in Siena is well and truly over...and that is still really hard to get over.

One of the friends I said goodbye to pointed out that Siena is a dream world in a way. Living there doesn't feel real, when you're enclosed in those medieval walls, surrounded by rich traditions and a culture that stretches back centuries. He put it so well. Living there is a unique experience, and when I want to be sad that it's over, I have to remind myself to be grateful that I got it at all.

SUMMER GOALS

One of my primary goals for the summer is to study for art history and Italian evaluations I have at the start of my Master's program. So if you need me, I'll be buried under flashcards and Illy espresso as I watch Italian YouTube.

I'll also be returning to SHORE OF DARKNESS (also known as my "Dante WIP")! Ava Jae, my incredible editor, gave me lots of notes to work with, and I'm really excited to dive back in. They were so, so helpful in getting to the nitty-gritty aspects of the story and pointing out problems that had somehow gone overlooked in my other revisions. I highly recommend their editing services if you're serious about taking your story to the next level.

There's going to be a lot to do, and I want to take my time and savor getting to work on a story that's close to my heart, so as of now I'm not giving myself a deadline. I don't have to get this done by a certain time, and I don't want the work to suffer by telling myself I need to finish it by a particular date and therefore rushing revisions. I want to consciously work on improvement, not getting it out and querying immediately.

I also mentioned in my last review/goals post that I wanted to work out again, and I'm happy to say that I have been doing just that. I've started doing yoga each morning (we'll see how much my back likes that) and exercising a few times a week, as well as trying to go on daily walks in an attempt to recreate my active Sienese life. I want to carry this into my undoubtedly hectic grad school life, and I hope establishing a good summer routine will help with that.

What do you hope to accomplish this summer? Any healthy changes you're trying to make to your own lifestyle?

~Alex

#writerslife #writing

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