How I’m Spending My Summer, 2018 Edition

Recently, I did a mid-year assessment of my progress on my 2018 New Year’s resolutions.

I did this not only to determine how close or how far I am from achieving success, and not only because I’m experimenting this year with doing quarterly check-ins to help boost my success rate.

I also did it because, in the obverse of the famous quote from the mega-hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, “Summer is coming.”

That is to say, my summer vacation back home to spend time with my family.

Which means a lot more free time for a few weeks in which to make serious headway on one or all of my long-term goals for the year.

The work I love the most

For the past couple of years, when it comes to summer, the only aspect in which I truly took time “off” was from my day job.

In 2017, although I was well away from the office, I didn’t even fully do that.

I do have a penchant for having what I like to call “working” summers.  A lot of this is because I always have some sort of major personal undertaking on the go that is limited by my obligations to my day job.

Part of it is because I’m not even sure I know how to fully relax.  The fact that one of my resolutions for this year is to achieve better balance in my life between working (any type of work; not just my day job) and not working is evidence enough of this.

So too is the fact that my progress in this regard, rather than triumphantly successful, or even just resolutely on track, I’m instead describing as “the best I can realistically do”.

As well as the fact that I’m preparing to forego all progress to date in this for the next three weeks in support of another, dare I say more important, 2018 resolution.


Which is almost always more important to me.

(It was resolution number two of six after all, with resolution number one also writing-related.  Achieving balance, meanwhile, landed way down at number five.)

I made the resolution to complete draft 6 of my historical fiction WIP using feedback from my critique group.

My revision progress of multiple simultaneous drafts.

To be clear, I’m not going to finish the entire draft in the next three weeks.  I’ve done fast drafts before, but that’s not going to happen this time.  I’m not even truly working on draft 6 at the moment, or at least not only draft 6.

(It’s a long story, involving my critique group pre- and post- their weekly feedback, a partial rewrite of my second act that increased my WIP by six new chapters, and the oh-so-common case of a beginning that is too slow.)

(Incidentally, “it’s a long story” can be said about my WIP in general—yet another reason I’ve got multiple drafts happening all at once.)

But regardless of my current draft number, I am going to be putting in a noticeably increased amount of writing time—as much as I can get away with while still maintaining a modicum of sociality with my family.

This perhaps will be in preparation for Pitch Wars, if I decide to enter.  It will definitely be in preparation to finish this novel sooner rather than later so I can get on to the next.

And so I can claim success in at least one of my New Year’s resolutions come December 31.

How are you spending your summer?

A/N: There will be no new posts until September.  Enjoy your August!

(Image source #1 and #2 – J.G. Noelle)

7 thoughts on “How I’m Spending My Summer, 2018 Edition

  1. Your summer sounds like a lot more fun than mine (moving). Writing time! Lots of it!

    My most productive three-week period ever was the time I chaperoned four of our homeschooled high schoolers at an internship at LaSalle University. 2007? They gave us a two-bedroom suite and the girls moved the beds so they were all together.

    I used the time to completely redo the Dramatica file for Pride’s Children from the learning version and draft, to what I used to finish PC: PURGATORY over the next 8 years (yeah, I’m that slow). But being able to focus on ONE thing for 5, 5, and 4 weekdays (we went home from Philadelphia on the weekends) allowed me to get the plot straightened out for all three books in the trilogy, and I have no plans to change any of it.

    It was sheer heaven, being able to focus on that – and not the kids and my other kids and school and anything other than making sure we were all fed. Something this homeschool mom never had before (or since) without something or someone interrupting.

    Enjoy – you take your pleasure where you find it, or don’t get much. That was mine. Write!


    • I did do a lot of writing while away, but I had a lot of interruptions as well. Sometimes adult family can be as distracting as kids. As well, sometimes having all that time at one’s disposal results in a lot of time willfully wasted. Returning to my home environment and my daily grind of shorter writing stints really does seem to be the best thing for my productivity in the long run.


      • Hope you enjoyed all the family time – and it looks like you’ve come back ready to focus.

        I’m ALMOST back – we’re in this apartment for an undetermined amount of time, so I can’t wait for the permanent one. It has been an odyssey, and I haven’t located the computer gurus here yet, but need to regain control of my software properly to proceed.

        The worst is over, I think, except for the unpredictabilities of life.


  2. I only write properly with a full day ahead of me – evenings and weekends just don’t work for me. So I’ll hopefully hole up in the UK for a couple of weeks next month and blast this present WIP to some sort of finish.


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