177/365 - Lost in the pages by Courtney Carmody

If you could see me now, you’d probably witness me doing some version of the happy dance. My final final of the semester was yesterday (Wednesday), so my summer has officially started (Don’t you love college, summer starts a whole month early). Yeah! And what do I plan to do this summer? Exactly what I planned to do last summer–I plan to write until my fingers bleed.

Okay, maybe I’m not actually going to go to such gruesome extents. But I think I’ve managed to create in myself the discipline (and desperation) to work consistently on my book for the next several months. I have much higher hopes for this summer, than I had last year.

So in addition to my usual list of summer to-dos (you know, clean my room, exercise, actually do some chores around the house, save enough money to last the next two semesters) I’ve come up with a few writer’s to-dos:

  1. Write, write, write: If I’m going to have Draft One finished by the end of the year, I need to buckle down and get serious about writing. Which means that you will probably be able to find me at my CFA even on my days off (I do have plans to see how working at the library suits me, but right now CFA is my office). My goal (and we’ll see how we do) is to have 50,000-65,000 words written by the end of August. I know, scary isn’t it? That’s a LOT of words. But when you do the math (What? I’m a numbers person) that’s only 550 words (roughly three handwritten pages) each day–or 3,800 words (nineteen h.w.p.) a week. Not so scary now is it (See why I like the numbers)?
  2. Blog consistently: Yes, I know I disappeared for a few weeks. I have tendency to do that at the end of each semester. Finals are coming, therefore I put my life on hold until after. But now that summer is here and I only have my job to contend with I want to make a point of writing at least one blog post a week. Probably more if I keep up with my third to-do.
  3. Read: Yep, you knew it was coming. Heck, I knew it was coming. It’s the thing I love most about summer. No school=more reading time. Now, considering that I do plan on work 40 hours a week and I plan on working on my book at least two or three days each week, I should probably keep a conservative goal. I figure that one book a week will make me feel accomplished, while not overwhelming me. Of course, I don’t expect to actually take that long with every book, but at least I have a starting point.
  4. Take a Writer’s Weekend: This one will depend on my financial status towards the end of the summer, but I would really like to do a little traveling as research for Mind Games. Considering that a great part of the first book takes place in a castle, I am currently looking for real live castles here in the U.S. that I can visit for research/inspiration. I would love to go to Ireland or England, but money’s tight and I am currently trying to save for a trip to Germany in two or three summers (Medieval Times Orlando anyone?). And I would love to include in that a few days (maybe even a week?) where I can spend the greater part of the day writing. But as I said, money and whether or not I can find appropriate company (I hate traveling alone) is going to determine whether or not I actually get to cross this one off of my list.
But this is it. Now is the best  time to work on my book.
For all those other aspiring authors out there, what about you? Make this summer the summer you set down a plot, or do some research, or maybe–just maybe–this is the time that you take up you pen and write those first words of your story. Go ahead, challenge yourself. And please, if you have any similar goals for your summer (or month, or year or whatever) tell me about them! It’s always wonderful to know that you aren’t alone.
(And just FTR: The book she is reading is Hunger Games. Found that out after I chose the pic and it cracks me up.)
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