A Life Update in the Literary Realms

There have been so many changes in the last year or two of my life in regards to books. Great changes, and important ones.

Mainly, I’ve been reading and writing more than ever and absolutely loving it. Posting reviews of books I’ve finished and lists of what I’ve read or what’s next have been keeping me motivated and accountable to completing the tasks I set myself in those areas; I’m hoping to do more of that this year with my writing so that I’ll be able to finish the book I’m working on and see if I might be able to move it along toward publishing. There are victories and struggles in writing it, and I’d love to share them here to keep me going and to read any advice you wonderful readers and writers might have for me at various points of the process.

About my reading: A year ago I finished my BA in English literature, and while I loved that experience and appreciate many of the books I read for my classes, in the three and a half years I was studying I fell woefully out of touch with the sorts of current and popular books I normally enjoy reading for my own pleasure. Reading is an important part of who I am, so I’ve highly valued the time I’ve had this year to reconnect with the world of new releases and delve further into the reading community than I ever have before. I read 73 books this past year, and am planning to read even more in 2017. I want to read everything, and am truly depressed that I won’t possibly live long enough to read all the books. But I’m determined to make a good dent. 🙂

About my writing: I’m working on a science fiction book in the NA age range (full of monsters, battles, politics, and a bit of romance), and I’m currently over 50,000 words. I’m aiming for about 90,000 so that’s a little over halfway. I’ve been writing somewhat out of order–working chronologically but from three different points in the story–so tit’s a little hard to judge exactly how much of the plot is left, although I do have a decent outline drafted of main points to keep me on track. It’s just hard to guess how long what’s left will take me. I’ve also been editing as I go; on days when my writing is stuck I revise instead, so parts of the book I’m nearly ready to say I’m completely finished with, while other parts obviously remain entirely unwritten. If you’re a writer, feel free to weigh in–in what order do you write your story? I have to revise/edit in chronological order, but I like to write different points of the story based on my mood.

I hope to post weekly (or ever other week, maybe) about my progress, as I plan to work hard on my writing and finish within a month or two at least with the first draft. I think this will keep me on track without becoming too repetitive (“well, I wrote another chapter today,” etc.). I don’t want to go into a lot of specifics or spoilers, because I’m afraid talking about an unfinished book too much jinxes its chances, but I do want to talk about the process, and I don’t mind describing the layout a bit.

Right now, my biggest struggle with my writing is the pressure I’m putting on making it work for me. Becoming a published author is my ultimate dream goal, and while I believe the number one rule of a successful book is to write for yourself first, it’s hard not to look at it and think about what the rest of the world will see and want it to be perfect for more than myself. It’s hard to write in such a critical headspace. How do you deal?

Thanks for reading this far. I’d love to hear some of your advice, or even just stories about your own writing experiences.

Sincerely,

The Literary Elephant

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