That was a line in the original draft of 32 CANDLES that got cut for some reason or other that I can’t remember. It doesn’t matter, the point is that I both love and hate August. Hate it because it’s the month that stands between me and my beloved Fall. Hate it because, I’m so sick of summer TV I could scream (for new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, and I’m sure some new faves). Hate it, because it’s like the law that every movie that comes out in August sucks. But I also love it, because August feels like a 31-day last chance. The last chance to do what I’ve been meaning to do all summer. Oh, and also, we take our big family vacation in August — but mostly I love it for the “last chance” bit.
So here are my August goals.
1. Finish this gotdang draft of the rogue sci-fi novel and send it off to copy editor. At first it was fun writing a sci-fi novel while I promoted my women’s fiction novel. I wrote 32 CANDLES, when I was still a radio writer, and I’m still a big believer in having a side project from your main project. However, I’m just a third of the way through, and I was supposed to be done by September 1st, so I could get back to my second women’s fiction novel — you know the one that I might actually get paid for and the one that folks are actually wanting to read. But at the same time, I like to see my projects through. So if I say I’m going to be done by September 1st, then I’m going to have to get it done by September 1st. Either way, I’ll keep you posted.
2. Start reading again. I didn’t finish one book in July. Not one solitary book. The last time I went a whole month without reading, I think I was like 9. So yes, that must, must get fixed with at least four books read by the end of August. I’m on it.
3. Start exercising again. I also didn’t formally exercise for the entire month of July while I was out of on my book tour and I am not liking myself for that. Time to get back on the horse. So I’m clocking 20 minutes every day in August. I always say that anyone can spare 20 minutes for writing, so why not exercise?
Speaking of which, I want you to start thinking about something now. I’ve mentioned this upcoming project at a few of my book events, but just in case you weren’t there, here’s the general gist:
I was able to write 32 CANDLES and work an overtime-laden FT at the same time because I challenged myself to write 20 minutes a day every day for 21 days. That one-time challenge laid the groundwork for my completing the rough draft and three more rewrites of 32 CANDLES.
IN September I plan to eschew social life, book promotion, and quality of life in order to finish my first rewrite in one month, which basically means I’ll be a miserable so-in-so for the entire month of September. And you know what they say, misery loves company. So…
I was thinking a few of you might like to join me in September by taking my original 20 Minutes A Day Writing Challenge. I think you, like me back then, will be stunned by how much material you’ll produce in just 20 minutes a day, and I hope that it will put you into the writing habit like it did me.
You don’t have to say yes now. Just start thinking about it now, so that if you do decide to take the challenge, you can start getting in the mindset for September 1st. Anyway, we’ll talk more about it next Monday. Til then, do let me know what your August goals are in the comments.