There are so many things happening RIGHT NOW. I feel like I don’t have time for everything. I don’t even have time for half of everything. So what am I going to do? Take the time to blog about it!
1. My Current WIP
I am absolutely in love with my current project! I wrote an 180,000-word modern, fantasy, young adult manuscript last summer (2016). I never edited it because I knew it would need some serious revisions and cutting. For reference, Twilight is around 119k, Hunger Games is 100k, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has 190k words. I need to cut my WIP in half! And, over the last week, I’ve been making good progress with it.
Let me start by saying if you have a huge manuscript that you need to trim down, read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia. The book has loads of unessential scenes in it. It’s ludicrous. But it at least can help you wrap your mind around GETTING TO THE POINT in your manuscripts.
Now back to what I did. First, I studied my subplots and scenes to see what wasn’t essential to the plot. I removed a HUGE subplot and turned it into the main plot for book two (which I had already planned but not written). Looking through what I’d written, I decided that I could/should be able to dramatically condense several chapters. They don’t need to be nearly as loooooooong as they are.
I re-outlined the entire story by chapter (important theme/event) rather than by scene, matching what I already had and, in some cases, squeezing two original chapters together. I went from 51 chapters to 35 (planned ones). Then I got to work.
In three days, I reduced 11,308 original, third person perspective, past tense words to 6,000 new, first person perspective, present tense words. I had to add an extra chapter to what I had planned (meaning I’ve got 36 now), but obviously, they are much smaller than their original counterparts.
I’m having a blast rewriting this story. It’s one of my all time favorites out of what I’ve written. So it sucks that I’ve got so many other things going on right now.
2. Library Books and ARCs
I have read 52 books this year. That’s compared to 22 last year, and 17 books in 2015. I am having a serious bookworm year. I blame (1) Prime Reading which I discovered in January, (2) NetGalley which I signed up for in March, and (3) my local library which I finally got a card for in July. If I thought Prime Reading was bad, anyone on NetGalley (especially who is new to NetGalley) knows that there is serious pressure to get the advanced books you receive from them finished quickly. Aside from needing/wanting to read them before they are released, whenever you get approved for a book, your stats get messed up. How they get messed up isn’t exactly complicated, but I don’t want to take the time to explain it here. Just take my word for it, there is pressure to read these books quickly. Then I got a library card. And yes, I can request extensions on my loans, but it’s much easier to just finish the books within 14 days and not worry about it.
My current predicament:
Auralia’s Colors is stuck at 5% read and The Magicians is stuck at 20% read because they are paperbacks, and I can finish them anytime.
I checked out Cinder six days ago from the library and haven’t even started it yet.
I volunteered to read a friend’s book that is getting ready for publication. I’m really excited to read it, but I’ve only gotten through one chapter.
I was asked to review a book that was just released. At the time, I only had Cinder and my friend’s book on my plate, so I said, “Yes, it’s 3rd on my TBR.”
But then YESTERDAY Rysa Walker, the Rysa Walker, personally offered me an ARC copy of her book The Delphi Resistance, which releases October 24th. The problem is, it’s the second book in her Delphi Trilogy and the first book was really good. So I need/want to reread The Delphi Effect first.
And I’m still trying to finish the audiobook of The Night Circus, which is due back to the library the same day as Cinder.
So I am currently reading…calculating…calculating…four books. But a fifth needs to be finished in nine days, and a sixth and seventh need to be done in 24. Total, I have eight books on my slate. Two weeks ago, I would not have been freaking out about this (I’ve read 52 books this year!), BUT I’m writing now! All I want to do is work on my manuscript!
3. Writer Games on Social Media
Last month, I got more active participating in writer games on Twitter. It’s really fun. All day yesterday, I was bummed to not be able to Tweet my daily answers for three of the games. I just never got the chance.
Today, I found a brand new writers’ game on Instagram. It basically looks like the Twitter games, but I look forward to seeing how different it is with images. Plus, it seems like an exciting way to connect with other writers on Instagram, which I had never really found an easy way to do before.
4. Family Life
As hard as it may be to believe since I hardly ever talk about my kids, my husband, my private life on social media, I do actually have a family that I am madly in love with. I’ve got the usual parent responsibilities, but I also really like just being with my family. They are awesome and fun and lovely and wonderful. This weekend we introduced the kids to Apache and had a family dance party (I just watched the video for the first time to embed it below, and WOW it’s terrible in so many ways; I advance apologize; just close your eyes and dance). This weekend, we played at the playground, made cookies. My husband and I watched Wonder Woman finally and started a new workout program. I don’t want to say my family keeps me ‘busy’ because that almost has a negative connotation, like I dislike how they occupy my time. But I do stay busy. Baby boy has a doctor’s appointment later today, turns two months old tomorrow, and has another appointment on Wednesday!
I don’t feel overwhelmed by all that is going on right now. The joy of it is that everything that’s pulling at my time and attention is REALLY FUN. I can’t decide which exciting way to entertain myself. Should I write, read, hang out on social media, cuddle and dance around with my kids, or catch up on movies/tv with my husband. Answer: I CAN HAVE IT ALL! I just can’t binge write, binge read, or binge tv. I’ve got to split up the fun.
How do you deal with staying busy? What are you currently juggling right now?