February Roundup

I don’t know about you, but February flew by for me! It’s been a manic month, with lots of furniture arriving and subsequent flat rearranging that has kept me and Partner very busy, but I’m taking some breathing space now to reassess where I am and what I want my writing goals to be.

Last month, I was very excited to dive into a new first draft – but unfortunately, I have decided to press pause on that project for now. I did get a few thousand words into it, and I liked where it was going, but I realised it’s going to be a long time before it’s query-ready due to my current issues with my health, and I want to start putting things out into the world sooner than that. So, for now it’s goodbye Fae WIP, hello something else.

I was musing over what that something else might be when Partner asked me to read over a draft of theirs from a while ago. Going through their writing and making notes put me straight back into editing mode and reminded me how much fun a good rewrite can be. I braved opening up the document from a project I set aside last year, after one round of queries made me realise that it needed a full rewrite. At the time, I was too demoralised to attempt one, but now? Now…

When I opened the document, it wasn’t as dire as I remembered. I even went back and read the responses from the one round of queries I did with it, and the two full requests I got both rejected me in very lovely emails with good tips on how to improve. I’d also forgotten that I won a free critique on the first few pages through a local organisation a few months ago, and that proved extremely helpful.

So, I have decided to dust off the manuscript fondly referred to as ‘gay magical chronic illness novel’ and give it another go! It’s going to go through BIG changes – I’m making it YA instead of adult, the setting is changing completely, the characters are all being aged down – but its core themes remain the same. Found family, queer love, acceptance of chronic illness, how disability looks in a magical world… all things that get me excited.

I’ve already started reworking the first chapter and I’m having a blast. I’m beefing up the worldbuilding a ton as well (using my favourite checklist ever here – technically for D&D but it works well for novels too). I always love putting my theology degree to use when it comes to dreaming up new myths and religions for fantasy worlds. This one is much more grounded than I usually go, but I’m having fun.

I’ve been reading again this month too, which has been a delight. After the better part of a year where my ability to read was severely impacted by my ME relapse, it’s been too long since I last held a book in my hands. I’m currently on chapter four of She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan and I’m loving it. I love a good historical fantasy, and the writing style is gripping in that perfect unputdownable way.

Now for some stats!

February Writing Stats

Once again, it’s been a rough month health-wise. There’s barely been a day I haven’t had a migraine, or the flu, or some kind of intense PEM from overdoing it when I had a migraine and the flu at once (yes… not fun). So, I am short of my goal again for February. However, all hope is not lost! It’s still early in the year, I have time to catch up, and it’s important I rest while I can, as frustrating as that may be. Such is life with chronic fatigue…

2023 Daily Goal: 1667 words per day

February Total Goal: 46,676 words

February Actual Word Count: 18,990 words

Cumulative Yearly Goal: 98,353

Cumulative Actual Word Count: 26,496

So, I am quite behind where I’d like to be at this point in the year, but it’s early days for 2023 yet. I’m hopeful I can catch up. And if I need to adjust the goal down over the coming months, so be it – it’s more important that I take care of my health. (I need this tattooed on my forehead – the disappointment of not being able to keep up with my goals never ends).

Bring it on, March! I’m ready for you. Let’s see how much I can beef up my word count by next post – and hopefully gay magical chronic illness novel will be coming along nicely too!

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