Winter is ending

We’re into the final month of winter. Hallelujah. So where am I tracking with my reading and writing goals for the year?

Reading

At the start of the year I signed up to two main reading challenges: the Australian Women’s Writers Challenge, and the A-Z Challenge in a goodreads group I’m part of. I am four books behind on the AWW, and over 20 on the A-Z – EEK!! My slow going on the challenges is mainly because I’ve been distracted by new and shiny books I’ve been unable to resist which don’t fall into the challenge categories. I doubt I can fit 24+ books into my schedule between now and 2019. I may have been a bit ambitious in my reading goals, so I need to make a mental note to be more realistic next year.

Writing

I am well behind where I wanted to be. I had hoped to have my book fully edited by July – Ha! I haven’t finished Act One yet. However, the writing I have done is a huge improvement over the previous draft and I think the plot line is a lot more solid than it was before. Having said that, writing science fiction was always going to be difficult and I’ve been distracted by a few plot bunnies this year. I have varied my process and begun work on another novel, this one a fantasy, which is in the early stages of research and planning. I wrote Helios off the cuff before going back to study story-telling and structure, so it has a lot of problems I need to fix which sometimes get me a little stuck. I find jumping from my the manuscript into a short story or another form of writing actually sometimes help me get over whatever issue is causing writer’s block. If I have another project to work on, it should help keep my writing momentum going.

Reality

I have had less time than I had hoped to read and write this year with real life getting in the way. At times it can be frustrating, but I need to remind myself that it isn’t a race and I need to move at my own pace. The renovations my husband and I have undertaken (an extension plus full interior and exterior makeover) have taken up the bulk of my time and left me exhausted at the end of each day. I’m currently living in a dusty, half-completed construction zone not conducive to creative pursuits.

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I would love the house to be finished in time for Christmas, but I suspect it won’t be. Once the renovations are closer to completion, I should have more time and energy to get back into my reading challenges and writing a bit more. In the meantime, I’ll fit it in where I can.