Weekly Update, May 21 2018, Plus a Writing Tip!

In which I share updates on writing, reading, and the strange, sad life of a historical fiction writer. Also, a writing tip. And flowers. 


Hello everyone! I want to get back to doing these little weekly updates, because they were really fun. Also, I’m hoping that if I include what’s going on with my writing as part of my update, it will keep me accountable to actually, you know, write.

Writing Update

I’m super excited to say that I have written 20,000 words of my novel so far! My tentative deadline is to have at least 80,000 words by the end of June. I don’t think I’m actually going to do that, because I’m a slow writer and I’m pretty okay with that, but it’s good to have goals. And who knows? Maybe I’ll stick to it since I said it publicly!

In other news, I’ve decided I’m going to polish up my first few pages and make them available on this site, so stay tuned for that! More things that are coming soon:

  • I’ll be releasing introductions to my characters one by one. (I already told you guys a little bit about some of them in this post.)
  • I will be releasing a Spotify playlist soon—nearly done!
  • I will also be periodically putting out informational posts to share some of the research I’ve done.

And, if you want to know more about my novel, you can read this little synopsis, and also follow my Pinterest board.

Reading Update

I’m actually not reading anything at the moment? That’s crazy. I should get back into The Far Pavillions, because I was about halfway through that on my trip, and it was wonderful.

I have two reviews I need to do soon. (hint: one of them is a new YA sci-fi book that I was super excited to read!)

Additionally, I still need to do the other part of my Turtles All the Way Down analysis, where I’ll analyse it and get into some spoilers. But I’m kind of getting to a point where I’m not that motivated to go in depth on it, so I guess if anyone really wants to read that, let me know. Otherwise, I may not do it.

Random-Snippet-Of-My-Life Update

I’m still not quite over whatever was going on with me this weekend, and I’m running a fever today. Icky. Also, the weather got really hot really fast here, and I don’t like it. Back to smelling like sunscreen all the time for me! Other than that, everything is good.

Here’s a random side-effect of writing historical fiction that no one warns you about: after staring at pictures of 1860’s attire for hours, you’ll find yourself waking up the next day and dressing in the best modern approximation of those styles. This is one of my outfits from last week:

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The blouse is a thrift store find, because I love thrift store shopping. The skirt was from Penny’s a few years ago. I love pants, (except for jeans, which I have sworn off because they’re not comfortable at all) but there’s just nothing like a cotton skirt on a hot day. It’s not a good picture, but what I have in my hair is a clip-on bow with a little hairnet attached. When I was in Myanmar, I saw so many ladies wearing those, and I got really excited, because I have been waiting most of my life for these things to come back:

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I brought so many home with me. They’re so convenient for bad hair days.

And that’s your insight into my weird life for the week! Before I go, I want to share a writing tip.

Writing Tip: How To Squeeze Some Writing Time Out of Your Work Day

I think most writers are busy people, and it can be a challenge to fit our writing into our schedule, especially since most of us have a day job. But a little over a month ago, I found some secret extra writing time in my work day, and it’s become my most productive time to write. So, I’m going to share my secret with you.

I work 8-5 two days a week doing blogging and social media for a company. This is my third year with that company, and I’ve never taken my breaks. Sometimes I even work through lunch. A little over a month ago, my boss said I absolutely have to take a fifteen minute break in the morning and one in the afternoon, in addition to my lunch. Because the law. I wasn’t happy about that at first, because I hate to interrupt myself, and I didn’t know what I would do with fifteen minutes.

Then, I had an idea. I use google docs to write my novel, so I have it everywhere I go, including on my phone. I decided my fifteen minute break would be fifteen minutes of uninterrupted writing time.

And this has had amazing results. Instead of taking a while to fuss over what I’ve already written and get warmed up, I start writing immediately because of the time limit, and I don’t stop until I’m reluctantly forced to put my phone down because my break is over. (I’m sure it looks like I’m texting like a maniac, but I don’t care!) Even better, what I write ends up being really good, because I don’t have time to censure myself or overthink it. Most days, I also write on my lunch break (which has the added bonus of saving me money, because I’m not going anywhere for lunch).

But best of all, because I have the time limit and I usually am forced to stop in the middle of something exciting, it leaves me itching to get back to writing once I get home. No matter how busy I am the rest of my week, I’m guaranteed at least four, and usually six (because of my lunch as well) dedicated writing slots. I think it’s really thanks to these break-time writing sessions that my novel is coming along so quickly for once.

So, if you have a day job with mandatory break times, why not give this a try? It’s really working for me!

Let me know below: what’s your most productive time to write? Do you have any little stolen writing times tucked into your day? What are the weird, little-known side effects of your genre? Or, just come on down and tell me about what you’re working on. It’s fun to discuss writing projects.

Oh, and here are some flowers I picked for you! My rose bushes are pretty much the only good thing about summer.

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Have a lovely day!

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8 thoughts on “Weekly Update, May 21 2018, Plus a Writing Tip!

  1. I can’t wait to hear more about your novel! Ever since becoming a Downton Abbey fan I’ve also found myself spending an undue amount of time researching historical fashion styles. Although my real love is historical hair styles. I love your roses! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What lovely flowers! And I’m glad I’m not the only historical fiction writer who gets to urge to dress up like their period–I’m not even a fan of 1920s fashion but my homecoming dress last semester was sort of 1920s inspired haha 🙂 and I’ve been looking for a tweed skirt and struggling against the urge to get myself a cloche hat for months!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha! So glad I’m not alone. I love historical fashion. I have three cloche hats in my closet right now, and I just got rid of two I wasn’t wearing much… Also an absurd amount of tweed. A 1920s inspired homecoming dress sounds lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

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