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  • Writer's pictureVendela Ahlström

September thoughts and goals

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

Summer is over and it's officially jumper season! I adore the autumn and all the hot beverages, the rain, the colours and the endless piles of knitted socks and scarves.

I'm stuck in an apartment in Stockholm during September with my family, but I couldn't be happier. My mum has officially made up the guest room for me. I crash in my sister's bed, but the guest room now has a desk, so I can work undisturbed instead of sitting by the kitchen table. I also have a chest of drawers so I'm no longer living out of a suit case, which really did bother me in the beginning. There's even a salt lamp, one of grandma's woven rugs, and vase of flowers. I'm a happy girl!

I'm looking forward to this month so let's see what I've got in store.

September Goals

1. Edit 10, 000 words: Although the submission guidelines permit 5,000-7,000 I want to have 10, 000 words edited, if not submitted. It's three major scenes that currently are in shambles, but we're entering Act 2 here so this is both very important and incredibly exciting.

2. Write 12,500 words: New words that is. Hopefully I'll get more than that done, but 12, 500 really is the minimum if I'm to finish this draft by December. Then, come January, I can hopefully start editing based on the critique I've received. To write 12,500 words in a month I should write about 500 a day, which was my goal last month. That's about 30 mins per day, so it's definitely doable. It's just about persistence.

3. Start planning my bullet journal for NaNoWriMo: I'm giving bullet journaling another go (by planning well in advance) as well as giving NaNoWriMo a go. I thought I'd keep all my Preptober notes and the notes I take throughout November in one notebook so I'll start organising that up slowly. That way I don't stress once October comes around! I love planning, so prepping for a prepping month is just my cup of tea. I purchased a Leuchttur1917 dotted journal yesterday in moss green so I'm all set to go!

4. Start working outside of home: As you might know Sweden is quite relaxed when it comes to keeping shops and restaurants open. Having said that, they do take their precautions. There's not a lot of seating available (every second table is closed off), and to be honest, during the day, when most people are working (from home) the cafés are quite empty. I've noticed that I get quite lazy and a little down when I work from home, but getting ready and moving out of the house makes me far more productive, so I think I might escape out in the afternoons to keep up the productivity later in the day. The balcony (that has featured a lot in my Instagram stories) is officially too cold at 5am so I've taken to spend #5amwritersclub indoors.

5. Read the Vortex Chronicles by Elise Kova: I'm hoping to binge read this series for September. I have the complete series on my kindle and I don't read on my kindle very often, so we'll see how this goes. I'm currently about a fifth into the first book: Vortex Visions. I have not read the original Air Awakens Series, but apparently I don't have to. I guess the general outcome of the series is spoiled, but I'm kinda tempted to read them now. I actually received the complete series for free in exchange for a review so I really want to read them all in one go.

6. Critique work: The Curtis Brown Creative alumni from my course that finished in August still help each other out, so I'm hoping to critique one piece a week. Three people submit extracts of about 2,000 words from their WIP and we all make suggestions on a shared Google Doc. We communicate through Slack and all of us write MG or YA so it's a really fun mix of stories.

7. Take part of the Instagram Challenges: This month I'm being super ambitious and taking on three challenges hosted by the #writingcommunity. I'm continuing the Writing Community Challenge hosted by @authorraelynnfry, @mb.davies_author, @author_s.alexis and @skyehorn_author. I'm also continuing the Fantasy Challenge hosted by @elenashelestwriter. I'm trying a new one called September Author WIP Challenge hosted by @thecommutingwriter@thevanessaluisa and @a.d_silver. Finally, I'm giving 100 Days of Writing a go. It is hosted by @madison_siwak_writes and continues for 100 days!

8. Posting on my blog: I have some really fun topics planned for this month. Some of them are even drafted and ready to go so stay tuned! There'll be some posts about the author's life and some on the history and mythology of the Vikings, which I'm very excited to share with you guys! I announce my blog posts on Instagram so be sure to stick around.

August achievements (and flops)

1. Write 10,000 words: I was really worried I wasn't going to achieve this, but eventually I pulled my shit together and spent a week writing about 3,000 every morning so that caught me up. I also managed to get 10,000 during last Monday alone! So in the end I managed to write about 22,000 words in August.

2. Tackle that really tough scene: I had two quite major scenes take place pretty much right after each other, which were quite daunting. They didn't work very well in my draft 0, so I was slightly scared to write them this time around. But, I treated them as writing sprints and then it took off and I got them written. I took another look at one of them last week and it needs HEAVY editing, which is even more daunting, but it needs to be done.

3. Do a bit more world building: Well, I did more research (first hand research even), but I never filled in those world building sheets that I set out to do. Oh well. We do our best. I didn't transfer the goal to this month, but perhaps I'll fancy filling in a sheet or two. Who knows?

4. Do my course work earlier: Yeah, this was a total flop. Ever week I had to set it as a weekly goal, and in the end I sat down to do it yesterday evening (it was due at 1:30 am today) so I really did leave it till the last minute, which was not the plan, but oh well. It did get done in the end, and on time too.

5. Addressing my critique: I didn't do this either. I really should and I have no excuse as to why I haven't, but I should have a look before I start editing and submitting this months extract for critiquing.

6. Writing 500 words a day: This did not go as planned for the first half of the month. I did catch up word wise for the total word count, but I wanted to make this a habit, which it didn't become, so there's that. I will attempt this again this month, because although I can go days without writing anything and then go days when I get loads written I really want the continuity of getting a little done every day.

7. Getting more involved in the writing community on Instagram: Well, I think I definitely nailed this one! I've loved being part of the writing community on Instagram and I've made so many new friends since I started taking part of the challenges.

8. Sharing my writing process: This kind of goes hand in hand with the previous goal. I did share my word count and progress and people were so supportive. I can't believe I was worried about talking about my progress before now. For more on this see my blog post about when I announced I was writing a book on Instagram.

What are you guys up to this month? Are you already missing summer or are you finally embracing the autumn?

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