good books & gratitude | july updates
For the first time in the last several years, I actually wish June hadn’t ended so quickly. Festivals, weddings, and VBS went by in a flash...and I literally am looking back over last month right now, racking my brain to figure out what in the great googly moogly did I do in June?
The truth is...I slept. I did a lot of sleeping. And by that I mean I actually went to bed at a decent hour instead of getting any work done, and didn’t wake up quite as early to get in some words before the rest of the fam woke up.
So, yes. Much sleep occurred.
And reading. I kinda sorta actually read. Like, intentionally chose picking up my Kindle over a host of other things, which was refreshing, because I got out of my reading slump and discovered some new favorites.
But as for my 90% focus on writing? Yeah, no. *sighs*
And some of my other goals, like drying herbs, didn’t make the cut either. I genuinely don’t know what happened—just that June did not go as expected.
Especially considering this one crazy thing...I bought a car.
Correction: my sister and I bought a car together. But still. I would like you all to meet the one-and-only Steve.
I’m already determined that July is going to be productive and full of reading, herb-drying, and other wonderful non-work things. And sleep. Of course I’ll still sleep. Just not until 7:30. I can’t handle the morning heat, y’all. The humidity is fever-inducing.
ANYWAY. Moving on to a brand-new addition to my monthly updates posts…
~ gratitude ~
Straight from the pages of my planner, I’m grateful for…
good books (specifically reading them)
working at my nana’s store
Sky’s the Limit Press
repurposing an old dress into a skirt
and, of course, Steve
What are you thankful for from this past month? It can be little things (like I’ve shared) or big things—whatever you’re praising God for!
~ accomplishments ~
I had great plans of decluttering my inbox and social media—which lasted about a day. I unsubscribed from maybe five-ish newsletters, but I never even touched my now-500+ blog posts. 😬
And getting in 20k-50k? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No.
Meanwhile, in Canada, one of my best friends wrote (almost, if you round up from 95k) A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS IN A FLIPPIN’ MONTH. HOW THE HECK DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN? THIS HEIFER WAS POUNDING OUT 10K A DAY.
Anyway. Totally not jealous.
I did, however, publish my Bible study journals...and post a couple times...and write a few books reviews...and catch up on graphics for my VA job...and get started on my relaunch of Sky’s the Limit Press (check out our Instagram here!)—but life things and writing things just faded into the background.
~ goals ~
So my goals for this month are simple (I literally say that every month): be productive. Make the most of my time. Feel productive rather than piddly.
Naturally, I just wanna write consistently. I know 1,500 words a day isn’t, you know, realistic...but 100 words a day is. I can do that. Even if I have to write on my phone or a notepad. So that’s my goal: write consistently.
Some people say consistent writing isn’t necessarily a good thing or the “trick” others claim it is—and as someone who (1) is as scattered as Ezekiel’s hair (if you comment below that you got this reference, I’m turning it into an official simile) and (2) operates entirely on inspiration and motivation and sweet tea, I honestly agree. No, it’s not the “trick” to being a good writer or making the most out of your writing. For some people, it probably would leave you feeling resentful and burnt-out.
But because I’m driven by drive (oh, gosh, that’s cheesy 🤦♀️), I crave routine. I desire structure and organization. That’s one reason why I’m actually outlining (ish) Something Bright & Beautiful: to give myself the discipline I need to overcome my laziness dependence on inspiration.
There are writers who do need consistency and discipline to hone their skills, and there are writers who need to break out of monotonous routines to regain their love for the craft. Which are you? Would you be interested in a blog post on consistency in writing? Drop a comment down below! (This sounds like a script for a YouTube video. 😂)
~ writing ~
I did actually somehow end up with 2,688 words. Did I used to write 15,000 words a month? Absolutely. But am I just coming out of a period of writing nothing a month? Yes. Yes, I am.
So I’ll take my 2k. Here’s to doubling it...and doubling it...and doubling it over the next few months.
~ reading ~
Y’all...my reading this month was ACTUALLY GOOD. Not that it’s been bad, per se, the last few months, because I have read and I have read books I’ve enjoyed.
I just felt really motivated to read and just really excited about the books I read.
The main reason why?
The Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock.
Y’all, this Christian fantasy semi-classic is a book I had literally never heard of until I saw Hannah Linder redesigned the cover for it (and it is GORGEOUS). So when I saw CelebrateLit was hosting a blog tour for it, I decided I’d give it a try—even though I had no idea what I was getting into and turns out some of my Goodreads friends DNFed it and/or gave it negative reviews.
And, lemme tell ya, even though it’s a bit of an acquired taste (apparently), I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was just what I needed to pull me back into a love of reading (especially on my Kindle). It had all my favorite things—a strong male lead, an amazing allegory, and ANCIENT ROME VIBES. (Mark of the Lion fan over here, peeps.) It was like Ben Hur + Dune + Lord of the Rings. As weird as that sounds, it works.
I also finally read By Light & Love by Anna Augustine, which was so sweet, and The London Rose by Rosanne E. Lortz, which was a delightful Regency romp.
I only missed one of the books on my list for June, which brings us to my next new segment…
~ upcoming reads & posts ~
My intention is to hold myself accountable with this segment, by listing the books I intend to read this month and the posts I wanna write/share on my blog! So here goes…
Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliott
Sky of Seven Colors by Rachelle Nelson
Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business by Fred S. Steingold
an introduction post for Sky’s the Limit Press
my author website Q&A post (which is several months overdue...no surprise there)
a post about my novella, Her Heart’s Home
and five guest posts from my fellow Springtime in Surrey authors!
~ guest appearances ~
I got to share an extremely controversial post on Kellyn Roth’s blog in June, and Y’ALL. I had a ton of fun writing this—just not as uch fun reading the comments. Hopefully y’all will be able to understand what I mean in my post all about ✨bad boys✨!
~ follower updates ~
In case you missed it...I created and published Bible study journals for those who don’t like writing in their devotionals or study books. (That would be me. 👋)
The anthology I’m being published in, Springtime in Surrey, is accepting launch team members AND bloggers for the blog tour! If you’re interested in helping promote SiS, check out the launch team form here and the blog tour form here! We would love for you to join us in celebrating the release of Springtime in Surrey!
I don’t know about you, but I am SO excited for SiS!!! Have you preordered your copy yet??
Well, that sums it up for June! Lemme know down below...what are your goals for July? Favorite read? What are you grateful for?
Oh, and while you’re at it...I’m in the process of creating a resource library for y’all, and I wanna know...what resources (writing, publishing, devotional/inspirational, etc.) do y’all wanna see? What would benefit you most as a writer and/or Christian? Any and all suggestions are appreciated! 😊
Love you all and pray you have a wonderful and cool July! Don’t melt out there, my peeps. 😜
yours in spirit & script,
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