Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Life Update #4 // Wherein I am More Industrious


Note: If you haven’t checked out my blogversary giveaway, you should probably do that. (Of course, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. But you might make me cry. *sniffles* Worse, you might make Out of Coffee, Out of Mind cry, and you know how two-year-olds get when they’re upset.) Also, Katie @ A Writer’s Faith has THE EXACT SAME BLOGVERSARY, and there’s still a teeny bit of time left to hop on over and enter her giveaway


Life News


I got a job! Now, you may remember me mentioning a little while back that my sister was working full time and was willing to invest in my writing career by supporting me while I write full-time. She was still willing to do that, but this job opportunity basically fell into my lap. I didn’t even have to fill out an application, and my job interview was less an interview and more a, “So, can you start work this weekend?” sort of deal. Which I appreciate. 

But please don’t think that, because getting the job was easy, it’s all been easy. Far from it. My first full day of work was so stressful, it took all my willpower to drag myself out of bed and go to work the next day. In fact, my biggest worry was that, after the victorious tone in The Trunk of Doom, in reference to my anxiety, I had finally encountered an obstacle big enough to push me over the edge again. And I was scared that I would turn back into a shuffling zombie, which would make these past few months of clarity so painful in retrospect. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed for strength as much as I did those first two weeks of work especially, and God came through. 

So yeah, all that to say, I still have serious anxiety issues, which I am actively fighting. And with the work I am doing, I have a lot of time to untangle my thoughts and get to the root of the issue, which isn’t always fun, but is always necessary. I still have yet to go through a full day of work without at least a touch of anxiety, but it’s never gotten as bad as the first day. 

On another note, I re-watched Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Firefly, and Serenity this month, which was great, but now I want to watch them again. *sad face* Maybe in November I’ll break and let myself do just that, since I tend to favor movies and shows over books when I’m writing rough drafts. 

The most important thing about this particular life update, though, is that summer is ending. AUTUMN IS COMING PEOPLE. *ahem* I am calm. 


Writing News


I work on Saturdays and Sundays, and soon I’ll start working Fridays as well. Obviously this means I will have a bit less time to read and write, so this will probably effect my productivity in the long run. But I will also be earning enough money to place book orders more often—so you win some, you lose some. Right now, I think my biggest goal should be overcoming my anxiety. This doesn’t mean I won’t still be pushing myself to edit at a reasonable pace, but it does mean I think I need to be okay with giving myself breaks when I need them, even if that means I don’t officially finish editing DRACONIAN until February 2017. 

I have made good progress, especially this August. And if I pace myself, I think it’s reasonable to assume that this will be my editing schedule for DRACONIAN: 

September/October: Finish current draft. 

November/December: Let my sister read it (she’ll my third and final round of beta feedback, hopefully). 

January/Februaryish: Finish the book so I can devote more time to editing other things, or so help me I will explode. 

*disgruntled zombie noises* 

I have been editing DRACONIAN for two years now. TWO YEARS, I TELL YOU. It took me less than a year to edit TIME IN A BOTTLE (I mean, if you count all the month-long vacations I let myself have, it took a year exactly). And right now, I’m torn between which book is better. To be perfectly honest, I want to give DRACONIAN a chance, because it’s probable that I’m just at the point where I’m getting sick and tired of the story and it isn’t as dumb as it seems to me now. The vast majority of my beta readers were at least nice enough to claim they liked it. But there is a very large part of me that’s just tempted to trunk DRACONIAN and move on. Except I’m not a quitter, and the thought of trunking this stupid novel after two years solid does not sit well with me. Neither does abandoning the completed rough drafts of the other two books in the trilogy. I’m hoping taking November and December off from this story will lend me some valuable perspective, or I may end up needing one of those special jackets that lets you hug yourself. 

Either way, whether this book gets me published or mocked by every single literary agent of ever, it has been a valuable growing experience for me as a writer, and I shouldn’t discount that for anything. I’ve also been sneakily working on another editing project on the side (though not as quickly), so that’s been fun. But shh, don’t speak of this too loudly. I don’t want DRACONIAN to know I’m cheating on it. 

Moving on. 


Blogging News


I’ve been doing a bit better on the blogging front. For the most part, I’ve been able to write my posts at least a couple days in advance, which has been a wonderful change from earlier this year when I was writing and editing my posts the day of. Also, my blog has been getting more traffic than it did in May and June, and I have answered some comments and commented on some blogs. My biggest issue on that last front, at the moment, has more to do with time than anything. I have editing that I need to do, blog posts to write, chores around the house, work, and reading for the sake of my sanity. There’s just never enough time in the day, and it’s a difficult decision, but often being an active member of the blogosphere ends up being the first thing I choose to let take back burner in favor of getting other things done. That doesn’t mean that I don’t miss you or that I won’t get to you, just that I’m not necessarily going to be prompt. 

In other news, Out of Coffee, Out of Mind turned two on Saturday! *throws confetti* My cousin informed me that, now that my blog has entered the terrible twos, it should throw a tantrum in every post. But let’s be honest, the only reason my blog would throw a tantrum would be if it weren’t getting enough coffee (I refer you to my blog’s name), but we all know that’s not going to happen. (Shh, don’t tell me it’s bad to give coffee to two-year-olds.) 

Oh look at that, it’s a list of my five most popular posts for July and August (hah, I see that I have successfully distracted you from my poor parenting skills): 







And now comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for:  


Reading News


The lighting in our new place is better, so I’m able to read books on my Kindle more often without feeling weirdly motion sick. I also have the opportunity to listen to audiobooks during work (although last weekend I was highly unproductive on that front and listened to mostly music instead). All that to say, even though work will be taking away from the time I could normally devote to reading physical books, I’m still somewhat hopeful that I’ll be able to maintain my monthly average of 16.8 books, at the very least. We’ll see. 

Also, the deal I made with myself before starting this new job was that I was going to use the bulk of my first paycheck to make a large book order, as a reward for being a good girl and not quitting because of anxiety. (This deal also includes more substantial book orders in the future, but shh, we’re not going to talk about that. No, I do not have a problem.) Yes, I realize I am an adult and should do responsible things with my money, like save it or use it to buy ocean front property in Arizona. Rest assured, I am not going to blow every single paycheck on books, as tempting as that thought is. So nobody panic. However, I am easily bribed when it comes to books, and there’s nothing like the thought of growing my library to get me to do difficult, strenuous things. In all honesty, there’s a chance I would lick the bottom of your shoe if you promised me a new hardcover in return, but let’s not talk about that. I do still have my dignity to maintain. 

In other news, here are my reading stats: 


Number of books read so far this year

135

If you'd like to see the list, here's a link.


Number of books read over the past two months

34


Number of books read in July

18


Number of books read in August

16 


Bookish Highlights

(Yes, I have read ILLUMINAE twice this year. No, I don't have a problem.)


Bookish Ratings Breakdown


Five stars

17


Four stars

9


Three stars

6


One star

2


Other Stats


Rereads in the past two months

11


Rereads so far this year

22

(As you can see, I probably won’t make my goal of 88 rereads this year, considering the rate at which I am going, as well as the fact that I’m already planning to buy new books. But alas, I am still pushing myself to reread more, and that’s really what matters.) 


And that’s it for today, my little coffee beans. How have you been? What are your plans for the rest of the year (writing or non-writing related)? Have you bought any new books recently/are you planning to buy some soon? How are your reading goals looking? Would you lick the bottom of someone’s shoe in exchange for a new hardcover?

10 comments:

  1. Love this!

    I'm so jealous of your novel-writing determination! I really want to start writing something myself, but with school/blogging/eating/sleeping habits, I'm very unsure I'd get anywhere near 100 words before giving up. Maybe a goal for the future, aye?

    CONGRATS ON THE JOB! Always nice to have a little extra dollar for *downright* NECESSARY book buying! Good luck with it all :)

    Also, wow that's a lot of books this year/month! HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?! I barely read a fifth of what you do, and still struggle to find time for even daily necessities like breathing and blinking. *quivers in almighty power*

    TT @ http://introtoblurb.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you!

      Ugh, yes, it is hard to balance writing with all the other responsibilities of life. :P But even 100 words a day would be an accomplishment, and it wouldn't take as much time to write 100 words as it would seem. Or at least, it won't once you get into the swing of things.

      THANK YOU. I'm really glad to have extra money, especially because book buying is essential for my health. Literally a matter of life and death. *nods sagely* Thank you! :)

      Magic. Coffee. Insanity. Stubborn determination to one-up everyone else. Take your pick.

      Thank you for commenting! :)

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  2. *whispers* You should not give coffee to two-year-olds so I guess i'm going to have to do you a favour and TAKE ALL YOUR COFFEE AWAY. *skips off into the darkness with all your coffee beans laughing manically*

    aHem.

    ALSO CONGRATS ON ALL THESE SUCCESSES! Anxiety is a very very sucky thing and I totally know how you feel. *sends hugs* I admire you so much for getting a job, though, and I hope it doesn't become too stressful! Money for books = an amazing thing. This year I started freelancing for a bookstore blog and for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I have money to spend on books. *sobs happily* It's such a ridiculously good thing omg. <3 Anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Also agh, I hear ya with books you just want to throw. I find it easy to quietly throw books because I write them very fast and...I don't know?!? I HAVE SO MANY. I am not hugely attached to my babies for some reason.๐Ÿ˜‚ But I am coming back to rewrite a series I started (and abandoned) when I was 15 and this fills me with so much joy I cannot even. I was planning to wait till NaNo, but I AM TOO EXCITED. (Also I admire you squeezing so much into your day as is! I can barely read + blog let alone write as well with that mix. AGH. WE NEED MORE HOURS.)

    A glorious update, Liz!! I always love your updates. :D

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    1. NO MY COFFEE NO TAKEY MY COFFEE. MOMMY, CAIT IS SO MEEAAANNNN. Ugh, yes, anxiety sucks. Like a vacuum cleaner. *hugs you back* Thank you! It's been pretty manageable, stress-wise, so that's good! It's such a happy feeling to be able to get your own books. <3

      Yeah, the faster I write them, the more I just want to chuck the ones I don't like because I can just pop out another one. :P But I also love them in a weird way because they came from my brain. Ooh, I am excited for you about this series! Do the thing! (Thank you! I do need to work on better time management, though, because I know I could probably be doing double what I'm doing now. I mean, who needs sleep, anyway?)

      Aww, thank you! I'm so glad you like them. :D

      Thank you for commenting! :)

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  3. Congrats on the job! I just got a new job too. I'm currently working two jobs now which is a new experience. I like the new job better than my old one and I may transfer completely to my new one, but resumes. XD Writing progress yay! Any progress is progress right? And yes to bribing. XD I've had to bribe myself around work too, since I've been dealing with some anxiety around it as well. BRING ON THE FALL WEATHER!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! I'm so happy you got the new job! I hope it's still going well for you. :) Working two jobs sounds rather stressful. I mean, technically I consider myself working two jobs, since I still write full time, but it's self-regulated, so much less stressful. I hope you're able to transfer to full time to the job you prefer. And yep, even inch by inch will get you there eventually. :P Bribes are great. :P AND YES, FALL WEATHER, I AM READY.

      Thank you for commenting! :)

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  4. Congrats on your new job!! I hope it gets less stressful soon. And congrats on the editing progress, too! I'm not a writer, so the idea of editing an ENTIRE NOVEL is just mind-blowing to me.

    I'm glad you read so many amazing books recently! And no, of course you don't have an Illuminae problem. I'd have read it twice this year, too, if I actually owned a copy. That's pretty much the only bad part of getting books from libraries for me.

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    1. Thank you! It's gotten a bit better. I struggled a bit more over the past couple weeks, but it's been improving. Thank you! It's quite the challenge, but I really like the work. :)

      I'm glad I've been able to as well! :P I'm glad you agree this is not problematic. Honestly, I wanted to reread it again right after I finished it. IT'S SO GOOD. AND I'M SO EXCITED FOR GEMINA. Yeah, librarying popular books can be stressful. :P

      Thank you for commenting! :)

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  5. Wow. I'm so glad you got a job! I should get one too! *cries* And you have been keeping up with your editing. Bless <3

    The only thing I can complain about is the snail because EW SNAILSS. I'm a giant baby and don't care. *screams and escapes lest the snail jumps from the computer screen with its evil powers*

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad too! Ugh, but yes, I understand how stressful it can be just to think about getting a job. :P But I believe in you! :)

      Ooh, I'm sorry about the snail. Personally, I think they're super cute, but I can tend to forget that not everyone else likes them as much as I like them. :P I used to keep tons of them as pets in Africa. :P I hope you weren't too traumatized.

      Thank you for commenting! :)

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