Eat, Sleep, Edit, Repeat: February 2023 Writing Update

[Insert cliché about how I can’t believe February is already over.] For the shortest month of the year, I sure don’t feel like this has been a short month. I’ve been busy, and only had 2 days in the entire month when I did not have some sort of schedule or plan to adhere to. After a chat with my husband, I realized that I was causing myself excess stress by taking days off – days to do only chores and hobbies. It occurred to me that it would be better for my writing, mental health, and overall productivity to simply work every day.

Now, some of those days are stricter, with a shift at my part-time job, along with scheduled writing time and chores when I get home. The other days are a more relaxed work day with plenty of time to write, edit, and be creative while allowing myself to take breaks when needed. This new routine has been so much better for me so far, and I am definitely going to keep up with my plans to work (and write) every day.

As the bulk of this month revolved around editing, the only writing I did was another piece of flash fiction for an AutoCrit Challenge. The theme was relationships, and the goal was to show the interactions between two people who had never met before. By the end of this 1,000 word story, the reader needs to have a sense of where this relationship is going and they should want to learn more. Of course, I put a dark spin on this theme and set my story in a diseased, post-apocalyptic world where doorways might not be what they seem.

When I’m working on larger projects, I love taking time to work on these shorter pieces. It’s a chance to practice and focus on different/new skills, flex creative muscles, and write freely with little to no stress involved. Although I know it could be stronger with further edits, I’m happy with how “The Stranger Across the Bar” turned out and I would love to publish it some day. In fact, I’ve been mulling over another collection that would be comprised of some of the stories I’ve written for some of the most recent AutoCrit challenges.

While we’re on the subject of AutoCrit, I am pleased to announce that I am now an affiliate! From my previous blog posts, I’m sure you can tell that I’ve been in love with this particular writing community since day one. During the early months of the pandemic, it was my goal to find a community that suited my needs and AutoCrit is it. Between the Nightmare Fuel course, the weekly YouTube Live Streams, and the Online Book Editor, I’ve benefited from being part of this community. Not only have I been put in touch with like-minded people whose support has helped immensely, but my writing is noticeably stronger.

As I mentioned earlier, my main focus this moth was editing, and the AutoCrit Online Book Editor was immensely helpful. I’ve mainly been working on self-edits for a project that will be published in June this year and I am so, so happy with this somber and unsettling tale. After weeks of rigorous self-edits, note taking, read-throughs, and more self-edits, I topped it all off my running the manuscript through the Online Book Editor to help me find any errors I might have missed, or spots that could be improved. After a month of intense editing, I am pleased to announce that that particular project is now in the hands of a proofreader.

But if the story will be done within the next couple of months, why am I waiting until June to publish it? For that, you’ll have to wait for a future writing update. There is dark and twisted reasoning behind my decision to publish in June and I hope to cause discomfort for my readers in the process. You’re welcome.

And last but not least – the latest update for Coping Mechanism! As of this week (maybe even tomorrow!), my editor Brett Savory will be sending over the feedback I have less-than-patiently been waiting for. After that, my plan is to bury myself in edits and not come up for air until my third short story collection is ready for publication. I still don’t know the exact date in March when the collection will be released, as that will be impacted by the amount of editing Mr. Savory will recommend in order to get the stories looking their best. However, once all of those edits are done, I have a delightfully chaotic way to decide on an official release date. Stay tuned…

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