Prepping for My August 2019 Challenge

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The topic of summer vacation came up in conversation recently and the someone I was chatting with asked me why I was taking a week off work in August. I explained that I typically attend a reading and writing conference during the month, and while I’m not going this year I’m accustomed to having time off around then so I figured why not. This, of course, led to the “So why aren’t you going this year?” conversation.

As much as I thoroughly enjoy attending When Words Collide, this year would have marked my sixth successive attendance—and I feel not one bit more ahead than when I started going. As I mentioned in my goal update post last week, I haven’t made any headway on my manuscript, I haven’t written any short stories—let alone submitted the ones I’m sitting on—, and the only writing I’ve been doing involves my posts for Anxiety. Unfortunately, everything else has been neglected the past few months and I am not getting back into the swing of things as quickly as I would like.

The year before last I decided to go to WWC and focus exclusively on writing topics, ignoring all publishing and editing panels because I didn’t want to feel pressured or influenced by market talk. Last year I decided to attend only those panels with topics that seemed interesting to me, my goal was to chat with people and enjoy myself. This year I decided that the overlap in what I’ve been learning, my lack of writing progress, and the expense of attending (which is very minimal for a con, I will say) tipped the scales for me.

I would rather spend my vacation, this particular weekend included, writing. I need to regularly get words on the page and clean up the manuscript so that it is at least semi-presentable. I want to focus on this because I want to be able to sit down and attend the editing portions of the 2019 WWC instead of avoiding them. I want to challenge myself with a blue pencil or slush pile reading or pitch attempt. I need to get to that next stage of writing. Six years is simply too long to just coast along—plus I don’t know how six years has already passed!

While I’m a little sad I’m not participating this year, I’m ready to buckle down and prepare for next year. It’s a long way off, but it’s time I start prepping for my August 2019 challenge.

What kind of summer writing plans do you have?

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