September Write Day: Marching Onward

Update: I somehow wrote and published this post without actually setting any goals for this month… so I fixed that. See my goals at the end.

August was tough for reasons other than anything writing- or family-related. I took last week off from writing a real post because I just did not have the mental energy. I’m not yet convinced September is going to go much better, but I’m excited to share some news in this post.

Well, no use teasing the news any further. Let’s go!

Last Month’s Goals

  1. Finish “Uprooted” FFS.
  2. Write 6,000 words.
  3. Yoga and more walking.
  4. Finish the book I don’t want to DNF.

Finish “Uprooted,” FFS?


I finished the second draft of my short story last weekend and clocked in at 38,721 words. That is 10-15k more than my original intent of 25-30k, and a couple thousand higher than last month’s prediction about where this story might end up.

I really like the last few chapters of this story. What I’m not as sure about are the handful of chapters that make up the middle. There might be too much “filler” content, but that may also just be in comparison to the ending. The middle two-thirds of the story are people on a slog of a journey. The final few chapters are new places and new faces everywhere until they come to a resolution, so that quickened pace may be clouding what came before it.

I’m going to let this story sit for a couple weeks before I decide what to do with it. I definitely want to give it a cursory read-through just to make sure it makes sense to me. Then, I will either send it to my editor, or perhaps to… some… beta readers?!

Comment below if you’re interested, because I definitely want some additional eyes on this story before I move towards publication.

Write 6,000 words?

Also yes! I wrote right about 7,000 words in August, almost all of which to finish “Uprooted”. I didn’t make any notable headway on my second part of “The Herb Witch Tales”, so that definitely has to happen this month.

I’m stuck on the opener. Since this is a short story, I want the opening sentence/scene to be intriguing without repeating my opener for “Uprooted” or having some contrived action that doesn’t fit with the story.

This isn’t an action/war story at all, really. It’s more of a personal/family drama, but like, with some magic-y bits. One characteristic I really want to enrich for this story is the setting, which is a particular town that has some particular quirks about it. So maybe my opener can introduce the local quirkiness.

In any case, I’m glad I achieved this goal, even in what felt like a lazy month for me. I only wrote 12 days, but a few of those were big 1,000-plus-word sessions that really carried my word count for the month.

Yoga and more walking?

Meh. My yoga routine has fallen apart the last week or so, mainly because I’ve been too tired/preoccupied to think about it during the day. We’ve definitely kept walking with our son and dog, but no hikes, unfortunately.

I need to organize a family hike with one of my buddies who has two minions of his own. That will motivate us.

Finish my current book?

Nope, but I made progress. Again, the concept and setting of the book is what is really keeping me engaged. We have a long weekend coming up that I plan to use for as much relaxation as possible, so getting through a big chunk of this book is on my to-do.

Goals for September

  1. Write 6,000 words. This will be harder this month, since I will be starting a new story by hand. Remember the journal I wrote the first draft of “Uprooted” in? I have about 50 more pages to fill with the first draft of part 2.
  2. Figure out next steps for “Uprooted”. Like I said earlier, I’m going to let this story simmer for a week or two, then read through it to decide if it’s ready for new eyes, or if it needs another draft.
  3. Yoga and walking again. I was solid with yoga until the last week or so, so I just need to get back into it. The weather here in MD seems perfect for a nice weekend hike as well.
  4. Finish current read and start another. I already know what my next read will be, and I’m looking forward to starting. I just don’t typically read more than one or two books at a time, so I want to finish my current read first.

Steve D

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