monthly wrap up

June Wrap-Up and July Goals!

Hello everyone!

So… apparently 2019 is half over?! What?! I am in denial, my friends. (Tell me that I am not the only one!!) This was a whirlwind of a month. To be honest I am not sure where the time has gone.

Life was business as usual. Work was steady though I never had to stay too late to finish things up. Also! I……. got published??!!!

Hahahhahahaa…… False alarm guys, for those of you knew that I’ve been wanting to be a published writer for the longest time. My publication is in a scientific journal. Definitely not as exciting! For those of you who are interested in paediatric Crohn’s disease, you can find my article in CJHP Vol 72, No 3 (2019):

On a more exciting note, I made some progress on my wedding dress. My goal for June was to finish my wedding dress. Although I am not quite there yet, I am very close. It is a matter of sewing the inside lining, finishing the hems, etc. I will post a wedding dress update hopefully soon, but here is a sneak peak.

The wedding date is creeping up with exactly 1 month and 24 days to go!??! What?! Last I remembered, I still had half a year hahaha. YIKES! EPIC FREAK OUT MODE! This gif sums up my mental state of affairs these days :’)

Anyone with wedding tips? Or general stress-reduction strategies??! Please send them my way.

It’s been a good reading month for me. I haven’t read that many books. In fact I’ve just been reading two:

I finished up On the Come Up this month. It was an amazing book. Loved the focus on characters and family relationships and friendships. Even though Bree is very different from me, she was inspiring because she never gave up on her dream. Check out my review here.

I’ve told you guys about how I’ve always been fearful/intimidated by classics. East of Eden is a book that was recommended to me again and again. I knew it was going to be a good book and yet I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up all these days. This month I finally decided to take the plunge. It’s definitely different from my usual cup of tea (ie. YA sci-fi/contemporary/fantasy) but… I’m liking it. The characters are multi-dimensional and real, and I can’t bring myself to dislike anyone in this book. Full review coming up.

Current YARC Progress: 4 books out of 10

Uh. I did not make any progress on YARC this month (oops.) However I am totally going to make up for it this upcoming month since I will be taking part in the Jade War blog tour, which I am really excited about. This means that I will be reading Jade City, which I’ve heard so many great things about, followed by its sequel Jade War πŸ™‚

June was a good writing month, although my pace has dropped since May. In May, I wrote about 36K, while in June I’ve written about 27K. My goal for June was to finish my novel by the end of the month, but although I was close, I didn’t get there yet.

And you know what? That’s okay. Life happens. And this past month was definitely crammed with life-stuff. Rather than beating myself up for not writing as much as I could have, I decided to be happy with what I’ve done. I had only so many hours in a day and I’ve used them in a way that I don’t regret. I spent as much time on writing as I could have, and so I did the best that I could.

I also realized that as I come closer to the end of my novel, my writing speed actually went down. I am spending more time deliberating over what happens in each scene, what the characters say and do, and that’s okay. Forcing myself to write fast only landed me in writing blocks haha (which is exactly what happened after Nanowrimo last year!!) so I am happy with my writing speed, as long as I am making progress one step at a time.

Anyway! I am really excited for July since……. guess what it is time for?! Yes! It’s Camp Nanowrimo again!! (so much deja vu haha since it feels like such a short time since the last Camp Nano back in April.)

This time I have a much more conservative goal of 15K words. I am for SURE going to finish Children of the Sun, since I anticipate having just 5-10K more to go. For the rest of the month I am really looking forward to doing some writing exercises to practice certain skills where I am lacking, for example, writing setting descriptions or action scenes. I am very excited for this. Since I started writing again, I’ve always been outlining, writing, or editing one novel or another. The last time I took a step back to work on writing technique was, well…….. never lol.

June was a fun month on the blog!! I wrapped up my first-ever giveaway!! To be honest, I was SO nervous going into this since I haven’t ever done a book giveaway before, and I worried if anyone was going to sign up haha. I was SO happy that so many people participated!!

Related to that, I collected all the fun and awesome Q&A questions from you guys. It is always a blast to write out my answers haha. (I felt like a famous person answering interview questions hahaha.) Check out my posts here in case you have missed them!!

Discussion Post Challenge: 7 out of 12!! (Yay!! More than halfway there!!)

For my discussion post this month, I wrote about reading goals, which is a topic that is near and dear to my heart at the moment:

Here are some of the blog posts that I really enjoyed this month! The blogosphere is like an ocean that is so huge and vast, and there is always more that I want to read and explore. If you have a post that you are proud of from this month, link it below and I’d be glad to have a read πŸ™‚

Katie @ Never Not Reading talked about how she was “reading wrong.” This was a fascinating post that opened my eyes. Apparently I was reading wrong too??!

Lashaan @ Bookidote wrote about proper blog etiquette! I feel like there are so many unwritten rules about what to do and what not to do, and it is really awesome that Lashaan put these into words.

ML Davis @ Uninspired Writers gave some tips about remaining loyal to our novel when other ideas come to mind. Really loved this post, since I struggle with this every single novel that I write hahaha.

Darina @ Facing the Story celebrated her 1st blogiversary!!

The Orang-utan Librarian talked about audiobooks!! I am such a big audiobook fan (please, don’t throw tomatoes at me, but……. I actually listen to more books than I read them.)

Fictionally Sam gave tips about how to handle the dreaded reading slump.

Steph @ Steph’s Story Space finished her second novel!! What an accomplishment!!

July is going to be a huge month for me, because there is going to be the Jade War blog tour, and Camp Nanowrimo, and it’s going to be the month before the wedding, and AHH. Anyway here are my July goals πŸ™‚

  • Read more YARC books! (Including Jade City and Jade War!)
  • Participate in Camp Nanowrimo!
  • Finish Children of the Sun! & do some miscellaneous writing exercises πŸ™‚
  • One more discussion post.
  • Finish that wedding dress & veil! & made a blog post about it!
  • Tee up other wedding planning madness *faints*

How was your June? What was your favourite book this month? How do you feel about classics literature (are you as intimidated as I am!??!) Are you doing Camp Nano? Any wedding/stress relief tips!??!

54 thoughts on “June Wrap-Up and July Goals!

  1. Wow. THat is a lot for a month. Well done, you. Congratulations on your published piece and your upcoming wedding. My advice. Remember, no one but you and a select few people knows all the details of your wedding. So if a course is missed or something didn’t go as you planned, don’t worry about it. No will know but you. I think you are bang-on about your writing goals. You may be interested in what this write says about writing and life: https://booktime584.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/storyface/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lisa!! And thank you for the wedding advice! These days I’ve been trying to take deep breaths and trying to not feel overwhelmed about it all haha. We’ve decided to go with a low-key wedding. No dance floor, open bar, etc, since my partner and I were never into these things. However I hope that our guests won’t feel that our wedding is too simple haha XD I’ll take a look at your post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How do you have time to read?!?! I thought I was busy, I’m not making my own wedding dress and getting published in a scientific journal… Congrats by the way! That’s a big deal! Maybe just for fun I’ll go look it up in a database later. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the shout-out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha to be honest I haven’t been reading as much as last year because of all my other commitments XD There are only so many hours in the day!! Thank you so much and wishing you a wonderful July ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. HOW DO YOU HAVE TIME TO DO EVERYTHING???? Seriously though, you’re amazing and your wedding is going to be awesome. My suggestion is just to accept that the day is not going to go 100% how you want it to. If you can do that, then when something inevitably does go wrong, it won’t be that big a deal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words!! And thanks for the wedding advice. It takes some pressure off to know that the day doesn’t have to go 100% according to plan. My coworker told me that her husband’s suit ripped during the wedding haha, but not many people remember that now XD Thank you and have a wonderful July!!!

      Like

  4. Such a nicely wrapped up post! And I am in awe at the wedding dressss. That’s great work!!!
    Good luck for your novel, I can’t wait to read it and write about it on my blog! Aaah, I’ve got to read East of Eden for one of my classes next semester so i guess I should get done with it during my vacations haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!! Haha I am still a (very) amateur writer but hope to publish somehow, some day πŸ™‚ Have you already finished East of Eden? What are your thoughts about the book? I just finished this past weekend and enjoyed it overall, though the pace is much slower than my usual reads πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It looks like you had such a busy month! Your wedding dress is looking absolutely BEAUTIFUL. & I’m proud of you for getting published in a Science journal! β™₯

    ALSO, do you know of any templates for spreadsheets for writings?! I would love to keep track of my word count, but I’m so bad at creating spreadsheets, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment Becca!! I use a spreadsheet to track my word counts but it is very (VERY) rough and preliminary haha. If you want I can email this to you? There is also the “goal tracker” option on Nanowrimo if you have an account there. Although Nanowrimo only happens in November, you can create your own goals and projects throughout the year and track your word counts (I think they will graph it for you too!)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Go Sophie!! You got published!! πŸ™‚ That’s amazing, just having your name out there. Also your wedding dress looks BEAUTIFUL so far, and congrats on the steady progress of your word count! I’ve been struggling with my own WIP but it’s inspiring to see you working hard and getting it done! YOU CAN DO IT! GO GET THAT LAST 5-10K!

    Also I feel the same way about tackling classic literature. I’m hesitant at times to pick one up but I know in the long run I’ll be curious to see why they are classics. I’m reading Little Women right now, and am really glad that I decided to tackle it. I’m glad you’re enjoying East Of Eden, that’s another one I’ve been eyeing for a bit. Good luck on all your July goals!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jai Lynn for your sweet comment!! Writing definitely has its ups and downs. For my current novel I’ve been struggling with the final action scene haha which I definitely have to go back and edit XD Are you working on a novel for your WIP? What stage are you at now?
      I finished East of Eden last weekend and ended up enjoying it a lot. It is much slower in terms of pacing than my usual reads but it was a good change πŸ™‚ Glad that it sounds like you’re enjoying Little Women as well? Wishing you a wonderful July as well ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’m working on a novel. I’ve started it so many times and written over 50k words but then I lose the vibe of the story. So I start over again and again lol… but this time though I feel like it’s going to work out! I can hear the characters in my head and I’m starting to understand them better so I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo and I’m going to keep working at it. I got a good feeling for this time!! πŸ™‚ (So I’m going to FINISH that first draft!)

        Also yes I am enjoying Little Women! It’s a little slow like East of Eden but really relatable? even though it was written in 1869. Haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sounds like you are on a roll when it comes to your current WIP which is great! Looking forward to hearing more about it πŸ™‚
        That’s great that Little Women is relatable even though it is an old novel. That’s why it’s a classic I suppose πŸ™‚ I should read it one day too.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes I am in denial that it has been half of 2019!!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    Ahh.. congratulations on getting published in a scientific journal– that’s amazing!! 😊❀
    And your wedding dress looks amazing– I’m excited for the next post!! 😊
    I love hearing about all your goals– it always feels so motivating to hear about what you’ve achieved and what you want to achieve!! It definitely inspires me more to go and get things down– so thank you!!
    Well done on your writing process– you did really well and like you said did the best with the time you had even if you didn’t reach your goal. You did amazing and everything you could have!! Beat of luck with camp NaNoWriMo and finished your book!! And looking into writing technique is a really good idea– I should do that one day too!!
    I hope you have a great July and achieve all your goals!! I don’t really have any stress relief tips except take time to breathe!! 😊
    And yes classic literature is something that I find intimidating and don’t really make time for!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sophie! Aw thank you so much for your sweet comment! It means a lot to me πŸ™‚ ❀
      I don't always achieve all of my goals (this past month was an example haha πŸ™‚ ) however it is still good to have goals to work towards. I always feel more productive knowing that I have an end goal to strive for πŸ™‚
      How was the month of June for you? Wishing you a wonderful July as well ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi!! Of course, I really meant it!! I think that is comforting to hear as sometimes I can be put off as I could fail and never try so I think it is good to hear that you should always try and work towards something. Because even though you might not reach every goal, you feel motivated and are making progress!! πŸ™‚
        June was good thank you— I got to go away to Scotland for a couple of days and had a really good blogging month. My writing progress is going slower than I hoped but I still positive about it. And the rest was average really which is good!! πŸ™‚ Thank you ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s great to hear that June was a good month for you. Hope that you enjoyed Scotland πŸ™‚ As for writing, go at a pace that works for you. Some of us are slower writers and some are faster writers, and either way is okay πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow congrats on getting published! πŸ˜€ Your wedding dress looks AMAZING so far, and I wish you luck with finishing it and getting everything ready for your wedding. YOU GOT THIS.

    I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed On the Come Up! Such an incredible book. I’m really looking forward to Camp NaNo this month too – good luck with finishing your novel!! You’re so close! Hope your July goes well in all respects ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words Margaret!! I think I really need this right now hahaha πŸ™‚
      Yes I really loved On the Come Up. Definitely one of my favourite contemporaries this year πŸ™‚
      Haha yes I am close to finishing my novel, and yet it feels like it’s taking forever since I don’t have too much time to write everyday XD How is your novel going? I remember that you’re near your final stretch too? πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Woah! You’ve been super duper productive, you’re putting my reading to shame lol!
    OMG, YOUR WEDDING DRESS LOOKS SO AMAZING!!!
    Congratulations on being published! That is a huge achievement and am super duper happy for you! Have a great July!
    -Emma πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Emma!! Thank you so much for your encouraging comment! Really glad that you like the look of the dress (I wasn’t so sure about it hahahaha) Wishing you a wonderful July as well ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. WAIT YOU’RE MAKING YOUR OWN WEDDING DRESS?! THAT’S INCREDIBLE!
    You’ve had such an amazing month – how do you make so much time for everything?! & Congrats on getting published!!
    I’m currently reading On the Come Up at the moment (about 93% in) and I have loved it! Definitely met any expectations I had from THUG – it was amazing to jump back into that world.
    Hope you have a great July and meet your goals! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Emme! Haha yes it is a bit of a crazy project that I’ve given myself. Overall the wedding dress has been a challenging but fulfilling process πŸ™‚
      That’s great that you are loving On the Come Up πŸ™‚ It’s definitely one of my favourite YA contemporaries this year.
      Thank you for your encouraging comments ❀ Wishing you a wonderful July!!

      Like

  11. Well done on getting published in a scientific journal- that’s super impressive! Your dress is looking amazing as well!! So glad you’re enjoying east of eden πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for sharing my post as well (I totally get listening to loads of audiobooks πŸ˜‰ )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Orang-utan Librarian!! Glad to hear that you’re liking the dress. And yes East of Eden was very different from my usual choice of books, but I ended up enjoying it so much πŸ™‚ Wishing you a wonderful July ❀

      Like

  12. Congratulations on getting published, that’s really exciting (: and you’re making your own wedding dress? That’s amazing and it looks fantastic!! I really hope that you enjoy Jade City and manage to get everything organized for your wedding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Charlotte ❀ Glad that you're liking the look of the wedding dress so far!
      I'm loving Jade City so far (about 1/4 through) and I'm really looking forward to reading more of it πŸ™‚ Thank you so much and wish you a wonderful July!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for sharing links to other bloggers with us. I’m always on the lookout for something new.
    Even though you are not reaching all your goals, it seems like you are getting a lot accomplished. CongratZ on the publishing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Haha Sophie, from my observations of people (and from reading the comments here), you keep beating yourself up for not being productive enough, yet most people, including myself, are much less productive than you are, haha. I wonder if you are setting up unrealistic, superhuman standards for yourself. (Not because you’re not strong, but because you’re human.)

    Congrats on being published in a scientific journal! The only sciency thing I ever got published, was a response to an academic letter, lol. In our class, we had an assignment to write responses to an academic letter. Six students’ responses (out of a class of 21) got selected for publication, so that made me very happy. But your publication is actually a legit paper, haha, so congrats again!

    Woo hoo! Almost till your wedding! Are you excited? 😊 Everyone uses different methods for relaxation. For me, I find it relaxing to play Pokemon Go, chat on Facebook (especially discussion groups), read novels, chat with friends online or offline, etc.

    I do have a recommended article to share, actually:

    http://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-you-should-work-less-and-spend-more-time-on-hobbies?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you Sieran!! I definitely do need the occasional reminder to be less harsh on myself haha. It’s important to take time to relax and take care of ourselves, rather than trying to get things done… Although it is really hard for me to do that!! I think it is because I’ve already made commitments, not only to myself but to the people around me, and I would feel bad if I don’t meet these commitments 😦 However it is definitely true that usually it is me who is driving myself to get things done haha πŸ™‚

      Yes I am getting excited for the wedding, although there is just so many things to do! Chatting online (whether it is through WP, now the Camp Nano site, twitter, etc) and in real life definitely helps haha. Replying to blog comments is a therapeutic activity πŸ™‚

      I’ll check out that article!! It seems like something I need at the moment haha πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I came to the realization that I have no obligation to live a busy, super productive life. I can live a more relaxing and enjoyable life if I want to. Why put so much pressure on myself? Why take on so many responsibilities? I’m understanding more and more why some people who teach time management, ultimately advise us to cut out as many things as possible. Why push yourself so hard and stretch yourself thin? I’m not saying that I’m going to sit on the couch and do nothing from here on—not that I even have a couch in the first place. I will continue to work on my writing and counselling skills, but I don’t need to work at a breakneck pace. I can work at a more reasonable speed, and not do more than necessary.

        Again, this is just my own new way of life. I’m not implying that others should follow my new lifestyle! Just for me personally, I have become so sick of the productivity treadmill. Who am I trying to please anyway? Do I owe anything to others, aside from basic duties? No. I can do what I want, and look out for my own wellbeing. (I’m not going to do mean or cruel things, but I’m not going to pile so many things on my plate either. I could do with less work and less stress on my plate, thank you very much! I feel like I’ve worked hard enough for 20+ years, and I deserve to relax and slow down now.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Definitely πŸ™‚ I think the important part is to focus on doing what we love to do, and enjoying the process. Forcing ourselves to stick to a timeline even if it is doing something we enjoy will feel tiresome and can lead to burn out.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks so much for linking my post! Your wedding dress looks beautiful and also congratulations on getting your paper published! Hope that July is a wonderful month for you πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ahhh congratulations on getting published, this is so exciting yay!! I am so in love with your wedding dress and I look forward to seeing more of it hopefully soon! πŸ˜€
    I hope you’re having a beautiful July, Sophie ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marie!! Publishing a scientific journal article was a long and arduous process haha however I think publishing a novel is just as hard if not even harder!! Yes more dress updates coming up. Wishing you a wonderful July as well πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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