Autumn Strikes Again

Each autumn, I find myself feeling… restless. I haven’t figured out why the start of autumn means I get antsy for a change, but it occurs often enough that I now recognize the symptoms when they crop up.

Recognizing the need for change is easy. The hard part is deciding how to meet that need effectively. Too often, I start a lot of new projects or enroll in several classes, and then I feel stressed and frustrated by all my commitments. What should be energizing turns into an energy drain.

This year, my autumnal restlessness prompted me to volunteer for a number of tasks. I’m now trying to schedule my time to give each task the time and attention it deserves.

One of the tasks I accepted is really quite an honor. I’m a member of the Golden Crown Literary Society, and my profile on the website shows I’m willing to serve as a beta reader. A week ago, another member asked me if I would be willing to beta read her manuscript.

For those that don’t know, a good beta reader takes her time going through the manuscript, commenting on plot holes, places where a character’s description changes, and passages that are unclear. Noting grammar or wrong-word errors can also be helpful.

If I were just reading her novel for my own entertainment, I’m sure I would be done with it now. But taking time to provide useful feedback has slowed my reading speed down. This author has entrusted her “baby” to my care, and I want her trust to be deserved. My goal is to send my feedback to her by the 30th. I’m about halfway through the manuscript at this point, so that should be possible.

I’m also taking a class on revision through the Sisters in Crime Guppies chapter. That class is two weeks long, but we’ll have assignments three days each week. I hope the course kicks my revisions of my romance novel into high gear. I’d like to have that ready for beta readers soon.

And, I’ve been researching my thriller. I won’t say more than that because it’s still early stages on that book, and I don’t want to talk too much about it in case the idea crumbles and falls apart. Still, the research is opening up some intriguing possibilities.

At some point, I plan to put together a monthly report of my writing progress. My writing mentor uses those tools and posts a monthly blog about them as a way to keep herself on task. I plan to do the same. First, I need to actually have progress to report. So, it’s back to the salt mines now.

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