RSW – Update 5


Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and myself.

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

1.  Draft at least 30K words in my new WiP by summer’s end. –> In progress. This week I wrote 5,490 words, putting my WiP at a grand total of 28,962 words.

2. Read 12 books by summer’s end. –> In progress. I read Robin Benway’s Emmy & Oliver, and Trish Doller’s The Devil You Know. Highly recommend them both!


3. Get stronger. –> In progress. I ran twice and practiced yoga three times.

4. Explore a new place each week. –> Success! We kayaked in the Occoquan River, which was lovely. My husband and daughter also went on a West Virginia camping trip, but I stayed home because camping… ick.

5. Cross at least two items off my Thirty Before 35 list. –> In progress. I’m working on #17 as I draft my WiP. Also, I think I’m going to plant an herb garden in the next week or two.

* Stretch Goals: Organize our basement and get a library card. –> Success!

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

Write at least 2,500 new words. Read Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything. Run twice, and practice yoga three times. Journal every day. GO TOMORROW NIGHT’S TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT!

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

I’m not tired; I’m buzzing. I remember last night, how safe I felt in his arms, how my skin tingled beneath his fingertips, how my heart sought the rhythm of his pulse and matched it beat for beat.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Writing-wise, the last week has been productive. I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but I haven’t hit any real snags. Weird.

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

I’ve decided to incorporate these little backstory vignettes into my manuscript. They come every few chapters, they’re each only about 300 words, and they’re written in 3rd person, while the rest of the story is written in 1st person. Too soon to say if they’re working, but for now I’m kind of loving them.

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your update below.

In other news… Big congrats to Susan Crispell, lucky winner of last week’s Ready. Set. Write! prize package!

This week we’re offering our second giveaway — a fantastic writer’s care package assembled by Elodie

giveaway 2

Elodie’s package includes: a mini “Believe in Yourself” gallery, a to-do note pad, Twizzlers Bites, Ritter Sport Chocolate, a “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost” notebook, stars stickers, and nail files.

Giveaway open internationally, to RSW participants only.
To enter, click the link below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway


47 thoughts on “RSW – Update 5

  1. Eve says:

    Hey not having any snags is a sign of a wonderful week! Sounds like you are really moving along, congrats! Keep it up. Also I hear you on the camping. I used to go back when I was younger and stupider and before my family moved to the middle of nowhere where camping was like going outside anyways, lost it’s appeal.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Thanks so much, Eve! I liked camping as a kid, too, but my adult self is so over it. I told my husband: I’ve reached the point in life where I’m too old to do something that makes me miserable. I’m so thankful that our kiddo enjoys going with him. 🙂 Hope you have an awesome week, lady!

  2. Carrie (@carriekpstyping) says:

    Lady, you are kicking ass on that word count! You are inspiring 🙂 LOVE the excerpt and HAVE SO MUCH FUN at the concert! I hope you have another snag free (and camping free lol – I agree with you there) week!

  3. Pax Asteriae says:

    Congratulations on meeting your snagless goals! That was a fantastic amount of work last week, and kayaking! It looks like you guys had fun. 🙂

    Yay for concerts, I hope you have a great time. 🙂

  4. Rachelwrites007 says:

    Your purse to TSwift’s concert can fit a 5’1 girl, right? RIGHT. Great. I’m ready. 😉 Congrats on meeting your goals, Katy. 5,000 words in a week is amazing to me! And I hope you enjoy SAINT ANYTHING. I really loved EMMY & OLIVER and liked THE DEVIL…(my favorite book by Trish is still SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL) but she is definitely an auto read for me 🙂 Have a wonderful week and good luck with this week’s goals too!!!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Ha! I don’t carry a purse, but you are tiny… Maybe I could sneak you in anyway? 😉 I’m a big fan of Trish Doller’s books too — WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE is my favorite. Have a great week, Rachel!

  5. cuzwewrite says:

    Oooh, the little vignettes sound like SO much fun. It’s always cool to incorporate something different into a manuscript–not only for the reader, but for the writer–it gets you out of your element 🙂 Also, that line from your manuscript? We would like to read your novel–now, please! Good luck this week!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      You’re so on to me, girls! Those vignettes are all for me, but hopefully one day readers will enjoy them, too. And thank you a million times for your kind words about my little except. You two are the best. ❤ Have a great week!

  6. Tonja Drecker says:

    Wow, you are keeping up the productivity. Good for you! And the kayaking reminded me of a promise I made to our kids on things to do this summer. Ugh! And only 4 weeks left. Go get those words!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Oh, I hope you get to take your kiddos kayaking, Tonja. We always have a good time when we go. Plus, it’s an awesome upper body workout. 😉 Have a great week, lady!

  7. jessleake says:

    It’s the best feeling in the world when the writing is flowing without being forced! Hope that keeps up for you :). Your 3rd person vignettes sound really cool–techniques like that can really add depth to a story. Good luck this week!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I hope these vignettes are adding depth. Right now, they’re more a way for me to figure things out and get to know the characters deeper, but I *think* they might eventually do the same thing for readers. Fingers crossed. Have an awesome week, Jessica!

  8. Jaime Morrow says:

    “Camping…ick.” Haha! I used to like camping, but I kind of have the “ick” feeling about it now too. Nope. No, thanks. You are making awesome progress on this new WiP. I can’t believe how much you’ve gotten done already! Your discipline is pretty darn amazing. These 3rd person backstory vignettes sound great. I love stories that slip in brief changes in tense or person. Kind of like in Emmy & Oliver. Love the snippet you shared too!

    Hope this is another great week!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      So funny that you mentioned EMMY & OLIVER, Jaime! I’ve been stewing about this vignette idea for a few weeks, wondering if it was “acceptable” or whatever, and reading E&O was like getting permission to try it out. Hopefully one day they’ll be as effective as Robin Benway’s are in her novel. 🙂 Have an awesome week, lady!

  9. kaitlinbartlett says:

    Congrats on the awesome word count, Katy! Yoga and running are my two exercise loves right now – they’re a really great pairing, I think. And I hope you have fun at the Taylor show…can’t wait to hear all about it!

    Oh, and I hope you enjoy SAINT ANYTHING! Sarah’s books are my favorites and she didn’t disappoint with this one. ❤

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I agree that yoga and running are a great pairing, Kaitlin. Running always makes me feel tight and achy (because I’m old?) and yoga’s the perfect remedy. Oh, and so far I’m loving SAINT ANYTHING. Have a wonderful week!

  10. Elodie says:

    You’re doing amazing, Katy! Annnnnd I love the excerpt you shared 🙂 So much longing!
    I requested THE DEVIL YOU KNOW at the library following your rec so looking forward to it 🙂
    Annnnd…if you change your mind about camping or if Matt & C feel like discovering a new place, this beach sounds kind of cool (I’ve never been):
    And I can’t wait to hear all about the concert 🙂 So happy that you and C. get to go ❤

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I will definitely share that link with Matt, though, if there are wild ponies, I want to go check it out, too! Thanks for the head’s up. 🙂 Oh, and you’re more than welcome to borrow THE DEVIL YOU KNOW (or any other book) if you like. See you in a few days!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Ooh, I will definitely be in touch for cool MD places, Valerie. We’re up for pretty much anything (with the exception of camping, in my case) and I’m always happy to take recommendations. Thanks for the offer, and have an awesome week!

  11. Alexa says:

    Sounds like you e had a great week Katy! I love the snippet you shared so electric.
    Have an amazing time at Taylor Swift, it is an excellent concert. We had so much fun.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I loved your T-Swift pictures, Alexa! I showed them to my daughter — we can’t wait! And thanks for the kind words regarding my little excerpt. ❤ Have an awesome week!

  12. Erin Funk says:

    Isn’t funny how you don’t feel like you’ve fully moved somewhere until you pick up a new library card? We just did the same thing the other day, and somehow it makes it seem more official.

    The lines you shared are so lovely and perfect. Those are the bits of stories I live for. And I have to say I love how you’re using little vignettes to work backstory in. That’s such a great idea–a creative format for the book and it gives your readers some extra info in a unique way.

    Have fun with all your adventures this week, Katy, writing and otherwise! 🙂

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Library cards definitely make new homes official… #BookNerd

      Thanks so much for your kind words about my excerpt, and also, you’re making me feel more confident about my attempt at these vignettes. I’m hoping they’re functional and affecting once they’re finished and prettified. 🙂

      Have a fantastic week, Erin!

  13. Carrie-Anne says:

    My maternal side of the family has a campground in West Virginia, dedicated to my uncle’s memory. He loved camping, hiking, all sorts of outdoor activities. There’s a nearby amphitheatre dedicated to him too, in Seneca Rocks.

    Good luck on your goals this week!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Your family’s campground sounds lovely, Carrie-Anne. I’ll have to point my husband in that direction next time he’s in the mood to go. Thanks, and have a great week!

  14. Eden says:

    Not hitting any snags seems like a dream come true… crossing my fingers to hope it stays that way for you, Katy, at least mostly (I’m hopeful, but a realist too).

    Your kayaking pic looks so happy. You don’t like camping? Or is it a particular type of camping?

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Um, no, not a fan of camping. I like hiking and kayaking and generally being in the great outdoors, but I like easy access to a shower, plus my comfortable bed. 🙂 So glad my husband and my daughter can go together so I don’t have to! Thanks for your supportive words, Eden, and have a wonderful week!

  15. mandiebaxter says:

    Taylor Swift!!!!!! I’m so glad you decided to go! And looks like you’ve found a ton to do to keep busy until school!
    Congrats on the progress!!! And can’t wait to read both of those books.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I bet you’ll love both of those book. I wish I could let you borrow! And yes, we’re definitely keeping busy. Summer’s flying by, as usual. Have a great week, lady!

  16. Suzannr Meyer says:

    Your vignettes sound really cool, I hope they work out for you! And seeing T Swift, so fun! Not to mention you are almost to your summer word count goal, jealous!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I am almost to my summer word count goal, but I’m nowhere near the end of the story. Once I hit 30K, I’m going to need to take a step back and let it stew for awhile so I can figure out the story’s climax and conclusion. Ugh. Writing is hard! Have a wonderful week!

  17. Alicia says:

    I love your excerpt, Katy. And that is fantastic that you haven’t hit any snags, especially with the move and all. Good luck this week!

  18. Melanie Stanford says:

    I totally agree- camping=ick. And I’m so jealous you’re going to Taylor Swift! I’ve been to her last two, but I don’t think I’ll get a chance to go to this one when she comes here next month. 😦 Love her.
    Love the excerpt. Obviously you’re going to nail your goal long before summer’s end.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      We went to Taylor’s Speak Now concert (four years ago already!) and it was fantastic. She’s such a dynamic performer. Can’t wait to see her sing the 1989 songs! Thanks so much for your kind words about my excerpt, Melanie, and have an awesome week!

  19. prerna pickett says:

    I just got The Devil You Know and I’m so excited to read it! I love Sarah Dessen as well and need to pick up Saint Anything. I’ve been camping in West VA and it’s beautiful, and I get why you don’t enjoy camping but I’m one of those weirdos who loves it. As long as there are flush toilets nearby, I’m not that hardcore. Hope you have a great week!

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