RSW – Update 6


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. –> Success! I’ve reached 30K in my messy, confusing, crazy-making story. And now I’m going to put it aside for further reflection. I need to work some stuff out, and I’m thinking I need distance to do so. But summer’s only half over, you’re probably thinking, and that’s true. Which means it’s time for a new goal…

Revise The Road So Far, the story I drafted during last summer’s RSW. It’s been hanging out in MS purgatory ever since, and it’s in desperate need of attention. Also, it’s my favorite of all the things I’ve ever written, so I’m excited!

2. Read 12 books by summer’s end. –> In progress. I’m working my way through my fifth book of the summer, Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything, which is wonderful so far. (I need to pick up my pace to reach this goal!)

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

4. Explore a new place each week. –> Success! We visited Mount Vernon, George Washington’s beautiful historical estate. The house’s exterior was a mess of scaffolding thanks to a roof replacement project so no pictures, but here’s my girl at one of the farmsteads on the property.

5. Cross at least two items off my Thirty Before 35 list. –> In progress. My weird0 WiP will fulfill #17 (if I ever finish it!). And I’m planting an herb garden this week — for realz!

* Stretch Goals: Success! I wanted to journal every day last week, and I did. I also wanted to see Taylor Swift, which I did. My girl and I road the train into D.C. to watch her perform. She was predictably amazing, and we had the BEST time!

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

Make The Road So Far work. Finish Saint Anything and start A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij. Cardio twice, yoga three times. Continue journaling. Plant an herb garden.

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

“She’s after Colby,” Antonia says, tugging on her swimsuit’s straps. “She had breakfast duty with us this morning and you should’ve seen the way she was flirting with him. It was wildly inappropriate, and I was right there. So were two hundred guests, all trying to digest their omelets while watching Gretchen hump my boyfriend’s leg.”

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

Figuring out how to turn The Road So Far, which was written as a sequel, into a novel that stands all on its own. Way harder than I anticipated.

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

Tricky as it is, it’s been really fun to think about The Road So Far again. I adore its characters, and I think road trips are pretty much the greatest.

In other news…

Big congrats to Liz Parker, lucky winner of last week’s Ready. Set. Write! prize package. More giveaways coming in August… Keep working hard and linking to your RSW posts so you’ll be eligible to win!

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


43 thoughts on “RSW – Update 6

  1. Eve says:

    OMG that’s amazing that you have already reached your 30K work goal! Whoohoo you got this. Keep up the good work and you can finish all of them easy peasy!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I hope so, Eve! I’m a little worried about my “read 12 books this summer” goal. I’m a bit behind, so I’ll have to push it. Have a great week, lady!

  2. Valerie Cole (@ValerieColeYA) says:

    Awesome job reaching 30K! Your sample made me LOL. It sounds like you’re having a lot of fun writing it. You and your girl look adorable at that Taylor Swift concert! Hope you had lots of fun and I can’t wait to see what this week brings for you. ❤

    I'm reading Saint Anything, too, right now and LOVE it. It might be my favorite Dessen (knocking Just Listen down the list).

    • Katy Upperman says:

      JUST LISTEN is my favorite Sarah Dessen, too, followed closely by THIS LULLABY and DREAMLAND. I’m kind of a fan. 🙂 Thanks for your kind words about my excerpt, Valerie! I am having fun with this story, though it’ll be nice to have a few weeks’ break. Have an awesome week, lady!

  3. Alicia says:

    Congrats on the 30K! Sounds like you nailed everything out of the park again. And I love how you guys are exploring your new home and the pictures you share. Good luck this week, Katy!

  4. Pax Asteriae says:

    Wow, congratulations on meeting your summer goal already! That’s incredible! Good luck with revising your next project, particularly with trying to turn it into a standalone.

    I’m so glad you and your girl had fun at the concert (and woah, so many people!) and at Mount Vernon. You seem to have so many phenomenal places nearby, I’m really jealous. 🙂

    I love that excerpt, made me laugh out loud! Good luck with this week, and with planting your herb garden. 🙂

    • Katy Upperman says:

      We do have lots of cool places to visit, Pax. We’re feeling lucky! I’m glad my excerpt made you laugh. That’s one of my favorite little exchanges between those characters. 🙂 Hope you have an awesome week!

  5. Elodie says:

    Seeing my name up there with Sarah Dessen may be a tad intimidating 😛
    I cross my fingers you enjoy ASLNO ❤ Thank you so much for reading!

    I love love love that excerpt 🙂 Annnnnd I can't wait to read THE ROAD SO FAR so looking forward to hearing all about your progress. Love the pictures too 🙂 And that you had a wonderful time at the Taylor Swift concert, and C looks like she's enjoying discovering the area 🙂

    I have to read more about journaling. Do you write everything that's happened or how do you go about it?

    And herbs garden? Yes! My hubby has a small garden with some herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and he really enjoys it (I do too because it's yummy :))

    Cheering you on Katy 🙂

    • Katy Upperman says:

      We’ll have to chat about journaling at lunch next week. I’ve never been a regular journal-er, but I want to be. I’ve done it for a whole week, so I’m getting there. 🙂 Have an awesome week, lady!

  6. Alison Miller says:

    SUPER excited you are working on ROAD again, Katy! I can’t wait to see what you do with it. I am sure that turning a sequel into a stand alone will be a challenge, but you can totally do it! And congrats on reaching 30K with the other story! Love the excerpt (as always)!

    So glad you and C had fun at T Swift’s concert! Everyone I know has gone to see her (or at least it feels that way) and I’m ridiculously jealous. And I’m not even the biggest T Swift fan. 🙂

    Anyway, hope you have another wonderful week! Good luck with those revisions!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I’m a HUGE T-Swift fan, but I can say with absolute unbiased honesty — she puts on an amazing show. We had a blast! And I’m happy to be working on ROAD again, too. I kind of love that story, and its characters. Thanks for your encouragement as always, Alison!

  7. Alexa Barry (@AlexaBarry) says:

    So glad you had fun at Taylor, she does an amazing concert doesn’t she. I was exhausted by the end! Mount Vernon is so beautiful, have you been to the zoo yet? One of our favourite places.
    Great snippet, it made me giggle.
    I love road trips books, good luck working on The Road so Far this week and with the rest of your goals.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Taylor Swift really does put on an amazing concert. I didn’t want it to end! And no, we haven’t been to the zoo yet. We used to visit zoos all the time, but I’ve been having mixed feelings about them over the last few years. It’s cool to see the animals, but mostly they just make me really sad. We might have to bite the bullet and go, though, because I’ve heard that the one in DC is pretty amazing. Hope you have an awesome week, Alexa!

  8. Liz Parker (@LizParkerWrites) says:

    Woo hoo! And good luck with THE ROAD SO FAR 😀 Whenever your magical realism WIP is done, I’d love to read that one, too! Good luck this week! Not even going to begin to tell you how jealous I am about Taylor.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Aww, thanks for offering, Liz! I’ve a feeling it’ll be awhile before the magical realism WiP is ready, but I’ll definitely be in touch when it is. And you know I’m more than happy to return the favor anytime. I’ve got my eye on your Savannah WiP. 🙂 Have a great week, lady!

  9. kaitlinbartlett says:

    Congrats on 30K, Katy! *dances* And best of luck turning your sequel into a standalone. I’m sure it’ll be tricky, but what better project to work on than your favorite one? 🙂 also, that excerpt had me laughing out loud – such a strong voice!

    Also, I’m so happy you and C had fun at the Taylor show! I thought of you both when I saw Taylor’s tweet about the potentially bad weather…so glad it all worked out well.

    Good luck with all your goals this week!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I’m glad you liked my excerpt, Kaitlin. 🙂 And yes, I’m totally happy to dive into a tricky revision, so long as it’s a story I truly love. Which, this one I do! We’re so thankful the storms held out for Taylor Swift night. It was such an awesome concert. Hope you have a great week, lady!

  10. Courtney Leigh says:

    Nice work on reaching your first major writing goal of the summer!! Distance is a good thing, and it’ll definitely pay off once you return to the MS. Also, I love how each week is filled with adventure! You must be feeling so inspired–Mt. Vernon AND a Taylor Swift concert?? Sounds like heaven!! Good luck with TRSF and the herb garden this week!!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Thanks, Courtney! We have been having some pretty great adventures. Perk of moving to a new city, I suppose. 🙂 Hope you have an awesome writing week!

  11. Jaime Morrow says:

    Ooo, that’s cool that you’re reworking a sequel into a standalone! I can imagine that would be challenging, but at the same time it probably makes you look at the story more in-depth. I know switching tense and POV in my current WiP forced me to really look at my story. Helpful when you’ve been over it a million and one times already. Wishing you lots of luck with that! I love the excerpt you shared today!

    So happy you and C had a great time at the Taylor Swift concert. It looks like it was a blast! Have a great week, Katy!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      The sequel to stand-alone revision is definitely a challenge. I’m finding that I have to really simplify/scale some things back (book 1 backstory, mostly), and build up others (characterization!). Hopefully I’ll get it right eventually. And yes, Taylor Swift was definitely a blast. Have a great week, Jaime!

  12. Carrie-Anne says:

    Congratulations on reaching your summer goal, and good luck with your next goal! It’s always good to have some distance in order to revise a project, though I personally don’t recommend as much time as I’ve had between writing and revising some of mine! It’s really something to not have access to your files for 10 years, and then finally be able to open, convert, and reformat the files and read those books almost with new eyes.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Ten years is definitely a long break, Carrie-Anne! I think I’d have trouble diving back in, so I’m impressed that you’re able to reacquaint yourself with your characters and plot. Have a great week of writing!

  13. Melanie Stanford says:

    Way to go on meeting your goal! And I can’t believe you’ve left a WIP you love so much for a whole year! That would be difficult for me (although I do like to leave mine for at least a month).
    I need to do some more reading too this summer, I’ve been super slow lately.
    So jealous you got to see Taylor Swift! Love her.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      I’ve been slow at reading, too, Melanie. I think because I’ve been so consumed with my revision, so I can deal. 🙂 I will have to start picking up the pace soon, though! Hope you have a great writing week!

  14. Erin Funk says:

    Whoa, you crushed that word count goal! I can’t believe you did it in half the summer! Make sure you give yourself a big reward for that!

    Also, I love the term “ms purgatory.” Might have to borrow it some time. It’s so exciting that you’re working on your favourite WIP again and that you’re turning it into a book that stands on it’s own. What a unique writing challenge. I’m sure you’re up for it and that it’ll come together the way it should. Good luck on your goals this week and I hope the momentum continues, Katy!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Thanks, Erin! This revision is definitely a weird challenge. I’ve never done anything quite like it, so it’s nice to stretch and grow my writing muscles. Or whatever. 😉 Sounds like you had a pretty great week of goal achieving — way to go!

  15. crystalschubert says:

    That is a crazy amount of words for only half the summer! Awesome job! I hope the time away from your old MS has given you fresh eyes and that you can figure out how to make it work. Good luck this week! 🙂

  16. literallyalice says:

    Go Katy!!! Congrats on hitting your 30K goal, and yay for going back to the road trip story! It sounded like such a fun one. Hope you figure out how to get it on its own legs. 🙂

    Also, how cool you visited Mt. Vernon! That is on my US History sites bucket list, but I think I won’t be able to make it out there this year. Sounds like it might be for the best though with the scaffolding, but I hear the rest of the grounds is beautiful too.

    • Katy Upperman says:

      The rest of the grounds at Mt. Vernon are gorgeous, Alice, as is the interior of the house. So much amazing history. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to come out and visit someday soon. Have a great week, lady!

  17. Mandie Baxter says:

    I can’t wait to hear what you think about Saint Anything. I love love LOVED it!!!!!
    Yay for T Swift. Glad you got to go. C was so excited! Love it.
    Good luck with The Road So Far. Can’t wait to read it one day!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Thanks so much, lady! Taylor Swift was definitely amazing. And I *hope* you’ll be able to read ROAD one of these days. It’s sort of a mess at the moment, but… someday! Have a great week!

  18. Kitty says:

    Holy cow, what a week! George Washington and Taylor Swift all in one week? 🙂 Awesome. And how fun. I bet your daughter was just blown away by Taylor Swift. I’ve heard her shows are amazing. Congrats on reaching 30k! Have a great week!

  19. Eden says:

    Big cheers on reaching your wordcount goal, Katy. It sounds like you have a wonderful project to take up the slack.

    And so much fun for your trips this past week. Good for you! Glad to hear you had a blast.

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