good morning, cyberspace!
It’s September, guys. Yeah. You read that right. Today is the first day of September. This is happening, folks. There’s no going back now. We have entered the months of Fall.
To be honest, I’m less excited about this approaching month than I normally am. Typically I LOVE September, but this one is… not gonna lie, friends, this one’s a lot.
I thought August was going to be a complicated, project-filled month, but goodness… it doesn’t even come CLOSE in comparison with September. There’s so much going on in both my work life and personal/creative life, and while I very much would like to just to crawl into a hole and
DIE sleep for a good long while, I know that all the stuff happening this month is going to be an adventure.
…whether or not it’s a good adventure is highly subject to change at any given moment, and I should probably note that there is also a very good chance that I may disappear without a trace somewhere in the middle of the month. Haha. Hahahahaha. Heh. Moving right along.
Anyway, I used to love writing goal-oriented posts at the beginning of each new month, but all of that sorta flew out the window recently, what with my unexpected hiatuses and the occasional random post flung here and there. But today, I thought it’d be fun to bring it back! Because Goals! And Life! And Potential Screaming! So let’s talk about September, shall we?
GOOD MORNING, SEPTEMBER: AGENDAS, OUTLINES, & THE RETURN OF LOFTY GOALS
We’re starting with the most terrifying, because WHY NOT. This is my blog, peasants. I make the rules. *maniacal laughter ensues*
I’ve technically been holding onto this information since August 8th, and my goodness it’s been eating me up inside. For anyone inside my special social circle–or for anyone who’s been paying an almost odd amount of attention to my existence (I’ll let you decide which one you fall under)–you will already know that I’ve been working at a BIGGBY Coffee since August of last year. BIGGBY was quite honestly my DREAM job when I was 15–back when I had no clue what coffee tasted like and just wanted to be there for the *Aesthectic*. (I mean… now that I DO know what coffee tastes like, I’ve gotta admit that I’m still here for the Aesthetic. But I digress.) and getting hired into BIGGBY at the age of 21 legit felt like the stars aligning to some glorious purpose I’d been destined for.
However, despite how much I absolutely LOVE my job, my journey to the land of coffee was not an easy one. Not even in the slightest. I’m definitely someone who is much harder on myself than I will ever be on anybody else. This shows both in my creative life and my personal one, and it rears its ugly head even worse at work. I like knowing things. I like being the best at things. (It’s my hubris, I swear. XD) And when I first started at BIGGBY, I’d drank exactly two lattes in my life, had never even touched an airpot, and was pretty sure the milk wand on the espresso machine was there to simply burn me until I died.
Suffice to say, I was a complete and utter newb, and I absolutely hated it. Obviously you have to start on Newb level with any job you start, but for me, the Newb level is my least favorite level of all. I hate it with every ounce and fiber of my being, and had I typed the words I’m about to type a year ago, I would have thrown my computer across the room in disbelief. But here we are, on the better side of a year later, and I have news regarding my job that I honestly never even daydreamed about writing because of how ludicrous it sounds.
And yet here we are:
By some bizarre, radical twist of fate, I somehow managed to delude both my coworkers and apparently some of our customer base into voting for me as BIGGBY Barista of The Year. And that’s not even the kicker. Somehow–SOMEHOW–I actually won.
I won BIGGBY Barista of The Year for Northwest Ohio.
I mean, even typing it out sounds like I’m somehow lying, but like… it’s real. Yes, I’m just as bamboozled as you are.
And so, because of this extremely odd twist of events, I’m going to a Coffee Conference this month.
Yes. You heard this correctly. A Coffee Conference. Me. The girl who swore to despise coffee till the day she dies. There’s also going to be an awards ceremony, and I might have to present a speech of some sort (100% hoping I don’t win the ultimate award and this does NOT happen because social anxiety and stage-fright really do not go well together, my friends XD), and I’m just a puddle of anxiety and excitement at this point, tbh.
I know that whatever happens will be good, but I’m having a really difficult time letting go of the anxiety and just focusing on the positive. There’s a lot of “what if’s” and “maybes” regarding this whole situation, and it would honestly be so appreciated if y’all could send a few prayers my way if you think of it this month. Stuff like this isn’t really in this country girl’s book of “things I’d love to do someday”, but I’m so unbelievably honored to have had this happen to me, and I want to represent both my store, my managers, and my fellow coworkers in a way that honors them just as much as they’ve honored me.
And now on to something that’s more exciting than anxiety-inducing! Guys!!! It is my absolute pleasure to announce that THE SILMARIL AWARDS ARE RETURNING ONCE AGAIN! And apparently I bamboozled still more people into thinking I did a good job with it last year, because I was asked to return as a participating Awards Host! I am SO excited to share with you all the award I’m taking on for this year, buuuut, as with all good things, I must wait until the 6th to announce it! Because suspense! And excitement! AND FUN!
We have a whole pack of Hosts this year–both returning and brand new!–and I’ve got a hunch that this is going to be one of the best Silmaril’s yet! So keep your eyes peeled next week for the opening nominations posts to go live. You’re not going to want to miss this beautiful blogging event to honor our favorite fantastical characters!
(for anyone curious as to what the Silmaril Awards are, never fear! We have a whole website explaining what it is, as well as archives for each of the Silm Awards immemorial! So please be sure to check that out if you’re interested!)
And last, but certainly NEVER the least, we have come to quite possibly the most time crunch-y thing happening this September–and, if I’m being perfectly honest, potentially the most terrifying of all the things. This year–with any luck–I will once more be participating in Pitch Wars! If you don’t know what Pitch Wars is, it’s essentially a mentoring program where lucky mentees can have their polished manuscripts read and reviewed by industry professionals, with the end result being your work showcased to agents at the end of the revisionary period. It’s an intense and time-consuming thing if you’re chosen as a mentee, but I also suspect it is WILDLY beneficial to a writer’s growth… which is why I want to participate!
I actually entered everlost into PW last year, and while I received nothing but crickets, it really caused me to take a good long look at why I was so keen on that being my debut novel, and also at the fundamentals of the story as a whole. A lot of what I learned going through Pitch Wars is what led to my decision to shelf everlost for the time being, and I’m really excited to undergo a similar–but hopefully with better end-results? XD–experience this month!
The caveat to all of this, is, of course, that I don’t currently have a polished and revised manuscript to submit. I have two finished first drafts, and that’s about it. XD HOWEVER. I have hereby decided that all my spare time–and even some of my sleep–shall be sacrificed in the name of polishing and revising my flower child novel, Project Sunset, by the time Pitch Wars submissions open on the 26th! This, undermined by the fact that I have a coffee conference smack dab in the middle of the month (in which I will be gone for THREE. DAYS.), and topped off with the delight that is the Silm Awards all throughout this month, is giving me slight anxiety, but I’m also just so excited to see if I’m actually able to pull this off. There are moments in every person’s life when they can either crumble and submit to failure, or rise and overcome.
I really, really hope that September is my chance to rise and overcome all of the demons I’ve been facing for the past month. August wasn’t near as glamorous as I had hoped, but I have faith for September. It’s the time of pumpkins and funnel cakes and leaves turning red and cool, crisp mornings, and I have a faith. A faith that this will be a month to remember. A faith that I will survive even the most terrifying of things. A faith that I can stay true to both myself and my dreams throughout all of it.
This is gonna be a good month, my friends. I can feel it. :))
talk to me, peasants!
what sorts of shenanigans are you getting up to during the month of September? were you able to achieve all of your goals for August, or did it take a wild turn for you, as well? either way, I’m so so proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished, even if that’s just the fact that you made it here today. I have a feeling that September will be much better, so keep your chin up, friends. good times are coming again. <333
As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below! And until next time…
* flings cookies in the air and disappears *
16 thoughts on “Good Morning, September: Agendas, Outlines, & The Return of Lofty Goals”
Good luck editing your novel in time for Pitch Wars! I hope the barista award goes alright, public speeches can be pretty scary. That’s so exciting, though!
I have not been writing a lot this August, but I HAVE been reading a lot. Honestly it’s been pretty nice? I finished some books that I really wanted to read and I read a ton of fairy tales. I’m not really sure what my writing goals are for September, but I would lowkey like to try out writing a novella. I’ve been thinking about it.
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ACK, THANK YOU. So far the editing has been going poorly, but ya know. There’s always hope for a brighter future, right? XD Oh my word, I HATE public speeches. They legit terrify me. XD But alas! Things happen for a reason. I’m just clinging tight to God at this point. XD
Dude! Please do try it! Novellas are honestly so much fun to write. (I’ve actually been debating writing another one, as well!) And OOOH. BOOKS! Which books have you been reading? I’ve been trying to read more lately, and currently I’m reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. 100% recommend it so far!
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SEPTEMBER! FALL! YES! (It was actually cool this evening in Illinois, with a breeze, and? I was so happy. So happy.)
Congrats on winning Barista of the Year!! That’s awesome! And a coffee conference sounds like so much fun!!!
Why? Have? I? Never? Heard? Of? Pitch? Wars? That sounds so cool! I’ll need to check it out!
August. Hm. Well, I moved two thousand miles away from home, so I guess I accomplished that goal? *dies* (Actually, I am having a wonderful time and not missing home ALL that much, which may be a bad sign? But I’m enjoying it. While it lasts, cuz I have a feeling I’m going to have a breakdown at some point.)
September shenanigans, hm. I think my most interesting one is going to be going to a live football game for the first time ever. Wish me luck–I’m only going because I have been told to (and one of my friends is going), and I hate crowds and am ambivalent towards organized sports. 😅
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COOL WITH A BREEZE IS THE BEST KIND OF WEATHER. It’s like 71 degrees here in the wrist of Michigan right now, and I am THRIVING.
It’s definitely going to be an adventure! I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it. I feel so honored, and I don’t know how to thank my coworkers and friends enough… It’s impossible, really.
DUDE. PLEASE CHECK OUT PITCH WARS. It is SUCH a fun contest! At this point I’m not 100% sure whether I’ll be able to enter or not, but I’m working on it. We shall see… BUT YES. CHECK IT OUT. It’s something that I highly suggest every writer look into at least once!
Oh goodness! I’m assuming you went to college??? But dude that is SO cool! And honestly good that you don’t miss it too much! It’s totally okay if you miss home, and it’s totally okay if you don’t! Sometimes I think people feel as though they’re abandoning their loved ones or aren’t “rooted enough” if they’re not super sad about not being home, but really there isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to it. If you’re having fun that is WONDERFUL, and I’m so so proud of you! (and if you do find yourself in a breakdown at some point, that’s 100% okay, too, and I’m still proud of you and know you’re going to make it through! You’ve got this!)
OH NO. XD See, I really don’t like watching sports, so I’m with you on that one. XD THE BEST OF LUCK, MY FRIEND. XD I hope it turns out better than you think, and also that you manage to find one of those really yummy giant salted pretzels. I swear those are the only things I like about sports. XD
YESSSSS PITCH WARS BUDDIES!!! I’m so glad you’re doing it with me!!!! Your September sounds crazy but fun!! Congrats on baristaaaaa of the year for northwest ohio!
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I’m definitely trying to! Whether or not I’m successful remains to be seen… *intense screaming* XD
EEP. Thank you, lovely! I’m still trying to process it, honestly…!
BIGGBY Barista of The Year for Northwest Ohio??????? KENZIE. Oh my goodness gracious! ALL THE CONGRATS OF EVER. I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!!! But not surprise because OF COURSE. I can imagine you are an absolutely SPECTACULAR barista and bring so much joy to your local BIGGBY. That is SUCH an accomplishment! And you get to go to a conference and everything? That is so cool! Though I definitely understand the nerves. Absolutely praying for you through all this. I hope it goes wonderfully. <333
I'M SO PUMPED FOR THE SILMARIL AWARDS. I cannot believe it starts MONDAY. :O Almost heeere! *shrieks*
And EEP. You may be doing Pitch Wars again??? I'm just over here swelling with pride over my Kenzie. So many big, epic things! Definitely praying for you with all your endeavors, girl! And YASSSS to Project Sunset! I love the idea of that one SO. MUCH.
You're gonna rock September, I just know it! I do hope it treats you well and is filled with blessings. You got this, girl! *HUGS*
Meep! Thank you so so much, Christine!! This whole thing has legit been the weirdest mix of awe, feeling honored, and a huge mountain of stress, but I’m really excited to go and see everyone and learn things. It’s going to be so much fun, and I’m honored that my coworkers/community chose me. Like…it still feels surreal. XD (and thank you so much for your prayers. I definitely need them. XD)
EEP!!! HOW IS IT ALREADY HERRRRRE?? Like WHAT. XD This month is going to be INCREDIBLE and I’m so beyond stoked!
MEEP! Pitch Wars is honestly one of my favorite things! We shall see if it actually happens, but as of right now, I definitely want to at least TRY. (although currently I’m not sure if I’ll make the deadline. And that’s okay!)
MEEP! Thank you, Christine!!! *tackle hugs* Same to you, my friend! I hope this month is filled with all you could possibly dream of!
Barista of the year?! That’s amazing, girl!!! I hope it goes wonderfully! It’s huge, so be proud.
And hehehe, Silmaril awards. I’ll be sure to pay more attention to it this year!!!
And best of luck with Pitch Wars!!! I didn’t know such a thing existed until today. Maybe, if I can get my book into order, I’ll do it someday. I really hope it works out for you!
Let’s see, shenanigans… College applications, scholarships, and *cough* learning to drive. 😣. Bleh.
I’m also going to try and finish the first draft of my book. It’s been going on for over a year, (I fear for my future self who has to edit it). How long does it usually take you to finish a first draft?
Mmm, I’m excited for Fall. I love summer, but Autumn’s so cozy. May your September be epic!
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Meep!! Thank you, friend!!! That honestly means a ton to me… <333
YESSS!! I'm so so excited for this!! It's definitely going to be an awards to remember!
EEP! Yes!!! I definitely recommend checking it out! It's such a fun community of writers, and the benefits if you're chosen as a mentee are phenomenal.
Oh goodness gracious, it looks like you've got a lot of stuff piled onto your plate this month, too!!! Learning to drive is actually kinda fun, though! Once you get past the initial fear, that is. XD But I know you're going to do AMAZING. You've got this!
Oh goodness. First drafts, man. They are beasts. XD So! This question is one that's a little difficult to answer, because the answer is "it depends on the book". Which isn't very helpful, so here are some timelines for each of the 3 drafts (of which I'm proud of XD) I've finished within the past few years!
So Everlost was the "first book" I ever finished that I actually thought had potential for publication. It was also the second book I'd ever written to completion, and I think the first draft of it took me about 6-ish months to complete, while the second draft took me an entire year.
For Project Sunset (my third draft ever finished), I started and scrapped it quite a few times before hunkering down to finish it. This happened between 2019 and 2020, and it wasn't until April 2020 (Camp NaNoWriMo) that I really buckled down and told myself I was going to stick this story out till The End. Keep in mind that COVID decided to sprout up during this time, so I was actually laid off work for three months during the drafting of this and didn't have any outside things pulling me away. I put all of that time into writing Project Sunset, and I actually finished the first draft in July. (I think. It was either July or August. I can't find evidence but I think it was July. XD) So Project Sunset took me about 4-ish months to draft. It was also significantly smaller than everlost, but I think the speed of writing it was in response to the fact that I was in quarantine. XD
Project Goblin is a little bit less linear. I had the idea for it initially in 2018, tried writing it for 2018's NaNoWriMo, and then scrapped the whole thing because it wasn't how I wanted to write it. Three years later, I began writing it for 2020's NaNoWriMo and actually stuck through with it! If I'm remembering correctly, I wrote the first draft of this book on and off from November, all the way to August. So it took me about 10 months to finish it. But there were definitely thick patches–months–of time when I didn't write more than a few hundred words, so I honestly don't know the exact time table for it. But 10 months is how long it took from first word to The End, so we're going with that.
So in conclusion–it honestly depends on the book, and also how deeply I know the plot and characters. Some books get scrapped multiple times before I find my rhythm. Some of them flow a little more naturally. But generally it takes me about 6-ish months to finish a draft as long as I'm committed, give or take a few depending on outside situations.
However, all that said, one year is NOTHING to sneeze at, especially if this is you finding your pace and discovering your style! Once you begin to feel more comfortable with the rhythm of your own writing, it definitely comes a little quicker!
EEP! I'm so excited for Fall, too! It's just the best time of year!
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Thank you so much for the encouragement!
CONGRATS on Barista of the Year!!!!!!! *throws confetti* That is super exciting and you should be incredibly proud of yourself.
Also now I’m wondering what the heck goes on at a coffee conference (lot’s of coffee I suppose????)
Good luck on Pitch Wars!!! I hope September is a better more “glamorous” month than August was for you (I’m feeling the same way. Summer sucked for me and I’m hoping that fall will bring all the goods. I’m starting some new jobs teaching dance so maybe that will give me a boost)
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MEEP! Thank you so much, Bernadette! That legit means the world to me…
LOL! There’s a lot of coffee shop talk, I think. My managers signed me up for classes and whatnot, so I’m excited to see what’s going on!
MEEP. THANK YOU. I genuinely hope September is better than August. That month kicked me down and wouldn’t let me up at ALL. XD (Ugh, yes. Summer is legit the worst. I don’t even know why. XD BUT OH MY WORD!!! You’re teaching dance?? Dude, you’re going to be SO good at that!!! I’m so excited for you!)
[…] announced in last week’s post that I was once again accepted as a Silmaril Awards host this year, and GUYS. I am so insanely […]
I think it’s awesome that you won Barrista of the Year even though your, not a huge coffee drinker. You must be doing something right! Best of luck with Pitch Wars.
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Aww! Thank you so much, Skye! You have no idea how much that means to me. I really appreciate that… <333