June 2017 is officially in the books, people! And what a month it was over here! We spent so much quality time with family, celebrating seriously exciting milestones and accomplishments, and it felt like the best possible way to kick off the summer. I really do feel like a totally new person — a better version of myself — in the summertime. Summer forever!

I finished up this month feeling better about work, life, and everything in between than I have in a while. Without realizing it, I think I was in a bit of a mental fog for a lot of the spring, and that totally lifted in June. While I didn’t check off every goal on my list for the month, I made a lot of progress in big picture ways: working out a good schedule, making more time to be creative, pitching more stories. I call that a major success.

Here’s a recap of my June goals:


  • Celebrate an amazing first wedding anniversary! √√√√√ YES! That’s a quintuple check right there. I won’t bore you with all the details again (I feel like I’ve been a bit of a broken record since we got back from Maine), but if you want a recap of how Matt and I celebrated, you can check it out here.
  • Successfully finish my big copyediting project. √ YES! If you could see me right now, I’d be doing a happy dance. I learned a lot from this project and I’m hoping to do more like it in the future, but because of some ongoing changes with the timeline for the assignment, the workload felt a little out of control near the end there, so I’m happy it’s behind me. In the week since I finished, I’m feeling such a difference in my schedule and the time it allows me to invest in more creative pitching and better writing.
  • Break into a new outlet. Not this month! I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed, but I got back into a better rhythm with pitching in June (I’d admittedly lost some steam there in the spring), and I’m feeling really good about that.
  • Continue research for rebooted book project and/or start outlining. √ YES! Guys. I’m so excited about how this is taking shape. I’m eating up the research process for this in a way that I’ve never experienced before. I feel like I’m drowning in things to learn and read about as I put this plot together, and I’m loving it.
  • Research writing classes and possible graduate programs. Definitely need to address this in July.
  • Read three books. I hit a reading slump (one of my least favorite things) in June. I finished The Light We Lost and Hillbilly Elegy (both of which I thought were good, not great), and started The Wangs vs. The World on Wednesday night.
  • Decide where we’re going for our fall vacation. We still haven’t finalized our plans, but we do know what factors we’re still waiting on to make that decision, so we’re not totally off track.

And now my goals for July! Next month, I’m hoping to keep up the momentum I had in June with bigger-picture projects and my focus outlets (which I keep note of in my planner) — and to check off a few more specific items, since that’s where I fell short over these last few weeks.

I’ve spent time working on research for the book every. day. this week. This may seem like a small thing, but not to me! Investing time in this project daily is what I’ve been hoping to do from the beginning.
  • Finish book outline and start first chapter of book. Now that the copyediting gig is finished, I’m putting a lot more time into working on my book, and I’m excited to keep up that pace going into July (and beyond!).
  • Research writing classes and possible graduate programs. Moving this one over from June! I’m learning to beat myself up a little less when things like this don’t happen in my original timeframe, but this item, in particular, might be time-sensitive, so I don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.
  • Break into one new outlet. I have some prospects, and would love to make progress with one of them.
  • Get placement for a story that’s close to my heart. Last fall, I was introduced to a story that I feel super passionate about, and ever since, I’ve been relentlessly seeking the right home for it. It’s top priority for me to get it to the right editor before the summer is over.
  • Read three books. Duh.
  • Plan fall vacation. Hopefully, we’ll have answers to our outstanding vacation-related questions by the end of this month! Honestly, with all of my crazy planning tendencies, organizing a big trip like this makes me feel totally intimidated, but I’m excited to take on the challenge (with help, of course).

I blogged about this a few weeks ago, but I also want to prioritize enjoying the summer as much as I can! The last few months have been so wild and I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that most workplaces cut their employees a little slack in the summer months. It’s OK to give myself a break every once in a while, too, as weird and difficult as it might feel sometimes.

What are your goals for July? Fill me in with a comment below!