Tag Archive: goals


2012 Resolutions — Progress Report #8

Still playing catch-up.  I can’t say I made any visible progress on any of my goals in August, so I’m not going to break it down here.  The good news is that I at least have something to celebrate in all of that — mainly, my story acceptance when I expected a rejection.   I’m heading into the busy season on my day job, though, so it remains to be seen how much time I will have in the next couple of months.

I think I miss reading blogs most of all right now.  Feels like I’m missing out on so much.  I’ve been using the WordPress app for Droid while on errands, so I have been reading a little, but haven’t figured out how to use it to comment yet.  Part of that is having a new phone, my old one was on its last legs.  It had a slide-out keyboard.  My new one has a virtual keyboard, so it’s taking some getting used to.

The next few months should be interesting, as far as time goes.  Too bad there can’t be a few more hours in the day.  Oh, if I could only have a time-turner! 😉

 

Crazy month in real life, and it was reflected in my lack of progress in my goals.  Here’s hoping the worst is over.

Resolutions #1, 3, 5, &7: Keep this blog updated.

Progress report:  I talked about this in my last post, one of only 2 I did all month.  As always, blogging remains my lowest priority, especially when my time/energy is limited.  Changing that has been hard.  It’s a mental shift that my mind just doesn’t seem to want to take.

Resolution #2:  Finally finish editing my NaNoWriMo novel from 2008

Progress report:  After working on first chapter revisions last month, I decided to cut it completely.  The second chapter was the original first chapter when I posted it for some feedback on Absolute Write years ago.  Most of the feedback said it didn’t fit the genre (fantasy romance) I thought I was writing.  I added the new first chapter to try to resolve that, but it turns out it was just back story.  I think I’ve finally made peace with the fact that this is more like a straight fantasy novel with “romantic elements,” and am no longer trying to force it to be something it isn’t, and revising has become a lot easier with that in mind.

I’ve also cut one flashback scene, and another scene is currently on the chopping block.  The manuscript is now down to 110,000 words, but I have a few new sections that have to be written out, to fill in a couple of plot holes, so we’ll see what happens.  Part of me fears that this monster will grow even larger than it was when I first started editing.

Resolution #4:  Finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel from 2011

Progress report: It’s still sitting on the side as I work on revising some of my other manuscripts.  Haven’t even done a read-through yet.

Resolution #6: Receive one rejection slip (print or e-mail) every other month, for a total of 6 for the year.

Progress report: Still waiting on a response from my flash fiction piece.  Keeping my fingers crossed, though I know it’s a long shot.  Also, I have a good idea of how to revise that problem novella I talked about in previous “progress reports,” and hope to have it sent out by the end of the month.  I also have 2 other short novels/novellas near 1st draft completion, and hope to have at least one of them ready to send out by the end of the year.

Overall, I think of July as the month I’d prefer to forget.  Hope everyone had a better month than I did, and here’s looking forward to August!

Halfway through the year now.  Oh, how time flies when you’re having fun. 😉  Here’s how June turned out:

Resolutions #1, 3, 5, &7: Keep this blog updated.

Progress report:  Blogged a total of 6 times in June.  Exactly the same as  I posted in April and May.  I’m still having trouble with managing my writing time, and I still prefer working on my manuscripts over blogging.

Resolution #2:  Finally finish editing my NaNoWriMo novel from 2008

Progress report:  This is my 100,000+ word monster I mentioned in my previous post about word counts.  Ran a quick spell-check (gotta love those typos that completely change the meaning of a sentence) and began tightening the prose.  There are quite a few spots where I slipped into the passive voice.    I’m about half-way through the first chapter, with many, many more to go.

Resolution #4:  Finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel from 2011

Progress report: Finally completed the first draft.  One of my antagonists has done a disappearing act halfway through the story, and is seen only in the point of view of the other antagonist, who will end up betraying her as well as my protagonists.  Makes her look silly and one-dimensional.  Must work on that, but I’m still letting the manuscript as a whole sit for the time being.

Resolution #6: Receive one rejection slip (print or e-mail) every other month, for a total of 6 for the year.

Progress report: Though I still haven’t made any progress on my longer work, I’ve managed to write my first short story in years.  A flash-fiction piece, under 200 words, for a themed submission call I saw online.  Hit the “send” button for it on Friday night, and have been trying to avoid obsessively checking my e-mail ever since. 😯 It’s the first work I’ve submitted anywhere in more than 10 years.

I’m really happy with the way June turned out.  Even though my blogging still needs a lot of work, there was good progress on the rest of my writing.

What about you? Have you been making progress on your goals for this year?

Interesting month overall, mainly in real life, not my writing life.  Here’s how May turned out:

Resolutions #1, 3, 5, &7: Keep this blog updated.

Progress report:  Blogged a total of 6 times in May.  Exactly the same as  I posted in April, but it could have been a lot more.  It was a continuation of what I struggled with in April, when work on my drafts became a much higher priority to me than blogging.  Perhaps its my old introvert nature rearing its ugly head again, trying to drive me back in the dark corners of the internet to resume the role of lurker rather than participant.

Resolution #2:  Finally finish editing my NaNoWriMo novel from 2008

Progress report:  Last additions completed, and just letting it sit for a while before I begin reading through it again.

Resolution #4:  Finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel from 2011

Progress report: Nice progress here, finishing the month with 43, 676 words, an addition of over 6000 words since April.

Resolution #6: Receive one rejection slip (print or e-mail) every other month, for a total of 6 for the year.

Progress report: Beginning to think that novella may be a lost cause.  I’ve been toying with the idea of writing more short stories again, but haven’t made a decision just yet.  Also started another story that may become a novella, or may be long enough to be a novel.

Part of me hesitated to post this progress report, especially since one of my resolutions now appears to be a lost cause (#6), yet writing them help me keep more motivated than if I didn’t.  Something about being accountable, even if only to faceless strangers over the internet, has been a great boost to my productivity.

What about you? Do you feel like you need to be held accountable for your goals in order to achieve them? Or do you work best when you think no one is watching? 😉

 

April started off really great, but fizzled out when life got in the way of writing.  Here’s how the month turned out:

Resolutions #1, 3, 5, &7: Keep this blog updated.

Progress report:  Blogged a total of 6 times in April.  One more than I posted in March, but it could have been a lot more.  My writing time became really limited at the end of the month, with my day job taking up much more of my time and energy than usual.  Though what could have been a major disaster turned out to be just a minor one, I just didn’t feel like writing much at all.  So I tried to focus on my various drafts and let blogging take a backseat to everything else.

Resolution #2:  Finally finish editing my NaNoWriMo novel from 2008

Progress report: Not yet finished.  I wrote most of my missing ending from memory, but I wasn’t satisfied with it.  A minor subplot popped up as part of the conclusion, and I realized that I had barely touched on it during the rest of the story.  Not enough, anyway, to justify it’s role in the ending.  Going back and adding it in, but that doesn’t mean the ending still won’t end up changing.  Here’s hoping that it will make more sense this way.

Resolution #4:  Finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel from 2011

Progress report: Although I struggled with this one, in part because of the outline cramping my writing style, I did make more progress than I expected here.  I’m now at 37, 430 words, which means I added a little over 4000 words.

Resolution #6: Receive one rejection slip (print or e-mail) every other month, for a total of 6 for the year.

Progress report: I think I may have found a resolution to that plot hole in my novella.  I’m actively re-writing and editing it again.  Whether I’ll feel like it will ever be ready for submission is another thing entirely.

Overall, April was a strange month for me.  I learned that my time management skills definitely need a lot of work, since they seem to completely disappear when I’m under stress.  Barring any further surprises, however, I have high hopes for May.

A Full Day of Writing?

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

I always wondered how much I could get done if I had unlimited time to write.  Would I be disciplined enough to actually work, or would I spend the day watching television and eating obscene amounts of chocolate?

Only one way to find out.

I cleared my schedule for my day off, and decided to spend the time working on writing — and blogging, since that’s part of the whole writers must participate in social media  thing that is, to me, more intimidating than writing itself.  Don’t believe me? I’m not just an introvert, I’m a full-blown internet hermit.  Oh, I like reading what everyone is saying on blogs and in forums, but participating? Saying something, even with the option to think ahead of time and not just blurt out the first embarrassing thing that comes to mind?  Not me.  I’m the lurker in the dark corners of social media, with a tendency to turn into a grouchy goblin if pushed to interact.  Or, you could say I have a tendency to act like this guy:

"Don't talk to me!"
Hawaiian Monk Seal, Photographed at the Waikiki Aquarium, March 2009

It was a day meant to push my limits, however, so I needed a plan.  I decided to start with my writing, rotating between my three current works-in-progress.  I could only move on to the next manuscript when I finished what would have been the normal word count goal for the day.  After going through the manuscripts, I would then move on to blogging.  Not just trying to write new posts, but focusing on interaction.  I had to do this for one solid hour before I could return to my works-in-progress.

This routine was to be repeated as necessary throughout the day, from the time I woke up, until I either fell asleep or the clock struck  midnight.  The only breaks were physically necessary ones, like meals, or taking care of my dog.  Not even writing can compete with this face:

I surprised myself with how much I managed to get done.  Between the three manuscripts, I wrote a total of 2326 words(according to my writing software’s word count.)  On other days, I’m lucky if I add 300 words to just one of those manuscripts.

As far as blogging? I wrote a couple of partial drafts of posts, but I decided to spend the bulk of my time working on the “social” side.  I’ll admit I didn’t comment nearly as much as I probably could have, on posts, because I had a tendency to get distracted by reading the next post on the blog, and the next…  I did mention I was a lurker, didn’t I? I did find several new blogs to follow, many of which I found in the blog roll on The Write Transition.  What can I say? I think she has great taste.

I’m pretty pleased with how the day turned out, and I’m looking forward to scheduling another one like it ASAP.   Though I didn’t reach all my goals for the day, especially in blogging, I think it deserves a little celebration:

Photo taken July 4, 2009
Highlands, North Carolina, USA

March seemed to be a month of one step forward, two steps back when it came to writing for me.  Here’s how the month turned out:

Resolutions #1, 3, 5, &7: Keep this blog updated.

Progress report:  Blogged a total of 5 times in March.  WordPress shows only 4 posts for March, but I’m in a different time zone from whatever the default setting is, currently.  It was still March 31 in my time zone when I published my last post.  So depending on how you look at it, I either matched, or just barely fell short of, the number of blog postings I completed in February.

Resolution #2:  Finally finish editing my NaNoWriMo novel from 2008

Progress report: I did finish editing the parts of the manuscript that I had in my computer before March began.  But as I mentioned in the last progress report, I have a few missing scenes that need to be written from scratch.  I hope to have this done by the middle of April.

Resolution #4:  Finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel from 2011

Progress report: Fell behind here.  I’m now at 33, 386 words, which means I added just 3480 words.  About a thousand words less than last month.

Resolution #6: Receive one rejection slip (print or e-mail) every other month, for a total of 6 for the year.

Progress report: As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve encountered a major plot hole in the novella I had planned to submit.  Currently, I don’t have anything else that is even close to the submission stage.  Not quite sure what I’m going to do next on this resolution.

One interesting side note: I did start another novella.  So I’m actively writing in 3 projects right now.  Definitely keeping busy, but am I making any real progress? Hard to tell.  Here’s hoping that I can get back on track for April.

So this year we had an extra day in February.  Did you take advantage of it to advance your goals for the year? I don’t feel like I did, though I did make some progress on most of my resolutions.

Resolutions #1, 3, 5, &7: Keep this blog updated.

Progress report:  Blogged a total of 5 times in February.  Not bad, but it could have been a lot more.  I had quite a few ideas that I just never pushed from my head to the computer screen.  Sadly typical of my writing in general.

Resolution #2:  Finally finish editing my NaNoWriMo novel from 2008

Progress report: Now more than 80% through the manuscript, but I found that I had a lot more than 2 missing scenes that needed to be written from scratch.  Neither the hard-copy I made of this manuscript, or the saved computer file, has the ending of the story.  I could have sworn that I wrote it down, though.  Maybe I did, and some computer gremlins ate it? Or maybe I only wrote it out in my head, and managed to delude myself into thinking I’d put it into the manuscript.  I’m thinking it’s the latter.

Resolution #4:  Finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel from 2011

Progress report:  Better than January, but still not good.  I’m now at 30, 306 words, which means I added a whopping 4579 words.  Which comes out to just over 150 words per day.

Resolution #6: Receive one rejection slip (print or e-mail) every other month, for a total of 6 for the year.

Progress report: Took one more read-through of a novella I wrote, polishing and tweaking it, then started working on the query letter/synopsis.  Baby steps.  Still need to find the courage to submit the thing in the end.  Not sure if that will happen.

Overall, I guess it wasn’t as bad as I first thought, for such a short month.  I do tend to be my own worst critic.  Now, on to make some real progress for March!

By the way, today is Hina Matsuri, or the Girls’ Day Festival in Japan.  We used to celebrate it when I was a kid in Hawaii.  So to all of the girls out there, especially my two hanai (Hawaiian word that loosely translates to “adopted,” commonly used for close friends that are like family) nieces, Sciarra and Shaunnelle, Happy Girl’s Day!

Resolution #1: Update this blog on a regular basis.

Resolution #2: Finally finish editing my NaNovel from 2008.

Resolution #3: Update this blog on a regular basis.

Resolution #4: Finish the first draft of my NaNovel from 2011.

Resolution #5 Update this blog on a regular basis.

Resolution #6: Receive one rejection slip (print or e-mail) every other month, for a total of 6 for the year. Why am I aiming for rejection? Because that’s the best way to show that I’m actually submitting my work out there. I don’t have enough confidence to aim for acceptance letters just yet. It’s been more than 10 years since I last submitted anything. That whole procrastination thing, you know?

Resolution #7: Did I mention that I want to keep this blog updated?

I think I might be able to keep at least some of the writing resolutions, but, alas, the blog updates will be the difficult part. I almost never feel like I have anything interesting to say.  And even when I do,  I don’t make the effort to write the words down.

That’s the sad but true reality of my writing life to date.

What about you? Did you make any resolutions this year?

So close and yet so far…

I finished NaNoWriMo with 46,269 words this year. Just 3,731 words away from the goal.
I’m not sure if it’s more frustrating to miss a goal by a whole lot, or by just a little.
Guess there’s always next year, and I do have an idea already…