Blogging, Writing

The Quarterly Writing Round Up!- Q3, 2016

Reminder:  At the beginning of the year, I made some yearly goals and some quarterly goals, which I promised to reevaluate and re-prioritize every three months. It’s been six months now, and it’s time to look back at Quarter Three 2016! Here’s a recap of my goals for the year, in case you don’t want to go back and read the original post:

Overall goals for the year: Finish Changing History rewrites DONE! (Q1), Finish first draft of Changing History: Entwives DONE! (Q3), Write the Worth Living For short that I’ve been planning for ages, DONE! (Q3) Edit and begin posting Clarity DONE! (Q2), Finish the first draft of all three parts of Wonderland Reclaimed.

Reward Project: If I finish Wonderland Reclaimed, I can write my Avengers: Age of Ultron fic for NaNoWriMo in November.

I finished up two more of my goals for the year, bringing my total up to four out of five! The last goal regarding Wonderland Reclaimed I’m no longer worried about completing, and I’ve already moved my Age of Ultron fic, Good Intentions, to my tentative 2017 plan. So things are going very well this year!

Here’s the month by month breakdown!

Quarter Three, 2016- Review

July: Camp NaNoWriMo #2! Finishing WriMo including Calenhiril’s Search, Paradise Found (Worth Living For short), and Wonderland Reclaimed: Down The Rabbit Hole, 50k words cumulative. Possibly finish posting Clarity, but NaNo is the priority.

  • This was a HUGE month for me, and I’m proud to say I accomplished all of my goals, plus some! I picked up Double the Baggins, Twice the Took this month, along with my writing and I managed to post a couple of extra Calenhiril’s Search chapters. I really need to learn how to pace myself, because…

August: Finish posting Clarity (if not finished in July), Focus on the editing and posting of Calenhiril’s Search (at least one chapter posted a week, more as I finish them).

  • …this month was a disaster. I didn’t have to worry about Clarity at least, because I had finished that in July, but I lost all the momentum I had built up for NaNo and only posted one (two if you count Sept. 1st) chapters of Calenhiril’s Search. I did almost nothing else. I also managed to burn myself out for Wonderland Reclaimed. I don’t know when I’ll be able to look at that story again. I’m hoping early 2017, but not holding my breath.

September: Continue posting at least one chapter of Calenhiril’s Search a week, complete first edit of Paradise Found, add at least another 25k to Wonderland Reclaimed.

  • I feel better about this month, even though one of my goals was a complete non-starter. I had given up on Wonderland Reclaimed by this point, so I didn’t even try, but letting that go seemed to have the effect of freeing up my brain to post for Calenhiril’s Search, doubling my projected chapter count. I completed the edit of Paradise Found and posted the story too, which was a nice boost to the ego 🙂

Quarter Four, 2016- Goals

Quarter Four is a short quarter, since I usually try not to set any specific goals for December to allow my brain to rest and try to cope with the depressing reality of the holiday season. For all that, here are my goals for Q4!

October: Finish Calenhiril’s Search, post one chapter of DBTT and write 5,000 new words, finish outlining my new NaNoWriMo project, The Stars Are Fire.

November: National Novel Writing Month! This year, my goal is not just to write 50,000 words, but to COMPLETELY finish the first draft of my novel.

December: My only goal this month is to post my requisite chapter of DBTT and to finalize my plans for 2017. I will likely try to pull out Wonderland Reclaimed again and see if anything has jostled loose, but I’m not setting any goals in that regard.

And that’s it! I feel pretty confident in what I have here, we’ll see how I feel once December rolls around. Until next time!

 

Blogging, Writing

The Quarterly Writing Round Up!- Q2, 2016

A reminder:  At the beginning of the year, I made some yearly goals and some quarterly goals, which I promised to reevaluate and re-prioritize every three months. It’s been six months now, and it’s time to look back at Quarter Two 2016! Here’s a recap of my goals for the year, in case you don’t want to go back and read the original post:

Overall goals for the year: Finish Changing History rewrites DONE! (Q1), Finish first draft of Changing History: Entwives, Write the Worth Living For short that I’ve been planning for ages, Edit and begin posting Clarity DONE! (Q2), Finish the first draft of all three parts of Wonderland Reclaimed.

Reward Project: If I finish Wonderland Reclaimed, I can write my Avengers: Age of Ultron fic for NaNoWriMo in November.

So out of five goals, I’ve finished two. Not quite half, but pretty close, considering I’ve been working on Calenhiril’s Search as well.

And here’s the month by month!

Quarter Two, 2016- Review

April: Camp NaNoWriMo #1! Edit Clarity (A Loki Fanfiction).

  • I did this! 80,000 words edited in thirty days! It was awesome! I’m super excited! 😀

May: Continue to post at least one chapter of Calenhiril’s Search and DBTT a week. Finish the first draft of Wonderland Reclaimed, or add 50,000 new words (whichever comes first).

  • I posted three chapters of Calenhiril’s Search. Respectable, but not quite what I was hoping for.
  • I only posted one chapter of Double The Baggins, Twice The Took, and this was the month that I decided to put this particular fic aside for the time being, until I could dedicate the time and attention it deserves.
  • No new words were written in May. Actually, I may have, kinda, forgot I had even made this goal. Whoops! ;P Hopefully July will make up for this!

June: Prep month for Camp NaNoWriMo #2! Depending on how May goes, either prep for editing Wonderland Reclaimed, or prep for a finishing WriMo (50K words on Wonderland/Calenhiril’s Search/DBTT). Begin posting schedule for Clarity (M/W/F).

  • I… prepped as much as I could? Okay, I didn’t really prep for Camp. I’m doing a Finishing WriMo so it’s not quite as critical, but I probably should have done more on this front. Hopefully it won’t be too detrimental. Also, I changed up one of the stories I decided to finish, instead of DBTT I’m working on my Worth Living For short (one of my year-end goals, so yay!).
  • I started posting Clarity! \o/ I only missed one day early in June, but I’m still well on my way to being finished with Clarity by the end of the month of… wow, I’ll probably be done by the end of July if I keep up the way I have! 🙂
  • I also got back into the swing of posting Calenhiril’s Search and made up for the missed chapter in May by posting five chapters in June 🙂

In review, I think I accomplished a decent amount this quarter. Granted, no new words were written (I feel like such a dumbass for forgetting that goal, tbh), but I got a lot of other things finished and several more things are in the process of being finished. One of my goals for 2017 is to limit myself to two sprawling epics in a year, one fanfic and one original work. I’m well on my way to making that happen, I think 🙂

With that in mind, here’s what I have planned for the next three months:

Quarter Three, 2016- Goals

July: Camp NaNoWriMo #2! Finishing WriMo including Calenhiril’s Search, Paradise Found (Worth Living For short), and Wonderland Reclaimed: Down The Rabbit Hole, 50k words cumulative. Possibly finish posting Clarity, but NaNo is the priority.

August: Finish posting Clarity (if not finished in July), I don’t plan to add any new words this month, instead focusing on the editing and posting of Calenhiril’s Search (at least one chapter posted a week, more as I finish them).

September: Continue posting at least one chapter of Calenhiril’s Search a week, complete first edit of Paradise Found, add at least another 25k to Wonderland Reclaimed.

So, with any luck, by next quarter, I will have finished two more of my yearly goals and be well on my way to completing another, which will put me on track for the year! I’m really looking forward to this quarter, I think my goals are definitely doable, if nothing untoward happens (which, let’s be honest, is always a possibility).

Until next time!

pusheen-typing

Blogging, Random, Reading, Writing

New Year, New Goals: 2016

2015 is dead! Long live 2016!

…unless of course it sucks as much as 2015 did. But let’s try to stay positive, shall we? 😉

A new year is upon us and it’s time to evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and prepare for the year to come! This is going to be a little bit like my monthly review posts, with sections for Writing, Reading, and my Personal Life goals. So let’s get started!

Writing

2015 in Review

Goals were: Finish Changing History, Finish one original novel, publish something new every 4 months.

At first glance, these goals don’t seem like much. But they turned out to be far more complicated than I could have imagined. As a result, I did not actually finish a single one of them. This might be depressing, if I hadn’t carefully recorded the things that I actually did do this year. Here is that list.

  • I almost completely rewrote my Changing History trilogy this year. This is the major feat that I’m really congratulating myself for. I finished all three parts except for the last five/six chapters of Second Chances. This means that I reread, rewrote, and reposted 281,557 words this year. That’s a LOT of work! And the sad part is, as part of a reviewer’s journey, I’ve recently found myself rereading Choices again and discovering even more grammatical errors that need correcting! I’m ignoring them for now, but it’s just proof that I will need to go through this story at least one more time before I am truly done. There is still so much left for me to do, but the bulk of the work is finished and that is something to celebrate.
  • I finished the first draft of my Loki/OC fanfic, Clarity. This is also a big accomplishment for me, as I’ve been planning this story for over a year, possibly longer. I’m very pleased with it, I think after some major revision and editing it will be just as good, if not better than Worth Living For. As much as I love the Changing History saga, I feel like I have poured more of my soul into these Marvel fics than I have into any other pieces of writing I’ve done thus far. They are extremely close to my heart and finishing even one more part feels like something worth recognizing.
  • I overcame The Great Disaster of 2015 and managed to finish Part Two of what I hope will be my first published original novel, currently titled Wonderland Reclaimed. Those who know me personally will know how much I struggled with this, how hard it was for me to open that project knowing how much work there was to be done. But I did it. And I’m fairly happy with the progress I have made, enough to feel even a little bit of eagerness to jump into rewriting the missing pieces of Part One in the near future.
  • I started blogging regularly! Granted, it’s not that often, but once a month for six months is far more than I’ve blogged before on a regular basis. I have a long way to go, but I’m determined to at least keep plugging along on what I’ve started.
  • Lastly (and what I feel to be most importantly), I learned more about myself as a writer this year than I think I have in any year previous. I kept records of what I accomplished and didn’t accomplish, I focused my writing efforts into chunks that seemed reasonable, and when I did not reach my goals, rather than falling into depression and giving up, I took a step back, reevaluated, and modified. I feel as if I have a better understanding of what works for me as a person and as a writer, I have a better understanding of how much I can reasonably expect of myself, and I have a better understanding of how much WORK I am actually putting in to these projects. I am able to celebrate my accomplishments, rather than just berating myself for my failures, and that is in itself an accomplishment.

2016 Goals

Overall goals for the year are: Finish Changing History rewrites, Finish first draft of Changing History: Entwives, Write the Worth Living For short that I’ve been planning for ages, Edit and begin posting Clarity, Finish the first draft of all three parts of Wonderland Reclaimed.

Reward Project: If I finish Wonderland Reclaimed, I can write my Avengers: Age of Ultron fic for NaNoWriMo in November.

The following is how I am planning to break up my week and what I plan to accomplish on each day:

  • Catch-up Monday- Spend this day working social media, responding to reviews, and generally playing catch up from the weekend. Writing Group meets on this day, so work on anything related to that.
  • Blogging Tuesday- This does not mean I will be blogging every week (that would be crazypants), but I will do at least one thing blog related on this day every week. Whether that be updating the draft of my Monthly Wrap-Up post, or working on something completely new, well, we’ll just have to see.
  • Whatever Wednesday- This is a day I can do what I want. I can write, I can watch TV, I can read, I can lounge around and do nothing at all, WHATEVER!
  • Writing Thursday- This is my writing day. I dedicate this day to nothing but writing related shenanigans, whether that be new words or editing.
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday- Are usually pretty packed with social interactions, so I’m leaving those open.

After some consideration (and talking with my writing group!) I have decided to do Quarterly Goal updates this year. That means that ever three months, I will reevaluate my goals and re-prioritize, based on what I’ve accomplished thus far. As such, here is the break down of the first three months of my writing life in 2016!

January: First month of NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” months, focusing on revising and editing. My goals are to finish editing and posting Changing History: Second Chances, and to finish the first draft of Entwives.

February: Second month of NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” months. I’ll be setting aside Changing History this month and shifting my focus onto my intense editing of Clarity (Loki fic). I will also add new words to the rewriting of Part One of Wonderland Reclaimed.

March: Prep Month for Camp NaNo #1. Prepare to edit Entwives, write out an outline of what I have so far and make note of any plot holes that need filling. I’ll also continue to add words to Wonderland Part One.

Reading

2015 in Review

ReadingChallenge2015aReadingChallenge2015bReadingChallenge2015c

And just for fun, here are some cool stats about what I read!

2015ReadingStatsPages2015ReadingStatsRatings

My original Reading Challenge this year was to finish 60 books, but as I began to take my writing more seriously it became apparent that something was going to have to be done to make time for that. So I lowered my goal to 50 books rather than 60, and I stand by that decision. 50 books is a great goal, I feel like it pushed me to continue reading, but didn’t overwhelm or depress me. I also had a personal goal to reread the Harry Potter novels this year and I accomplished that! It was so rewarding to return to a series I had enjoyed so much and read them again with fresh eyes.

2016 Goals

ReadingChallenge2016

I’m going to repeat my goal of 50 books for the year. As I said before I felt like it was a perfectly reasonable goal that gave me a sense of accomplishment without overwhelming me and I see no reason to fix something that isn’t broken 😉 The series I would like to try to finish this year is The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

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I started to read these books several years ago, and I devoured the first three, but I stalled on book four. I’ve heard so many good things about the series, and I think I’m ready to try tackling it one more time. If you’d like a list of the other books I’m planning to read this year, here is a link to my To-Read list on Goodreads.

Personal Life

I didn’t really have any goals for my personal life this past year, other than the usual. Get in shape, lose weight, be the best you can be. And really, that’s all I ever want, so that’s what 2016 is going to be about too. I plan to get back into the gym, starting this month. I want to eat in more than I eat out, and try to find some way to keep my (sometimes damn near crippling) anxiety at bay. I don’t know how yet, but I’ll be exploring some options to see what I can squeeze in to a schedule that already feels full to bursting. That’s the best I can do.

On that note, Welcome to 2016! I’ll be seeing you around.

Writing

NaNoWriMo “Now What?” Update!


  • Week One Progress:  800 words written
  • Week Two Progress:  2000 words written
  • Week Three Progress: …

head_desk

So… yeah… This has not been going as well as I’d hoped.

I don’t know why I’m having such a terrible time! I can’t even honestly tell you how many words I’ve written this past week, but I can tell you, it’s not enough. I’m going to desperately try to put my nose to the grindstone and get the rest of this first draft finished this week. I can tell you one thing for certain, I WILL be restarting my editing process for Parts One-Three on February 1st, hell or high water, even if I have to continue the writing of Part Four at the same time. I’m hoping it won’t come to that, but realistically, I’m thinking it probably will.

Ugh.

Why, writing muses? Why hast thou all forsaken me?

writersblock1

Writing

NaNoWriMo “Now What?” Update!


  • Week One Progress:  800 words written
  • Week Two Progress:  2000 words written

So, I meant to do an update on my progress at least once a week, but… yeah… apparently my Week One progress was so lousy that I couldn’t actually make myself face up to it 😛  Week Two was better, but certainly not the kind of progress I was hoping to be making this month.  At this rate, 30k words is looking less and less likely (barring a miracle, which is not to say that it can’t happen, only that it is highly improbable).

I still have hopes of putting a wrap on the first draft of Changing History IV: Search For The Entwives by the end of January, which means that I’ll have February freed up to continue my rewrite of Parts One thru Three, and then be able to really focus on learning the ins and outs of script writing in March to prepare for my very first Script Frenzy in April.  Maybe if I keep reciting the plan over and over, it will make it a reality?  Mind over matter?  The power of positive thinking?  Maybe? 😛

I will be attempting to continue to keep everyone posted.  I know there are several of you who are anxiously awaiting the fruits of this particular labor.  So, I say unto you, do not lose heart!  I promise, I’m still working on it!

Writing

January is Officially Here, folks!


And with it comes unrealistic expectations and goals for the New Year, (followed by inevitable disappointment a few months later :P) and NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” Months!  January and February are the months to commit to editing your NaNo project from the previous year… or to finish your project, if you’re anything like me 😛

So in that spirit, I have committed to finishing the first draft of Changing History: Search for the Entwives in January (I’ve set a goal of 30k words, but I’m hoping it won’t take that many :P) and then finishing my editing of Changing History 1-3 in February.

Here is my Google Calendar I’ve created (using Pacemaker) for word counts and chapter counts in the coming months.

I’m hoping this goes well, and I’ll be able to begin posting the new (and final!) installment of Changing History in June or July.  I know that seems like a long time, but I need to give myself some space from the story before I start editing and I also have some other projects in the works (not to mention I’m trying out Script Frenzy in April, and I’m auditioning for a play this week 😛

Everyone has been so patient with me through this, I cannot tell you how much it means to me.  Hopefully I can make this final installment of the Melomir saga something worth waiting for 🙂

Blogging, Writing

Internet as Motivational Tool?

          For the past two months, I have been experiencing financial difficulties.  Therefore, I was not able to pay my cable/internet/too-many-bills-to-mention.  As a result of this, the company that provides my cable, internet and home phone was forced to disconnect me until I could pay.  Now you would think that such a lack of distraction would produce a flurry of writing activity, creating masterpieces of the written word, the likes of which have never been seen before.

            But no, instead, dear friends, I descended into a creative funk.  Though my writings lay within my fully functioning hard drive, the lack of network connectivity seemed to turn my computer into no more than an empty shell, devoid of life and purpose.  And so I ignored the offending piece of machinery as one would ignore an antique clock that never chimes, but you can’t make yourself throw out because your Great-Aunt Doris, twice removed on your mother’s side, gave you that clock and besides it still keeps good time and you swear that one of these days you’ll get if fixed and hang it in the hallway.  But then it passes from your mind into oblivion until the next time you open the coat closet, or venture into the attic or the basement and you think, “I really should do something with that clock.”

            But I digress.  The point is my computer sat collecting dust while I sat in the living room watching “Gone with the Wind” and feeling sorry for myself.  But the moment my bill was paid and my internet was back on, I went to work on my fictional endeavors with a fervor I hadn’t previously thought I possessed.  What in the world made me think I had to have the internet to be productive?  None of the projects I have been working on in the last week or so have required the use of the internet.  I could easily have accomplished everything I’ve done so far in the time that my internet was MIA.  No research was required to continue my works-in-progress.  And even if there had been, I’m perfectly capable of writing without research and simply rewriting when the research can be accomplished.  It’s something I’ve done many times in the past.

            I don’t know if the answer to that question will ever be found, but I’m more than willing to hear opinions and theories on the subject.  One possible explanation I’ve come up with is that I was simply due a creative down-swing and it just happened to coincide with my lack of internet service.  But that seems a bit too convenient.  Is it possible that I’m simply addicted to the Web?  I’d like to think that wasn’t the case.  I don’t think I spend much time surfing the digital waves, but many of my projects are bound for a home on the super-information highway, particularly my FanFiction and my YouTube fan videos.

            Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.  I would love to hear your theories on this strange phenomenon.  🙂 Until next time, may your days be filled with unending, interconnected bliss.

Blogging, Uncategorized, Writing

Please Forgive the Unexpected Interruption

Well, as you can clearly see, I have not written an entry in quite some time.  There are several excuses I have for this:

#1.  My internet was turned off and was just recently restored to me.

#2.  I finally got a new job.

#3.  I went to visit my parents for a week.

#4.  If none of the above are sufficient to explain away my absence, then the only other excuse I have is to please see my previous entry entitled “The Fine Art of Procrastination”.

Wonderful!  Now that we have that out of the way, I would like to tell you that I’m working on a new novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), though I don’t think I will make my 50,000 words like I’m supposed to (see above reasons #2-4).  I’m really excited about the concept though.  It’s the first novel idea I’ve developed in probably a year or so and I already have the end planned. 

It’s a fantasy novel, set in a desert (but not SciFi like “Dune”).  Basically, a young mage wants to use magic to turn this desert into farmland.  The magic is too strong for him and if he goes through with it, it will destroy the world, but of course his pride convinces him that he can do it.  So his brother, the leader of the Royal Guard, has to go into the desert and retrieve the ashes of the Phoenix to bind his brother’s magic so he can’t perform the spell.  The guard almost dies and is rescued by a Desert Elf who helps him on his quest, but she has a very powerful secret that I shall not reveal here.  The story is full of all kinds of cool magical desert creatures that I’ve thought up, plus, there’s a dragon.  I mean, really, could it be any better?

Anyway, I’m gonna need a lot of luck if I’m going to finish this thing by the end of November.  So far I only have 5,000 words.  I just don’t think I’m gonna be able to pull it off, but I’ll try to do as much as I can.  I’m just proud of myself for actually trying to take this thing on.  I meant to do it last year, but I got so distracted that I didn’t even start.  So actually, this is improvement.  Anyway, wish me luck!  I will write again and let everyone know how I’m doing.

Blogging, Writing

Results of My Full-Time Writing Venture

Well, if anyone follows me on Twitter, you will recall that I was not very enthusiastic about the outcome of my full-time writer experiment.  I’ll get right down to it.  I calculated it up and on average I only worked on my writing projects 3.3 hours per day.  That is a far cry from the eight hour a day goal I had set for myself.  But after taking a couple of weeks to reflect on it and allow the sinking disappointment and inevitable self-loathing to dissipate, I have decided that it is just the beginning.  If I give up now, how will I ever improve?  And so starting next week, I will begin fresh and I will set a goal of beating my time from the last week.  I think it’s definitely achievable considering I didn’t work at all on that Friday because I was packing for vacation.  I’m still hopelessly optimistic about the entire situation.  If I can improve even a little bit, it would be a huge step for me.  So I’m looking forward to continuing my experiment and keeping all of you updated on my progress in the coming weeks!  I wish everyone out there a successful week, whatever your goals are.  And if anyone has any suggestions that might improve my performance, feel free to leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you!

Blogging, Writing

Full-Time Writer (Trial Period)

So, I have recently stumbled upon the opportunity to discover what it might be like if I could make enough money doing what I love.  In other words, I lost my job.  I have decided that I will take one week and act just as if writing were my full-time occupation.  I will work an eight hour day, Monday through Friday, and I will concentrate on the various projects that have recently been shoved to the side because of my stress over my job. 

I feel good about this little venture.  I know that it won’t be permanent (unfortunately, my husband and I do not make enough money for me to sit at home all day), but it will give me a taste of what life might be like for me one day.  It’s an exciting prospect.

I’m also a little uneasy.  After all, I know how I operate.  I start something wonderful and at first I am completely gung ho about it.  I throw myself into what ever project I’ve decided to do and I just go to town.  Then, when that “new project” smell has faded away after a few days, I generally tend to, well, forget about it.  I don’t really give up, per say (such a nasty phrase, “give up”).  It’s as if the wonderful idea that I had just a few short days ago is just gradually shoved down the totem pole by the next brilliant idea and the next and the next, until it’s so far down that I forget I ever had the idea in the first place.  Trust me, many the diet and fitness routine has gone that route and it is not a pretty picture when I realize what I’ve done.  The self-loathing knows no bounds.

However, I believe that this might be just a tad different.  First of all, I have a set amount of time committed to the project.  I will commence this little experiment on Monday, September the 14th and end it promptly on Friday, September the 18th.  The timeline itself is a bonus because I have something concrete to work towards instead of the goal of “forever and ever”.  And the relatively short length of time means that the “new project” smell will not have completely faded away before it is time to end the venture (hopefully, fingers crossed).  Also, I have absolutely nothing better to do for that week.  As I said, I have no job, and I can’t start looking for one until after Sept. 27th (I’m going to Las Vegas with my husband.  Yay!).  So actually this project will keep me from losing my mind to boredom.  That is incentive in and of itself.  And lastly, this isn’t something that I  HAVE to do or I’ll hate myself for all time.  There are a lot of writers who write and have jobs.  I might be one of those writers and I might not.  I’ll never know until I try it both ways.  And I much rather try it for a week and discover that I love it, than decide to do it forever and discover that I hate it.

So wish me luck everyone!  I’ll be sure to let you know if  it all goes well (or not).  We’ll see!