setting goals

May's Marvelous Manuscript Monday

May Progress Report

 

May is over in just a few days and my current word count is just south of 35,000 words! That means I am almost to my 40,000 word halfway point. When I say it that way I feel kinda like a badass. I’m also FINALLY done with my first person to third person point of view conversion which I should have finished doing around a month ago. So when I say it like that I feel, not so accomplished, but I’m not gonna let it get me down.

I’m also on track with my book reading goals. Man am I crushing it! So far 2016 might end up being my most gratifying year to date, when it comes to personal growth and accomplishment. We still have half the year to go but I’m confident it’s only going to get better. You might have noticed my good mood and that’s probably heavily influenced by the fact I don’t have to go back to my day job for another week. Yippy! The rest of my week will be filled with reading, writing, and the less enjoyable yard work. (It’ll be worth it, I repeat to myself over and over.)  I’m hoping to get another 5,000 words on my manuscript to get me to that 40,000 word halfway point. The only thing that keeps distracting me… my own ideas.

It’s hard to focus on just one story when your brain is constantly coming up with new ones. Other than my current manuscript, which will be the first in a three book series, I have three other unrelated story concept I am itching to put on paper. One post apocalyptic adventure of rescue, one science fiction and fantasy fusion tale and one romance turned grim murder mystery. If only I could write them as fast as I come up with them. My brain is starting to feel a little overheated just thinking about it all.

One goal at a time is what I’ll be sticking to. Finish my current work in progress by November 1st. If I can finish early then I can start working on another story. In fact maybe that will act as more motivation. Or maybe Bilbo said it best and I’ll end up feeling thin, stretched, like butter scraped over to much bread. We shall see, as it stands I’m feeling good about the coming June.

 

Also if you're interested in what I'm reading now or have been reading and how I feel about it, the best way to find out is to check out my Instagram account. @jamie_scifiohmy It's also a good place to see the most beautiful, sweetest, and smartest black lab that ever existed.  You've been warned.

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Keep it Up, Buttercup.

Keep it Up, Buttercup.

The good news is… I’ve hit 30,000 words on my manuscript! The bad news is I’m convinced a quarter of the thing is gonna need to be deleted and rewritten. I write one chapter and everything feels right. My characters are funny my plot points make sense, then BOOM next chapter everything is awful. Why does that happen? So that’s how the Manuscript is going. I’m a rollercoaster of self-confidence and self-loathing. I’m in a glass case of emotion.

There are things that help me keep on keeping on though. First would be my human support system. Constantly proofreading my posts and gently reminding me that if I don’t write at least 2,000 words a week on my manuscript I’ll never finish by Nov 1st. (Thanks Honey, not sarcasm.)

On the more technical side, one of the things that really helps me to keep pushing through is consistency. If I’m writing at least 3 times a week it helps keep up my momentum. Even when things are looking bleak on the page. As opposed to, let's say, not writing anything three weeks in a row (Oops, I swear I’ll be better.) Really I would rather write something mediocre and change it later than write nothing. So I’m adding to my list of goals, write at least 3 times a week. Preferably it will be on my manuscript but I’m leaving my options open.

Another thing that keeps me both motivated and distracted is reading. This feels like my constant battle, reading takes up time I could be writing, but it inspires me hearing a great stories. Reading more also teaches me the difference between a bad writer, a good writer and a great writer. Over all I think it’s worth some loss of time to keep up my reading. Plus, I’m 2 books behind my yearly reading goal. This writer is a slow reader, go figure.  

The last thing I can think of that really makes me want to keep clacking away at the keyboard is my outline! I have mentioned briefly before that I have my entire plot outlined in color coded index cards on the wall of my office. Complete with 4 different colors of index cards and 4 other colors of post-it notes. It also sports thumb tacks with bits of string going from here to there keeping track of some “Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey stuff.”- The Doctor. My husband lovingly refers to it as my serial killer wall. I have the entire story arch of my series on the wall. Anytime I hit a rough patch on a section I’m writing I can look at my outline and remember the awesome things I have planned and tell myself I have to take my character through this, so they can get to that. Oh how I want to skip ahead, but writing time travel is hard enough as it is.

Well that’s how it’s going this Manuscript Monday. I hope you writers out there are getting them words out, be it on paper or through glorious technology. (Always backup your work!) If you have things that motivate you to keep writing when all you really want to do is go binge watch Netflix (like I want to) let me know what they are.

Goals for 2016

 

In some of my post you might have noticed me mention some of my goal and things I’m hoping to accomplish. This week I sat down and made myself write them all down and think of how I would achieve these goals. The deadlines for all of them being the end of 2016 or sooner. To help keep me accountable I will now share them with you.  

 

Goal 1: Finish the first draft of my manuscript by Nov 1st.

I’m sure this one sounds familiar to you. I feel like I mention it in just about every other post. That’s because it’s the big one. The one that started it all.

How?: I have broken down the months into word count goals. With the end word count set to at least 80,000 words.

 

Goal 2: Participate in November 2016’s Nanowrimo and finish.

I have tried nanowrimo once before and did not finish my project. This time I will be shooting to finish of course.

How?: Once I reach my first goal that should set me up just great to head into Nanowrimo. I even plan to save up some time and possible take a few days off of work to help give me the extra hours of writing I’ll need to  accomplish this goal.  

 

Goal 3: Read 24 Book.

That’s a lot of books for me! 24 books basically works out to 2 books a month for the year, that doesn't sound too bad. Except for the fact that means I’m already 2 books behind. Oops. That’s ok I still think I can make it. Reading is crazy important of a writer.

How?: So that just means I might have to read an hour instead of watching that extra episode of Chuck on netflix. :(

 

Goal 4: Have at least 2 blog posts a week.

That’s right no missing a Manuscript Monday or Fiction Friday. But I will give myself a days grace period for occasions like holidays, birthdays or vacation. Like my trip to Endor. ;)

How?: Blogging consistently takes planning! That mean at the beginning of the month I sit down and decide what topics or stories will be posted this month. If I know I’ll be taking a trip or have an event that might keep me from posting I need to write it in advance.

 

Goal 5: Learn more about managing my blog.

Funnily enough this is the #1 thing that slows me down on Goal #1. It sometimes takes hours to figure out why something isn't working and how to fix it. But it’s also completely necessary. Boooo!

How?: I’ll be doing more research, watching more youtube tutorials and learning how on earth to use my google analytics.  

  So there we have it. My professional goals for 2016. I have other personal goals that involve fitness, home improvement, and making sure my house isn't a wreck. But those aren't all that interesting. Even though we are already well into the year I’m still excited for what is to come this year. It must be all this spring time weather.  I would love to hear some of your goals even if they aren't directly related to writing. It’s just great to hear about the great things that will be accomplished in 2016.