It’s a couple days into February right now, and I’m feeling kind of weird about it. January went a little fast for my tastes, but I think it’s because I’ve been drafting and that always makes time pass super fast for me.
So, I’m also feeling weird picking another non-fiction book to read when I haven’t finished January’s non-fic pick. But Good Morning, Good Life isn’t really grabbing me right now. In fact, it feels a bit torturous to read at the moment. Not because it’s bad, but it’s just not jiving with me right now. So, I’m giving myself permission to move on and come back to that book another time.
This month, the writing workshop on YouTube, hosted by TA Woods, is coming back with the book 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron. I’ve read this book before. In fact, Amazon says I bought it in 2013… but it’s been updated and expanded over the years, and I don’t think that I’ve read it since then. So I thought I’d follow along with them and read this book again. Maybe I’ll remember something I’ve forgotten since i read this last.
I’m prepping to leave on a trip next week, so I’ve been working a lot of things that need to be done before I go. That said, I realize that I haven’t really mentioned the things that I’ve been doing here. I just do them and haven’t really been putting in the effort to tell people about it.
So here we are. LOL.
First things first. Let’s talk about Patreon.
My new Patreon website is live. It’s linked all over the place here. Basically, it’s a private site for Patreon members that I will be utilizing more as we go along later in the year. Right now, I’m posting the serial there. This one is locked for patrons only–except for the first three parts, of course–but I’m thinking about making the next one public and doing other things for patrons instead. I’m also building a resource library for writers and readers that isn’t live yet, but it’s coming soon and will be for Patreon members.
Bloodlines 29 went live today. You do need to be logged into Patreon to view it. We have about two more months of posts and then it’s going to coming down to finish getting it edited and ready to publish. Right now, I have a tentative date sometime in the latter half of May planned for release, but it’s all about how far I can get. Bloodlines 2 will start probably late April…? Maybe…? It’s going to depend on how soon I can get the zero draft written, in all honesty.
How’re the goals coming along?
All in all, I think I’m doing pretty good with the goals so far this year. We’re only three weeks in, but hey… I’ll take it. I did a mini-rehaul of my goals this week. I decided to try the HB90 goal planner from Heart Breathings. I’m going to do a review of it in a couple of weeks on my YouTube channel so stay tuned for that. I already had a similar system in place for goals, but this did make me think a little bit more.
But more on that later.
I will be finishing up HIS LAST BREATH pre-audio edits. I’m doing another editing pass and will be updating all the ebook formats and the paperback versions. Eventually, I’m going to do this for all my books, but I’m starting with this series because it’s going to be my first series in audiobook this year. That’s right. I’m plunging in. It’s going to be fun, y’all. Hard, but fun.
This means everything is getting an overhaul. They’re all getting re-edited, updated for the times, if needed, and may be recovered. In light of the RWA situation, I started wondering if I made any unintentional racial mistakes in my books. So, I’m going to be going back through, not just to edit to prep for recording, but also to fix any unintentional issues of that nature. The world is continually changing, and we should change with it.
I think that’s all I got. Here’s this week’s video, in which I went even further into updates and also talked books. Because… why not? LOL. If you are not already subscribed to my YouTube channel… why the hell not? I post weekly videos on writing, reading, and planning related content. We have a great time, so check it out.
As always, love you guys and I’ll see you in the next post.
I did a bunch of planning for 2020 videos on my YouTube channel in December, which was actually super helpful in figuring out why I was floundering in 2019. It wasn’t a bad year, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was challenging. I also didn’t accomplish a lot of the goals I set… which, honestly, I probably overdid it anyway, but it was even less than I thought.
But I thought I’d talk about my process in figuring out the floundering to figuring out the goals I eventually ended up with for 2020. I could do a video, but honestly, I really just wanted to talk with y’all. The end of 2019 was very busy for me.
I started recording audiobooks and because I got the plague in November, my recording deadlines nearly killed me. But I did it and I’m moving into 2020 with a fresh start and no looming deadlines. Okay, there are deadlines, but no looming ones. LOL.
Setting guideposts for yourself
I think it’s important to set guideposts along the way to see where you’re headed and where you’ve been. This is why I do quarterly and monthly goal check-ins in addition to annual ones. My big overarching annual goals can be (and frequently are) overwhelming. I almost can’t see the end of the year with them. But I know that they are achieveable, because I’ve broken them down into bite-size, manageable chunks.
What you’re going to need
You didn’t think you were going to get away with simply reading this, did you? Noooo, play along with me. Goal setting is fun.
- The first thing you’re going to need is a notebook or paper… Just something to write on. It doesn’t need to be fancy. In fact, you probably don’t want to use the fancy stuff here. There’s going to be a lot of scribbling.
- Second, something to write with.
- Your biggest dream and your strongest willpower
I know, that’s super basic, but hey, we’re starting from ground zero here. I suppose you could do this digitally, but I’ve always had better luck brainstorming on paper. There’s something just… tangible about writing out a braindump. I can hear the scratch of the pen or pencil. I can feel the texture of the paper and the rustle of my hand brushing against it.
How to start planning your goals
You’re looking at that blank page and already considering running the other direction, aren’t you?
That’s okay. I feel that way a lot.
We’re looking at one-year goals, but for me, they feed into a larger picture. I set Five Year Goals and dreams that I’d like to see happen and that’s how I pull out the smaller one-year goals. It’s hard to explain how I do that. I think it’s just something that I picked up over the years.
But the idea is the same. Where do you want to be in one year? Do you want to finish your first draft? Publish your first book? Or maybe you’ve already published your first book and you want to publish the sequel.
Write down everything that comes to mind
Remember, this is a brainstorm, so it doesn’t matter if you can feasibly do it in one year or not. This is just to get you flowing and your brain working. They don’t even have to be real goals. Just things you want to accomplish.
After that, you’ll figure out the threads and common themes in what you wrote. That’s how I pull out my goals. That’s how I figure out my word of the year and the overarching theme that I want to keep in mind all year. I take a highlighter and color code according to what category or theme it falls under because that’s always fun to do. For me, a lot of my goals this year tie into financial stability. For reasons.
For me, 2020 is all about balance and conquering my fear.
Because in 2019, there were a lot of things I didn’t do because I was afraid, or I didn’t have time.
Some of you that have been around for a bit may remember… About five years ago, I was a full-time writer. But the publishing world is strange and unstable on the best of days. There came a point when the books weren’t selling enough to sustain me. And I had no backup plan.
Always have a backup plan.
I ended up going back to work outside the house
For two years, I didn’t really write, didn’t really hang out much online… I wasn’t really happy with my life, because I wasn’t able to be creative. I had a huge debt I had to repay due to a situation that wasn’t in my control or I never would have felt right being online again. I worked like crazy.
Finally, I got that debt paid off, nearly two years after I incurred it. I started writing again, but my income level from my books had dropped a ton. Like from full-time income to gas money every month.
I could have been crushed by that. I could have given up. But I love writing books. I love readers reading my books. Every time I get an email from a reader that has enjoyed my books, it makes me so giddy. I can’t even describe the joy I feel.
I want to freelance full-time again…
…But with that backup plan in place. Not because I think I’ll fail, but because there are things in life that I can’t control, and the state of the publishing industry is one of them. Plus, I’ve found that there are other creative things I like to do that I can also use in my business.
The bottom line here is I still want to run my own freelance business and be financially stable doing so. So that’s my overall goal for 2020. Obviously, there are facets to that. But that’s where I want to be by the end of 2020.
So figure out where you want to be at the end of 2020.
Have you got yourself all sorted out for 2020? Still struggling like I am? Drop me a comment and let me know how it’s going for you.
More Bloodlines! I really liked this week’s installment. I hope you do too!
Remember, all installments are available on my Patreon page for less than the price of a candy bar every month. So don’t worry about being late to the party, all the installments will stay up until the story is complete. 🙂
After having the plague for the last two weeks… Okay, not the plague, but it damn well felt like the plague. But after being sick, I find myself way behind for NaNoWriMo. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you’re curious, I did a vlog for Week Two of NaNoWriMo you can check out.
So the title for this blog post is appropriate, for more than one reason. One, because I was sick, and now I’m starting to feel better and get my strength back. And two, because now I need to recover my NaNoWriMo writing streak.
It’s been three days since I wrote anything. I hit a hard point in Project Zodiac, and I was attributing it to reaching the second act in my story. And while that’s partially it, it was also because I have been pushing through being sick and I haven’t given myself time to recover.
So I took a couple of days to rest and chill and I’m trying not to feel guilty about this. I’m trying not to see it as a weakness and instead see it as something I need to do to continue being creative and taking care of myself.
I’m still struggling with Project Zodiac, so I think I’m going to switch up projects. Mostly to maintain the habit of writing every day or almost every day. I think Project Zodiac needs a little bit of a percolation time.
So I’m gonna let it do its magic in the background and open up Project Storm (formerly known as Storm Born #1–because why should I pick real titles? LOL) and work on that book for a bit. I mean, that’s the book I was originally going to write for NaNo. Why not now? LOL.
For those of you working hard on your NaNo goals, make sure you’re taking care of yourself as well. Don’t burn yourself out because then you miss the whole point of this challenge. Writing consistently. Finishing the story.
Maybe 1,667 words a day is too much to handle for your current situation. That’s okay. If you write 200 words a day, you’re still writing, still creating. You’re still building that solid habit of creative output. When finding the time to write is a struggle, keeping up that habit is important, more important than the number of words you get on the page.
Now, if only I could tell myself that and believe it.
But we’re hardest on ourselves, aren’t we?