Goals

now browsing by category

 

Here We Go Again

Hello, everyone! Welcome to 2021!

As is my tradition, today’s post will be all about my goals for the coming year. Keep in mind that these are big, year-long goals that will be (in theory, anyway) broken down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

The Writing Goals

  1. Finish the first draft of Full Circle

Full Circle is the third book in my fantasy series. This goal is a carryover from last year’s goals. I’d like to say that I came close to completing it, but I don’t think I really can. Too much time writing pointless conversations about goats and not enough time writing actual, useful plot that, you know, moves the story forward.

I hope to correct that this year.

For anyone keeping score at home, this WIP is currently sitting at 232,924 words.

2. Finish the first draft of the Terrible Romance Sequel

This is, of course, the sequel to the Terrible Romance Novel (aka Love & Other Lies) that I started during NaNoWriMo last November. I haven’t looked at it since November 30th, and it’s not my top priority this year, but I hope that I’ll get a chance to finish it at some point.

Its word count is currently sitting at 51,309. There’s even a chance that some of it may be useable. Fingers crossed!

3. Participate in all three NaNoWriMo sessions this year (April, July, and November)

This goal makes the list because I am the ML (municipal liaison) for my region. Participating in events comes with the territory. At this point, I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be working on those three months, and I won’t know until I see where the aforementioned WIPs are when the events get closer. The Camp sessions in April and July offer participants more goal flexibility, so it won’t necessarily be a 50k word goal each time out.

4. Attempt to make some attempt at marketing once a month

This goal is deliberately vague to give me as much wiggle room on this as freaking possible because I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS GOAL. Like, at all. You should have seen how long it took me to add the damn goal to the list. I can’t stress enough how stressed out I am even thinking about this stupid goal.

The Other Goals

  1. Read 52 books

Haven’t managed this one the last few years, but maybe 2021 will be different?

2. Improve fitness

In theory, this will be a multi-step kind of thing. I’ll be keeping my three-miles-a-day goal but attempting to add in yoga and strength training and some aerobics and things of that nature.

I actually did some yoga, strength training, and aerobics yesterday. And today, I feel great. Really.

3. Drink more water/Reduce caffeine intake

I was doing a terrible job of hydrating toward the end of the year and was drinking entirely too much soda, so here’s when I attempt to, you know, stop doing that. Please note the part where it says “REDUCE caffeine intake.” Not eliminate entirely. Gotta keep these things realistic.

4. De-clutter

It just really needs to be done. I am such a scary pack rat. It’s sad, really. And yeah, I know this was also on the 2020 goal list and I got as far as looking at the closet in my office and saying, “Ugh, I can’t even” but maybe it’ll be different this year.

And on that note, I’m outta here.

Hope you have a very happy and healthy 2021.

Stay safe and well!

The One With The Goals

I know it’s technically still November, but it’s close enough to December that today is goal post day on My Pet Blog, y’all!

First up, a look back at November’s goals…

NOVEMBER GOALS

Win NaNoWriMo 2020

I did this. I actually won on November 23rd, which is, to date, my quickest win yet.

Sure, the Terrible Romance Sequel isn’t finished yet, and I still have no idea how I’m supposed to make it work (or even if I CAN make it work) but I think I’m intrigued enough by these two characters that I will be putting in the effort to make it work.

And also, the way this story (or, you know, what exists of it thus far) did play out led me to a possible third and fourth installment of the Terrible Romance Series.

Which is totally what I was hoping would happen.

Walk at least three miles a day

Though I did not walk three miles a day, my daily average (as of the writing of this post) is around 3.6 miles per day. Which means I could totally take the rest of the month off from walking and still make my goal.

I won’t do that, though. But I could.

DECEMBER GOALS

December is typically the month where I scramble to meet the goals I set for myself back in January. This month is no different. But it is a little bit. Like, I’m still getting goals to try to cross off as many 2020 goals as possible, but I don’t have very high hopes for my ability to do it and I’m okay with that. I’m just going to do what I can and go from there.

Complete first draft of Full Circle

This is the third book in my fantasy series. I was hoping to finish the first draft in October. That didn’t work out. I pretty much spent all of October spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. So this month is my last-ditch effort to figure it out.

Read seven books

I am seven books away from meeting my Goodreads challenge. Time to break out the graphic novels, kids!

Walk at least three miles every day

It is always good to avoid becoming part of one’s couch whenever one can. Or so I’m told. Besides, the dogs like to walk.

Organize family photos & comic book collection

This is the last-ditch effort to meet that ‘declutter and downsize’ goal I set back in January. That’s definitely NOT happening this year, so this month I’m going to set two smaller goals that will be small steps toward working on this project next year. Or ignoring it completely, as the case may be.

And on that note, I’m outta here.

As always, thanks for stopping by. I’ll try to do better the next time!

NaNoWriMoRama

It’s goal post day on the blog. I know it’s hard to contain your excitement over that, but we’re going to have to find a way to keep calm and carry on.

First up, let’s see how I did with October’s goals (spoiler alert: not great…)

OCTOBER GOALS

—Complete first draft of Full Circle

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Yeah. I didn’t do this. I’m pretty much in the exact same spot I was in at the beginning of October. Can’t quite find the right hook for the start of Act III. I keep writing the same scene from different POVs to see if that’s the problem, and it keeps not feeling like the solution, so I think the plot itself isn’t right. Which sucks because I don’t have a Plan B. Or whatever letter this draft happens to be on now. Zeta, probably.

—Read a book

I did this. Technically, I read five books. Sure, they were, like, thirty-page-long graphic novels, but it still counts.

—Walk at least three miles every day

While I didn’t hit three miles every day, I still managed to walk nearly 122 miles, which averages out to almost four miles each day. That’s what we call good enough, kids.

NOVEMBER GOALS

—Win NaNoWriMo 2020

I’m working on the Terrible Romance Sequel this month. As previously stated, I have a concept for this story and not much else, so I have no idea how this month will go. It’s Day Two, and I’m well ahead for the moment, but…yeah. I have a feeling I shall soon be running into a very large and high brick wall that will probably be surrounded by a moat filled with alligators and zombies and zombie alligators and things of that nature.

But I shall enjoy the creative flow while it lasts. I really hope I can make this story work because I’m really kind of loving it right now.

Which probably means I just jinxed things horribly. That, or me actually liking something I’m writing is the final sign of the apocalypse.

Also, for reasons unknown, I also decided to make things more interesting/frustrating by using Scrivener. I heard through the grapevine that I might decide I like it hate it less if I start a brand-new project with it rather than trying to transition in the middle of a current WIP.

We’ll see how it goes. Or for long that whole Scrivener thing lasts (it’s already made it to Day Two, which is about two days longer than I thought it would last…). But the ultimate goal here, of course, is to hit that 50k mark.

If you’re also participating in NaNoWriMo and are looking for some buddies, feel free to add me. My user name is M.J. Fifield (clever, right?).

—Walk at least three miles a day

It is always good to avoid becoming part of one’s couch. Or so I’m told. Fortunately, the fur babies make this goal pretty easy. They like to walk. A lot. So we walk. A lot.

And on that note, I’m outta here. I’ll try to do better the next time.

Stay safe and well, everyone.

Preptober

Today, I’ll be talking about my goals for the month. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts (I just checked. My last one was way back in May.) so while this post would normally begin with a review of the previous month’s goals, this time we’re going to jump right into the main event.

October Goals

Complete first draft of Full Circle

Full Circle is the third book in my fantasy series. Back in January, I said I wanted to complete the first draft by the end of the year. I’m hoping to cross it off the list this month, but to be completely honest…I don’t think that’ll happen. I just don’t think I’m getting enough done every day. It was going all right for a while, but I seem to have hit a lull. I’m still going to try, though. Maybe I’ll surprise myself. I was thinking of treating it almost like an October edition of NaNoWriMo, but we’ll see what happens. I just may take a 31-day nap instead. Or, a 26-day nap, rather, as it’s like October 5th or something like that.

—Prep for NaNoWriMo

That’s right. I have, once again, signed up for the November event. I’m planning to work on the Terrible Romance Sequel and hope to develop a little bit of a scene list ahead of time, but I don’t know if that’ll happen. A scene list would imply that I have some sort of idea for this story and what might happen in it, and I don’t…really have that. I have a concept—which is certainly no small thing. I just have no idea how or even if I can actually write it.

But the story itself is only half of my NaNo prep this year because this year, I am the Municipal Liaison for my county. And I am the only ML for my county. Which is totally fine and certainly what I thought would happen when I applied for the position.

Anyway, part of my job is to schedule and host events for other Wrimos in the area. This year, because of a certain global pandemic, all official events will be virtual. This month, I need to work out what that will look like for my area.

—Read a book

I hate that my reading goal is so…pathetic. But what I hate more is knowing that even though this goal is so pathetic and tiny, I still may not accomplish it.

—Walk at least three miles every day

As always, I’m just trying to do something healthy, as I generally fail in the area in every other aspect of my life.

And on that note, I’m outta here. I have a lot to do and no time to do it in. Tune in Wednesday when I take part in the October edition of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Unless I opt for that 31-day 26-day nap and forget. Which, let’s face it, would be such a me thing to do.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Hope you’re all safe and well.

Kill Your Darlings (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

(If you’re new to the IWSG and looking for additional information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link…)

This month’s awesome co-hosts are PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise-Fundy Blue.

This month’s (optional) question asks, “If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?”

But I’m going to skip the question to instead ramble on about…well, killing our darlings. Or, you know, killing my darlings anyway. You can kill your own darlings.

This year is, strangely, the first year in…well, ever, that I’ve even come close to following the writing schedule I set for myself at the beginning of the year. Meaning, during which months I would work on what WIPs and when those WIPs would be finished and so on and so forth. It’s loosely sketched out in January and traditionally has fallen apart by March. It is then endlessly revised throughout the rest of the year to reflect my actual progress (or lack thereof…) on each project.

But this year I haven’t had to revise that much (and even managed to publish a book), which means that over the next two months, my main writing focus will be on finishing the first draft of Full Circle (aka, Book Three in my fantasy series).

What I have had to revise, however, is my confidence in my ability to actually do this. For a while, it seemed as though I was getting closer to the end, but now I’m kind of…stuck toward the end of the second act. And the more time I spend staring at my computer monitor and/or storyboard, the more I fear I may have to do the unthinkable…

Kill my darlings.

I do assume that anyone reading this post is familiar with this concept, but in the event that it’s new to you, killing your darlings is when writers cut things they love from their manuscripts. It could be a beloved character, a plot line, a snarky dialogue exchange, some quirk you bestowed upon a character that’s now causing more problems than it’s worth, whatever. It’s stuff that we, as writers, love and cling to and try everything we can think of to make it work in our WIPs because we don’t want to get rid of it.

In my case, it’s most often dialogue (you know it’s not killing characters. I love to kill characters.). I love writing dialogue and will occasionally (translation: always) get carried away when writing it. Then it occasionally (translation: always) takes me a few rounds of revisions to accept the fact that maybe—just maybe—my characters don’t need to have a five-paged conversation about goats when goats serve absolutely no purpose in the story whatsoever.

(Side note: some of you know why I’m mentioning goats here, and to those of you I say…THAT STUPID CONVERSATION IS STILL IN THIS STUPID WIP.)

But until I reach/accept that realization, I will copy and paste that conversation (Other conversations. Not the goat conversation. That stupid conversation is apparently here to stay.) in every damn scene I can, trying to find the place where it fits. Even if it doesn’t fit anywhere.

Which is, sadly, what I think is happening here.

I don’t think I’m going to make it to the revision phase. This time, I think those darlings are going to have to go before the revision phase because I’m just not getting anywhere.

Despite all my plotting, this WIP has taken a few turns that has made some storylines obsolete. It happens, and I know it’s going to happen, but I guess I am just stubborn enough to think I can out-stubborn my characters (ha.) and that they will relent and just do what I want how I want and say what I want while doing it.

(Spoiler alert: they won’t.)

So that’s where I’m at right now. Torn between wanting to achieve a goal and wanting to cling to the last remnants of gone-but-not-forgotten storylines.

Which will win?

Thanks for stopping by today. I’ll try to do better the next time.

Stay safe out there.