Wait! It’s July already? What the heck happened to February? Or March?
The best explanation I ever heard regarding the increased speed in which time whooshes past as we age was from my high school algebra teacher. She said that when we’re five years old, time passes slowly because we’re living one fifth of our life. At fifty years of age, it goes much faster because we’re experiencing one fiftieth of our life.
And I just hit fifty-four. Dag nab it!
On the plus side, I just realized that I’ve been with my wife for half my life! Whoa! Now there’s a milestone, right?
July means one thing. It’s time to reflect on the goals we set for ourselves in January!
Here’s what my goal list looked like at the beginning of the year:
January – create outline/summary for Ginnungagap
February 1st – begin Ginnungagap
May 31st – edit completed Ginnungagap
July – create outline/summary for project 2
August 1st – submit summary to Bella Books
August 1st – begin project 2
December 31st – edit completed project 2
Achieve Bella deadline for project 2
Update mailing list entries
Write one blog post per month for a total of 12 (post on the 27th of the month)
– Mailing List:
Write one follow-up per month for a total of 12 (due by the 12th of the month)
Broadcast website blog entry (28th of the month)
To my shame I haven’t completed Ginnungagap on time. I’m doing much better this year than last however. I’m literally down to the final climatic scenes of the novel. I’ve been giving myself monthly word count challenges — 1000 words a day for the month — and it seems to be working.
Life still gets in the way, and there’s not much I can do about that. I’m still satisfied with my production levels compared to last year. (Ginnungagap is at seventy-three thousand words!)
I also have the euphemistic “project 2” in mind — Skagway Bride. Still debating character names, but I expect I’ll have the world building complete, the outline done and the summary written on schedule for submission to Bella Books.
Skagway Bride is a historical novel of the Klondike Gold Rush. I hope to imbue it with the same depth of emotion as Tiopa Ki Lakota or Broken Trails. (Here’s hoping!) Rest assured I’ll keep you posted.
So far this year I’ve kept up with my professional website goals. I’ve added Women & Words to the list since creating my initial goals in January. (And I’ve been keeping up on those deadlines too! Yay me!)
Something else that didn’t make it to the original list in January is the development of a new website, one focused on the space opera storyline, Freya’s Tears. The initial book did well, but I’ll be honest. It isn’t a great seller. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to continue enjoying Els Ulfarsdottir’s world or exploring her burgeoning relationship with gunner Kasli Holt. (Ginnungagap is the sequel.)
I have dozens of storylines and story arcs for the crew aboard Freya’s Tears. The romance between Els and Kasli is slow and steamy, a pay-off that some readers aren’t willing to wait to read three or four books down the line. Rather than disregard my characters’ hesitance, I’ve chosen to release the series online…
Therefore a lot of my spare time has been spent on developing the website to house the stories and loading up all my research data into a local wiki, available to the readers. My website uses the WordPress platform. The Freya’s Tears domain however will use an online gaming software called Nova2. I’m also playing around with the Live Interior 3D program to build the interior of the ship to be used on the site.
Tentative release date is January 1st, 2016.
I started a mailing list a couple of years ago. At the time I had a dozen entries, but I’ve been writing a new entry every month. More is better, right?
Rather than allow the past posts to become stale, I plan to edit what I have on hand. Unfortunately, this isn’t a project I’ve had an opportunity to fiddle with as of yet. (See above about the new website.)
In 2014 I bit off far more than I could chew in terms of goals. I started the year planning to write three blog entries a month as well as the mailing list. In addition I was going to complete two books, edit whatever manuscripts Bella had in production (two of them) AND produce eight short stories and flash fictions for the website.
The writing production mechanism began seizing up by March. Everything stopped running by May. It was a tough year getting anything done!
That’s why setting realistic goals is vital, just as vital as checking back two or three times a year to see how you’re doing. Never etch goals in stone. Goals are fluid and changeable by nature. That’s something I failed to remember last year.
So Do Tell…
Did you create your goals earlier this year? Have you reviewed them? Even if you didn’t you have time to build a six-month list of goals now. Even something as simple as “Write 500 words a day, five days a week,” will get you into the swing of things.
Find a decent Daytimer, Excel spreadsheet, goal management software, whatever works for you — and use it! I post my goals with a widget on my website, making it visible on every page. I also have a note in my iCloud (I use Notes exclusively for the blog and mailing list schedules and writing) detailing my goals.
Hold yourself accountable for your goals in any way you think you can. Some people need nagging from friends and family. Others are fine with privately writing their word scene counts. Find what works for you. It’ll be trial and error but well worth it.
How do you achieve your goals? What’s helped you in the past? Share them here! You’re workable method may help a writer struggling to take that first step! Let’s get the conversation started below!