2016 Mid-Year Goal Review!

It’s June! The sixth month of the year!

How have YOUR 2016 Goals been doing?

Confession

Mine aren’t doing so well…

Here are the goals I set for myself in December:

    Monthly Obligations
    1st Tues – Women & Words Blog
    12th – Mailing List
    27th – Blog Post
    Edit whatever hits my inbox
    Yearly Goals
    – 1/1 – launch Freya’s Tears site
    – 1/31 – deadline for Alaskan Bride
    – Feb – outline/summary Pixie
    – 3/1 – submit Pixie
    – 3/1 – begin Pixie
    – 6/31 – deadline for Pixie
    – Jun – write Freya’s Tears #3
    – 8/31 – post Freya’s Tears #3
    – Aug – outline/summary Project #2
    – 9/1 – submit Project #2
    – 9/1 – begin Project #2
    – 12/31 – deadline Project #2

Looks pretty daunting, right? It’s really not that bad. I know my limits as far as production, and that list is easily within them.

That doesn’t mean I’m actually reaching those goals…

Monthly Obligations

Thus far I’ve done a great job keeping up with my monthly obligations, so much so that I added one.


15th Patreon Post
Write a monthly short story for Patreon.

My wife and I are planning an early retirement for me. The only hitch in our giddy-up is an income for me that covers the intervening years between leaving the day job and retirement kicking in. (About three or four.)

I’m still fiddling around with the concepts and ideas of Patreon rewards and the like. And, as you can see, I don’t have any patrons at this time. That’s actually kind of a relief–I’m struggling to find the time to write a monthly short and not lose my focus on the current novel. No patrons means no pressure, right?

I’m happy to announce that I’ve recently completed an edit that hit my inbox: Alaskan Bride! It’s a historical romance of the Alaskan Gold Rush during the late 1800s. The book comes out in August! WOOT!

Yearly Goals

Here’s where I’m flagging a bit. If you look at the items below that have been lined out, it appears that I’m on track. (Looks can be deceving.)

– 1/1 – launch Freya’s Tears site
– 1/31 – deadline for Alaskan Bride
– Feb – outline/summary Pixie
– 3/1 – submit Pixie
– 3/1 – begin Pixie

Pixie is going strong, but I already know it won’t be completed by the end of June. I’ve piddled off the last month and a half, and I’m days away from leaving town on a ten day vacation where writing time will be scarce. To top it off, Portland Pride immediately follows my return home, and I’m joining the Gay Romance Writers Northwest booth for the weekend. (If you’re in town, come see me!)

Therefore June’s pretty much a write off (pun intended!)

What Started the Dithering?

I don’t write short stories naturally. Just like a good thick multi-book series will grab my attention much faster than a thin one-shot novel, I write the same way. When I start a project, it’s rarely shorter than a novella.

Inserting a monthly short story into the mix is what’s tripping me up. I’m focused on my current work in progress and must set it aside to write a two to four thousand word short story–a format that I’m not fully able to do with ease at this point. That action pulls me out of the WIP storyline, forces me to struggle where mad skillz won’t help me and slows down my ability to return my attention to the WIP.

What should I do?

First off, I’m not going to stop writing the short stories for Patreon. If I want to eventually gain a following and earn a little side money, I have to go this route. (Early retirement, remember!)

Writing short stories is a skill, just like penning novels. It’s a skill that’s developed over time. If I wish to continue to do it, I need to build those writing muscles. The only way that’s going to happen is by doing.

It was the same way with writing back in the late nineties. It was awesome to gain inspiration from the Xena: Warrior Princess television show and fan fiction, but it was the daily word count that opened things up for me.

I can blast out a thousand words in less than two hours on most days. That’s not innate talent, that’s training.

Which means I have to train myself to write short stories in order to get better at them.

What Does That Mean For My List?

I think I’ll drop the Patreon short stories to one every two months. I’ll fiddle around with the rewards listed on the site too. Sometimes I think they’re awesome rewards to give my patrons and other times I wonder if I’m being too…something. (Too generous? Too stingy? I don’t know.)

By cutting that goal in half, I’ll be better able to step away from my WIP without cutting too much into my productivity.

Additionally I’ll be doing the easiest thing…change the dates!

Remember, a list of goals isn’t set in stone any more than a novel’s outline is. If you force yourself to stick to something unrealistic (for whatever the reason–laziness, lack of ability or life’s random acts,) you’ll fail AND feel like a total failure.

As much as I’d love to write the third installment to the Freya’s Tears series in August, it’s not a paying tale. It’s difficult to have to divide things into that category, but I have to take my income into consideration if I wish to experience life as a full-time writer.

That does NOT mean I’ll abandon the free novels in that universe! I’ll simply have to wait until the end of the year and plug it into the goals there. After six months experience with short stories, I’ll be better prepared to stick to the schedule.

I’ll also bump Pixie‘s deadline forward a month. That’ll give me all of August as a buffer in case I don’t make it. If I DO hit Pixie‘s deadline, I’ll have a month to figure out what my next project is.

I’m also going to add two short stories in August. Maybe back-to-back shorts will help me ease into the flow of writing them as well as figure out how to switch from one tale to the next without losing focus.

2016 Goals Updated

So here’s the new list:

    Monthly Obligations
    1st Tues – Women & Words Blog
    12th – Mailing List
    15th – Patreon Story – every 2 months
    27th – Blog Post
    Yearly Goals
    – 1/1 – launch Freya’s Tears site
    – 1/31 – deadline for Alaskan Bride
    – Feb – outline/summary Pixie
    – 3/1 – submit Pixie
    – 3/1 – begin Pixie
    – 7/31 – deadline for Pixie
    – Aug – write two short stories
    – Aug – outline/summary Project #2
    – 9/1 – submit Project #2
    – 9/1 – begin Project #2
    – 12/31 – deadline Project #2
    – Dec – work on Freya’s Tears #3

What do you think?

Not much of a change, but enough that I’m already breathing a little easier. It looks much more doable than the previous one and still allows me two full-length novels to write for Bella Books.

The Takeaway

Goals are awesome to have, whether you’re a list maker or not. But don’t get hemmed in by your annual goals. They can change with your circumstances so long as you look at them realistically.

As they say in Pirates of the Caribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – Goals are “more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.”


A fan-geek and internet junkie, D Jordan Redhawk is an award winning writer of lesbian romance, writing in multiple genres. She highlights the outsider and reveals that we are not all that different from one another. Her books are published by Bella Books. You can reach Redhawk through her website, Facebook, or become a Patron!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “2016 Mid-Year Goal Review!

Comments are closed.