So, the beginning of March happened. Here in the Mid-Atlantic, it definitely came in like a lion. We’re on day three without electricity, so I’m working off generator-powered Internet service while sitting near the kerosene heater that keeps at least part of the house above 50° F. We’re hoping the powers that be will get the felled tree across a major road (closing off one of our routes of egress) removed, power lines back up, and electricity restored by midweek. I’m ready for that ‘goes out like a lamb’ part of March. Of course there’s plenty of work to be done before then. More on that in a minute.
For now, let’s cast our memory back to those golden days of February when here at Chez Hunter there was electricity. Oh, and grandiose plans for accomplishing All. The. Things.
February Goals With Outcomes
1) Finish the damn website. Um, yeah. I’ve successfully spent another month ignoring the website, or at least, the technical aspects of it. I have rewritten copy for it, thought about what I want to present on the Books page, and kicked around different ideas for a bonus content page. You know, all the non-technical stuff. Not so much the technical stuff, which is the real problem.
2) Finish the (second/third/fourth) revision of book 1 of the Victorian Romance series. Done! Yesssss!!!!! Happy Dance! Onward and upward!
3) Turn over the VR novella to a professional editor. I have made a decision about editors and will be shipping off the novella and – BONUS – novel 1 to editors at the end of this coming week. Yes, editors plural, because I decided I need more data to determine my best-fit editor. I’ll have one provide a structural edit for the Novella, and the other provide one for Novel 1. I’m taking a different approach for Novel 2 by working with a developmental coach throughout the writing process, with the goal of moving right to the beta read/copy editing stage. All this is in service of finding my own best editing process (which sounds much nicer than saying I’m a flake who can’t make up her mind).
This is progress, people! Now it’s time to think about surviving March.
1) Finish the damn website. The punishment for not completing a necessary task one month is having that task continue to dog you the next month. And the one after that, and the one after that. To make this one more sticky, I’m laying down a gauntlet here on the blog. Sometime this month, in one of my Monday posts, I’ll provide a link to my brand-new, up-and-running website. If being able to cross it off my list isn’t enough to motivate me to get this done, maybe being beholden to all of you will do the trick.
2) Re-engage with my book coach to finish my Women’s Fiction manuscript. I’m not sure how much I’ve talked about this project recently, but this is the story I used while working through Lisa Cron’s Story Genius Workshop. Through an odd series of events, I recently worked on a pitch for this book, and generated some interest with contacts I already had through other channels. Long story short, if I can finish the book and get it through some beta readers/revision in the next few months, I can strike while the iron is hot. Or at least before it goes stone cold.
3) Complete the discovery phase of book 2 in the Victorian Romance series. Because I’ll be working with a developmental coach (editor) and doing some revisions along the way, I expect the first draft of this one to be pretty solid. If I have that solid first draft done in six months, I should have no problem meeting the planned January 2019 publishing date for book 2. I’ll have other projects in various phases during those six months, so it’s trickier than it sounds, but when I left my day job for good (fingers crossed!), it was with the caveat that I would channel more time and energy into my writing and my writing career. This is where the rubber meets the road.
As I said earlier, onward and upward, despite the crap March is already throwing my way! How about you? Any progress or lack thereof to report for February? Any big plans and goals for March?
Good luck with getting your electricity back, Nancy! There’s nothing worse than being cold and sitting in the dark.
But as for goals… I have a lack of specificity in my goals, which tend to be the same from month to month, organized along the lines of “keep going,” or “write something almost every day” and sometimes veer into quality control with goals like “do your best.” For the most part, this kind of goal-setting works well for me, encouraging me to do the stuff I like and avoid the stuff I don’t like, a plan that I endorse wholeheartedly.
Back in January, I decided I would work on Actual, Time-Based Goals. So my goal for January was “keep going.” And my goal for February was “write something almost every day.” So far, so good!
While I was at it, I decided that when winter was almost over and spring came and my heart grew light again, I could up the stakes. So my goal for March was “pull taxes together.” That’s not really related to writing, except as how it affects my mood. My goal for April was “figure out how to do a newsletter and send one out.” And May was “start the Mark Dawson course I paid for but haven’t started yet.”
So I fully met my goals for January and February. Success! Now we’re in March and I haven’t started pulling my taxes together yet, but I’ve had a cold, so I’m cutting myself some slack. I’m not the kind of person who lets their taxes go forever, so I’m pretty sure in the next week or so I’ll get my stuff to my tax guy. And then it becomes his goal.
And then in April, I’ll worry about that newsletter. And if I don’t get it done, at least I’ll have the satisfaction of finishing the goal that goes “writing something almost every day.”
SOMEBODY around here has to be a slacker!
Nancy, you’re venturing into The Swear Zone in regards to the website — might be best to grab that bull by the horns and wrestle it to the ground, or your March accountability thread will be NSFW. 🙂
Here at Casa Covington (where it’s cold for me, an Arizonan…can we have 90 degree temps, please?) I’m trying to get a couple contest entries out the door by the end of the week. One requires a synopsis, one a back cover blurb (really?!?), and they both need to be trimmed just ever so slightly to fit under the page/word count max and finish at the end of a chapter. I can do this, even though I’ve spent the last two days mired in a migraine (I DID just find some Imitrex in my bathroom cabinet! Relief is on the way!).
March goals — kick the a$$ out of my MS. Finish the first draft of the ending. That HAS to come first after these contest entries are done. The goal is to have the whole book done by the end of May when the kids get out of school. We’re heading out on vacation at the end of the week for Spring Break, but hubby has promised I can have a few hours every morning to write (it will probably mean me leaving our hotel room while the boys/hubby play video games, but I’m okay with that).
One more goal for this week — finish Chapter 3 well enough that I can send the first 3 chapters to the agent I met on the writer’s cruise I took in September. Preliminary feedback from strangers on chapters 1-2 has been good, so I’m hopeful.
I’ll be going to New York state at the end of March, so I’m really reluctant to do any goals. But, I’ve been given three lovely story ideas, so I really should set some goals.
1) Arrange trip, and arrange sightseeing that will provide some nice fiction fodder.
2) Work on one short story per week. Finishing would be grand, but let’s keep the bar low.
3) Back up my computer and phone before the trip. I’ve been very lazy, and with an aged computer, that’s not a good plan.
4) Work on “The Menu Song” (from Electric Company, with Rita Moreno and Morgan Freeman). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dAVZ-rT9bY (This will cheer you up! Total nonsense, with a lovely ukulele strum!)
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