Phew, we made it through March! At least the last week was more lamb-like in my little corner of the world, but it was not an easy month. It’s never been my favorite. In fact, it’s often 12 out of 12 for the year as far as I’m concerned, and in 2018 I found it particularly annoying. The silver lining to the dark cloud that was March was that my writing goals went so much better than many other parts of life, so it wasn’t all bad.
March Goals with Outcomes
1) Finish the damn website. DONE! As I reported a few weeks ago, NancyHunterbooks.com is up and running! I’m continuing to make tweaks to it, but until I get my book covers, the edited first chapter excerpts, and (eventually) ‘Buy’ links to add, I’m crossing this one off my list, it’s pretty well set. Words cannot express how happy I am to have this done, so imagine an interpretive dance of joy here ;-)!
2) Re-engage with my book coach to finish the first draft of my Women’s Fiction story. Done! I just eked across the finish line on this one, talking to and setting up a plan with my coach this past week. But done is done. I’ll take it.
3) Complete the discovery phase of novel 2 in the HFF series. It’s a bit difficult to gauge what ‘done’ looks like in this case. And when you don’t set up a clear, easily measurable goal – spoiler alert! – you’ve have trouble measuring the goal. That’s in goal setting 101, I’m pretty sure. Regardless, I’ve been working on discovery (making a playlist, working on a jigsaw puzzle, having white-board brainstorming sessions), continuing Story Genius-style character explorations, and getting early words on the page. As I continue working on all these pieces in tandem, the hazy shape of an actual story is coalescing in the misty depths of my mind. So if not done, then at least good forward progress.
In my part of the world, April means springtime and new starts. And allergies, but let’s not focus on those right now. Let’s instead turn our attention to some fresh goals. While none of the projects on my list for the upcoming month are exactly new, the phases I’m entering with each of them will be. Here’s what I hope to accomplish between mega-doses of antihistamines.
1) Get back to work on my Women’s Fiction project. Talking with my coach about this book was the easy part. In April, the real work begins. While my coach is reading the pages I’ve already written (probably a bit less than half the story) and providing in-depth feedback, I’ll set up my writing plan, including a target date for first-draft completion and the weekly schedule necessary to hit that target. I’ll also need to write and turn in, at a minimum, the next 20 pages of the story. That might be more difficult than it sounds, as I walked away from this project to focus on other things, and stayed away too long. But I love the story and the characters, and I’m excited – albeit nervous – to dive back into their world.
2) Set up a project plan for next round of revisions on the HFF novella and novel 1. Back in February, I shared my concern that in the course of multiple in-depth revisions, I’d gotten too attached to my stories. I anticipated great difficulty working through my editor’s comments and suggestions. Editing letters for both of these books should hit my inbox sometime in April, and to date, I’m feeling no more optimistic about the final(ish) deep-dive revisions awaiting me. But I don’t doubt they’ll make the books exponentially better. And so I will pull up my big girl pants and do them. Based on the amount of work to be done and the workload on other projects, I’ll break the revisions into small steps and set up an aggressive but realistic schedule for completion. I’ll be organized and professional. But I will not promise there won’t be swearing about the need to adult.
3) Finalize the covers for the novella and book 1 of the Harrow’s Finest Five series. These early covers are really important, not just because they’ll be the first impression the series makes out in the world, but because they’ll set the tone for the remaining books in the series. I’ve chosen a designer who worked with a friend of mine on her M/M romance series and has done oodles of romance covers over the years. I trust she’ll tell me if the vague idea I’ve had in my head for the covers is just plain awful, or even not quite right/not very saleable/not good in thumbnail/etc., etc. If all goes well, I hope to have some covers to share with you soon!
All right, it’s your turn. Share your April hopes, dreams, and goals! Are you jazzed up by the change in seasons? Ready to finish old projects and take on new ones? Stocking up on allergy meds?