Nancy: May Accountability Thread

All right guys, gals, writers, other creatives, and readers who like to play along at home, it’s time for our monthly accountability thread! In my part of the world, April brought crazy weather, kicking off the month with snow and ending it with record-high temperatures. The month included hosting a fun birthday dinner and next-day brunch for one of my favorite people in the world (my daughter), and hosting a lunch for another favorite person, the lady who introduced me to reading and a love of books (my mother). I also got to engage with some good friends/fellow writers ‘in the wild’, via phone, Skype, and even in person.

That was all great stuff, but I also had a lot of writing projects and a few well-defined goals set for April. As you might recall, I hit a bit of mid-month turbulence in my writing life. Fortunately, I still managed to make some progress toward my goals.

April Goals with Outcomes

1) Get back to work on my Women’s Fiction project. Done! Yay! I wrote over 15,000 new words of the story in April, so I’m fast approaching the midpoint, and I’m on track to finish a solid first draft by mid-July. And as very writer knows, the first draft is where all the hard work happens, smooth sailing after that, amirite? (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA). Of course not. But it’s a start. A very, very good start.

2) Set up a project plan for next round of revisions on the HFF novella and novel 1. Done! Happy dance! To keep the November release dates on track, I should finish this round of revisions by the end of June. (Bet you can’t guess what will be on my list of goals for May!)

3) Finalize the covers for the novella and book 1 of the Harrow’s Finest Five series. Not done. You knew it was going too well, didn’t you? It turns out that the book cover designer I had engaged will not be able to do this work for me. This will delay the cover reveal I’d hoped to do soon, but it should not impact the release date, as I wisely built slack into the schedule. Thank you, years of cold hard experience in project management. I learned the lesson about schedule slack early and often. (Take heed, fellow self-pubbers – slack is your friend!)

May Goals

It’s shaping up to be another busy month, so let’s get right to those new (although sometimes quite familiar) goals.

1) Write the next 20k+ words of my Women’s Fiction project. I’m writing 20 pages per week to submit to my coach on this project, which is a bit over 6,000 words per week. Even if I don’t go over and above that weekly word/page count, I’ll be on track to meet this goal. By breaking it down to something so simple and clear – 20 pages per week – finishing this first draft in the next few months is feeling eminently doable.

2) Finish the major threads of the HFF novella and novel 1 revisions. If I accomplish this, I’ll be on track to finish the minor revisions and tweaks in June.

3) Engage a new cover designer, discuss the HFF series branding, and get on the design calendar. Because really good designers tend to be booked a number of weeks or even months ahead of time, I won’t see proofs anytime soon, but as I said above, there’s room in the schedule and no need to panic. Yet.

4) Update my website. Yes, I just built the damn thing, and I was hoping not to do anything to it until I had final covers and edited/finalized chapters to post there. But now I have an update of a very different kind to make…I’ll share just what that is and why it’s necessary in next week’s post!

One of the best things about sitting down the first Monday (well, Sunday, really) of each month to write this post is it actually forces me to think about the upcoming month and to write it all down. If you’ve been keeping track of your goals and plans in your head and have found you’re not accomplishing them, or you don’t even know how you’re doing, try jotting down a few May goals for yourself! And if you’re brave enough, go to the comments to share your accomplishments for April, or tell the world what you’re planning for May.

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