Friday goals update

Last week’s goals were:

  1. Read through the YA novel and decide if I want to rewrite it in a different tense. NOT DONE. I’m still reading.
  2. Work on SWMF on seven days. I managed 6 days out of 7.
  3. Decide on another competition to enter or submission process, and work on it for at least 2 x 30 minutes. DONE.

It’s been a rough week – since Tuesday my brain has tried many different ways of telling me it is DONE with working seven day (and some evenings) weeks. Unfortunately, apart from the odd day here and there, it’s going to be difficult for me to stop working mostly seven day weeks until mid-May. So I’m trying to be kind to myself and adjust my goals accordingly.

This week’s goals:

  1. Work on SWMF every day, even if just for ten minutes.
  2. Decide on another competition to enter or submission process, and work on it for at least 2 x 30 minutes.
  3. Finish reading through the YA novel.
  4. Send scene from the YA novel to a friend for feedback on whether I should rewrite it in a different tense.

Onward!

Friday goals update

These were last week’s goals:

  1. Submit SWMF to the thing. DONE. Although I messed up the submission slightly. :-/ I am trying not to let myself feel too bad about that. In getting the submission together, I wrote a synopsis and polished the first 8,000 words, which means that next time I need to do something with the novel, it will be that much easier.
  2. Work on SWMF on seven days. I managed six days out of seven.
  3. Print out the YA novel ready for reading next weekend. DONE. Although I don’t think it’s going to get read this weekend, because I’ll be working all weekend.

Goals for the coming week:

  1. Read through the YA novel and decide if I want to rewrite it in a different tense.
  2. Work on SWMF on seven days. This is going to be harder now, because I need to start drafting again – up to this point I have either been figuring things out in my notebook or editing and polishing existing text. New words are so much more daunting! So a reminder to self: I only have to do ten minutes if I want. But those ten minutes are important.
  3. Decide on another competition to enter or submission process, and work on it for at least 2 x 30 minutes.

Last week when I posted to my writing filter on facebook, one person said that maybe monthly goals were more appropriate for her than weekly ones. My feeling here is that whatever works for you is most appropriate, and certainly her goals were very impressive! Anyway, I started wondering what my monthly goals would be, and whether it would be a good way to bridge the gap between huge/yearly goals and smaller weekly targets.

Heh. Maybe I’m starting to sound like a project manager. Anyway, off the top of my head: some monthly goals for February:

  1. Enter SWMF for the thing that shall not be named. (Yes, I already did it, but it’s a big one, so I’m not leaving it off the list.)
  2. Get started either writing or rewriting the YA novel.
  3. Draft four new scenes in SWMF. I have a list of about 75 scenes, some of which will probably end up being combined. But I need to stop worrying about them and start writing.
  4. Enter another writing competition or submit something somewhere.

To anyone reading, do you set monthly or weekly goals, or a combination? Feel free to share them in the comments!

Weekly goals update

So these were last week’s goals:

  1. Finish the current draft of the YA novel. DONE.
  2. Work on SWMF on seven days. DONE
  3. Write/finish a synopsis for SWMF. DONE
  4. Enter a writing competition of some kind. Not done – but I am getting together a submission for SWMF, which is what I have been working on every day. Should be done over the weekend.

I’m pretty pleased with that lot. 🙂 Especially finishing the draft, as it’s draft 3 and I feel like I finally have enough of the story in place for the rest to be editing rather than rewriting. Which is so much more fun. Drafting is like walking across a tightrope and being unable to see the other end – you just have to trust that you’re doing the right thing and keep going, despite feeling sick and dizzy with uncertainty and fear.

Editing, for me, feels like finishing a sculpture: the essential shape is there, and you are chipping away pieces (some tiny, some large) so that the form gradually emerges in all its beauty.

Not that I’ve ever walked a tightrope or created a sculpture. But I do have an extremely active imagination.

Onto this week’s goals:

  1. Submit SWMF to the thing. I don’t want to clarify what the thing is because I will jinx it (not that I have a hope of getting anywhere with it, but still, I am determined to try).
  2. Work on SWMF on seven days.
  3. Print out the YA novel ready for reading next weekend.

Onward. Wishing everyone else the best with their goals! Feel free to comment below if you want some accountability. 🙂

 

Weekly goals

Firstly an update on last week’s goals:

  1. Work on the YA novel on six days. DONE
  2. Write 3,000 words on the YA novel over the week. DONE
  3. Work on SWMF on seven days. DONE
  4. Enter a writing competition of some kind. Not done…I guess I’m still working on this one.

This week’s goals:

  1. Finish the current draft of the YA novel. This was originally a goal I set over Christmas and, as always, I underestimated how much I had left to write (not to mention how much time I would have over Christmas!). This time, though, the end is truly in sight.
  2. Work on SWMF on seven days.
  3. Write/finish a synopsis for SWMF.
  4. Enter a writing competition of some kind. Leaving this on the list for now.

Feel free to tell me your own goals below!

 

Weekly goals post

Well, hasn’t it been a horrible week? The deaths of two beloved stars of the arts have profoundly affected everyone I know, both on and offline. I’ve also had some shocking news in my private life (not, I hasten to add, anything to do with my last post – in that situation all is well), plus a couple of a couple of minor health niggles, which probably wouldn’t have got me down too badly individually, but when combined with everything else that’s happened this week, well…Last night, I pretty much wanted to curl up and cry and wait for Monday.

But that would be to ignore one thing that has gone well this week: writing. A few weeks ago I was struggling to fit in ten minutes’ writing a day. These days it’s unusual for me to spend less than twenty minutes a day on writing. It’s become that elusive thing: a habit, and one I’m very thankful for.

So without further ado, next week’s goals:

  1. Work on the YA novel on six days.
  2. Write 3,000 words on the YA novel over the week.
  3. Work on SWMF on seven days.
  4. Enter a writing competition of some kind.

(I’ve given myself a day off the YA novel because I think it’s helpful to have a day away from my laptop once a week. SWMF is still all on paper.)

No. 4 was a bit of a surprise entry on my list of goals for the year. I have far too much writing lying fallow on my hard drive, and I didn’t enter a single competition or submit a single story anywhere last year. It’s time to change that – even if I don’t get anywhere, at least I can give myself the opportunity to succeed!

Those of you reading along, do you have any goals you want to add? I hope your writing year has started well!

On the eve of 2016

I’ll do a regular goal update in the next couple of days, but today, along with many others, I’m thinking about what I would like to achieve in 2016. And given that my goals seem to have been very similar for the past few years, I’m also reflecting on what hasn’t worked, as well as what has.

My ultimate goal hasn’t changed for about four years: “Get something published”. A sub-goal that has been in place for almost as long is: “Get something to a stage where it’s ready to submit to agents and publishers.”

The past four years have been a scramble: I broke up what I thought was a lifelong relationship, moved home from the other side of the world, and spent 2014 struggling with various gremlins that, thankfully, proved to be beatable. I spent most of 2015 digging myself out of the hole that threatened to swallow me in 2014, and am in a much better position now than I was a year ago. I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve always had what felt like a fairly decent excuse for not achieving my writing goals.

Right before Christmas, I got some potentially very bad news about a loved one. The keyword there is “potentially”. We won’t know the full story for another couple of weeks, but my mind immediately switched into overdrive, thinking about everything I was going to do to help, all the time I was going to spend, the sacrifices I was going to make to fix this potentially unfixable problem.

Your writing will have to take a back seat again, said a taunting voice in the back of my head. And that’s when I realised:

Life will keep happening. Awful things, and sometimes wonderful things, will keep taking over if I let them. Paid work will keep taking over if I let it.

I’ve written on most days for the past three months, despite working harder and dealing with more new things than I ever have in my life before. I’ve proved to myself that I can write, even with life happening as hard as it can all around me. The proof is there, in the almost finished new draft of one novel and the much fuller-looking outline of the other.

And so, while I will also set more specific goals, my aim for the year is simply to write. Write while I’m drowning in work. Write while I’m facing a scary set of new students. Write while travelling up and down the country to enjoy time with and take care of loved ones. Write when I have a blessed day off. Write when I have a week filled with catch-ups with friends I don’t see often enough. Write as well as live.

Because without the writing, I’m not living fully, either.

Wishing anyone who reads this the very best for 2016, in writing and life! ❤

Friday update

Last week’s goals:

1. Do at least one ten-minute session on six days. I didn’t write on six days, but I did do the required number of sessions.

2. On two of those days, do an additional session on the YA novel before I start work. It’s only ten minutes. It shouldn’t be scary! DONE.

This week’s goals:

1. Deep breath…my goal is to finish the current draft of the YA novel. This morning I hit the last few scenes, which means I’m back to typing up/editing the previous draft rather than coming up with completely new words. I mean, the previous draft needs a LOT of work, so it’s not going to be easy, but having the existing words there will help a lot. Wish me luck with this. It’s not something I imagined would be within reach a couple of months ago.

2. On five days, spend at least ten minutes on outlining SWMF as well.

I’m unlikely to update next week, since it’ll be Christmas Day, but I will try to check in some time over Christmas weekend.

If you’re playing along at home, how are your goals going?

🙂

Weekly update/check-in

Last week’s goals:

Do two x ten-minute sessions on six days. Um, no, I didn’t get anywhere near this, really. I managed four sessions in total, which to be honest is better than it could have been given that I’m completely burnt out with work.

Thoughts:

I’m definitely finding it easier to work on plotting SWMF, which is away from the computer, than on drafting the YA novel. I’ve been so swamped with work (but also fighting procrastination and other resistance as I get increasingly knackered/pissed off) that as soon as I hit the computer I just want to get on with it.

But that’s frustrating, because I was enjoying the momentum I’d built up with the YA novel. So this week’s goal will challenge me to incorporate both books into my schedule.

Goals for this week:

1. Do at least one ten-minute session on six days.

2. On two of those days, do an additional session on the YA novel before I start work. It’s only ten minutes. It shouldn’t be scary!

3. Relax. This time next week, a fairly large proportion of my workload will be gone, at least temporarily. I’m nearly there!

If you’re playing along at home, how are your goals going?

Weekly update

Last week’s goals:

1. Back to basics: do seven ten-minute sessions. DONE. And I’m glad I didn’t ask any more of myself, because I’m completely exhausted (and about to go to bed, in fact).  But I’m also pleased I managed to keep the writing ticking along, in however much of a minimalist fashion.

 

This week’s goals:

1. Do two x ten-minute sessions on six days. I’m still stretched, but I want to build up the writing a bit more ready for the Christmas break (haha!), so hopefully this will help.

 

For those of you playing along at home, how did you get on with your goals or targets for the week?

🙂

 

Weekly round-up

Very quick round-up this week. Last week’s goals:

1. Do at least two ten-minute sessions on three days. DONE – actually I did three ten-minute sessions on four days at least.

2. Work on the YA novel and the DLN for at least four ten-minute sessions each. DONE

3. Post wrap-up on the 8×8 challenge. DONE

This week’s goals:

1. I’m stripping this back to basics: do seven ten-minute sessions. Why? Because I feel like my stress levels are reaching breaking point, my workload is as high as (or higher than) ever and I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to get through the upcoming week. If I can manage to find ten minutes a day for writing, it’ll be a job well done.

If you’re reading this and want to comment and let me know your own goals, please do so!