Category Archives: goals

Goals for 2017

This is my first blog post of 2016. I didn’t mean to skip a whole year. I remember sitting down to write up my goals last December, but then I decided to wait another day because I wasn’t quite sure what to say. And then January 1, I woke up to find that my mom was in the hospital. She’s fine now, but she was there for a few days, and I didn’t really think of much else during that time.

And then 2016 happened. I don’t need to go through the list. Let’s just say it started with Alan Rickman dying and now we have Trump as president, so pretty much everything is horrible, including the fact that I once again have no job. The one good thing that happened this year was that we moved back to Georgia, where my family is. I miss the Virginia weather and the lack of traffic in Charlottesville, and it would have been nice to live in a state that went blue this year, but overall it’s better being back here.

2016 Accomplishments

This will be a very short list.

  • Read 57 books (goal was 75)
  • Wrote 350,053 words for NaNo (mostly Harry Potter fan fiction)
  • Got a few critiques from friends for one of my novels (Degeneration)
  • Kept a bullet journal going for about 2-3 months
  • Started learning Spanish
  • Gained 0 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas

And, yeah, that’s about it. This wasn’t really a great year for me personally. I don’t generally reach my yearly goals anyway, but I hate that I didn’t really have any for this year. I never really felt like I was working toward anything. But that’s going to change this year.

2017 Goals

  • Read 50 books, at least 20 of which should be non-fiction. I hate that I am so out of the loop when it comes to the world around me. I got two new non-fiction books for Christmas, and I have a ton more on my shelf that I have been meaning to read. This is the year for that.
  • Read at least 2 news articles every day. This goes back to not being informed. I’m sure I should be reading more than this, but I figure small changes are easier to maintain.
  • Stop being such a coward and actually speak up about things. I have strong opinions about many things, but I generally keep them to myself unless I know the people around me agree because I hate confrontation and don’t want people to hate me. However, that leads to people thinking I agree with things I don’t. It also lead my boyfriend’s mother to think there was a chance I was going to vote for anyone other than Hillary Clinton, and she has known me for over seven years. If there was one moment that made me feel like a super failure this year, it wasn’t when I lost my job; it was when I said, “It can’t really be surprising who I’m voting for, can it?” and she said that she wasn’t sure. This is also why keeping up with the news is important.
  • Do something to better my writing every day. If I want to be a published author, I need to stop making excuses for why I don’t make it happen. This goal can be anything from writing to editing to brainstorming to reading articles about the craft.
  • Update this blog at least twice a month. At the moment I’m thinking of a “these are the books I’ve read” post and a “this is what I’ve been working on as far as my writing is concerned” post, but we’ll see.
  • Write 3 new drafts this year. These can be brand new novels or rewrites, but this does not count novels where I am mostly editing. My plan at the moment is to write one for each camp and one for NaNo, but that might change later.
  • Improve my Spanish. I would like to be able to hold a decent conversation with someone who speaks Spanish, maybe even be able to read the Harry Potter book I have in Spanish. It’s the third book, which I mostly already know, so I’m hoping this goal isn’t too ridiculous. I’m currently using Duolingo, so I guess really I just want to continue my streak of getting at least 50 XP every day.
  • Show enthusiasm for things. I had a job interview yesterday, and if I end up not getting it, I am almost positive it will be because I held back and didn’t show just how much I wanted the job. I have a horrible time admitting to liking things other people might not, and I’m even worse at admitting to wanting something I might not get. I don’t want to ask someone in a store if they have something because if the answer is no, I’ll feel like an idiot – which makes absolutely no sense, but that’s who I am, and it really does affect a lot of aspects of my life. It’s also a self-fulfilling prophesy because I don’t want to show that I’m exciting about something that might not happen, but my lack of excitement might be part of the reason why something doesn’t happen. This will be the year that I change that.
  • Improve my health. There are so many parts to this.
    • I need to get back to walking at least 5k steps a day and then, once I manage that, work my way back up to 10k steps. I walked one 5k this year (61 minutes walking with a friend). In 2017, I would like to do another one and see if I can get my time closer to 50 minutes.
    • I need to lose weight (preferably 50 pounds to get back to what I was in college).
    • I need to eat more fruits and vegetables – at least 2 a day for now and then I will work my way up to more.

So those are my goals for 2017. Do you set goals at the end of the year? If so, what are they? If not, do you set goals at a different time, or do you prefer not to set any at all?

2015 Goals

Okay, so this post is slightly later than I intended, but at least it’s not too late to be relevant.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do differently this year and what I wish I had done differently in the past. It’s been almost five years since I graduated college, which means it’s been almost five years since I felt I really knew what I was doing with my life. Even back in college, though, I didn’t really have a set plan, or at least not one that I worked hard to make sure happened. My whole life, I’ve done the least amount of work possible, looking for the safest, easiest options. I thought that would lead to a decent life.

Turns out I was wrong. I tried to take the easy way out and ended up more miserable than I’ve ever been before. This is the year that I fix that, or at least start fixing that. That’s why I’m not going to have quite as many goals as previous years. I’m also splitting those goals into three main categories.

Reading Goals

• Read 30 Books
○ Read 5 non-fiction books
○ Read 5 New Adult books

I don’t expect to read as much this year as I have in past years, mostly because I can’t read as much when I’m teaching.

• Spend at least 10 minutes each day reading the news.

Writing Goals

• Write 500 words every day.

This should take me 5-10 minutes a day, so it shouldn’t be that difficult. These words can either be a random prompt or part of a longer work that I’m working on. I just want to get in the habit of writing something every single day.

• Write at least 100k for NaNo this year.

• Get one of my books ready for publication.

I have some manuscripts that I feel would be best for traditional publishing and some that I feel would be best self-published. I’m fairly positive I want to focus on traditional publishing first, but I’m leaving it open for now. By the end of the year, I either want to have one novel self-published, or I want to be submitting one of my novels for publication. This means I will need to find CPs, so if you write mostly contemporary novels and will be looking for a CP in a few months, keep me in mind!

Personal Goals

• Get healthy.
○ Lose 50 pounds.
○ Exercise 1x per week to start.
○ Eat 3 fruits/veggies a day to start.

This is a general goal, but there are a smaller subset of goals within this one. I need to eat more fruits and vegetables. I need to exercise. I need to stop eating so much processed junk. The old me would have tried to cut everything out at once, but I’ve learned that doesn’t work for me, especially now that I’m so out of it most of the time (more on that in a minute). That’s why I’m starting with small goals at first. I want to lose 15 pounds by my sister’s wedding in March and another 35 pounds over the course of the year. I wasn’t successful with this in the past, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to do that if I slowly focus on adding more healthy foods and more exercise.

• Get therapy.

This one’s a lot harder for me to admit that I need, and it’s going to be one of the hardest for me to accomplish because it will involve reaching out and asking someone else for help. I really do think it’s necessary, though. I cry constantly. I can’t understand why anyone would ever look around and think this is a great world. I have no self-esteem. I do everything possible to avoid confrontation and having to make decisions. I have so many problems, and I’ve been trying to deal with them myself, but I don’t think I can anymore.

• Figure out what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.

I was reading Miriam Joy’s blog post earlier, and she will be asking herself the following questions: “Am I who, what and where I want to be? If not, why? How can I change things so that I am?” I’ve decided to steal those questions and ask them of myself. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to be who I think other people want me to be, and the problem is that I no longer really know who I want myself to be. I’d hoped I would have figured this out before I was 25-almost-26, but it would be better to do that now than later. I know I want to write, but I’m not sure what I want to do to make money. I thought it was teaching but now I think that’s not the greatest idea. I’ll be figuring out what that idea is at some point this year.

So those are my goals for this year. What are your goals?

Camp NaNo: July 2014 Edition

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a few days. I hoped it I waited long enough I would miraculously think of something more interesting to say than my usual pre-NaNo posts. Then I realized that Camp NaNo starts in less than three hours and that if I was going to write this post at all, I’d better hurry up and do it now.

So, yeah, here I am, posting.

For those of you who don’t know, Camp NaNo is a spin-off of National Novel Writing Month, only in the summer. People can sign up for cabins, and you can choose your own writing goal. The lowest is 10,000 (I believe), and I’m not sure what the highest is. If you’ve ever wanted to do NaNo but wanted to do a separate goal, you should definitely consider Camp! (Or, you know, do NaNo and just not care that you don’t hit 50k.)

My official goal for this session of Camp is 75,000 words – or however many words I need to finish my novel. I’m writing draft 3 of DEGENERATION, my YA contemporary novel featuring Madison Carter, a high school senior trying to survive a family get-together with people she hasn’t seen in more than five years. I finished my outline a few days ago. It’s 14 pages and about 12,500 words long. I’ve never written an outline this long, but I’m hoping it will help me write a decent draft this time.

Normally the goal is to write the novel in a month. I’m aiming for two weeks. There are several reasons for this, which all sort of work together. Since this is my third time writing this novel (fifth if you count the two screenplays I wrote for Script Frenzy), I pretty much know what’s happening. There aren’t a lot of surprises, even though I am adding several scenes. The main reason I’m rewriting this one instead of just editing it is because it’s the writing that I don’t really like. Most of the plot was okay the first several times. Plus, I wrote a phase outline this time, which is basically just a condensed novel, so I shouldn’t have to wait and think of what to write next. It should all flow together.

Then there’s the fact that my boyfriend will be out of state for the first two weeks of Camp, and I’d figure I’d use that time to my advantage. We usually end up spending hours watching Netflix (I’ve finally started watching Dr. Who!), and I don’t get that much accomplished. Now I’m not going to turn on the TV at all. Just me and my computer. And, okay, sure, I’ll still have plenty of distractions online (2048, Twitter, NaNo forums, cabins, and chat…), but I’ll have at least two fewer distractions, and that’s what I’m choosing to focus on.

Since he’ll be gone for two weeks, I’ve decided that my goal is to have my novel finished by the time he gets back. I have another novel I’ve been planning for the past few days. The idea came to me while watching Sports Night, and it hasn’t left me alone since then. I’m still working on getting to know the characters, and I only have a few vague scenes in my head, but I’m still excited about it. I’m hoping to have enough figured out by mid-July to start writing something.

I’ve also just learned about a website called MyWriteClub, where you can track your progress in writing/editing and have others follow along and cheer on your accomplishments and stuff like that. I’m quixotic_hope over there, as well, so if you’d like to add me, you can do so here after you sign up!

Here on the east coast, there’s now just over two hours until Camp starts. Are you joining in? What are you working on if you are?

Book Buying Hiatus

Those who follow me on Twitter might have noticed that I made a promise not to buy any new books or get any more books from the library until I had finished the ones I already had. The reason for this is because I recently bought 13 new books (each of them between $2 and $4), and I had 6 books out from the library, and that seemed a bit ridiculous.

Here’s a really poor quality photo of the books in case anyone’s curious (the punctuation guide at the bottom of the left stack isn’t new):

 

new books

 

Yesterday, I returned the six library books (having read four of them), and I was only supposed to pick up the book that was already on hold. Except I was already there, and there was one other book I really wanted to read, but I couldn’t remember the name of the author, so I decided to walk around and try to find it on my own. I never did, but I did find four other books that I wanted to read. So I already broke my promise, and then I broke it further by coming home and putting two more books on hold at the library.

BUT! This is actually the last time I will do that this summer. The next two months are for reading those library books and the 13 books I recently bought. I actually have so many more books to read beside just those 13, but I’m starting with those.

I’m running out of room on my bookshelves. Actually, that’s a lie. I’m already out of room. I have books stacked on top of and in front of other books. The tops of my bookshelves are covered with books. I have no room for more books, and my mother refuses to let me turn the guest room next door into a library. She’s saying I should start packing books into boxes to save for when I’m able to move out. At first I thought she was crazy, but I’m actually starting to think that might not be such a bad idea.

These are just two of my bookshelves. I have one more white one that's full but doesn't have multiple layers of books.

These are just two of my bookshelves. I have one more white one that’s full but doesn’t have multiple layers of books.

I’ve become one of those people who never throws anything out. My closet doesn’t have any room for more clothes, but I refuse to throw out shirts that I no longer wear, even shirts I’ve never worn. I keep holding onto things because I’ve paid money for them and am hoping I might one day find a way to use them. This might not be a problem if I had my own place and could spread out, but I don’t. I still live with my parents, which means I have to fit all of my stuff in one bedroom, a bedroom I also share with my boyfriend, so he has stuff there, as well. We definitely need to find a way to organize better, and I need to learn how to get rid of stuff I don’t need anymore.

And I need to stop getting more books. There was one time in high school where I finished a book and had nothing else in the house to read, so I had to make an emergency trip to Borders (R.I.P.) to find something to read. While I don’t anticipate getting back to that state anytime soon, I would at least like to have my TBR pile fit on a bookshelf. Which is why I’m actually enforcing my book buying hiatus – or I guess I should call it a book obtaining hiatus.

Who knows? Once I read through all the physical books I might actually get around to reading some of the hundreds that I have on my Nook.

What about you? Are you taking a hiatus from buying anything? Do you have any tips on how to keep your room more organized or de-cluttering your life? If so, please share!

Mid-Year Resolution Check-In

It’s only been a week and a half since my last blog post, so I guess that counts as progress. I wanted to write a post talking about what I’m working on and what my plans are for the summer, but I haven’t quite figured that out yet, at least not to the point where I have anything of interest to mention. That’s why I’ve decided to do a post looking at my goals for this year. I figured this might keep me on track and motivate me to keep going.

1. Learn Dvorak.
I’ve made no progress with this goal so far. Although now that I’ve thought about it, I am going to write the rest of this post using Dvorak. The good news is that I remember where all the letters are. The bad news is that it is taking me forever to type this. Of course, had I practiced this more, I would probably be faster by now.

2. Read 50 books, including the following: 10 classics, 10 New Adult, 10 nonfiction.
So far I have read 26 books. I am well on my way to hitting my overall goal. I’ve read half of the nonfiction, which is also good. I’ve only read 2 New Adult books and 2 classics. Definitely need to work on that.

3. Write 500 for WriYe.
Yeah, this is one goal I wasn’t even sure I would achieve when I made it. So far I’ve written about 22k, and while it’s possible that I might be able to hit 500k, I’m not really sure it’s going to happen.

4. Edit/rewrite Degeneration, For Real This Time, Alone, and Choices.
I’m a little over halfway through another edit of TILT YOUR HEAD AND SMILE, which is oddly not on this list. I have also started making notes in preparation for another edit of DEGENERATION. So…I’m slowly making progress.

5. Rewrite Trail Magic and The Story of Em.
These are more NaNo projects, so I haven’t even started to work on them.

6. Find a critique partner (or more).
This is a hard one. Technically I found two CPs, but I haven’t heard from either in a while. I should probably keep looking. (Along that line – if you write mostly contemporary and are looking for a CP, let me know!)

7. Win NaNo.
It’s not November yet, so this doesn’t really apply.

8. Lose 50 pounds.
I wish. I have lost a couple of pounds, but we’re not even in double digits yet. Still, this goal isn’t completely unrealistic if I actually focus the rest of the year.

9. Graduate and get my teaching certification.
As I’ve already mentioned on this blog (I think), I have graduated. Got my diploma in the mail a few days ago. I don’t have my teaching certificate yet, but they’re working on it.

10. Find a job.
Also has not happened yet, though I do have an interview Wednesday. Hopefully that’ll lead to something good.

So, looking over my goals, it’s clear that I haven’t really made that much progress with most of them. I wish I could say I were more surprised, but I knew that I wasn’t being as productive as I had hoped I would be. I still have six months, though. I can still turn this around.

What about you? Did you set any goals for yourself for this year? If so, how are you doing with them?

I can explain…

Loyal followers of this blog (assuming there are any left at this point) might notice that it’s been rather a while since I last posted anything. More specifically, it’s been about three months, or fourteen weeks if you want to be picky. I like to think I have a good excuse for my absence, but I’ll have to let you all decide that for yourselves.

See, I just finished up my last semester of grad school. In ten days, I will be graduating with my Masters degree in Secondary Education, which means I will soon be certified to teach English/Language Arts to students in grades 6-12. It’s very exciting. And terrifying. And soul-crushing as I’ve only had one face-to-face interview with a school I really wanted to join but never heard back from.

Anyway, as easy as the actual degree was to attain, this past several months have been rather stressful. For those who don’t know, the last semester of a teacher prep program is student teaching, which means that I was in a high school classroom every day from the start of the semester (the first week in January) to the end of April. Actually, my last day was April 25. Most of my time was spent observing my cooperating teacher and others. For a full month, though, I was the teacher in charge. I taught all five classes and graded their work. I liked it, but it was really stressful, particularly because I didn’t really know what I was doing half the time.

I taught Romeo and Juliet to a bunch of ninth graders. I actually had a lot of fun with it, and by the end of the unit I had a better understanding of how to actually engage them in what we were doing (wish I had figured that out sooner, but better late than never, I guess). I’m actually really sad that my time with them is done. They might not all have been the best students, but I’m going to miss getting to talk to them each day. There are so many kids, especially in the lower level classes, that need more help than I was able to give them, and I wish I could have done more to try to help them.

The reason all this is (sort of) relevant is because I didn’t really do much of anything else while this was happening. I read a bunch of books (I’m up to 20 total for the year, because apparently that’s still something I can do when I feel too tired to do anything else), but I didn’t really get much writing done. I didn’t even write reviews for most of those books, which means I still have 14 book reviews to catch up. I also didn’t finish editing TILT YOUR HEAD AND SMILE, which is now in its sixth draft.

But that is changing now. I’m done with school, and I’m going to start using this time to catch up on all the things I didn’t do before. I’ve already started, actually. I’ve edited three chapters in the past two days, which isn’t much but is a lot more than I have been doing. I’ve applied to more counties. I’ve exercised and made relatively healthy meal plans again. I’m getting back into the swing of things again. My goal is to get used to eating better and exercising and writing a little every day now, when I have free time, so that when I’m busy again in the fall, it’s not such a shock to my system.

I’ve also come up with a schedule to keep my on track for the next week and a half. I figure I have 21 chapters left to edit of TILT and 14 book reviews left to write. My goal is to write 2 book reviews and edit 3 chapters a day. I’m not entirely sure just how doable that plan is right now, but I’m going to start it tomorrow and see how that goes.

Resolutions – Looking back and ahead

It’s that time of year again. The time when you look back at what you’ve accomplished over the past year and set goals for yourself for the following year. Or at least it’s a time when many people do that, and I generally try to do it, too. I don’t always do what I say I’m going to do, but having goals still helps me feel like I’m working toward something, and it’s fun to be able to look back and see that I’ve actually done something over the past year, even if it wasn’t exactly what I meant to do.

So, first, the resolutions for 2013, and a look at how I did:

1: Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks – and update on the site.
I actually read 77 books this year (2 of which were textbooks, which totally count!), but I rarely ever linked my reviews to the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” website. So – partial success.

2. Read at least 10 New Adult books.
I read 12 that fall into that age group, so I’m counting them all. Success.

3. Finish editing the following novels:
For Real This Time // Tilt Your Head and Smile // Degeneration // Alone // Choices

Well, I finished editing TILT YOUR HEAD AND SMILE. And I wrote draft two of DEGENERATION. Didn’t do anything with the rest of them, though. So this one was mostly a fail.

4. Finish writing the following novels:
God’s Love // The Story of Em // Together // Better

Another mostly failed goal. I finally finished THE STORY OF EM, but I didn’t do anything with the rest of them. I did, however, write several different novels. So I was productive, but not in the way I intended.

5. Do something to advance my writing every day.
I spent a lot of time reading blogs that had to do with writing, which technically counts as part of my goal. Overall, though, this wasn’t the best year for my writing. So I’ll count this as a fail.

6. Participate in more challenges like Pitch Wars.
I participated in The Writer’s Voice. I wasn’t picked by a judge, and I never heard back from the agent who requested my manuscript, but it still counts! So – success!

7. Become more social…on the Internet.
I’m not sure if this counts as a win or not. I met a whole bunch of new people during NaNo that I chatted with. I’ve found more Twitter followers. So I didn’t become as social as I was probably hoping, but I’ve made progress since 2012, so I’ll count that as a win.

8. Find CPs/beta readers.
Did not happen.

9. Exercise regularly.
Also did not happen. I mean, I exercised, and I did so regularly for a little while, but then I would stop again. Although technically starting and stopping is still a pattern, so does that count as exercising regularly?

10. Continue to eat better.
I will consider this a mostly win. I’ve had some days (most of which have been in the last week or two) where I haven’t been eating like I know I should, but overall I’m still eating way better than I used to.

 

And now for my goals for 2014. I was originally going to do this as a separate post, but I waited too long to write this. I seem to be doing that a lot lately.

1. Learn Dvorak.
I’ve been saying I’m going to do this for years, but I only seem to remember right before NaNo, when it’s too late to change.

2. Read 50 books, including the following: 10 classics, 10 New Adult, 10 nonfiction.
I’ll be student teaching in the spring and (hopefully) starting my first year of teaching in the fall, so I won’t have as much time to read as I did this year, but I’m hoping I can still do this. And if I’m going to be an English teacher, I should probably start reading all of the books that people normally read in English classes that for some reason I never had to read.

3. Write 500 for WriYe.
I signed up for National Novel Writing Year again, even though I’m not completely certain I can write that much this year. Of course, I wrote that much in a month this year, so I’m hoping it’s not too ridiculous this year.

4. Edit/rewrite Degeneration, For Real This Time, Alone, and Choices.
These are the novels I was supposed to edit this year and didn’t.

5. Rewrite Trail Magic and The Story of Em.
I wrote both of these for NaNo this year. I don’t know that I’ll necessarily have to rewrite them completely, but I generally have to do that, so I’m assuming I will for these. If I don’t have to rewrite them, I should at least edit them.

6. Find a critique partner (or more).
TILT is the only novel that I have that’s ready for this stage. I’m really happy with it, actually. I just haven’t shared it with anyone yet, and if I’m serious about publication (which I am), I need help.

7. Win NaNo.
Since I’ve been writing way over 50k the past few years, this shouldn’t be difficult. However, this will be my first year doing NaNo as a teacher (hopefully, assuming I get a job), so it will be much harder to find time to write. I’m hoping I can still hit at least 100k while teaching, but we’ll see.

8. Lose 50 pounds.
I don’t really like my generic “eat better and exercise more” goals of last year. I like to see numbers. Obviously this has nothing to do with writing, but I figured I’d mention it anyway.

9. Graduate and get my teaching certification.
Again, not writing related, and I’m pretty much guaranteed to do this unless something goes horribly wrong, but still. I like goals that I’m pretty much guaranteed to accomplish.

10. Find a job.
This one is way less certain. Still, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find a teaching job once I graduate.

So there are my goals. How’d you do on yours? Do you have any for the upcoming year?

The end of another NaNo

So, today is the last day of November. That means NaNoWriMo is coming to an end. For some of you, maybe it’s already over. Or maybe you have most of the day left. Here on the east coast of the US, we have about 9.5 hours left as of this writing. But I’m not writing anymore.

Because I am done.

Total words written: 500,005
Total novels completed: 4

  • Degeneration – 46k
  • The Story of Em – 185k
  • The Whole Truth – 98k
  • Trail Magic – 96k

The rest was random scenes. I wrote 4k of fan fiction, 5k of a novel that I ended up not finishing, a 2k short story about Halloween candy, a 2k poem, and the rest was random scenes involving characters from other novels. Sort of deleted scenes and stuff. Or scenes from their lives after their books were finished.

And now for the goal list:

• 50k Day One
• 75k opening weekend
• 100k by end of week 1
• 250k by end of month (dream goal of 300k)
• Finish at least 3 novels (5 if necessary to reach word count goal)

○ Degeneration
○ The Story of Em
○ The Whole Truth
○ Trail Magic (formerly 2,000 Miles)
○ Imprisoned Lightning

• Another 50k weekend
• Write at least 2k every day (preferably 5k)

I am happy to say that I accomplished every single one of those goals. Some of them I blew out of the water – like “another 50k weekend.” Turns out that 500k equals 50k every 3 days. So every weekend was 50k weekend! Also, 250k by the end of the month. I hit that on the 15th and then went on to double it. I never thought I would be able to do that! I also wrote at least 3k every day, including the days when I had eight hours of school AND three hours of grad school.

And now for some stats. Because numbers are fun:
• Most words in an hour: 5,026
• Most words in 10 minutes: 1001
• Most words in a day: 50,001 (Day One)
• Least words in a day: 3,018 (Day Five)
• Average words per day: 16,667

If anyone wants to see the breakdown of words written by novel, here’s my original spreadsheet:
Original spreadsheet 2013

And here is the spreadsheet I created when I realized I was increasing my goal:
New spreadsheet 2013

I have to say, as glad as I am that I came back for NaNo this year, I’m really glad the month is over. That was a lot of work, and I’m really looking forward to just relaxing and reading and playing video games and pretty much doing everything else that I haven’t been able to do this month. 🙂

What about you? Did you hit your goals for the month? Are you still writing? Are you glad the month is (almost) over? Or do you wish you still had a few more days?

50k Day One – Complete

For anyone who didn’t see it on Twitter yesterday –  I HIT 50,000 WORDS IN A DAY!!!

I wanted to sleep the whole evening before, but I ended up sleeping from 1-6 pm on Oct. 31. Then I started at midnight and pretty much did not stop writing until 10:18 pm, when I hit 50,001 – about 15 minutes after Sushi beat me to it. I was really hoping I could beat her to it, but she has done this twice before, so I really should have known better.

If you check out the hashtags #50kkillmenow and #50kdayone, you can see all the other awesome people who wrote 50k in a day – or at least came really close to it!

For those who are interested, here is my spreadsheet for yesterday:

Day One – 2013

And for anyone who would like a reminder of how I failed last year:

Day One – 2012

My fingers felt like they were broken by the end of the day. My back was killing me. My forearms were numb. And my novel ended at 46k. I was worried I wasn’t going to finish. So I started writing some intentionally horrible fan fiction with a drunk narrator. Not by best writing, of course, but it was cracking me up while I wrote it, so I’ll go with it.

I had a lot of fun racing to 50k yesterday. My arms and back and everything feel better this morning. That said, I’m not sure I’ll ever attempt 50k day again. I wanted to see if I could do it, and I have. But I will definitely be there to cheer on anyone else who wants to attempt this in the future! 🙂

And just remember – no matter what you wrote yesterday, you should be proud of yourself!

NaNo Goals – 2013

NaNoWriMo starts in less than 27 hours. Part of me is really excited to start writing again, and the other part of me is terrified that I’m not ready. I should probably be working on another outline right now, but I’ve reached that point where I just feel all prepped out. I used to get the same way before tests. I’d make study guides, but then I’d get tired of pretending to study and just say “Screw it – whatever happens, happens.” That’s pretty much where I am right now.

Before this thing actually starts, I suppose I should share my goals for this month. I’ve posted these on the NaNo forums, but it can’t hurt to post them here. More accountability is always good, right?

• 50k Day One
• 75k opening weekend
• 100k by end of week 1
• 250k by end of month (dream goal of 300k)
• Finish at least 3 novels (5 if necessary to reach word count goal):

  • Degeneration – Contemporary YA
  • The Story of Em – NA Romance
  • The Whole Truth – Literary YA
  • Trail Magic (formerly 2,000 Miles) – Contemporary NA
  • Imprisoned Lightning – Contemporary YA

• Another 50k weekend
• Write at least 2k every day (preferably 5k)

That looks like a lot, but I think I can handle it. As you might remember, last year I got to 243k, wrote 2 novels, one novella, finished a third novel, started a fourth, and wrote a bunch of short stories. I’m hoping my projects will be longer this time so I won’t have to deal with short stories. Also, I’m pleased to say that I’ve gotten every school assignment out of the way – EXCEPT for the lesson plans that I need to write once a week for my student teaching experience. I’m still going to be spending two days a week at a high school. Plus I have two Thanksgivings to do to and several things on that second Saturday of the month. Other than, though, I’m completely free.

I have the first three chapter outlines finished. The fourth one is about three-quarters finished, which is enough to get me almost to the climax. Really, I should be able to figure out what I’m doing by that point. The last novel is the one I’m worried about. I have the basic concept and the characters, and I have my three-act structure planned out. Sadly, that’s about it. I was hoping to have the rest of it figured out by now, but that doesn’t seem to have happened. I kept changing my mind about what was going to happen. What makes for more interesting characters is making the plot suffer, and what made for an interesting plot had rather stereotypical characters.

That said, I’m holding that novel off for the end. Hopefully I can get to 250k with the four mostly planned novels. Imprisoned Lightning is going to be the backup novel. I also have another idea that I got from the OA chat. I have two characters and a basic concept for that one. Plus, there’s always the dystopian series I started last NaNo. I still don’t have that one planned enough, but I could start rewriting it if I had nothing else to write.

I have tomorrow off, so I’m going to spend the day doing laundry and making food for the next few days. I’m then going to sleep most of the afternoon/evening so that I can wake up around 10 or 11 pm and get ready to write at midnight. I’m hoping I can quickly get back to the 3k/hour I was able to write last November and really get 50k Day One off to a good start.

Degeneration is my Day One project. I feel a bit like I’m cheating since I’ve written this story so many times, but I’ve decided to go with it anyway. I wrote it twice as a screenplay and once as a novel, and each draft has taken me one step closer to something I’m proud of. The last draft I wrote for one of the 2012 camp sessions, and it was about 49k. Now I’ve added a whole different subplot and changed her trip from two days to a week. It really is a significant difference. I’m not just rewriting scenes I already wrote – I’m adding like seven chapters that weren’t there before. And I’m not going to be looking at any of the previous drafts while I write, either. It’ll be just me and my outline.

I’ll probably end up doing what I did last year and write a brief post letting you all know how my 50k day went. I feel more prepared than I was last year, but you never know. Here’s a link to the spreadsheet I’ll be using, if anyone wants to keep up with my word count as the day progresses: Quix’s Day One Spreadsheet

I probably won’t post again before NaNo, so good luck to everyone who’s participating! Remember – don’t let anyone else make you feel bad about your goal. You’re only competing with yourself.

Also – don’t call anyone else a cheater just because that person can write more than you can. Hopefully no one following my blog would ever do that, but I felt the need to mention it anyway. Also, just because someone writes faster than you do doesn’t mean that that person’s writing is horrible. We’ve already had people in the Beyond 50k forum tell us that our novels must be utter nonsense, and I’m really not in the mood to deal with that crap already. So, just, yeah – be nice to all the other participants! 🙂