2018 Goals!

2017 was a mixed bag. I got a lot of stuff done, but since I didn’t query anything, it feels like a waste. That’s obviously not true; I finished drafts of two projects, one of which involved extensive edits. I beta read two large projects. I upped my game in term of my reading. I did a lot–I did a great job. But. I can do better. So for 2018!

1) Do another editing pass or two on Kheras, my fantasy romance. This is probably the story I have that’s closest to query-ready, so I’d love to have it ready to roll by the end of the year.

2) Overhaul my paranormal history. I got some great notes from a beta reader (and learned a lot about the scope of the story from drafting book 2). So now I need to revisit book 1 and put all of that into practice. It’s a lot of work, but I know it needs done, and I know I can do it.

3) Draft my magical realism novel. I’m in the outlining phase right now, but I do want to get the first draft of it done this year.

4) Read! I set my goal to 52 books this year; one per week. I’m hoping to expand my horizons with more diverse reads. I mean this both in terms of subject matter and kinds of story. Books with diverse protagonists (not cis/het/white/male/able-bodied and -minded, etc), #ownvoices authors when I can get my hands on them. I’m also looking to read things I wouldn’t ordinarily reach for: contemporaries; romances; adult fiction; literary fiction; classics.

5) Kick-start my blog. I’ve taken some time away from it while I settled into my new job, but I think I’m about ready to start it up again.

That’s the scope of the next 525,600 minutes. Well, slightly less, since the year is 20 hours old. But still. Let’s do this!


June Check In and Year-End Goals

Blessed be, all! I hope the Solstice treated you kindly! The year’s half over now, and, though we’re all sweating under the sun, it’s important to remember that we’ve crested the hill and are rolling down the other side.  With that in mind, let’s check on June and then lay out a plan for the rest of the year!

  1. Writing: Second Draft of Kheras- I have managed to work every day, no matter what, but some scenes did end up taking more than one day just by virtue of the work that needed done.
  2. Reading: THE KINGDOM OF GODS by NK Jemisin- Oh, my gods, was I ever right about this book. I sobbed so hard. I loved it so much.
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- Managed it!

So, to start with, let’s set up a plan for July, and then lay out the rest of the year. For next month:

  1. Writing: Second Draft of Kheras- Continuing with the slow progress on this draft. Because next month is Camp Nano, I’m tentatively hopeful that I can finish the whole thing. If not, I’d like to at least get 30k further than I am.
  2. Reading: The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault A friend recommended this one to me as inspirational reading to go along with my work on Kheras. I’m not far into it, but it’s a big departure from what I’ve been reading lately. We’ll see how it goes!
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- No matter what!

As for the rest of the year, here’s what I have in mind!

  1. Writing: Complete Second Draft of Kheras- Ideally, I’ll have this done by the end of July, end of summer at the latest. If that happens, I’d like to go back to my paranormal history and start edits on the first book, since it has so much that now needs to be changed.
  2. Reading: TBD- I don’t have a set number of books that I’d still like to tackle this year or an order. I have a few ideas on a TBR list on my desktop that I’ve been picking from as mood strikes me. I know I’d like to read more Jemisin and more VE Schwab (I have one of her books to be reviewed very soon), but I’m not setting a particular date for any of those. I would like to stick to at least one to two books per month. I’m not interested in reading quickly as long as I’m consuming good quality.
  3. Beta: Three projects on deck – I currently have three things slated to be read for various people in my writing groups. One is a finished novel draft; one is an outline; the last is a novella. I’d like to have all three done by the end of summer, ideally.
  4. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- Part of establishing good habits is actually making it a habit. No excuses.

April 2017 Goal Check In!

Blessed be, all! It’s hard to believe May is right around the corner; it feels like this year just started. There are big things still to come, though, so let’s check how we did in April and make a plan for next month!

  1. Writing: Second Draft of Kheras- It’s a good thing I decided to go by the Camp NaNo measurements, or this would have been a flop and a half. I will definitely be meeting my goal of 75 hours put in this month, but I fell way short of fifty thousand words. It turned out that there was a lot more new material to construct for the beginning than I’d planned. I’m proud of everything I’ve done, though!
  2. Reading: Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmeyer- Done! I finished this one quite early in the month and am currently working on a review for it, which should be up next week. Be sure to check out Karen’s book here!
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- I did hit pretty major burnout and skipped a day this month so I could deal with other adulting things. I can’t bring myself to be too terribly upset about the missed day, though; it was an intentional choice on my part to prioritize other things for that evening.

So looking forward to May, what’s on the schedule?

  1. Writing: Second Draft of Kheras- Continuing from this month, I intend to keep working on the edits for my fantasy romance. I’ll probably hit a speedbump when it gets to Mother’s Day (another busy season at the day job), but I’m hoping to get a significant amount of progress made on it.
  2. Reading: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes- This one came recommended by a friend who enjoys the Dragon Age games. I don’t play them personally, since I lack the manual dexterity for most video games, but so far it’s pretty promising!
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- Since this is going to be another busy season for me, I’m not going to be incredibly upset if I have to take a few personal days. But I’m going to do my best not to, as well.

March 2017 Goal Check In!

Blessed be, all! It’s the last Thursday of the month, so it’s time to look in on our goals and see how we did.

  1. Writing: Notes for Noble Virtues- Done! I managed to finish the whole thing, even left a few extra days of padding so that I could start to shift my attention back to my fantasy romance. And that’s despite realizing that the last third of the book is going to need major rewrites. As a bonus, I read and betaed a short story for a member of my writing circle without throwing myself off pace. If I may pat myself on the back, here, very proud!
  2. Reading: Finish the Rai-Kirah trilogy by Carol Berg- Done! All in all, I really enjoyed this series, a pretty solid 4.5/5 for me. Be sure to check out my review of the series here for a more in-depth discussion of it.
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- Did it! There were a few days that I thought I was going to take a skip day, but I actually didn’t. I’m back in the race!

Now, looking forward to April. April is this year’s spring iteration of Camp NaNoWriMo, so I’m going to be tailoring my goals a bit to reflect that.

  1. Writing: Second Draft of Kheras- My goal for Camp this year is to get 50k words into the revamp of my fantasy romance. That sounds like a lot, but it actually isn’t. I’m only expecting to generate about ten to fifteen thousand words in terms of brand-new content. The rest of the work will be in refitting the existing scenes and making sure that the big-picture fixes are being put into place. I have a slight advantage, also, in that Kheras was a pretty smooth first draft, so there’s not a whole lot in the way of heavy surgery that I need to do with it. (Well. As of right now. Obviously, that can change. No, I’m still not forgiving my vampire history.)
  2. Reading: Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmeyer- Karen’s book came out a few days ago, and I’ve been trying to resist cracking the cover on it until April. I gave in and read the first chapter last night and, being honest, will probably read a little more tonight. Trying to save most of it for next month, though! Be sure to check out Karen’s book here!
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- Doing well so far, but I still have a long way to go. I’m aiming for a year unbroken!

February 2017 Goal Check In!

Blessed be, all! It’s the last Thursday of the month, so it’s time to look back on how I did on my goals. As you may have noticed, it was a bit of a rough one, so without further ado–

  1. Writing: Notes for Noble Virtues- I did get a healthy start, but I didn’t quite manage to finish the first third of the book. I’m only a couple thousand words from that, though, so there’s technically a chance I could still accomplish it before we flip the calendars to March.
  2. Reading: Finish the Rai-Kirah trilogy by Carol Berg- I finished REVELATION a few days after my goal post went live in January, and it actually managed to redeem what was otherwise a rocky read for me. Loved the beginning, struggled through the middle, but the ending pulled it up strong. RESTORATION, however…It’s a much stronger book than Revelation. I’m enjoying it much more. I just couldn’t seem to make the time it deserves so I can sit down and just do it, so I’ve only gotten six or seven chapters in so far.
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- Not even close. Several days of the month, I didn’t even see my bed before it was already the next day, just to turn around and go back into work six hours later. And that was on top of getting sick. I’m still new to this whole prioritizing-self-care thing, so I didn’t want to push it.

But! One bad month doesn’t mean I get to take the rest of the year easy. It’s time to get back in the saddle and get my butt to work. So we’ll be taking another crack at all these goals.

  1. Writing: Notes for Noble Virtues- For March, I want the whole thing annotated so I can put it away to cool in time for Camp. At which point, I’ll be going back to Kheras to start my first round of revisions! Wish me luck!
  2. Reading: Finish the Rai-Kirah trilogy by Carol Berg- I am bound and determined to give RESTORATION the time it deserves and finish it by the end of March!
  3. Bonus Goal: Work Every Day- This one will be hard. Trying to get my brain back into daily work after having to take so much time off is like herding cats. Every time I rally my willpower, I find something shiny. I’m going to manage it, though!