New Years Goals 2019 #AmWriting

business identity blank stationery set on wood background

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Hello folks! How are you? Once again, I have managed to neglect this blog. There’s been a few more changes this last year personally for me and again, it is my Twitter that I am turning to rather than here.

The world seems to have gone that bit more insane this last year, what with Trump still in the White House (somehow!) and Brexit turning into a bit of a mess shall we say. This time next year, the UK will have left the EU but whether it will be with a bad deal or no deal remains to be seen. The UK has had the Beast from the East and a scorcher of a summer. Both caused trouble, giving us Brits plenty to talk about in relation to our favourite subject: the weather! We’ve had a royal birth, 2 royal weddings, the English became convinced football was coming home and once again had their dreams crushed. The world also lost an icon of pop culture in Stan Lee, a man whose work was loved by millions around the world and probably encouraged some of them to become the creators of the future.

With all that in mind, it feels right that my success and failure in completing my 2018 goals was very much mixed:

1) Write something at least once a week, every week.

Not a complete success on this one but that’s not been a bad thing. My yearly target was 38,000 words and I have written 52,320 words overall. I cleared my target for the year in September despite having missed some weeks and taking a break in the same month. I also succeeded in writing every single day of November, so I could get all the challenge badges for consecutive writing days.

I ended up taking a break because I was experiencing burnout. I suspect it was because I had been working on the Steampunk Dragon Rider WIP, a project had developed quick in a few months and is in a genre I don’t have too much experience in. I needed to step back and recharge my creative energies. I don’t normally do this but I reached out to a writerly friend of mine, @Draebox on Twitter, who gave me some advice and made a video about the question:

I came back from the break stronger. It helped me work out what I needed to do. I will elaborate when I get to goal 4. Like last year, I have been reviewing and occasionally adjusting my targets every 3 months to help me keep writing even when things in RL have got busy needed to take priority. Any adjustments have always been down to enable me to create a buffer should I need it later in the year. This has worked a treat as it took the pressure off me for the last 3 months of the year (very busy ones for me).

Looking ahead to 2019, again I will be keeping this goal. Not because I didn’t succeed but because it works for me.

2) Keep this blog active, somehow.

Yeah, this is a big fat FAIL! I think I know why I have not succeeded on this one for two years straight: it is simply not achievable for me. At least, not right now. Writing and life and other personal stuff means that even taking 10 minutes to write on my blog even once a week with a writing update that I use to do is just not possible for me it seems.

I have started using an app/website called Habitica in recent months that lets you set goals and tick them off as you achieve them. You can set goals to reoccur at certain intervals and I am tempted to put a blogging daily on that is set to occur even just once a month but looking at life and how I have not managed this goal for two years makes me think it would be a waste of time.

With that in mind, I think it is time I retired this goal. It is not possible for me. I will just have to hope that I can at least be doing something on this blog when I have a chance I guess. In time, if life allows me, I will try to return to regular blogging.

3) Read more and finish books

Whilst not a complete success, I have at least been reading comics and some books. Granted I have also had to check GoodReads to see what I have read this year. Mostly comics rather than books but I have at least been reading and I will take it, all things considered. Rather than reading, I have been watching a lot more YouTube videos and gaming more. I have recently started playing Persona 5 and it’s story is incredible. I feel I can learn a lot from it about pacing but I also think I need to be putting the game controller down and reading more.

Going forward into 2019, I think I am going to adjust this one to simply read more.

4) Continue to work on the Dark Witch and Dragon Rider projects.

This one is definitely a success because I have been working on both projects all year, flicking between them. That isn’t to say that there has not been problems or that I haven’t been writing Destiny fan fiction.

I mentioned above about having to take a break due to the work and nature of the Dragon Rider project. The break though served me very well as I realised that I needed to step back from the Dragon Rider project and it made me see what I needed to do on the Dark Witch project (known as the Hallie WIP on Twitter).

The Hallie WIP was in a mess and all over the place because of how it had developed since even January of last year. I had to stop writing and do some planning, replotting and world building. I have also been writing stuff that takes place later on in the timeline for the characters. This helped solidify and understand who these characters were and their eventual place in the world. In turn, I know what I needed to do and how to remould the characters for the very start of their journey. This has helped me when I made a fresh start on the project for November NaNoWriMo. That fresh start has been a slight slog but I know the WIP is stronger and better for it.

As part of the world building when I have not been writing the WIP, I have began learning Welsh. Why? Well, the WIP has lost at least some of it’s Steampunk-ish feel, taken on an Arthurian Legends base and I am using the basic Welsh version of the story to help me. This also led me to realise therefore that the language of magic in the world is Welsh. I know it seems crazy to be learning it purely for a story but I want to make sure everything is right when the characters speak it.

The Hallie WIP has been my main focus for 8 months of the year. The other 4 have been taken up by the Dragon Rider one.

From a plot bunny that bit me and refused to let go of me in November 2017, this one has developed from a barely coherent story, plot and world building into something more solid. It does mean that, like the Hallie WIP, there is some mess and disjointedness but at the same time, this one also feels like it has developed and settled much faster once the work was put into it. I also feel that, unlike the Hallie one which could run on a bit, this one is more finite (and shorter!). With that in mind, I think I do have time to be working on the Steampunk aspect to make sure it is ingrained in the story rather than window dressing. The story I feel could take care of itself (with a bit more planning).

I am therefore keeping this goal obviously and hopefully, both will be much further along this time next year.

My goals for the next year are as follows then:

1) Write Something, once a week, every week.

2) Read more.

3) Continue to work on the Steampunk Dragon Rider WIP and the Hallie/Dark Witch WIP.

How has your 2018 been? Successful? Mixed? Otherwise? Feel free to comment below.

Advertisements

January, February & March 2017 #Writing Update

 
 
Happy time zones folks. Life likes throwing in surprises and spanners and that has led to me not posting here. Writing wise, I have been much more successful.
 
Save for any words I write today I am on 17,926 words for the year. My target for the end of this month (March) for the year was 7,500 words. Whilst it is good over all that I am nearly 10.5k ahead, it is even better with Camp NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow. It is looking the next month is going to be very busy for me so having a buffer that I can use is going to be very helpful. The buffer is intended for the end of the year but if I have to use some now, so be it.
 
Majority of what I have written in the last three months has been my FMC’s first week of school, meeting classmates, teachers and first lessons. Seems a lot of words to spend on it but I am also aware that this draft is an absolute plantser mess! I have accepted that. I am focused on getting it written, not getting it right. The next draft is for tightening up and getting the big picture stuff sorted. I have also written some stuff that happens a few months later in story time. It connects with what I had written in December.
 
When I have not been writing, my mind has been on world building, new ideas and solving certain issues that had come to mind. Particularly, my thoughts have been about certain secrets and possible plans for the future. I may actually write some of the future stuff now, if only to get the ideas out of my head. My focus though is on completing this draft though.
 
Plans for the next few months is to keep writing, keep pushing for one completed draft of this story. Right now, I am reconsider certain word counts. A certain life surprise means the original goals I had set are now unlikely or pushing it too far. Take next month for example. I had planned on getting 10,000 words written during Camp. That goal has had to be revised down to 5k to accommodate it whilst also giving me the push to keep writing despite it. In May and June, I have set a target of 2,500 words each. These goals are based on what I wrote last year. All things considered, I am leaving them as is for now. They are attainable and any extra words will add to the buffer.
 
How is your writing going at the moment? Planning to enter Camp next month or in July? Had any problems or is everything going well? Do comment below.

Camp #NaNoWriMo April 2016: Days 27-30 and Review

CNW_Participant

Final Word Count: 22,304 words

Know what I was saying last time about having a winners banner at the top of the post for yesterday? Well, obviously, I didn’t. I spent two days curled under a blanket, cold and feeling ick, so no writing happened. The knock on effect was that I just didn’t have the time to write the words remaining.

The love interest didn’t get his full introduction, intended to happen in the book store, and instead my FMC might be getting a kitten instead who is very similar to her, I think. I guess I will have to see. That’s actually about all I’ve really written, so minimal.

Over all, last month was rambling, bouncing around and far too detailed for the start of the book. I am not sure entirely how that happened. I know it is partly because it was quite heavily changed from the original draft and I went down the wrong path when I started writing. But quite how it went all over the place so I am not even hitting the school stuff, I have no idea. I have noted the odd issue already on here when I have written updates, including the fact that I think I have started the story too early in story time.

I have wondered if part of the reason that the story is going so slowly is that I have my FMC alone so much. In the other draft, my FMC had someone to talk to, a friend of sorts. This is something I have noticed and why the love interest and the cat has dominated my thinking a bit. I need another character who she can interact with before she gets to school. Perhaps the cat is the way to go for now.

Another issue that has slowed the story I think is the domestic abuse storyline. I think I may have gone a little far with that and it has no use with being so close to the surface. The way I’ve introduced it doesn’t feel perhaps as it should.  Of course, it is something that jumped into the foreground suddenly. It has its place but it shouldn’t be appearing much as it is.

That will get sorted eventually, should I ever rewrite this, but for now I know I need to keep writing. Once I get those words written and the story is finished, I will know how to rewrite it in a much tighter form. At least that’s the idea. I already know one or two parts that needs removing and reworking, but as I said, that will all be sorted later. For now, writing.

Congratulations to anyone who got their word count and if you didn’t, know you are amazing for taking on such a challenge. Some words are better than none. How do you think you got on? Good? Bad? Are you continuing your story, planning to rewrite and edit or just putting it aside? Don’t be afraid to comment below.

Camp #NaNoWriMo 2016: Days 5-8

CNW_Participant

Current Word Count: 8,232 words

Things are progressing slowly so this will only be a quick update really.

I was expecting my FMC to know by now which school she was attending and getting her supplies. Instead, she is spending time with her grandparents, trying to unlearn years of alertness and stress and is at her grandfather’s work office. Still, it’s giving me a chance to do some world building and providing a little background on her father’s family. It does mean, now entering week two, that it will make things a little easier.

Week 2 is traditionally the week that things become hard and participants question their sanity at taking on such a challenge. I’m still introducing things. Not good, I know but it makes life a little easier.

Are you having better luck? Looking forward to week 2 or dreading it? Have fun and remember Neil Gaiman’s advice, Make Good Art:

#Writing Update

d7a3e-writingWord Count: 1,137 words

Nothing much to tell. Most of what I have written is redrafting of some writing I did last Sunday on the WAY On The Go app which failed to send to my e-mail address once more. I am starting to wonder if it just does not work on Kindle. So it’s only been my characters finally becoming a couple that has happened.

On the other hand, I have done some thinking and it is mostly surrounding a potential new idea for Camp in April and maybe some rewriting or the continuing of writing of other past NaNoWriMo stories. Camp is the place to do rewrites I think, at least for the first few drafts when it’s major changes being done. Of course, this is just my opinion.

The first story under consideration is my November 2014 hotel story with the witch and the werewolf. The direction of the story differed from my original thinking and I think that was the story’s undoing. I would like to go back and rewrite that story, if only to follow the original story idea.

The other is my July 2015 story about the witch from the dark family background. The only reason I stopped writing it is because I needed a break I think, along with the Post-NaNo Blues. I may completely rewrite the story as certain aspects kept changing and I never fully ironed out. Since I’ve had a break and whilst I was writing the story that took place years later, I realised that there was character stuff that needed changing and completely redoing.

Another reason I been thinking about it is because I have bought an etiquette book, reproduced from the 1800’s, for general research as I’ve noticed a lot of my writing lately has required me to think about or research etiquette and deportment among other things for stories. Having a go to guide on hand hopefully will help, especially with my July 2015 idea.

If course I still have nearly two months to think about and decide, as well as the fact I still have the new idea to flesh out and consider. In the meanwhile, I do have my current writing to be doing. Hopefully it will be a little more successful this next week. How’s your writing going? What do you think of the idea that Camp is a good place for rewriting or continuing old stories? Are you thinking about Camp yet or am I thinking too far ahead? Do comment below.

New Years Goals 2016

Source: GoodSearch Images

This day last year, I wrote a list of New Years Goals that I wanted to do and I think I have done well considering life has changed a fair bit since then. Some goals I will be keeping as they will be good consistent ones to have. But there is one I will need to replace.

Try to write something every day or every week. This I have done well at, especially once I started tracking my word counts and setting a goal to make every month. I have barely written in the past month but that’s due to life having to take priority and me being very tired. This is one I am keeping, especially as I now have writer’s block and it is really annoying me.

Post once a week, every week on this blog. Again, not done too badly on this one and I am keeping it I think for this year just to make sure I don’t go focusing too much time on Twitter. Also possibly need to look to apply it to my Tumblr blog as that is getting very neglected at the moment.

This third one was a wellbeing one that boiled down to pampering myself at least once a month and keeping in contact with friends. It was especially needed last year due to life however less so this year (hopefully). To replace it, I think perhaps it will be to try to have some quiet time away from distractions to read more. I haven’t really read massively this past year if my GoodReads is to go by. Perhaps I need to set a GoodReads Reading Challenge. Anyone got any suggested goals for it?

Participate in as many writing/National Novel Writing Month events as possible. This one I have succeeded in, if not necessarily hitting the word count I set myself. I am not sure it’s one to keep really, especially as I can actually combine it with my first goal of writing everyday. They fit together anyway so it’s not needed as a separate one. I do feel I need another one though otherwise my goals are just to read more and write more and that feels like a real cop-out.

I have no idea what to replace it with really at the moment so I guess at the moment, my main 3 goals are to read more, write more and blog more. If anyone has any suggestions about what a fourth goal should be or what target to set for the reading challenge, please comment below. I feel need the help. Also, feel free to comment if you have any goals, resolutions or need help with coming up or sticking to some. I’ll try to help at least.

#Writing Update

3278e-writerJust a quick update.

It’s been 5 days since NaNoWriMo finished and I have written just 590 words all together. I think it’s the post-NaNo Blues combined with life being very busy. I have written a little on my Camp story with the dark witch at school, re-read some of it to reacquaint myself with it and have started writing something that happens a few years later with the characters, taking some inspiration from the latest Lockwood & Co. novel, Hallow Boy.

I am just glad to be writing I think and it is going to be my main aim for this month I think, just to keep writing. I know I can be very tired in December so anything I do will just be a bonus at the moment. How are you getting on? Is December the hardest or easiest month for you to write in or somewhere in between? Do you have any aims for this week or month? Don’t be afraid to comment below.