June #writemotivation Check In Number 3

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This month was quite the mixed bag as far as goal progress has been concerned.

To be honest, life has been throwing me some wicked curveballs lately, which has made just getting out of bed and taking a shower a major accomplishment. After another challenging week, I think I’m finally over the worst of it.

(* fingers crossed* and recognizing I’m totally tempting the fates by saying that.)

Here are my June goals:

1. Make word count goal of 2000 words five days each week. Nope. Total failure.

2. Complete requested project by the end of the month. Same. Not completed. Moving this to top priority – basically living, breathing this project – for next month.

3. Plan blog posts for the month and post weekly. COMPLETED! YAY! 

4. Read & review at least two books. Read total of seven books, and reviewed one. Overachieved on first part and I get partial credit on the other.

Overall, a very wobbly start, but at least it was a start. I know I’ll do better next month, and I’m already planning out how.

How about you? Do you need help sticking to your goals?

If so, why not join us? Sign up for July #writemotivation is open now! Click here if you’d like to join in.

June #writemotivation Check In Number 2

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I missed checking in last week.

It was a tough one.

I decided to put my focus where it was needed the most and my kids won. They will always win. Without going into the gory, emotional details, let’s just say we are all the better for the detour, and move on to this week.

Here are my June goals:

1. Make word count goal of 2000 words five days each week. Needless to say, I am behind on my word count goal. I do plan to catch up as fast as I can. I hope I can do that this week.

2. Complete requested project by the end of the month. I revisited the area that inspired this project over the weekend and really got some great ideas. So excited about this book! While I do hope to finish soon, it may take a little longer than I planned. I will write as long as it takes to get this done well.

3. Plan blog posts for the month and post weekly. Posts are going well for both sites – better than I expected.

4. Read & review at least two books. First review already posted for SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater! I’ve read five books so far this month – GOAL HALF ACCOMPLISHED. Maybe I can post another review before the end of the month. Maybe.

How about you? How are you doing with your goals?

The Return of #writemotivation – Thank God! (Someone Hold Me Accountable!)

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After almost a year on hiatus, #WriteMotivation returns!

If you need help sticking to your goals or need some encouragement when all seems bleak, this is a fantastic group of people to help cheer you on and help you reach those goals.

The rules are simple:

1. Make a list of realistic goals for the month – and achieve them.
2. Make a Blog Post every week (preferably Wednesdays, but if you don’t post on Wednesdays just add it to the next day you would normally post ). This is to help us keep tabs on our own progress, and for others to cheer us on if it’s a difficult week. Please link to the post in the #writemotivation hashtag
3. Visit your #writemotivation team mates blogs, and participate in the #writemotivation hashtag to cheer people on.

Sign up for this month will go through the end of the week. You can fill out the form to join in here.

I have a major project to complete by the end of this month, so this is perfect timing for me. This one is going to take so much focus for me to stay the course. I need my #writemotivation gang to help me through this!

Here are my June goals:

1. Make word count goal of 2000 words five days each week. That’s the minimum. It wouldn’t hurt to go a bit higher.

2. Completed requested project by the end of the month. Very excited about this project! 

3. Plan blog posts for the month and post weekly. I have been less than consistent over the past couple of months, what with the youngling graduating high school and other major life changes coming into play. Time to regroup and refocus.

4. Read & review at least two books. Have one books already finished and ready to review. This may be the easiest goal to complete. :)

So how about you? What are your goals for the summer? For June? Want to join in #WriteMotivation?

June #writemotivation week 4

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Hmm, we seem to have skipped through a few weeks, didn’t we?

I’ve been very bad about checking in with my goals and that’s probably because I’m not so happy about my progress. Also because the middle of the month was a bit of a struggle all around. I’m making up for it with a fabulous finish and a knock out interview ready to post tomorrow.

(Stay tuned! You won’t want to miss it!)

Let’s get to the goals and see the damage/progress done, shall we?

My #writemotivation goals for this month:

  1. Work on suggested revisions for INSTITUTIONALIZED. Oh, boy. No beating about the proverbial bush. This hasn’t gone well. I’m moving so painfully slow on this. I maybe have a fourth of this done. I’m not very happy with the speed of my progress. However, I am making some pretty radical changes, especially to the front half. It might pick up once I get past that point. 
  2. If complete revisions, submit to interested parties/begin submission process. Not even on the table, yet. But I have promised myself I WILL have the revisions done before I leave for the SCBWI LA conference at the end of July. How’s that for a seriously solid deadline? I must have a singular focus to get through July – setting daily revision goals may help push myself where I need to be. This means less time for other distractions, but I think I’m ready to do this.
  3. Read 5 books. Surprisingly I’ve actually read 4 books and made a good dent in a 5th. I’m not sure if I’ll finish the 5th before the end of the month, but that’s okay. We’ll call this goal close enough accomplished. Even though I feel like I’ve been such a slow reader this month. Probably because I still haven’t finished wonder 2ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s not that I’m struggling with it, it’s just one of those books that begs you to take your time. I’m really enjoying the story and the language – everything about it, honestly. I’m not even going to worry about how long it takes me to. I may actually finish WONDER by RJ Palacio first. I’ve had it sitting by my bedside for months and I finally cracked it open this week. It’s off to a promising start.
  4. Plan out summer blog ideas/giveaways, etc. Done! Wow. One goal accomplished. I finally have my idea box refilled and ready to go. I have several book giveaways planned, starting with the first one tomorrow!
  5. Exercise 4 times a week. We are all doing really well with this at the homestead. Between walking and swimming and now the new gym membership, my muscles will never stop aching that (almost) happy pain of overuse ever again. Whee! And I’m spending so much time outside that for the first time in years, I am not ghostly pale. Yes, I have a (slight) tan. Friends who’ve known me for years will be totally shocked by this.

I hope you have all had a productive or at least motivating June. As I have some actual vacation plans coming up, (woohoo!) I won’t be participating in #writemotivation for July, but I will be active on this blog. We’ll be taking a break over at the TGNA blog for a couple of months, which will help me focus more over here and on my revisions. I’ll join back up in August and I’ll still be following everyone on Twitter.

Keep Writing! (And Stay Tuned Tomorrow!)

June #writemotivation week 1

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Looking Back

A brief, blunt, and honest review of how dismally I did on my goals in May before we see what this month has in store.

The goals for May were:

  1. Continue work on suggested revisions for MUSEUM CRASHERS. Didn’t finish. 
  2. Work on suggested revisions for Institutionalized. Didn’t even start. 
  3. If complete revisions, submit to interested parties/begin submission process. Nope.
  4. Read 6 books. Did read 4 out of 6, which was actually better than I thought I would do.
  5. The dreaded and yet necessary exercise – whip cracks! 4 times a week. Done. One goal accomplished. 

So yes, some extenuating, messy life stuff happened. When doesn’t it?

Life is messy.

During these turbulent times I think it’s even more important for me to make sure I don’t short-change myself by neglecting to set aside time for my writing. This is what I vow to do going forward. This is what I MUST do if I am ever going to accomplish what I desire  – to be a writer. I have to make it a priority, no matter what.

Looking Forward

My #writemotivation goals for this month:

  1. Work on suggested revisions for INSTITUTIONALIZED.
  2. If complete revisions, submit to interested parties/begin submission process.
  3. Read 5 books.
  4. Plan out summer blog ideas/giveaways, etc.
  5. Exercise 4 times a week.The Poisoned House

I’ve been working hard this week to stay focused and organized. I’ve already read one book this month, a ghost story called THE POISONED HOUSE by Michael Ford. I can’t remember whose reading list I stole this book from, probably Sonia Gensler’s, but whomever’s it was, I thank you. It was an eerily enjoyable read. I’ve also made some big decisions on plot changes for the YA story, so I’m ready to move forward on the revisions. Oh, yeah, and I joined a gym with my daughter and actually used the membership. Yay, me.

Here’s to a better, more productive month. Hope you all are having a fun summer and making good progress on your goals.

Until next time…

May #writemotivation check in

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Doing my first check in with a little over a week to go in the month. That should say something right there. This month didn’t start out so hot. I do feel that I am finally getting back on track after having way too much too handle. I don’t like to bore you with details, but let’s just say it seemed as if everyone in my household was having an existential crisis that required hours of me talking them down off proverbial (and sometimes not-so proverbial) ledges. Chaos was the order of the day, coffee was the beverage, nay, the meal of choice, and sleep was nary to be found.

Thankfully, that is all behind me. Everyone has once again found their inner zen and their raison d’être.

The balance is back.

Yes.

Image Courtesy of Robin Benad via Unsplash cc
Image Courtesy of Robin Benad via Unsplash cc

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Namaste.

We now return to our scheduled programming. So…where were we?

The Goals:

  1. Continue work on suggested revisions for Museum Crashers. I am close to halfway through with this round of revisions. I had a lovely critique group session, yesterday, that was very productive. My critique group loved the resolution at the end and how my character faced his fear. I just have some tightening up to do to get that ending the way I need it to be. I am really enjoying working on this book.
  2. Work on suggested revisions for Institutionalized. This will have to wait until next month. Although I have been thinking about it a lot and have been coming up with new ideas for it while working on the Museum book. I think I’ve solved a lot of the problems I’ve been struggling with and I can’t wait to get to work on this one. Next month, definitely.
  3. If complete revisions, submit to interested parties/begin submission process. Not ready, yet. Will have to wait for next month.
  4. Read 6 books. I’m doing a terrible job on this goal. I’ve only finished two books so far this month. Although I am blazing through Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles right now. I finished cinder-117x162Scarlet_final_USA-Today-117x162CINDER rather quickly and am already well into SCARLET. (Aren’t those book covers gorgeous?) I know I’ll have this one read before the end of the month. And then this peculiarly wonderful thing happened. I was invited to participate in Colleen Houck’s book club on Goodreads. I have to read the current book, THE SHADOW PRINCE by Bree Despain, by the end of the week so I can participate in the next discussion. I’m really looking forward to it. I thought being part of a book club might help me expand my reading tastes a bit by exposing me to books I wouldn’t normally hear about. It’s going to be a fun experiment. And it should force me to read more timely. Nothing like a deadline, right?
  5. The dreaded and yet necessary exercise – whip cracks! 4 times a week. I have been walking regularly, and for longer stints, which is good, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. It’s time to get back on the elliptical. BLECH! On another note, our neighborhood pool opens this weekend, so I’ll be taking the boy to the pool at least once a day until September. Time to get a new suit. Woohoo.

I hope you’ve had a lovely May and if you are up for some goal challenges for June, it’s a great time to sign up for next month at the #writemotivation website.

 

 

Final April #writemotivation check in

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I may have overcommitted myself this month.

Just a wee bit.

We have our annual fundraiser for the Autism Center of Tulsa, the A-Ok Walk for Autism coming up in May, and I’m the Team Captain for the Avengers for Trevor team. We are wearing costumes this year (or some of us are) and I’m tracking down props and gathering team members and donations and yeesh, it’s time consuming.

Then, I’m giving a couple of talks next month for our SCBWI OK group and I had to (over) prepare for them. Like way over prepare. I don’t think I know any other way. I hope it goes well. *fingers crossed*

Finally, my son’s job coach and I decided it was time to start increasing his work day – to stretch his potential in manageble increments – until we got him from half days to full days. We both felt he was ready. One thing I should have factored into my schedule was that he doesn’t deal with change well. He gets anxious and needs more attention – he has periods of acting out, aggression, and even total ugly meltdowns when he feels overwhelmed. We’ve seen all of these in the past few weeks. He’s getting better, but we’ve been living with a rabid six foot wolverine most afternoons. Not. Fun.

So…

Why did I think I could revise two complete novels in one month?

Insanity!

I do believe I may have some hereditary traits leaning toward mental instability on my mother’s side. That could explain soooooo many of my questionable life choices. But I digress. Let’s get on with it and view the damage done.

My #writemotivation goals for this month:

1. Work on suggested revisions for Museum Crashers. Although I have made significant progress, I still have a long way to go. I remain excited about the direction this is going and the revision suggestions are only making this story better. Meeting with my critique group this months was also very instructive. They pulled off the kid gloves and gave my chapter the business. It sorely needed it. The end of the story obviously needs more work than the beginning, and I have some character continuity issues to resolve. Everything is very doable, it’s just going to take longer than expected.

Blech.

I need some more chocolate to get through this revision.

2. Work on suggested revisions for Institutionalized. Nope. I’m going to have to add this as a goal for next month. Maybe. If I get goal #1 accomplished. I need to be a little more patient with myself. (Have I ever mentioned that I’m not a patient person?)

3. Read 6 books. So close! But not really. I did read 4 books. Two were picture books. (Not that I have anything against picture books, I love picture books.) I really got hung up on one book that required a slower read. THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Steifvater. It was a sequel to a book that I tore through in a couple of days, so it was frustrating that I couldn’t get into the second book so easily. In the end, I was glad I slowed down and stuck with the story. Some books can’t be rushed.  

4. If complete both 1 and 2, work on first draft of Pretty Vacant. Bah! ha ha ha ha ha! Maybe for June.

5. Yes, you still have to exercise. 4 times a week. One goal accomplished! I win! (I’m taking my positives where I can get them.)

So there’s the ugly truth of this month’s goal non-accomplishmenting. I shall not give up, however. I have already signed up for next month to do this thing all over again. I plan on hitting the revision track even harder. Once my son has adjusted to his new work hours, I will have a lot more free time to write. Very excited about that!

I hope you all did better than I did. Here’s to a productive May!