So is it just me, or has January gone on for what seems like an age? January is always a bit of a rough month (sorry January birthdays…), although this year it has REALLY DRAGGED. But we’ve made it, tomorrow is the 31st, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I think it’s some actual honest-to-goodness sunlight returning to cold, grey London. (Hooray for a bit more day light!)
So I wanted to keep up my regular posting and I thought a fun way to check in each month would be a goal post. (Get it? A goal-post? I’ll be here all week folks.) I posted about my goals in my last post, and on the Muses blog, so let’s see how I did.
This month my biggest goal was to finish another round of edits and revisions on HONORS, and I’m happy to say that I did it!
I just sent it off to my wonderful, patient, enthusiastic CPs (thank you ❤ ), and hopefully I’ll be ready to query again soon.
Here’s an update on my new/improved goals for the next few months:
- Fix and finish THE DEVIL’S BELT. This is my long-simmering Revolutionary War novel, which I’ve started and stopped too many times. I have about 10,000 words, but I think I need to rewrite/rework most of them, so I’ll essentially be starting from scratch. I’ve given myself until the end of March to finish the first draft, so hopefully that’s a realistic amount of time for me. I’ll be using Write Track to keep me accountable, and luckily my daily wordcount worked out to a pretty memorable number: 1776!! Now to just stick with it as best as I can each day. DEADLINE: March 31st
- Outline NEW SHINY IDEA! So in my previous post I left this one kinda nebulous because I really wanted to focus on finishing HONORS and on getting into a routine for DEVIL’S BELT. I think now that I’ve crossed HONORS off my to-do list, I can look ahead more practically to after I finish the first draft of BELT. I’d love to outline my shiniest new idea by say, the end of May. That should be enough time to let BELT breathe, and then I can start revising it over the summer. This new sparkly novel idea is tentatively titled COURTESAN, although I really want to call it LA SYRENA, because of reasons. (For a sneak peak, check out my December story on the Muses blog!) DEADLINE: May 31st.
- Read more. Ok so this one I didn’t quite manage. I started reading the autobiography of Revolutionary War officer (and spymaster…) Benjamin Tallmadge, but I haven’t finished it yet. Then halfway through the month a friend loaned me Bernard Cornwell’s newest novel Fools & Mortals (which is AMAZING – he was one of my favorite authors growing up so it’s awesome to get back into his style), and I’m almost done! Maybe I can finish it by tomorrow, but that will still only be one book read this month. But, I’m definitely getting back into the regular habit, and I like reading (at least) one non-fiction and one fiction book each month. And the Tallmadge memoirs are also kinda sorta research for THE DEVIL’S BELT, so I figure it’s ok if that bleeds over into February a bit. I still want to get to at least two books a month though, so I’m keeping this goal for February. GOAL: Read two books each month.
- Yoga twice a week. Ok this one I didn’t quite achieve either. I only really started in the second half of the month, and again I started and stopped a couple times on a 30-day YouTube video series. BUT I’ve just renewed my commitment because I found a yoga buddy and we’re going to do the same videos at the same time either every day or every other day as our schedules allow! So now that I have someone holding me accountable, I’m optimistic I can get better at achieving this goal for February. I’m also still walking to and from work, so I mostly want to improve my strength and flexibility for now. GOAL: Yoga every day/every other day.
- Post more regularly. This goal I did pretty well with. I’m more active on Twitter, both for my own account and for the Muses account, and we’re growing our followers every week. I’m blogging this right now (yay!), and we’re adding new content on the Muses blog every week. I’ll have a new story up this Friday for February too! I’d like to interact more with short story editors and anthologists with our Muses Twitter account, and see if we can get more feedback on our tweets and posts. I also want to post more regularly on Instagram, but again I’m always waffling between not wanting to overshare, and wanting to post silly shit every day. So this goal is essentially staying the same for this month. GOAL: Post at least once a month on personal blog, post once a week for Muses (either a story or signal-boosting), increase positive interactions on other platforms.
I think that’s everything for now. Not to toot my own horn too much, but I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking with my editing goal this past month, and I’m hoping I can keep up the momentum as I start drafting BELT in February. I want to make sure I don’t get stuck on the same plot/character problems as last time, but I think I’ve brainstormed a way to get through them. I’m also finally watching the last season of TURN: Washington’s Spies to get back in the Revolutionary mood, and I’ve got my playlist ready to go!
Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear how you’re doing with your goals so far!