Quote of the Moment

"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Writing Update - June 2018

It's been a rough year. Clearly I've expressed this in some of my past posts, but it was about time that I took a closer look at what was going on and what I should do about it. Unfortunately, the answer turned out to be cutting back on my writing goals.

Everything kind of went to hell last November. I'd had a huge schedule shift in mid-September, and I was able to kind of keep my head above water and give NaNoWriMo a go until I got bronchitis around Thanksgiving. It's been a bumpy road since then, even though I was optimistic that I'd still be able to average the same weekly word count as 2017. The schedule shift didn't work for my writing productivity at all, though, and other life obstacles made it so I crashed and burned at the beginning of this year.

The thing is, the schedule has shifted again (no more naps for my youngest -- yay?). And then it's going to shift yet again in fall (4K four times per week in the afternoons... of course, over the time when I usually eat lunch). My brain is most productive with writing mid-morning, and it's not looking like I'll get my mid-mornings back to write until Fall 2019.

I'm trying "Quiet Time" with my youngest a couple days a week, but she still interrupts and once fall hits, there won't be time for that since I'll need to feed her lunch super early. Again, this all doesn't mean I'm going to stop writing. Afternoons aren't completely out of the question once fall rolls around, it's just harder going for me, so I'm slower.

Also, I've really lacked focus on my health and organizing the house (1001 Reasons Not to Clean -- yes?), as well as spending some quality time with my family. All of this is why I've decided to reduce my writing goals. Then when Fall 2019 finally arrives, I can ramp them back up. It sucks to start going even more slowly, but it does suit most of my mantras I have for the year:

❦ Slow Down.

❦ Just Write.

❦ Live.

❦ One Word At A Time.

❦ Any Progress Is Good Progress.

❦ All In Time.

If ever I needed to start repeating all of those in my head several times a day, it's now.

What does this mean for my plans for the rest of 2018?

I won't have any publications this year.

Yes, Thorns Entwine the Blade (Trinity Torn, 2) won't be published until 2019, and the next Fortunes of Fate story is also getting pushed off. The run down of my plans are below. I'm shifting from hourly goals to simple word counts as well.

2018 Writing Goals -- Redo

❦ Summer: Revise 1.5k words per week (1 week off) --- Fall/Winter: Revise 2k words per week (2 weeks off and 3 weeks of planning and other writing tasks). This should put me at 37k words revised by the end of the year. All of this will be on Thorns Entwine the Blade. Before this week, I was 40k into revisions (I know, the word meters are broken), so I will likely have 14k-23k left to revise in 2019 (along with then sending to my editor, applying edits, and formatting before it's published).

❦ Pause critiquing efforts (unless one of my close writer friends needs extra eyes -- I will squeeze in time for them) until I'm ready to do them on a consistent basis again. This doesn't include beta reading and developmental editing for Haunted Unicorn Publishing. That's my side income right now (that mostly covers my writing expenses, since my hubbie is the main breadwinner), and that still takes precedence whenever I have a client.

❦ 1 newsletter per month (this isn't changing, and I'm still sending out chapters of Chains of Nect).

❦ 1 blog post every 2 weeks (another staying the same, at least).

Hopefully simplifying all of this will help me get into a routine for health, house, and family. And once all of that is more solid, I can increase my writing quotas. Also, by lowering my weekly word count goals, I'll actually get to feel the satisfaction of hitting my goals, which always makes me feel better. I've already hit 1.5k for this week -- yay!

Oh, and clearly the 5-Year Plan isn't viable anymore. I'll work on a new one in December to reflect my reduced writing time through 2019. I'm sure I'll be editing that damned thing every year, but it's still nice to have to give me a bit of perspective.

Happy writing and reading, all! Just remember, if Life takes a hammer to the asphalt and the road becomes too rough, sometimes you just need to slow down.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Still A Trio Of Terror

Time for more kitty pictures! Has it really been over a year since I posted any? Well, the Trio of Terror are as naughty as ever. Also, now all three are happy to jump up on the counters without aid of a chair (Sylph also likes being a pillar cat), though Nightshade is the only one who jumped onto the radiator and then a high windowsill right on top of our TV sound bar. Obviously, this didn't end well (sound bar crash, boom, banged). He's lucky he didn't break anything. =/

If you want to pop over to past posts with Trio of Terror pics, you can find them on Kitten, Kitten, Kitten, Kitten Intermission, and Kittens to Cats! Onward with new pictures...

First of all, they still love their cat tree, though it's kind of hard to fit all three on it nowadays - lol.

I am also not allowed to make the bed.

Look at the little heart kitties. I think it's great that we got siblings because they love each other and snuggle instead of hating each other. Though for a while earlier this year Sylph hated Rikku after Rikku came home smelling like the vet (she had her teeth cleaned). Thankfully, Sylph wised up because I love it when the girl kitties snuggle like this to form a heart. ♥

Here's the goofy Sylph, "Ice, Ice Kitty" (yes, sing it to the song that just popped into your head, but say meow instead of those silly beats). She comes running when we're getting ice from our fridge and licks up any little shards that escape. Also, I've gotten a couple pictures of her sitting on my lap. She looks pissed I took a picture, though. There isn't supposed to be any proof she likes to snuggle occasionally. Nope. She's still the most aloof one of the three, and she especially hates strangers -- she'll hide for hours after someone leaves until she deems it safe to emerge.

Nightshade is still our derpy Boo Kitty. No, cat, you're not a stuffed animal, and I don't appreciate you knocking down a bunch of stuffed animals just so you can lay there. Though derpy, he's still the most laid back cat in the house, and he puts up with a lot from my youngest (no matter how much we tell her to be nice and not pick him up).

Rikku is still my snuggle buddy, especially when I'm sitting up in bed. She makes it really hard to get up in the morning when she plops on my chest. She's the, "I'm the Kitty, gotta love me." Yes, must pet her, or she'll chew on your Fitbit. And she's taken the crown for naughtiest in the house. Crazy, too -- Rikku Cuckoo Kitty. Also, she loves to hang off the bed like you see in the picture. Reminds me of those "Hang In There, Baby" posters. So we always say, "Hang in there, Cuckoo."

One more picture. Hey, wait, that's not one of the Trio of Terror, that's Cathulhu!