Howdy, howdy, howdy!
The newest round of A Round of Words in 80 Days started yesterday (Monday, April 1st) so I’m posting my goals for this round and giving a bit of an after-action report on Round 1.
Round One 2019 Summary/Review:
Back in January, I set myself the following goals for the first round of AROW80 – here they are with updates:
Goal: Finish Storm Warnings — which I have now started about five times, but I’m currently working on a draft that I’m liking. Writing short is freaking hard, people.
Status: Storm Warnings is still unfinished. And as of today, I’ll be restarting it for the sixth and hopefully last time (more on that under the Goals post for this round). I’ve revised a few decisions I had made about the story’s length and focus and this time, fingers crossed, God willing and the creek don’t rise, I think I’ve finally struck upon an outline that will work.
Goal: Finish Omegas: Cake Walk — which is still in the same limbo it’s been in for the last few months.
Status: Omegas: Cake Walk is still in limbo but that’s ok.
Goal: Post in my blog at least weekly as part of my checking in with AROW80.
Status: Didn’t quite make it to weekly posts, but I have posted more frequently than I did in the past.
Goal: Post and track my progress in the 365 Day Challenge on the group’s spreadsheet.
Also, Friday is my birthday! I’m going to be 49 years old (I’m a prime number squared!) – which means next year, I’ll be 50. And while I don’t have 2020 vision, what I want to do for myself for my 50th is to finish at least one story and get it ready to be submitted for publication. I’ll keep you posted how that goes!
Status: I’ve been tracking my progress with my own spreadsheet and I’ve been posting my updates pretty regularly in the official 365 Day Challenge spreadsheet.
Goal: Write at least 4 times a week and produce a total of at least 2,500 words.
Status: This is the goal I have been knocking out of the park. I’ve been consistently meeting or exceeding my weekly goals. Since January 25th, I haven’t missed a single day of writing and each month, my word production has been going steadily up. So, color me very happy about that.
That said, there are some things that I want to improve upon going forward, especially in regards to what I’m writing. As it is right now, I’m including just about any writing than I’m doing as part of my word goals. Some of that has been my work on Storm Warnings – both the actual writing of the story and the plotting/general noodling around with ideas that I’ve been doing. I’ve also started a couple of other things that I’m using to flex my creative muscles.
The first is my own take on a dream journal. I take notes on what happened in my dreams and write it up, along with whatever book I happened to be listening to when I went to sleep (I usually listen to audiobooks to help me drift off). The idea is that this is a way for me to potentially mine my subconscious for ideas. And I’ve had a couple dreams that are ripe for being turned into stories, so I’m calling that a win. I’ve also gotten some ideas for characters and potential scenarios as well.
What’s really interesting to me is how often things from the audiobooks I’m listening to don’t appear in my dreams. In the month or so that I’ve been doing this, there’ve been maybe two or three times where I can make a direct link between something in a book and something in my dreams. Don’t know as this proves anything about subconscious learning, but it’s kinda neat to me.
The other is also a kind of journal, which I’m using to do freewriting as a way to get ideas and thoughts out of my head and onto the page (and to make a word count on days when maybe the fictional creativity isn’t wanting to flow like I’d like it to). That’s a little less structured than the dream journal and is more just me rambling about stuff as it comes to me.
And, as of this week, I’ve started an idea bank – I’m using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of ideas for my various fictional universes. The reason for using Excel is so that I can sort the ideas by various criteria. This is especially helpful for story ideas like the universe that Omegas: Cake Walk and Storm Warnings are set in where stories can be set in entirely different time periods.
What I’m hoping to do going forward is to start focusing on counting work that actually goes somewhere – the journals are good but I want to start actually producing work that I can show to other people. Specifically, work that I can start trying to send out to sell. Because ultimately, I want to get published. Preferably traditionally published, but I’m not about to turn my nose up at self-publishing. So toward that end, here’s my goals for Round 2.
Round 2 Goals:
- Finish Storm Warnings – I’m working on this for the April 2019 iteration of Camp Nanowrimo. The good news is, I have finally struck on a formulation for the story that does what I want it to do and I actually managed to outline the whole thing from beginning to end so that inspires confidence in me!
- Touch base regularly with my accountability partner – I didn’t do this as well as I should have last round and I am sincerely sorry about that. I’ve gotten out of the habit of talking to folks online and I need to get better about that.
- Stay the course on my dream journal and freewriting – Because I enjoy doing both and I think they have the potential to be very useful for future endeavors, whether that’s story ideas or blog posts.
- Finish Omegas: Cake Walk – This is something that’ll probably be on the back burner until May or so, since I’m putting my main energy into Storm Warnings, but I do still keep nudging at the story in the back of my head.
For now, going to wrap this up with the boiler plate links and talk to you folks soon!
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