Tag Archive | goals

My Week Reviewed

I’m almost ashamed to post my achievements this week – there are none. I had one goal for the week, ONE and I didn’t even achieve that.

Up to now, my weekly goals have been to spend some time over 3 days, reading my novel, to blog (ROW80 check-in), to write a book review, and to do some exercise. This week, I can’t remember why, but I just set myself the goal of editing. My boyfriend was away, so I’d planned to come home and work on the novel, not turn on the TV, not do anything, but read, read, read. Not too hard eh? Uh, wrong. Lets look at my excuses… uh… reasons.

With boyfriend away from Wednesday, I planned to start on Wednesday.

London had tube strikes Wednesday and Thursday. The tubes on my normal way to work, weren’t running where I needed them to, or on my back up, or last resort way. I had to find another way there, and back. Getting there wasn’t too bad, but on Wednesday, I didn’t want to risk getting stuck, so I thought I’d walk part way home (I work about 10km from home, walkable, but not the whole way, on my own at night, and not with my laptop, or in the evening). I walked about 3/4km then got the tube. When I got home it was late. I ate and crashed in front of the TV, exhausted – no energy for editing/reading (note, had I have had exercise as a goal, that would be a win!).

On Thursday, I stayed at work until 8pm. Got home at 9.30pm, no way I was going to do anything then. Friday I had dinner plans.

Saturday, I found a novel I started reading – Undreamed by Paul Western’Pittard – and COUDLN’T PUT IT DOWN. I’m not exaggerating. I started reading it at 10am, had to get up to (poorly) clean the flat (for a viewing, but I was hung over, so it was very poor), then sat back down with it. I made food, but while I ate it, and the whole rest of the day, I read it until I finished. It was brilliant. If you’ve not heard of it, go look now here. Buy, read. You won’t regret it. I love psycholgical thrillers – this reminded me a lot of one of my favorite books – Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson.

Anyway, by the time I’d finished it on Saturday, it was pretty much bedtime, no time for anything else.

Today, I realised that I don’t have any paper at home, so couldn’t print off the next bit of my novel to read – classic excuse eh.

It’s not all that bad. I read 20 pages on my journeys  on Thursday and Friday, I just wanted to do more.

I have found that there’s a lot missing from the version I’ve printed off. I think I probably saved different sections as different files. I hope, because otherwise I’ve lost some. I hope it’s on my boyfriend’s external hard drive. Tomorrow, I’ll get paper, and check. Fingers crossed please.

Another reason this week wasn’t all bad, is that I nearly missed my tube stop TWICE because I was so into the novel. That’s good, right.

I need to thank Laura for sending me texts from ‘my novel.’ Had she not done this, I’m sure the week would have been a total disaster. She reminded me about it. Thanks buddy!

I still wish I’d put exercise on my goals list last week – I went for a run today, and I’ve been kind of doing my own 30 day squat challenge. Ish. It is exactly as what it sounds like, 30 days of squats (with breaks every 4/5 days for rest). I don’t know the exact number of squats you’re supposed to do, but I’ve been doing them while I clean my teeth almost daily. Not too bad. I also did a lot of walking.

Goals for this week:

2x runs, 2x 20 minute + walks, 2x 10 minute walks (getting off the tube a stop earlier)

Print off another section of The Man of My Dreams. I’ve got another 12 pages, that I know about. Maybe the missing bits are in those 12 – I think I’ve got more missing than that though.

Read said 12 pages. 

Find the missing pages of The Man of My Dreams (pray they’re on the hard drive). Print more.

Read more. 

Start with sticky notes of plot points etc. I started this way back, last year, the year before? But I’ve put them in a note book, rather than up. They’re no where near complete. I’ve got blue butterflies and hot pink squares. That’s pretty cool right – should give me a push! Hope boyfriend won’t mind me decorating the bedroom walls/mirror again!

Fast twice – at least – I also managed this last week! Up until today, I’d lost weight. I need to stop weighing myself daily!

2 book reviews, one for here, one for Novelkicks.

I think that’s very achievable. Here’s to a good week – this will be my best week this year, who am I kidding, since NaNo 2012, if I achieve everything!

ROW80: Goals

It’s been a while since I took part in A Round of Words in 80 Days, but I think now is time to get back into it. 

In 2013 I did pretty much no writing. I had a couple of new (demanding) jobs, I ran a half marathon, and I had a life. I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) squeeze writing in too. I don’t want this year to be the same. At the end of November I went to a Romantic Novelists’ Association party. That evening I had to admit that I wasn’t writing, and hadn’t done any for ages, and it was horrible. That night I made the decision to turn it around. I printed of my novel The Man of My Dreams the next day. Unfortunately it sat in my bag for a while. 

This year, I’ve started reading it. I need to read it first to remember where I need to fill in bits, and finish things. I’ve started. Once I’ve filled in the blanks (and checked the story flows), I’ll start editing properly. I’m going to do it.

And ROW80 will give me a push to do it. 

I’m starting with baby steps, and when I hit them, I’ll increase. 

Goals (not just writing, but life goals):

– Spend some time at least three times a week, editing. I don’t want to be specific, I don’t want to set anything specific – baby steps. Just some time, three times a week. I was going to say once a week, but I’ve read 20 pages of the novel over the last 2 days, that I think I can confidently do it three times this week at least. I can carry on reading at this rate. 

– Exercise three times a week. If it’s walking, no less than for 20 minutes. 

– Fast 2 days a week (500 calories a day).

– Check in for ROW80 once a week, one book review blog once a week. 

I’m capable of more, but after a year of doing nothing, I want to start slow and steady. The great thing about ROW80 is you can change your goals as you go. I’ll be changing these in a week or so.

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me,

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me,

Happy 4th Blogiversary Dear Meeeee,

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me.

Guess what? My blog is 4. 4 and 2 days if we’re going to be exact. Just over 4 years ago, my boyfriend suggested I started a blog to chart my progress through my writing course. I hated the idea. I didn’t know there was this community of writers out there that had blogs. I thought if I did it, no one would read it, that people would laugh at it, and I’d hate it.

Well, they did, they didn’t, and I don’t – I love it. Blogging is great. It’s like writing a diary, only for other people to read. I write comments that come to mind, and sometimes they inspire people to read them, and sometimes write a comment back to me. It’s brilliant.

The writing course didn’t go too well. I started it, but then got into writing novels (NaNoWriMo and more) and so haven’t carried it on. I need to speak to them to check I can carry on with it, and I need to carry on with it.

The blog’s done pretty well. It’s been up and down, sometimes I write a lot, often, sometimes I go a while without writing anything.

In total, this blog has had nearly 16,000 views and nearly 1,700 comments on 615 blogs, with 820 tags (820 different things I’ve talked about?). The busiest month was April 2011, where it had 831 views! Even the quietest of months (always December when I’m so knackered after NaNo I hardly post anything), it had 122 views. 104 people subscribe to this blog, and everytime I post, my 374 twitter followers hear about it.

That’s pretty awesome.

I can’t wait to post the stats again in another 4 years – if I carry on this way, I’ll have 32,000 views by then. Wow!

Enough of this bragging (if you can’t on your blogiversary, when can you?) and on to my week – it’s going well.

This week I’m rocking my goals. Steve is on a course this week, and has ‘homework,’ so while he was studying yesterday, I was editing. Today, I had the day off work, so I spent about 2 hours on the novel. I’ve now printed off all the bits of it (who knew I had 2,000 words stored in a seperate document here, and 5,000 in another one there?), and read through everything. I next need to make notes on the last 20 pages I read, then write up my post-it notes, which should help with what I’m missing, where etc.

I hope.

So I’m feeling pretty good.

Today I’ve also been to the gym, where I did almost double what I did on Sunday. Woop! I think I’ll go again tomorrow. I know I shouldn’t push myself too much when I’m first starting, but I wanted to get 2 diet fast days in this week, and I’m only going to manage one now, so want to make it up in another way.

I still need to do a couple of book reviews (one I started today), spend an hour on my writing  course, more on my novel, and then I’m pretty much on track for my goals this week. And I’ve got 4 days to do it. Feeling pretty good!

Also today, I’ve made a cake. Or, I’m making a cake, it’s still in the oven, then I need to put it together, and marzipan it. I’m doing a Battenberg cake. With 4 layers. Yum! Photo will be coming!

End of Week Check-In

It’s been a busy old week this week. I haven’t got half the things done that I wanted to, but I did get a lot of things done. Maybe not the things I’d set goals for, but hey.

On Tuesday I went to a work event in the evening, and Wednesday an Avon book events in the evening. Yesterday I had a day out at a friend’s (watching old Christian Slater movies – was awesome). Today I went out for lunch and to the gym. All in all, I’ve not had all that much time to work on my goals:

Edit for half an hour a day: I managed just over an hour over the whole week. The idea of only having to do half an hour each day (instead of an hour) helped in getting me doing it on the 2 days I did. I’ll keep this goal the same next week.

Spend 2 hours on the writing course: Nope. Next week (she says…)

2 book reviews: Um, no. But my review of The Girl You Left Behind (from last week) was posted on Novelkicks on Thursday. Check it out here. Again, will keep this one this week, because I’d like to get another over to Laura at NK, and I’m already 2 behind on this blog for my reading challenges this year.

2 Check-ins for ROW80: This is one. I missed Wednesday’s because I was out, then on Thursday posted a blog about other things (BOOKS!). As I also did a blog on Monday, I’m not counting it as a fail this week. Next week, I’ll get my 2, and hopefully some additional ones too again.

Burn 1,500Kcal through exercise: I got 600. Not great. BUT, I did make it to the gym this week, which is only the second time this year, so I’m very happy with that. Hopefully I’ll get there a couple of times next week. Same goal.

2 fasting days for the diet: Done. Both days I really, really didn’t want to, but I stuck with it, and I’ve lost another pound. I think I’ve pretty much got out of the ‘feasting’ on the ‘feast’ days. Some people said it was the terminology – calling it a feast day makes you think you can pig out. Now I’m calling them normal days, I seem to be doing better. Says the girs that’s so crazily full at the moment after enchiladas and Lemon Meringue pie for dinner!

This week will be interesting. I’ve got Wednesday off work (had to take an extra day off before I move companies at the end of the month – such a hardship!) where my plan is to do lots of editing – as well as making a valentine’s day cake – ahhhh, get me! Tuesday is pancake day, woop, and my cousin is in town so wants to meet for a drink after work.

Steve’s doing a course for work this week, and will have ‘homework’ each night. Means we’ll get in and not turn the TV on. That means I’ll cook then work – edit, blog, read etc. Maybe I’ll even do some writing course… that will be interesting!

Midweek Check-in

Oh dear, I’m not having a good week. I only set my goals Monday night (late Monday night, well after I had time to do anything that night), so I don’t feel too bad. Yesterday I could have, and should have done stuff, but I didn’t. I came home from work early (contact lenses felt like they were cutting into my eyes – ouch. Came home to take them out and work from home for the afternoon). I felt like I should have done more in the evening because of it, especially since dinner should have just been a heating up dinner from the night before.

Oh well, I didn’t and I need to move on.

Today I’ve been busy at work and in a training session, then I went out for dinner (one of my dear friends is moving to Portugal for a year. Happy for her, but sad too. Tonight as her going away meal), so the fact I’m even writing this blog is good. 

Tomorrow I’ll do some editing. My buddy Laura has promised she’ll start pushing me, I think it’s what I need!

When I started my new job, I asked if there was a chance I could work 4 1/2 days a week, or from home once a week, they said in principle fine. Great. I said I’d spend 3 months settling into the job, then see. We’re now at the end of the 3 months. The pay wasn’t what I hoped it would be, and not enough to let me drop down to 4 1/2 days, but WFH once a week is a possibility. Unfortuntely stuff is happening at work, and I’m going to have to TUPE over to another company (a much bigger company, so should be a good thing… maybe), in 6 weeks. Because of this, I’m not going to be able to change my working conditions etc now, but maybe when I move.

Point I’m getting to here? I’d like to work from home once a week, so that I’m here, and ready to start writing or editing or whatever as soon as I’ve finished work. (You know, like I didn’t do yeasterday!). I think I’d also stop for a lunch break and get stuff done then if I was at home for a day (I pretty much never do now).

I can probably do it unofficially for the next 6 weeks and see how it goes with the new company after that.

Sorry, went off the subject there.

This weeks goals. I’m not going to go through them, because there’s not that much. But, I have achieved some things: this is one of my blogs for this week; I’ve started a book review; I’ve done 1 fasting day. So all is not lost, yet. No, all is not lost yet. No comma. Comma not needed!

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Wednesday’s Words

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday night already. How did that happen? Being busy at work really makes the week fly! 

I’ve done no editing yet this week. I’m quite disappointed with this. Steve (the boy) was away on Monday, getting back late Tuesday. On Monday I accidentally (!!) turned the TV on and watched some soaps, then some CSI, then some more, then some Law and Order. Then I realised it was midnight, bedtime. I had my laptop on my lap the whole time. Really disappointed with myself.

Yesterday I planned to go to the gym after work, but had an accidental (see a theme here?) glass of wine during a catch up with an old colleague in the afternoon. After months of not going, I didn’t think being a little tipsy (it was a large glass, on an empty stomach!!) was a good plan, I’ve never fallen off a running machine, but didn’t want a first time.

Tonight I’ve been really tired, so done nothing.

Somethings are going well though this week. These are my goals, and how they’re coming on:

7 hours editing – 0 so far. But it is only Wednesday.

2 hours on my writing course – 0 again. Ditto above.

2 book reviews (one for here, and the completed one for Novel Kicks) – 1 done and sent to Laura at NK, 1 started. Not bad.

Burn 1,500 Kcal in addition to normal daily walking to work etc – 150Kcal so far. Well, it’s 1/10. Least it’s something. Hmmmm. Gym tomorrow.

3 fasting days: 2 done so far – Monday and today. Result.

I’ve done some things, so it’s not that bad. And, I still have 4 days left. Not sure the exercise one can happen now, but I’ll give it a go.

Exciting news of the day – Laura from Novel Kicks liked my book review, so in the near future I’ll have my first review on the site. Woo. So excited about that. I’ve been posting book reviews on here for years, but it’s such a big thing to be asked by someone else to write on their site. Makes me want to write another one right now…

Instead, I’m going to have an early night in the hope I sleep well, get up on time tomorrow (which I haven’t done this year) and become productive tomorrow night.

Here’s to the rest of the week!

NaNoWriMo – The Last Week

Today’s November 25th. The 25th day of NaNoWriMo. I’m still behind, but getting better. There’s five days left, and I’m feeling pretty good about it.

That’s cause I’ve written 8,442 this weekend – 5,198 yesterday and 3,244 today so far. I’m so happy with that. It means right now, I’m 5,805 behind. It’s not great, but it’s better than the 10,000 I was behind on Friday. In fact, I’ve been way more than this behind for most of the month. It was 9th that I was behind less than today. So yeah, today’s good.

This is my chart:

I’ve formated it so that good totals are green, bad red. It’s not good overall is it. Still I like the last two days of writing.

I really want that the first and last numbers to be green on just one line, one day. I’d like it to not be Friday, the last day. It’s possible. I’m confident. This week’s goal is to finish NaNoWriMo, and ‘win’ (reach 50,000) by Friday at the latest.

I really want to lose some weight before Christmas too, so am going to try to exercise as much as possible, and eat as little as possible. It’s not going to be that easy when I’ve got at least one, maybe three dinners out.

Changing the subject, a few weeks ago, I started posting my writing. It was y boyfriend’s idea to get me used to getting it out there, so when I start submitting work, it won’t feel like such a massive step, and also so I get used to my work being commented on. I took a week or so off doing it, but want get back into the habit. With NaNo going on, I don’t have time to edit anything, so I’m posting below some of the words I’ve written for my NaNo novel, Love Authority, this weekend. It’s not edited. I’ve not done a spell check, so please ignore all that. But, please, let me know what you think, good or bad, that’s what this is for:

            As we drove out of the estate, I told Jason about the email from the person telling me I was doing the wrong thing trying to investigate Amy’s disappearance.

            ‘You know they’re right, don’t you,’ he said.

I looked at him in amazement. ‘If they’re so right, what are you doing here? Surely what you’re doing is worse than me. You’re looking for information to write a story, to publish. If that’s not wrong, I don’t know what is.’ To amaze me again in less than a minute, Jason raised his head back and laughed.

            ‘I’m not saying what I’m doing is the right thing to do, I’m just warning you. This is my job, so I know the risks I’m taking, but I’m not sure you do.’

            ‘What do you mean?’ I had an idea of what he was getting at, but not really. He looked over at me.

            ‘How much do you tell your husband?’

            ‘I already told you, I’ve not told him anything about this search, or you.’

            ‘Good I think it should stay that way.’

He said it innocently enough, but suddenly I realised what I was doing. I was in a car with someone I’d met once before, who told me he was a journalist, but I had no idea, no one knew where I was, he could just abduct me and no one would even know where to look. They’d assume it happened on the way to work. They’d never in a million years think to look in this area of town.

            The police would probably assume I’d disappeared like my sister and do nothing about it. Just like with her. I’d like to think David would do more, but I couldn’t’ guarantee it.

            ‘I’ve got a theory, but it’s just a theory, and I might be wrong. If I’m right I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do about it, but if I’m wrong, and it gets out that I’ve thought that, or been researching into it, I could disappear myself. Heck, I could disappear if I’m right.’

            I was starting to get worried. He sounded like a bit of a madman ranting on like that. I looked out on the street, and decided whatever was going to happen in the car, it was safer that outside the car in this neighbourhood.

            ‘You have to swear not to tell anyone.’

            ‘Yesh, sure.’ I could say it, but if it was too weird I didn’t have to stick to it.

            Jason reached over and touched my hand. I could feel the heat of the touch travel up my body and down to certain parts. I couldn’t believe the reaction my body had, when my mind was starting to get terrified of him.

            ‘I really mean it Claire.’

            ‘Ok.’

            ‘Ok.’ He removed his hand, which I have to admit upset me.  I had to get a grip, I was a married woman.

            ‘Ok,’ he said again. I looked over and realised he looked nervous. ‘Ok.’ This time it was my turn to put my hand on his arm. Again the touch of our skins send heat to my sensitive place.

            ‘Jason, you can trust me.’ He swallowed, looking ahead.

            ‘Ok. So, I’ve done some research, and I think it might be the police getting rid of people.’

            I could not have been more surprised if an alien landed in front of us.

            ‘WHAT? NO way. Why would you think that?’

            ‘Come on, don’t you think it makes a bit of sense, all these people keep disappearing, most of them from rough neighbourhoods like this. Overcrowded neighbourhoods like this. I think they’re getting rid of people to reduce the numbers in areas like this.’

            ‘And Amy?’

            ‘She wasn’t in such a great area herself was she?’

            ‘Well, no, but…’ I couldn’t believe he was thinking this. Whatever I thought might have come out of his mouth, that was the last thing I imagined. In fact, I never would have imagined.

            ‘You have to admit it makes sense, who else has the resources available to be able to make someone completely disappear in a few hours. You said Shannon left home with Amy at 8am or something, then 12 hours later, when the police went round, everything was gone. Less than 2 hours later someone else was moving in. If they hadn’t known the place was going to be empty until you called them, how could they get someone moving in so quickly?’

            ‘There’s always people waiting for housing, I imagine it could take 10 minutes.’

            ‘With all the paperwork? You’re kidding. Things like that take days. At a squeeze possibly hours, but at the least. Especially after 6pm. You know nothing happens after 6pm’

            I thought about it. It had seemed a little sudden to me, but I hadn’t thought about it too much, I’d been too focused on Amy’s disappearance to worry too much about what was left behind (except Shannon).

            I couldn’t believe I was even entertaining this idea, it was utter madness. The police were there to protect us, not to do away with us.

            ‘Just think about it ok?’ he pleaded. I nodded. I would.

 

            As you can imagine, I thought about northing else that day or the next. I’d swing from major extremes of thinking he was an absolute nutter, and I was going to have nothing else to do with him, to thinking he might actually be on to something.

            He called me when I was at work on Tuesday, so on my way to the bus stop when I finished, I called him back.

            ‘Hi Claire,’ he said sing songly.

            ‘Hi Jason.’

            ‘I’m not going to ask if you’ve thought about what I said, I’m going to leave that one to you, and if you want we can ignore that I said anything until we find out one way or another.

            ‘I was just calling to see if you’ve heard anything from anyone else you emailed? And I’ve got an idea.’

            I ignored the first question. ‘What’s your idea?’

            ‘Well, we were saying the other day that the people that have disappeared have come from rough areas, right?’ he didn’t give me a chance to agree. ‘I was thinking that’s what we believe, but we’ve not looked into it have we. I mean, you found posters in Amy’s area, and I found out through a friend of a friend of a friend. Neither of us have been to nicer areas to check for posters, or anything indicating people going missing.’