Tag Archive | writing course

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!

Last Week

It’s the end of January this week. The beginning of Feb. I can’t believe it. We’re now 28 days into the year. 28. How has that happened? Time is going so fast.

Which is a brilliant excuse for not doing much this week. So little.

No editing. No writing course. No completed book reviews (although I started 2 which is good, not as good as completing, but still good). I managed to get in 2 check-ins for ROW80 (this counts as yesterday’s check in!), 2 fasting days for my 5:2 Diet AND burn 600 calories. Not everything is bad then.

What I did do, is read a book. I actually read it yesterday, as in that’s pretty much all I did yesterday. Oops. It was Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, it was brilliant, totally gripping.

It means that things really can only get better. To get better than this week, I’m keeping my goals the same:

7 hours editing my novel (granted I’m not as far as editing, I’m at reading draft 1 stage)

2 hours on my writing course

2 book reviews

2 ROW80 Check-ins

Burn 1500Kcal in addition to normal walking to work etc.

2 fasting days for my diet

That’s it. And this week, this week, I’m going to do better. I’ve got a really busy week, but I’m going to make time to the things I need to be diong. With January pretty much down, I’ve got a month less before I have to get my novel to the RNA for review. I can’t do what I usually do and leave things till the last minute with this, this is too important to me. So this week, will be my week.

Last Week’s Loses

Last week was a mix of a week. I had some good days, and some really horrible days. That’s mainly just because of work. I hate that work can make a difference to a real life day. Well, I do when I’ve had a bad day.

In terms of my goals, last week was a pretty poor week. Pretty poor. These were my goals, and successes (or lack of them):

7 hours editing – totally failed this one, none.

2 hours of writing course – again, failed totally, not one.

2 Book Reviews – Completed one, drafted one. It’s a good thing I fiinished the one I did, it was for the website Novel Kicks, and on Thursday, it was pubished. Woop! That’s my first review for anyone other than myself. I’m looking forward to reviewing more for them. Check out my review of All That Glitters by Ilana Fox, and enter the competition to win a copy here.

2 ROW80 Check-ins: COMPLETE!

Burn 1,500 Kcals in additional to normal walking to work exercise: 600kcal done. It’s better than none. Plus, I took the big step of going to the gym though. First time this year. That’s a big step!

3 ‘fasting’ days: I only managed 2. I kept putting the second back, and ended up accidently being hungover yesterday, so really couldn’t face the idea of it.

Not a great week, but certainly not a terrible week. I’ve very happy with the review on Novel Kicks. I’m very happy with going to the gym. I’m happy I can at least do check in blogs.

I’m going to keep most of my goals the same for this week, just changing one and adding another. They are:

7 hours editing

2 hours of writing course

2 Book Reviews – 1 for here and one for Novel Kicks. I’m sure they don’t want another one so soon, but if I get it done, it’s ready when they’re ready for it. The one for on here is drafted so shouldn’t take that much effort. She says…

2 ROW80 Check-ins PLUS another blog: My check in blogs are about my progress. I don’t write so much about what I’m writing (or editing in this case). I like those blogs, so I’ll add one of those too.

Burn 1,500 Kcals in additional to normal walking to work exercise: I know I’ve not managed it so far, but it’s good to have a big goal to aim for.

3 ‘fasting’ days.

I’d really like to do a week round up and actually be positive about what I’ve acheived that week. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a blog and was really happy with everything I’d done over the whole week. I think this might be the week. I’d really like it to be, but I do have quite a lot of plans. But saying that, I’ve not got outragous goals; everything is possible.

ROW80 Begins Again – 2013 Round One

Howdie fellow ROW80ers, and everyone else *waves*

I made some goals at the beginning of the year, and although I haven’t started them yet, it is only the 7th. And when I say I haven’t started them, what I really mean is I haven’t done much. Because yesterday, I took a really big step, and PRINTED The Man of My Dreams. All 160 pages of it (in addition to the 10 I already had printed.). Woop. My plan now is to read through it (12 pages done yesterday) and make notes of what happens as it goes along. Then when I’ve done that I should (I hope) be able to see which path makes the most sense – the way I took it originally, or the way I veered off to.

I’ve got a push to do it and edit it this year, the biggest push I’ve had so far. I got into the Romantic Novelists’ Association, New Writer’s Scheme. Double, (no triple, cause it’s that exciting) woop. I’ve been trying for 2 years before this, and always applied too late to get a place, so I’m so so happy I’ve got in. As well as going to their events (with speakers, novelists, publishers, agents, and new writers like me), I get to send them a manuscript where a published author will comment on it. Eek!

So I have to finish, and edit, and get The Man of My Dreams as good as I can by August.

Eek!

Keris Stainton (author or the *heart* series [Jessie *heart* NYC, Emma *heart* LA]) sent me a link to a page on Holly Lisle’s site – One-Pass Manuscript Revision: From First Draft to Last in One Cycle’. I’ve read about half of it, and it gives some good advice. I need to read further as I go along the process, but I think it’s going to be really helpful once I get there. Once I’ve read it, and decided which way to take it.

This round, I’ve decided to make weekly goals like I did in a previous round, because they seemed to work really well for me. Here we go then, for this week, Monday 7th – Sunday 13th January

– 7 hours working on The Man of My Dreams. I know this week it will mostly be reading, with some note taking, and I’m fine with that. I’m sure I’m not going to make an hour every single day, but if I can do the equivalent of an hour a day I’ll be really happy.

– 7 hours on my writing course. Writing course. Wow, remember that? I hardly do. I’ve not done it for so long, I need to call them and find out if I’m still ok to carry on, or if I need to re pay for it. I signed up about 4 years ago, so I think I’ll be fine. I’m sure I signed up before they put a time limit on it. Fingers crossed. I figure with the revision of the novel it will be good to work on this in conjunction. It will remind me of what I need in it, but also, the next assignment is to plot a novel, I think plotting TMOMD would be a good idea. OK, so the novel is mostly written, but it can’t help to get comments, and advice on it can it?

– Write 1 book review for here and one (my first) for my friend Laura’s website Novel Kicks. I’ve already read one book this year, and have 20 still to write-up from last year for my reading challenges last year. I’m late, but better late than never (some of them are likely to be never, but some of them I should, and want to review).

– 2x check in blogs (in addtion to this). As it says on the tin.

– Decide on reading challenges for the year, and write a blog about them. I’d like to do Room Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge again – I failed it last year, so feel I need to redeam myself this year. Last year I took books of my shelf, this year I think I’ll take other books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while, but which aren’t necessarily on my actual physical shelf.

– Burn 1500 kcal through exercise on top of normal walking to work etc. I’ve joined the gym again this year, and am determined to use it more than last year. Plus I’m going to sign up to a 10k run in May/June so need to get back into training. On top of this, I now work between two buildings which are about 15 minutes walk (100 cals) between each other. If the last week is anything to go by, I’ll be burning about 600 just walking between them.

– 2x fasting days. I’ve started the 5:2 diet, where you ‘fast’ (eat 500 calories) 2 days of the week. So far it’s going well. Week one went well anyway. I’m slightly worried that some people said it can cause headaches, and I got a migraine earlier, but I’m sure headaches and migraines are actually caused by and totally different things, so probably not related. I’m going to keep an eye on it though.

That’s it then. It’s quite a lot, but it’s doable, I know I can. As long as I work a little each day, and take each day as it comes, I should be fine.

Laura has agreed to be my buddy again this round. We have a brilliant way of pushing each other, through Twitter, texts, Facebook and emails. Whatever it takes. It’s really good to have someone I know is going to push me, and it’s a good feeling knowing I’m making a difference by pushing her too.

I hope everyone has a good week.

The Seven Facts Tag

A couple of days ago, Em tagged me in The Seven Facts Tag game – how excellent. The idea is that you write seven facts about yourself, then tag people in it to do the same.  

I’m copying Em, who copied Juliana and using writing as the topic of the seven facts about me:

1)       Unlike many other writers, I can’t listen to music when I write. Actually, I’ve not tried since before university, so I don’t know for sure I can’t, I just prefer not to. Oddly enough though, I can sometimes write when I’m in the same room as a TV that’s on, or where computer games are being played.

2)       My writing accomplishments so far are: 1 written, but not edited Mills and Boon type romance novel; 1 half written YA novel; 2 half written chick lit romance novels, and 1 finished and edited short story. I’d like to one day actually edit something other than a 1000 word story!

3)       I don’t remember what made me want to write. I’ve read interviews where people talk about a story they wrote when they were a child, but I have no memories of that. I don’t know if I wanted to write when I was little, or even if I did that much writing. I just remember always wanting to do it. I don’t even know when I tried it for the first time, I thought it was just after uni, but then found something from when I was AT uni, so maybe there are things somewhere that go back even further. Who knows?

4)       We don’t have a desk, or even a table at home, so I do all my writing either sitting on the sofa, or sitting on my bed. You’d think my back would get sore from it, but it doesn’t.

5)       I’m doing a correspondence writing course. It’s taken a back step at the moment (that moment lasting a couple of years), but one day I’d like to finish it. My Mum is also doing the same course. She started it about 20 years ago!

6)       I hate naming novels or stories. The novel I started on 3 years ago is still called ‘Holiday’. When I finally come up with the titles to stories/novels, I tend to love them, but it’s getting there that’s hard. Ironically, I’ve got a really good name for a novel, that I totally love, but I don’t really know much about the novel, just a basic starting point! Love the title though.

7)       I really, really want to get a novel published. Not for the money, because there’s generally not much money in it (unless you become super mega famous, I doubt that), it’s not for the fame (I don’t really want to be famous, I’m very shy in real life), it’s because I want to move people with my words. I was saying the other day that it’s great when you get taken away with a novel and feel for the characters when they go through good/bad things. I want to be able to take people away, and really move them with my words.

 

So there we have it. My Seven Facts Tag. I’m supposed to tag people in this, but I’m going to be a bit different. I want to tag you reader. I don’t know much about my readers, or the people subscribed to my blog, so please, consider yourself tagged, and let me get to know you.

Still Here, Just Not Doing Much

I am still alive, I promise. I’m just not blogging, or checking-in for ROW80, or actually writing, or keeping up with any of my goals. Why? Well I’m not really sure. I’ve got some excuses though – whether they are actually excuses, or real reasons why not, I have no idea.

I started my new job 3 ½ weeks ago. My old job was very, very easy. I could pretty much do it with my eyes closed. This job is different. I have responsibility, I have lots and lots to learn, a ton of different people to meet (and remember) and more work than I can handle.

I’m loving it, but it’s exhausting me. For the first time in maybe a year, I’ve been (sometimes) buying ready meals because I just haven’t always had the energy to cook when I get in. Also, obviously not had the energy to go to the gym. What is good, is that getting the bus to and from the tube to work is pointless – the traffic across Blackfriars Bridge is so bad, that it’s as quick to walk. That means I’m walking 40 minutes a day. Not including walking between my buildings or when I go to head office. Not bad.

Of course there’s this other little excuse, and I don’t know if that had happened because I’m so tired, or if I’ve let the tiredness be the excuse – I’ve really got into Heros. Yeah, that TV series that started years ago, yeah, I know like EVERYONE watched it back then, but I didn’t. I didn’t care. Boyfriend made me watch it a few times while we had dinner (classy us – we don’t have a kitchen or dining table!). I didn’t care much for the first few episodes, but then I really got into it. Really.

We’ve reached the end of the first series (boyfriend has the first 3 series on DVD), so I’m finally able to do something, other than watch it, and think about it for most of my other waking moments (other than when I was working!).

I’m sure I have more excuses, but I can’t think of them right now. Do you want to know what I have done? Not much granted, but every little helps.

On Saturday, I did half an hour work on my writing course. Who even knew I was doing a writing course? I can’t remember when the last time I did anything for it was, but I’m going to put a guess out there at over a year. A year. How mental is that?!

What prompted it? My Mum restarting hers. Originally, back in the 1990s, my mum started doing a writing course. She got a little stumped at the first assignment, and it stayed there. But it put an idea in my head. 4 years ago, I turned that idea into practice, and started doing the same writing course as she had. I got a lot further than she did – maybe assignment 4 or 5 (out of 20), but then I got distracted with NaNo and actually writing novels, and so I let it slip. Suddenly a year (plus) had gone by without doing any.

My mum recently decided to carry on with the course. Or restart it. Her talking about it, and getting excited about it made me think about mine, so much that I got it out at the weekend. I know 30 minutes isn’t a lot (especially as I’ve not done any since), but it’s a start. And to be honest, right now 10 minutes would be better than nothing, so 30 is pretty damn good.

I’m on the writing a novel chapter. I’ve read it all before (over a year ago), but think it’s pretty good and important so am reading again (I need to have read it to do the assignment). The assignment a the end of this chapter, or section, is writing a fully plan for a novel. I’ve decided that, although I’ve written a lot of The Man of My Dreams, I’m going to take a step back, pretend I haven’t, and write the plan for the assignment. Woop!

I also  something really useful from what I read on Saturday. It recommends that while you’re writing your novel, you SHOULD take breaks and write smaller things – short stories. It says that because writing a novel is so hard and long that it can start to get you down. Writing short stories can keep your mind fresh, and give you confidence that you can finish something etc etc.

Whenever I’m in ‘novel writing’ mode, that’s all I write. I don’t let myself write stories, or anything other than blogs and the novel. Right now I’ve been writing TMOMD since November 1st and I’m still ¾ of the way through it. That wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t have done NaNo and written 50k in November – it means I’ve done about 23k in 3 months. Bad! Right now I’m feeling a little downhearted about it. It just seems to be going on and on (originally I planned it to be 70k, I’m 3 over that and have a LOT left to write).

I’m going to follow the advice and do some short writing things. Maybe not stories, maybe just bits and pieces from random word generators (which is how I got into writing short stories). Hopefully it will a) get me back into writing and b) get me feeling fresh about TMOMD again, and make me want to go back and finish it.

I’m not going to say anything about my goals. They’re there. I’ll try, but I sometimes wonder if trying too hard makes me stay away from them – weird I know, but then I’ve never professed to be anything but!!!

Better, But Still Not Very Good

Well, this check in, for the first time for WEEKS (I am not kidding), I can actually report that I’ve done some writing. Not, much but some. I have my buddy Laura to thank for it.

So how much is not much? A piddly amount – 791 words. I guess that’s not that few, but it was in 1 day. Just one day. Oh dear.

Laura and I were texting the other day, and she encouraged me to try to write JUST 50 words. 50? That’s nothing, I could do that. So… I… didn’t. I got home that night and just didn’t have the energy. The next night though, I did.

I’d made a decision that I was going to read the first 3000 words of the novel that night, and that would be my work on it for the day. 3000 words because Novelicious have a competition running where you have to enter that much of your chick lit novel. Prizes include novel critiques, Kindles and books. I read through it, liked some of it, hated some of it, and… nearly cried ’cause it was so sweet. Ahhhh.

I think it’s got potential. If I could just finish it and edit it…

After reading the first 3000 words, I got an idea for a scene later on (possibly the last scene). I’d already turned the laptop off, so I grabbed a bit of paper and pen, and started plotting it. Then before I’d got too far, instead of planning, I started writing it. What I wrote wasn’t as good as what I’ve got in my head for this scene (I’ve been going over it again and again in my head for the last couple of months), but it’s words, and words are editable. Brilliant.

I’m going to do some writing now, but after this I don’t really know how to decide what I should do. I want to finish writing the novel, but I need to edit the first 3000 words. I should really finish writing it before I start editing, but maybe I should just edit this bit, then go back to finishing writing it.

What I’d really like to do is stop writing, read it and start editing it. I really, really want to do that, but I think I shouldn’t. I think I should get it all finished, then read and edit. What my problem is, well what my problemS ARE, are: 1) I’ve missed out a massive side story that I need to wiggle back in, I’m going to have to change, or add a lot to add it back in, and it was a good side story, so I want it in there; and 2) that I don’t know how I’m going to finish it.

These two points make me think that I should go back, read it and start editing. I just don’t think that’s how it should be done. Of course, everyone’s different, and so maybe that way would work for me? Or maybe I’m just saying that cause it’s giving me the get out clause I need to stop writing now. I just don’t know.

What if I carry on writing it, finish it, and then when it’s time to edit it, I don’t want to? Should I just be editing now while I want to – because I’ve never actually WANTED to edit something, maybe this is a sign I should do it while I want to? I just don’t know.

Ah well, it’ll work itself out, somehow. Closing date for the Novelicious competition isn’t until the beginning of April – maybe I could finish the novel, and edit those 3k by then… You never know!

In other news, my mum is thinking about re-starting the writing course she’s got – the one I’m also doing (supposedly). That’s made me think about picking it back up (because you know, I can’t decide whether to write or edit at the moment, so why not throw another thing on the pile?). It would be good to do that, but if I’m completely honest, I don’t want her to finish it before me (even though I started it a LONG time after she did – we’re both rubbish and left it). Sigh. I don’t know.

I’ve just had a thought. When I was at school, during GCSEs, I managed to juggle 9 subjects, during A-Levels four, then at uni a few modules at once. Why now can’t I juggle two things? OK, so I admit juggling writing and editing the same project probably isn’t a great idea, but why not juggle writing/editing with the writing course? Some might suggest that if I don’t ‘have time’ to do 1, then I really shouldn’t be telling myself to do two. They might be right. AGH. Guess what? I just don’t know.

Seeing as I don’t know anything at all, I’m going to go. If anyone had a great idea about what I should do, please, let me know your thoughts.

Oh – I have 3 other goals for this ROW80 round: exercise, reading and eating well. Um… I’m walking a lot. Reading a little, and eating a lot (I know it’s supposed to be eating little, but never mind). Maybe this week will be better! Fingers crossed please guys!

Progress, Planning and Philosophising

It seems a little wrong checking-in today for ROW80 when I only wrote my goals yesterday, but seeing as I should have written them on Monday, I guess I should. Plus, you know, it’s good to check-in on time. I should have put that as a goal this round too.

Well. Four main goals, here we go – day 1.

Writing – Well… I thought about doing some writing… then got sidetracked. Yesterday’s blog from Kait on the A Round of Words in 80 Days blog, was all about ‘The Test Mile,’ in exercise the way to make yourself go out is to say you’ll just run a mile (for me 10 minutes) then see how it goes. It works to get you out becuase such a small thing seems to easy, but then when you get to the end of that allotted mile (10 minutes) you usually feel good about it so carry on. Kait suggests we writers use the same principle with writing. GENIUS! On days that I don’t want to run, if I say to myself I’ll sit down and just write 100 words, I BET once I get to 101, 102 etc I’ll want to carry on going. Hopefully tonight I’ll want to write, but if not, Kait’s Test Mile is something I’ll be trying.

Reading – What did I say yesterday? That I seem to either write or read? Guess what I did last night? Yeah, I must have spent a couple of hours reading. I’m reading Petit Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson. I’m really enjoying it, but was thinking about it last night. It’s not what I’d call ‘unputdownable,’ but I keep coming back to it. It’s good, and it’s making me think about going to France and learning better French (more of this later).

Exercise – I’m rocking this one too (you know, in the one day I’ve been doing it). I wanted to go to the gym yesterday, but I had to go home to take a library book back (lame excuse I know, but it works for me). Instead I walked to the tube (2.2km) then from home walked to the library and back (1.6km). Not a bad start. Tonight I go to the gym.

Eating – I had chocolate yesterday. And cheese at lunch and dinner. Considering that, I didn’t do too badly – I ate 1650 calories. Not the 1400 I was aiming for, but still enough to lose weight. I also got my 5 portions of fruit & veg. Yay!

I’m planning on the rest of this week going better than yesterday did, I’m planning on hitting all 4 goals, not just 2. I can do it. Today is the day to show myself I can!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I’m a big believer in things (everything) happening for a reason e.g. I didn’t get into the NWS this week. Maybe that’s because I’m destined to get myself published without help. (Or maybe I’m destined not to get published – lets not think that way though); And when my boyfriend and I split up last year, it was horrible, but when we got back together, it made us stronger.

Things happen for a reason. Also, coinsidences happen a LOT! I like to think more the first – gives me hope in some things I think.

Yesterday, this happend twice.

Remember my blog yesterday? The one where I read Laura’s goals for the year and remembered my writing course? I was thinking about it more after I finished the blog. The next assignment is to plot a novel. I was thinking that maybe when I’ve finished draft 1 of The Man of My Dreams, I might ‘plot’ it and use that for the assignment.

Last night I went home and read for a while. When I finally dragged myself away from the book, I decided that instead of writing, I was going to hoover behind our bed. I’m not sure if I can admit that I’ve not done it since we moved in. It needed doing, but I’d been putting it off for ages. The bed is in a corner, so wall on 2 sides. I’ve been putting it off for fear of what I’d find undermneath – dust, spiders, dustry spiders? dusty paper? I just didn’t know.

I took the plunge. What did I find? Only the module booklet for the novel plotting assignment. Spookey eh? I literally had not thought about the course for months, and had been putting off doing the hoovering for weeks (fine, months). I think it means something that both these things happened in one day. Especailly when boyfriend came home and asked me what inspired me to finally do it – I had no answer?!

The other weird thing.

Boyfriend has dreams of one day living in France. It’s quite a good idea – I’ve been there a few times and quite like it and used to like the language (at school I was really good at it!). I’ve told him that if we ever do plan on moving there when we have kids (forward planning!!!) we need to teach them French from when they’re born. Which means us speaking French too.

This book I’m reading – Petit Anglaise – is about an English girl living in Paris with her boyfriend and little girl who is learning both languages side by side. Over the last few days it’s got me thinking more about France and how cool it would be to relearn the language – and to better than GCSE (age 16) level. Also I’ve been thinking that it would be awesome to go to Paris again (I’ve been a few times, and thought I was sick of it – seeing as there’s so many other places that I’ve never been before).

Last night, boyfriend comes home with an idea of going to Paris for a long weekend. Hmmm.

It feels like there’s weird things going on in my life at the moment. Weird, but maybe things pointing me in certain directions. Or maybe there were just a few coincidenses yesterday!

2012 Planning

Well, we’re here again – time to make some new goals/plans for the year. I’ve not evaluated last year’s performance yet. I’m pretty sure I never evaluated 2010’s year! Maybe I should do that first? Nah!

I’ve not really thought about what I’d like to achieve this year very much. I have a few ideas, so let’s see how it goes:

  • A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80). I love this challenge, I have to do it again. It kept me motivated for about 160 days last year (one of the rounds went down the drain for some reason, and I only heard of it at Round 2). Plus I have an awesome buddy in the form of Laura Parish who really pushes me. I need ROW80. Hopefully it can get me writing again (which I haven’t done since Mid ish December).
  • ROW80 – round 1. Obviously I’m not going to make my goals for round 2, 3 and 4, but as Round 1 started yesterday – I need to make goals for that. ROW80 2012 Round 1 goals listed below in numbered bullets:
  1. Writing. This is my main goal. I HAVE to finish The Man of My Dreams soon. 1,000 seems a lot, but 500 words a day doesn’t seem enough. How about a flexible 500 – 1,000 words a day? Might backfire if I only write 500 every day, but let’s see how I go on that. When I finish The Man of My Dreams, I’m going to do random writing for a month (30 days exactly, no matter when I start it) before going on to editing TMOMD. That random writing can come from prompts etc. or whatever I can think of. 500 – 1000 words though!
  2. Reading. I want to find a way to balance my life with reading and writing. This is something I’ve not really managed up until now. I seem to be either reading, or writing. It’s probably because I feel like I don’t have enough time for them both, but hey. I want to read more. I want to read at least 2 books a month. So 6 books (ish) during ROW80. I’m going to attempt to do my 2 reading challenges throughout the year – rather than squeezed into the end like the last few years. Baring in mind that, 3 Mystery & Suspense books and 3 TBR Pile books by the end of the round! That’s doable! I have no idea how to split that down to a daily or even weekly goal – I don’t know how many hours it takes me to read a book. Guess I’ll just play it by ear. A book every 2 weeks. Ish.
  3. Exercise. I like having exercise as a daily goal, and seeing as I put on half a stone (7lb) over Christmas, I need to keep up with it. I really enjoyed the Wii challenge I had in December, so am going to stick with 20– 30 minutes on it a day. EXCEPT I’ve also joined the gym. I don’t really want to do the Wii and gym on the same day – so either 20- 30 minutes on the Wii, or AT LEAST 20 minutes at the gym. Also walking. I HAVE to walk to the train station at least once a day (the one 1.7km away) rather than getting the tube – twice would be great. At weekends I need to do some walking (and not just to the corner shop).
  4. Eating. Again, because of the 7lb, I need to diet. I don’t particularly like the word ‘diet’ so I’m just going to watch what I eat. Ideally I’d like to ‘watch’ myself eating 1,000 calories a day, but that’s really, really ambitious. 1,400 was working for me in December and I was losing weight doing that and the exercise. 1,400 it is then for now. I can always reduce it later if needs be.
  • (back to annual goals)
  • Get The Man of My Dreams finished. I wanted this finished by December. I’m going to extend that to the end of January. Ideally I’d like to before then. Let’s see how I do.
  • Edit The Man of My Dreams. After I’ve finished it, I’d like to leave it for a month, then go back ‘fresh’ to edit it. I hate editing and have never attempted to do it to a novel. I love this book though, so NEED to edit it.
  • Submit TMOMD to agents. Yes, bold statement. But if anything’s going to get me there, out of the things I’ve written so far, this will do it. I had originally put a date of the end of March (when I thought draft 1 would be finished last year). That’s WAY too ambitious. May? June? Somewhere around there. Definitely. Definitely, definitely.
  • More writing. Obviously at some point I’m going to finish TMOMD so need to do some more writing. I’d like to get back into Fiction Friday, or maybe take the plunge and try some Friday Flash (Flash Friday? Can’t remember what it’s called. You know what I mean? I do anyway!). Something different. Or different from the novel anyway.
  • Reading. Obviously I’ve got the 2 reading challenges – Mystery & Suspense and TBR Pile. Obviously, some can overlap the 2 challenges. I’d like to read 25 – 30 books this year. Some of them from different genres. Maybe a little more Sci-fi? Maybe some Fantasy (I still NEED to read Robin Hobb (Assassin’s Apprentice) that was recommended to me last year!)?
  • Exercise and eating. I’m joining the gym. I’ve got Wii fitness games. You get the picture. I’d like to lose a stone. I wanted to lose a stone when I was 8 lb lighter. 1 stone 8lb. Let’s see how I can do.
  • NaNo. Everyone knows I love National Novel Writing Month. 3 years down, with 3 ‘wins’ on my belt, you just know I’m going to try again this year don’t you. Hey, I might even give CampNaNoWriMo a try this year, or maybe NaNoEdMo (editing month).
  • Ooh, I’ve just been reminded (did I say Laura was awesome? I may have to take that back!) about my writing course. Laura’s only on module 4. I think I’m on Module 3 and started it before her (if I remember correctly). Maybe I should give that a go. Maybe once I’ve finished the 1st draft of TMOMD I should get on with another assignment or something. Agh! Damn you Laura (although not really!).  

Ooh, I’m sure I have a million other things I’d like to achieve this year. I just can’t think of them. I’ll add to this list as I think of things, but no taking away!

Bit of bad news before I sign off. I didn’t get into the New Writers’ Scheme at the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I had internet problems, then brain problems, so by the time I sent the email, it was 0.07 on 2nd January. The email I got back said they were full by 0.02 (they started taking applications at 0.01!!). Damn. Well, there’s always next year. Unless I get published myself… The good thing is guests can go to the events, so if there’s one I fancy (the conference in the summer maybe?) I can still go. I was gutted when I found out last night, but if it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be. I’d planned on finishing TMOMD this year and submitting it before I thought about joining the NWS (where someone from the organisation reads and comments on your novel) so I just need to revert back to that plan. As you can see from the above, I’ve already done it. It’s sad, but it’s not the end of the world!

As we all love a good picture, he’s a couple to end with.

For Christmas I got these lovely writing books from my boyfriend (Best. Boyfriend. Ever!)

 

Then just after Christmas we went shopping and I got more NEW BOOKS (and a couple of bookmarks from my mum) 🙂

ROW80 – Round Three – GO!!!!

Oh dear. I’m already a day behind on both blogging and writing. Only one way to fix that…

It only seems like yesterday that ROW80 Round 2 finished, and yet we’re now on Round 3. How did that happen? I’m ashamed to say that I’ve done nothing since the last round. Well, I’ve done lots of reading, but no writing. No editing. None of my writing course. It’s a good thing I’m going to get on with Round 3 eh!

So, goals for this round? Last time I had weekly goals equivalent to 7x daily goals. Each ‘day’ was 300 words, or 30 minutes of either my writing course, or editing. I like how that worked, so want to stick to the weekly goals, but I found it hard to get that many last time, so I’m going to reduce it, so I don’t feel lIke I’m always behind.

This time, I’ll go for weekly goals, this time equivalent to 5x days, and I’ll cut it down to 250 words, or 25 minutes or the writing course or editing (I like my numbers to be similar to track easily).

So there are my goals. Are you doing ROW80 Round Three? If so, what are your goals? If not, why not? Have a look here: http://aroundofwordsin80days.wordpress.com/