Friday, 29 January 2016

Goals Round-Up for January

Happy Friday, folks!

Well, we've nearly reached the end of the first month of 2016. Don't know about you, but January has seemed to last longer than the whole of last year. Maybe it's the extreme levels of weather we've been having - nothing compared to the east coast of the US though, and I hope all my friends over there are OK. We dodged a bullet, as my wife and stepdaughters flew home from a trip to New York just a week before the blizzard hit. If the timing had been different, they might well have still been there now, holed up in a hotel room and running out of money... However, Scotland has been battered by extreme wind, rain and flooding. Here's hoping things improve next month.

So, onto my first goal wrap-up of the month. I'll be posting these on the last weekday of each month - the idea is to keep myself accountable while also having a record of my progress. Most of these are rolling goals for each month, but a few will be individual tasks - if I don't tick them off in a certain month, they'll roll over to the next.

* Finish a first draft of Book 3 of my trilogy.

Well, I've started. Currently, I've got 6000 words - not as much as I would have liked, but I've been doing more freelance work than usual. The important thing is that I've written almost every day, even if just 200 words. The plan for next month is to keep that regularity going while upping the wordcount.

* Perform final edits on Book 1, Black and White, engage a cover artist and prepare for release before the end of the year.

Not done any of these yet.

* Get Book 2 and the series' prequel novella out to CPs during the early part of the year.

I contacted my brilliant CPs just before writing this post, so I'm just waiting to hear back in terms of schedules and so on.

* Aim to participate in Write1Sub1 by writing and submitting one short story per month.

I accomplished half of this goal - I didn't write a new story, but I submitted the story that didn't make the cut for the IWSG anthology to a handful of markets.

* Continue promotion for my short story collection, aiming to make more use of avenues such as Twitter, Facebook/Goodreads groups, and promo spots.

Yes. This month I focused on trying Facebook, as it's something I've not really used much. I joined a couple of promo groups and posted about my book.

* Eat healthily and keep up regular exercise via daily dog walks.

For the first part, I did OK, although I ate quite a bit of chocolate. Definitely did the second part, although the weather has been too wild the last few days.

* Post monthly goal round-ups at the end of each month.

Well, yes. Here I am!

For next month, I plan to do more of all of the above.

How did you do for progress this month? Do you set weekly, monthly, or yearly goals?


Nicola said...

I'm glad your family are back home safe and sound.

As well as editing my novel over the past month, I have been attending webinars and listening to podcasts in order to build up my knowledge of the self-publishing world. The word 'accountability' came up a lot. To be honest, I had forgotten the necessity of being accountable. In my previous job this was a natural part of my daily work but I'd never thought of giving myself the pleasure of being accountable with regards to my own writing and writing career. It's now at the top of my list of priorities. I will be accountable for my progress :)

My set goals for this year are to self-publish my novel and a compilation of short stories. I will be writing the first draft of my second novel and begin a novella mystery series. In between times I will continue to enhance my knowledge and skills of editing, marketing and whatever crops up that I hadn't thought about. I need to organise my calendar to set these targets deadlines. It is only by taking on board the 'accountability' factor that has set all of these ideas in motion and I am very excited (and extremely terrified :)).

Have a great February. I hope the weather cheers up.

Thanks for a great post, Nick.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - I bet the family were glad to be back before the storm him the US east coast. Good luck with pushing on with your book and ideas etc .. always good to have a round up session of where you're at. This weekend is my last ditch at getting on with things, and then moving forward ... cheers Hilary

JeffO said...

Funny thing, here in upstate New York, the weather was fine. We actually have LESS snow now than when the big blizzard started downstate. Glad your wife and daughter made it home safe.

Keep hammering away at your goals! I completed the latest draft on my current project and am not going back through it with the goal of turning it in to my agent by the end of February (and I've got one extra day this year to make it so!). Have a great weekend!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Good timing on your flights home!

Your making great progress on your goals. I always have several markets in mind for short stories too, just in case. I find it makes me feel that I'm always working towards something.

Good luck for February :-)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

January has felt long to me, too, but I'm not exactly sure why.

I believe the official Write 1 Sub 1 has closed its doors - maybe give the blog a look? - but that doesn't mean you can't do your own version. :)

Good luck with all of your goals!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hide the chocolate.
Glad you're shopping your IWSG story around.
Stay warm and out of the wind.

Elise Fallson said...

Here we've been having a very mild, dare I say, warm winter season. We were all in T-shirts last weekend, it felt like spring. It also felt strange.... anyway, glad you all are safe and sound. So great to hear you're working on your 3rd book!! When did that happen? That's awesome. :)

Christine Rains said...

I didn't get much done in January. Sickness and too many bad weather days keeping the kid at home. I'm starting to catch up on things, though. Now I'll have to redo my annual goals. Stay warm and take care! :)

L.G. Keltner said...

I've been trying to set weekly goals this year to see if that helps keep me on track. So far it's been working okay. Have a great weekend!

Julie Flanders said...

Great that you've been able to write almost every day in spite of the extra work. Congrats on getting more freelance work - that's awesome. And good luck with the submitted story.
Enjoy your weekend!

Mark said...

Wow, you have been busy, but it must feel satisfying to have accomplished so much too. Congrats on finishing up that draft as well:)

betty said...

January used to be a slow month, but I think as I have gotten older it speeds by like all the days do, LOL. How fun to have gotten in a trip to New York, glad you got out in the Nick of time. Good accountability with your goals, sounds like you made a bit of progress with some of them. Now on to February.


Tyrean Martinson said...

Excellent goals round up! Loved hearing about your writing - both freelance and regular, and your promotion work, as well as your health goals!
I'm glad your family made it back home safe and sound. I'm on the west coast, so we've just had a bit of extra rain - but nothing that I think is that bad. The mountain passes have been closed a bit more often for avalanche control but I don't have to traverse them that often, so I'm thankful for that.
I hope that the weather gets less wild for everyone.

Happy life and writing, and goal work!

J E Oneil said...

I'm glad your family didn't get stuck in the blizzard! It was a bad one. And as of now, I know you've heard back from at least one of your CPs. Good luck with the critiquing. I always find it to be anxiety-inducing. :)

Anonymous said...

January went by pretty fast for me. Although, this last week is dragging a bit.

Anonymous said...

You got a lot done. :)

It feels satisfying to start the new year strong. I did pretty good this month.

Stephanie Faris said...

"A bit of chocolate" is my entire day! A bit of chocolate in the morning, a bit of chocolate in the afternoon... I'm in awe of all you're accomplishing!