Update Day: February

Well that was somewhat annoying. I missed my own bloghop, thanks to internet gremlins getting into my internet connection just as I wanted to write this post.

Anyhow. The Got Goals? Bloghop is a group of us who have set some crazy or some seriously important goals. Once a month, on the last Friday, we post updates on our progress. For more information or to join in, click here for more information.

Last month, I set some goals for February that are aimed at bringing me closer to my goals for the year. So let me take a look at each goal and how I did.

1) I want to finish this revision round of Book 3 by month end, if I can. 

I don’t think I’m going to get there before the end of the month, but I am through 70% of my chapters.

2) I want to make a final decision with regards to whether I’m going to use my old system of CPs for each round of edits after this point, or hire an editor. 

Because of me not finishing, I think I’m moving this decision out to next month.

3) I want to post regular updates to my blog and vlog, and also update the content that goes to my other networks. (The two are related.) 

I’m not quite happy with my progress here. Although I did much better than I did last year, I still missed days thanks to my unexpectedly hectic schedule. We’ll have to see how I do next month.

4) Maintain and further improve the healthy habits I’ve started to establish in January.

I actually took this a step further. So now I’m drinking large amounts of water every day. I’m also exercising more and finally, I’ve cut all refined carbs from my diet. This decision has been a while in coming. See, I love love love bread and other baked goods, but I just don’t like how they make me feel. But it’s really hard, basically impossible for me to just lower my carb intake, so in the end, I decided to cut out basically everything but healthy carbs like those in fruit and veg.

5) Read for an average of 15 minutes per day. 

This month was a bit hard for me. I was really busy, and because of my prioritizing my editing, I’m currently closer to 10 minutes per day. I might still get to 15 minutes if I get a few hours’ reading in over the weekend.

So because I still have to do all these things, I’m just going to set the same goals for March.

How did February treat you? Have you been making progress in February? What would you like to achieve next month? 

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Update Day: So Far So Good

It’s the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time to update everyone on my goals as part of the Got Goals? Bloghop. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, JEN Garrett and I host a monthly bloghop where we set crazy or just crazy important goals, and then post regular updates on our progress on the last Friday of every month. You’re welcome to join. Just click here and follow the instructions.

I have to say, for someone who didn’t set any official goals for the month, I actually did great. Despite the fact that there were some bad stuff that happened to rock the boat, I still managed to float enough to get some of my goals done, including some of the big year-goals I set for 2018.

To list my progress:

Five-Year Goal: Making a Living Off My Writing

The major headline is that I had a record month in January, making more than $200 more than I did in December.

I didn’t quite make it to the number I’d hoped for, as things just fell quiet towards the middle of the month. But that was also good in its own way, as I could then devote more time to Book 3, which I really do need to publish if I’m to achieve my goal of making more money from my own writing.

Writing and Publishing Goals

Although it was impossible for me to spend time on my work on some days, I did manage to catch up on the days where I could work on my own stuff to the point where I spent an average of 38 minutes every day on it.

This means that I got through 20 chapters (out of 85) of my revision to Book 3 and I managed to write a poem as well.

Marketing Goals

The major bit of news here is that I figured out my content strategy, both for my blog and for my YouTube Channel. I’ll write more about this on Monday, since I don’t want to make this post too long, but suffice it to say, I basically have an entire year’s content (and back-up content) planned out for both.

I’m hoping that not having to sit down and figure out what I need to write about will help me make more efficient use of my time, and to be more active overall.

Life Goals

I can’t really say I achieved anything here, but I can officially say that I’m actively working on my health now.

The major change I made is to get more serious about my water consumption. It’s seriously hot here at the moment, and even the slightest dehydration can have bad effects not only on my health, but on my writing as well.

For example, if I get a headache because I’m thirsty, it doesn’t take much for that to turn into a migraine that puts me out of commission for at least a day or two.

The nice side-effect is that drinking more water has made me less hungry, which means I’ve been able to improve my food choices and portions. It’s also given me a bit more energy, which means it became an almost natural progression for me to start exercising.

Which is important when you’d otherwise spend your whole life in a chair, y’all.

Finally, I did manage to read for an average of 15 minutes every day. (I would have liked to spend that time every day in a literal sense, but on some days that was simply impossible.)

What Do I Want to Achieve in February?

To keep things simple, I’m going to pick five goals that are important to me, so I can prioritize them over the other things I want to do.

1) I want to finish this revision round of Book 3 by month end, if I can.
2) I want to make a final decision with regards to whether I’m going to use my old system of CPs for each round of edits after this point, or hire an editor.
3) I want to post regular updates to my blog and vlog, and also update the content that goes to my other networks. (The two are related.)
4) Maintain and further improve the healthy habits I’ve started to establish in January.
5) Read for an average of 15 minutes per day.

How did January go for you guys? Any progress on your goals? 

Got Goals? Bloghop Pt 2: My Goals for 2018

This blog post is part of my update for the Got Goals? Bloghop. For those of you who are wondering, a bunch of us have set some crazy or just crazy important goals, and once a month, we post updates on our progress toward those goals. For more information or to join in the fun, click here.

In Part 1, I shared how I did with my 2017 goals, but today, I want to take a look at what I want to achieve in 2018.

I’ve been struggling to wrap my head around goals this year for some reason. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m hopelessly behind on everything, or maybe it’s because everything feels like it’s up in the air, which makes planning ahead for a year a bit difficult.

But… I do feel like I get more done if I do have a goal frame-work in my life, so I’m going to try.

Okay. So. My goal is to make a living as a writer (which also includes using my writing and publishing knowledge), but for that to work, I need to sort my life out in general. (Again. *Eye roll.*)

So I’m going to go back to categories this year.

Five-Year Goal: Make a Living Off My Writing

Technically I achieved this last year, but I’m going to keep the goal as is, because I’m still far from the number I want to reach. Also, I do want to change the way in which I’m reaching this goal.

So, my goals towards my Five-Year Goal are:

1) Earn $2,500 per month by the end of this year.
2) Change the profile of my earnings so a third of my income comes from publishing and/or selling my own work. 

This brings me to the next break down of my goals:

Writing/Publishing Goals

First, I really need to write more, but I also really need to publish something. I can’t keep skipping publishing years.

1) Write or edit something of my own every day. 
2) Finish and publish Wo6C3.
3) Publish the sequel to Endless and/or
4) Publish my historical romance. 

This brings me to the next heading, since it’s no use to publish without marketing:

Marketing Goals

These are a bit more varied, but somewhat more involved than you’d think.

1) Update my website. Yes, I have a website, for which I pay hosting, but it’s so out of date, like before-I-split-with-my-publisher old, so I never link to it, which I find to be sad. 
2) Create a newsletter. Finally have a big enough readership to justify this. 
3) Update The Vanished Knight, The Heir’s Choice and Endless to reflect everything I’ve learned in the past two years. (Like better formatting, since I’m way more experienced now than I was when I started self-publishing.)
4) Be more active on my social networks. (Which includes figuring a content strategy I can actually stick to.) 
5) Ramp up marketing for Wo6C3 as I prepare to publish it. 

And then I have some more goals regarding my life, since being of sound mind and in good health actually helps me get more done.

Life Goals

1) Be more healthy. Yeah yeah I know this one always gets up there, but this one is always the first goal to go when the wheels fall off, so I need to sort my shit out here. I only have to lose like 66 pounds or something now. Sigh.
2) Read for at least 15 minutes every day.
3) Rest from computer screens from sunrise to sunset on at least one day a week. 
4) Finish the needlepoint tapestry I started like two years ago.
5) Finish the oil painting I definitely started two years ago.

Okay those are the big ones I can think of right now. I’ll probably add and deduct goals as I go, depending on how my year goes, but I feel like I hit all the important things.

What about you? What goals did you set for 2018? Don’t forget to sign up if you want to join the Got Goals? Bloghop. 

Got Goals Bloghop Pt 1: How I Did in 2017

Hey everyone! I would feel like I’m totally going the Got Goals? Bloghop wrong if I didn’t sit down and do a check on how I did on my 2017 resolutions.

After all, Got Goals? is about goals, which means the New Year’s goals I set every year fall nice and squarely into that wheelhouse.

By the way, if you want a bit of extra encouragement and accountability this year, you’re welcome to join in the fun. The Got Goals? Bloghop is a bunch of us setting crazy or just crazy important goals, and then posting monthly updates (usually on the last Friday of every month) on how we did. This month we’re doing it a bit different because of the time around New Years being so hectic, but you can click here for details.

Looking at how I did…

To be honest, I probably couldn’t have left this post later than I have. Why? Because it really feels like I didn’t achieve that much in 2017. I think the worst thing about 2017 was that I spent most of it fighting to keep afloat while never being able to stand still to actually build much toward my career.

The only exception is my freelance work, but the truth is that freelance work, while saving our backsides multiple times this year, isn’t really my long-term plan. (That would be… you know… writing.)

That said, I’m not one to look gift blessings in the mouth, so I’m going to leave the whining there for now.

So let me get down to business and go through my 2017 goals one by one. Another slight annoyance because I did it as a vlog and never wrote them down. Which isn’t all that good for my keeping track of them, huh? This is me, then, listening to the vlog and transcribing the goals, then commenting on them.

Goal 1: Make a Living as a Writer

Hahaha okay. So this actually went well, but it also involves how I define being a writer for the purposes of this goal. And that is, not only as someone who writes but as someone who knows how to write and publish. So making money from editing for someone counts.

Which is a good thing, because I’m in “making a living” territory now. When I recorded this goal, I was happy to say that I was earning around minimum wage in my country (around $300) every month, which was impressive in that I had only started this goal in September 2016.

But basically, after January, there seemed to be a shift in the income I made from freelancing, and the average moved up to $500 every month. And in the last three months, that average shifted to $667 per month, which was equal to the salary I used to take from the old business I left. And in December, I almost made $1,000. Which is was awesome, because this was an amount where I could actually feel the money making things easier for my family.

That said, I suspect the wheels will come off with the rest of my goals. Let’s see…

Goal 2: Publish Wo6C3. 

Not even close, thanks to me needing to redraft a 250k-word monster during very possibly the worst year of my life.

Goal 3: Publish the sequel to Endless.

Hahahahahahaha *sob*

Goal 4: Read 25 Books

I read 5 for fun. If you count the ones I read for freelancing, though, the number is closer to 30. It was a good year for that. And the nice thing is that I had the privilege of working on some amazing works with people, and learning a lot because sometimes the subject matter was out of my comfort zone.

Goal 5: Spend More Time Doing Crafty Things

This is did, which is probably what kept me sane. First, I made some baby blankets. Then, I’m also working on a needlepoint tapestry that I’ve been working on for a while now. It has close to 260,000 stitches, so I’m never wondering about what I need to do in the year.

Goal 6: Be More Social

I do think I was, but then, that was only because my benchmark was 2015, during which I saw very few people. I did sign up for more live stream chats and the like, putting myself out there more, which I also see as being in the spirit of what this goal is about.

Goal 7: Get in the Habit of Writing Every Day

Not even close.

So Overall…

I actually did achieve more than I thought I did, although I managed very little in the way of writing, which upsets me.

So I’m definitely going to have to pull my socks up in that regard.

Come back tomorrow if you want to see what I want to do in 2016.

But a New Year’s Eve post isn’t a New Year’s Eve post without some nice thoughts, so here’s a New Year’s Poem I wrote.


How did your 2017 go? Have you set goals for 2018? Don’t forget to sign up for the Got Goals? Bloghop if you want to join in.