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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Weekly Goals, Week 22: Achieving Goals

This week I'm feeling pretty good about my progress on two of my major goals, getting organized and finishing my novel.

I wrote yesterday about my current progress on Amnesia, my NaNoWriMo Camp Sandwich project.  I wrote another 600ish words after that, so I'm still squarely on track.  Tonight is our weekly year-round write-in, so I'm sure I'll get a ton of words in tonight.  The last two Tuesdays I've written around 4,000 words each time.

Working on my novel every day was one of my goals for last week, and I definitely met that goal.  I also got a bunch of organization done in regards to the doll room and my doll collection.  I'm working on a project to inventory and organize all of my Ginger dolls, one of my larger collections.  It's taking time, but I'm making good progress on it.

I also did a bunch of collections work on Saturday, which took a lot of time out of my week, but I was glad to help the museum go through donations and make decisions on what will be accessioned into the collection.

While I made stellar progress on those two goals last week, I didn't get around to prepping and holding a sale.  Most of it was because the Ginger organization project exploded, and I didn't get to sorting through my American Girl stuff to locate duplicates for the sale.

So that goal will be carried over to this week, with the sale to be held this weekend, probably Saturday.

My goals for the week basically look just like last week's:

  1. Work on my novel every day
  2. Work on organizing the doll room every day
  3. Prep and run a sale

With any luck, I can accomplish just as much on the first two goals this week, plus add in the third.  Without the work for the museum and with a substantial part of the Ginger project already finished, I think I should have time for all of this.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Camp Sandwich Progress: Memorial Day Bonus Post

Sometimes self-employed work-from-homers find it difficult to not work on weekends and holidays.  I'm no exception.  But today, I decided, I'm treating as a holiday.

Mostly.

I'll still do barn chores (I don't typically take off on holidays for that gig, as horses don't really have holidays), and I'll still work on my novel.  I'm also planning on working on the doll room today.  Honestly, I don't know how much of a holiday I'm still treating it as at this point.  Maybe just because I'm being more relaxed about getting stuff done today.

Or maybe it's more psychological, since I'm waiting until tomorrow to post my goals for the week.

In any case, I'm taking it a little easy today.

I've been pretty pleased with my progress on my novel since my last post about my NaNoWriMo Camp Sandwich progress.  

There was one day when my actual activity for the day was watching a movie (research!), so I wrote a single word for the day just to get credit for having worked on it.  And then there was last Tuesday, when I wrote 3,700 words in one day, thanks in part to our weekly write-in and thanks also to the fact that I reached a part I'd been wanting to write and got really into it.

Remember, ignore the super high word count for the first day.  That was just me loading the ending word count from April's session of Camp.


Last night I topped 70,000 words.  I'm getting really close to my stated goal of 90,000 words, and I'm pretty excited about it.  I don't know that I'll be done at 90,000, as I feel like I still have a lot of story to cover, but of course there will have to be some things cut and rewritten so that will help to trim it.  I think 90,000 will be an ideal length for this novel, so that will probably be my goal for the final draft, and it feels like I'm on track to meet that.  I won't worry too much if it's a little less or a little more, though.

I also feel like I'm on track to finish writing before the end of June, which is important.  Ideally I'd like to be done around mid-June at the latest, so that I have time to do a few quick revisions in the novel, mostly continuity things that have come up while I've been writing, since I didn't plot this and have mostly pantsed the whole thing.  Then the goal is to start refreshing my memory on where I was in Ruby Ransome before the next session of Camp starts in July, and let Amnesia sit for a while so I can go back to it later for a thorough, more objective revision.

I'll keep posting about progress, but so far, I'm pleased!

Monday, May 20, 2024

Weekly Goals, Week 21: Getting Organized

Last week turned out to be pretty busy.  I didn't get everything done I'd wanted to, but I did feel like it was a pretty productive week.  I worked daily on my novel, wrote the museum copy, and started the involved process of organizing my dolls and doll room to make it more usable.

Unfortunately, I did not run a sale or work on taxes.  I did work in the garden a little, but didn't get everything done that I had wanted to, so I'll need to work on that some more soon.

This week I'm expecting to be consumed primarily with organizing in the doll room, prepping, and holding a sale.  I've been putting this off for way too long, and I need to organize and clear out some of the extra stuff if I'm ever going to be able to enjoy my doll room.  Plus, I want the income from the sale to help provide a buffer during Zac's ongoing search for a new job.

I still plan on working on my novel every day; that's a standing goal that won't be going anywhere.

I'm going to drop the goal of working on taxes for this week, because right now the income is more important.

  1. Work on my novel every day
  2. Work on organizing the doll room every day
  3. Prep and run a sale
Short and sweet.  As you can tell, I really want to focus on organizing the doll room this week.  The sale will be scheduled for the weekend, to give me time to go through things, organize the sale stuff, take photos, and price before I hold the sale.

Once the sale is over, I plan to update my writing portfolio with some of the clips I've written for the museum, update my resume, and start looking for some freelance work.  It's been a while since I freelanced, but I'm hoping to get a new client or two to help ease my way back into it.  Not too much, as I don't want to overbook myself and not be able to work on my novel or my doll business, but I am hoping to be able to do a little freelancing on the side again.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Camp NaNoWriMo Sandwich Update

Here's an update from Camp Sandwich!  As you may remember, I'm still working on my novel in between Camp NaNoWriMo sessions.  There are always two sessions of Camp NaNo, one in April and one in July, but I didn't want to stop writing during the two months in between.  So here we are at Camp Sandwich!

I love that NaNoWriMo allows you the ability to track a writing project at any time of the year now.  Even better, you can track multiple goals for the same writing project.  


I wish you could carry over the existing wordcount and just count the words written during the goal period, but so far that's not a thing.  However during Camp it's pretty easy just to set my word count goal higher and report the existing word count on the first day, even if it does make it look like I wrote a massive amount of words on day 1.


So far I have written every day this month, which is an improvement on April Camp, when I missed a couple days throughout the month.  There were admittedly a couple of days when I finished writing after midnight, so I reported the words as being for the previous day to get credit for writing that day.  It's not tomorrow until you sleep, right?

(I haven't worked on the novel yet today, so ignore the fact that the word count for this day is zero.)

It feels good to make sure I get a little writing in every day, and I feel like I'm making really good progress with the word count and the story.  I've had several aha moments that have been carrying me through the tougher periods, and I'm currently about two-thirds of the way to my goal word count of 90,000.  I don't know whether the book will really be finished at 90,000, but it's a good length for a novel so that was the goal I decided to shoot for.  I may have some things to cut and revise once I'm finished, though, so I'm actually hoping to get a little over that, all said and done.


I'm still hopeful that I'll get the book finished before July Camp, maybe even before that based on how much I'm writing per day versus the daily required word count to reach my goal (which keeps going down, incidentally).  Once I'm finished, I intend to do a quick revision of a few continuity issues that have come up while I've been writing (since I've been entirely pantsing this novel), and then I'll let it sit for a little while before I go back and do a major round of revisions.  I subscribe to the Steven King/On Writing way of doing revisions, which is to let it sit for a little while first so that it's not as fresh or familiar when you do your revisions.

And of course, I need to get back to working on my Ruby Ransome series soon, and since that series and this book are completely different, I don't particularly want to be working on both at the same time.  So that adds a little urgency to my goal of finishing this novel's first draft soon, maybe even before July Camp starts so that I have some separation between the two.  I'll have to be careful about how I shift back and forth while working on revisions, too.

Right now, though, I'm excited to be where I'm at: writing every day and working on making it a solid habit!

Monday, May 13, 2024

Weekly Goals, Week 20

Last week was a little bit crazy, or it felt like it anyway.  Between my mom visiting, last-minute babysitting, and some other things that came up, I felt like I didn't have a lot of time to get things done.

I did, however, work on my novel a lot, which I'm pleased about.  I also worked on museum projects, blogged, and did some other admin-y type things.

I did not, however, make any progress on organization, gardening, or taxes.

I do feel pretty good about what I did get done, though, and I'm trying to keep that in mind.

This week has similar goals (and will until I get that darned organizing done):

  1. Keep working on my novel every day
  2. Write museum copy
  3. Work on organizing and gardening
  4. Run a sale
  5. Work on taxes every day, even if it's just a little

The top priority is my novel.  I feel like it's going really well, over halfway now, and I want to see it to completion.  I'm really pleased that I've been able to keep up a daily writing habit, and I'm hoping it means I'm well on my way to making it a real habit.

Taxes are a priority of course, but they're a longer term priority right now, so I've dropped it to the bottom of the list.  I really would like to start working on it a little every day, but right now making sure we have enough money until Zac finds another job is a bigger priority.

To that end, you'll probably have noticed that there's a new line item on my list.  It's not super high on the list, but that's partly because I need to organize the stuff before I sell it.

I also changed the museum line item slightly - there's one piece of copy left to write that's super important, and then the rest can be pushed to the back burner for now.

Sometimes I really like being at the start of the week and being able to see all the possibility stretched out in front of me.  I just get frustrated when it doesn't go to plan, and I get less done than I had envisioned.

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

April Camp NaNoWriMo Results and Camp Sandwich

I mentioned in my last blog post that I am doing what I'm calling a "Camp Sandwich," still writing every day and tracking my progress even though I'm between the April and July sessions of Camp NaNoWriMo.  That gives me two months of writing between the two sessions, basically.

I didn't reach my goal of 50,000 words in April, but I probably should have set that a little bit lower.  I did, however, write nearly every day, and got a substantial ways into my new novel.


Below is my daily word count in April.  As you can see, it's a little all over the map, but there were only a few days where I didn't write at all.  I'm pleased with that.


I'm pretty proud of my progress so far, and looking forward to working more on this novel.  If I can keep up writing daily during the Camp Sandwich, I think I can finish the first draft of the novel before July's session even starts.  That would free me up to work on Ruby Ransome in July, and then after July is over I can go back and revise the first draft of Amnesia.

So far the post-Camp writing is going well.  I've written every day since Camp ended, and actually have made major progress on the novel, even writing several thousand words on one of those days when I really hit my stride.  The following screenshot is from yesterday, but you can see that it's going well:


Because I'm continuing a project, I raised my word count goal to the length I'm targeting for the overall novel, and brought my Camp NaNoWriMo word count over once April was over.  That's why the graph looks weird.  But I thought it was the best way to track my word count, by continuing with what I already have.  (I really wish the NaNoWriMo site offered a way to enter the starting word count though, as it would make it much easier to track ongoing projects.)

In any case, I'm pretty pleased with my progress so far, and hoping to keep it up throughout the next couple months or until the novel is finished!

Monday, May 06, 2024

Weekly Goals, Week 19

I can't believe I'm only a week into May.  It feels surreal that the last time I posted my weekly goals, it was still April and still Camp NaNoWriMo.

Last week was reasonably productive.  I worked on my novel every day, got a fair amount of blogging done, and actually started browsing for freelance work.  I'm not sure yet where I want to go with that, but I am considering picking up some freelance work again.

I'm most pleased about having worked on my novel every day.  My goal is to keep up the habit between Camp NaNoWriMo sessions (my "Camp sandwich") and hopefully even finish the novel before the July session starts.  If I can do that, I'll get back to work on Ruby Ransome in July.

I also got some networking done for the museum projects, which means that my plans for the Fall Show in September are starting to shape up nicely.

I didn't, however, get anything done with gardening, organizing, or our taxes.  Things kept coming up all week that pushed it all back another day, and another.  I'm hoping to get some of the organizing done today.  The gardening will have to wait as it's incredibly windy today.

Here are my goals for week:

  1. Keep working on my novel every day
  2. Work on taxes every day, even if it's just a little
  3. Keep working on museum projects
  4. Work on organizing and gardening

The list looks very much like last week's, but not because I didn't do anything last week.  Some of these things are going to be revolving goals for a while to come.

Before I sign off, I have to remark on one other thing.  I don't know if it's Zac not working, or the longer days and nicer weather, or what, but I've noticed that my sleep schedule has shifted lately.  I'm waking up earlier and easier, even when I go to bed late, although on the whole I'm also going to bed earlier.  It's an interesting shift, and I'm not entirely sure why, but I'll take it!

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