Monday, December 18, 2023

Weekly Goals: Week 30

I actually got a lot done last week, but it wasn't all on what I had planned.

While working on my social media research project, I got inspired by some things mentioned in the book I was reading.  One thing lead to another, and I ended up spending a couple of days designing logos and book covers.  It's been a long time since I've hyperfixated on anything that hardcore, and I forgot how inspiring it could be to do so.  I ended up with logos for my novel series, the name I'll publish under, and a series or imprint name, plus a full set of book covers for all the planned novels, novellas, and short stories I have currently planned, and a decent template for creating future covers.

It might seem like a waste of time since I'm not currently getting ready to publish, but I decided that 1) it was stuff I was going to have to do at some point anyway, and 2) motivation and focus are valuable commodities and shouldn't be ignored when one has you in its clutches.

I also worked on organization, although not as much as I would have wanted.  In the end, the only thing that didn't see any progress was my goal to work on client dolls.

This week is going to be a little challenging.  My horses have the chiropractor coming tomorrow, we have the plumber coming on Wednesday to figure out what's up with our toilet not draining, and we'll probably be going over to my in-laws' house Sunday for Christmas Eve.

With Christmas coming up so quickly, I don't think I'm going to push myself overly hard to get things done.  With just two weeks remaining of the year, the holidays are likely to make everything difficult.  Therefore I'm going to focus primarily on two things: organizing, and working on my novel.

My goal to keep working on my novel is primarily to avoid losing the habit.  The organization project is a more important goal.  At the start of this year, my goals for 2023 were to finish and publish my novel (oops) and to overhaul my home's organization, primarily to make my doll spaces more usable.  Obviously I dropped the ball on my goals for my novel, but there's still time to get the organization to a place where I'm satisfied with my progress throughout the year.  My husband is off from work next week, too, so I'm hoping we can get a lot done before it's time to set goals for 2024.

With that in mind, here are my goals for this week:

  1. Work on organization every day
  2. Work on Ruby Ransome every day
  3. Work on my research project every day
  4. Get started working on client dolls

They look pretty much like last week's goals, except that I'm now prioritizing the first two above all else.  Finishing up my organization projects is the key to everything else, really, as that's how I make room to work on dolls, take photographs, film, etc.  Even my office space would be more usable for writing and research if I finished my organizing projects.  So realistically, that is my first priority above all else, even writing, right now.

And with any luck, I can get it all to a good point this week and next!  We'll see how those 2024 goals are shaping up in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Weekly Goals: Week 29

Due to most of my day yesterday being spent traveling to and from Colorado Springs to go to an appointment with my mom, I'm writing this post today instead of on Monday.

Incidentally, as I write this post I'm realizing that I miss looking at the breakdown of my time in Toggl every week, now that I'm focusing on weekly goals instead of a more detailed list of projects and the progress I've made on them.  So I'm going to start checking that again.  I love the reporting tools that come with the free version of Toggl, but that's probably a subject that deserves its own post.

Last week I got a fair amount done across the board, considering how much was going on with the car and the plumbing and a couple other things that took time out of my days.  My major goals were to work on my novel every day, start working on client dolls, and to work on organizing.  I made decent progress on the first and last of those things, although I didn't add word count to my novel every day.  I worked a bit on some research that needed to be done, and I'm trying not to see it as a failure not to have written many actual words that day.  NaNoWriMo really teaches you to see adding words as the only measurable success, so even though I can point to an hour or more of time spent researching, it feels like I didn't get enough done.

I haven't been working on my novel on the weekends, which is perhaps a mistake, but our weekends have been so full with time spent organizing and doing other things that need to be done together that I haven't had time.  I'm hoping that will improve as our organization projects get done.

I really need to start working on client dolls this week, as I have some that I want to finish before Christmas.

All in all, I feel better and more energized since I switched my thyroid meds timing, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago.  I'm getting up earlier, and I think I'm getting more done and with less struggle than before.  I still have a lot to do, but I feel like I'm making some progress on wrangling some control over my schedule.

With no further ado, here are my goals for this week.

  1. Work on my novel every day
  2. Work on my social media marketing research project every day
  3. Start work on client dolls
  4. Work on organizing

You'll notice I have a new goal thrown in there, a research project focusing on social media marketing.  I have several projects that are going to rely on quite a bit of social media marketing in the near future, not just my doll business but also my novel series and possible my doll stringing ebook as well.  While I have been writing for online marketers for years and have a pretty solid understanding of the subject, I want to brush up on social media marketing and perhaps develop a calendar to help me stay on track with posts.  I have a terrible tendency to put off posting, and having a calendar and a written plan might help me.

To that end, I've downloaded some books on social media marketing, and I want to spend some time going through them.  So that's a project for this week and possibly next week too, depending on how this week goes.

This week will essentially be a four-day week, since yesterday was all but lost, so hopefully I'll still be able to accomplish what I want to!

Monday, December 04, 2023

Weekly Goals: Week 28

NaNoWriMo is over, and I made it through the weekend of events (the Thank Goodness It's Over party for NaNoWriMo, and the doll museum event yesterday).  I didn't get everything done I'd wanted to last week, but I did manage to meet my goals for NaNoWriMo, so I'm relatively pleased with that.

It was also a majorly aggravating week, with car repairs that didn't happen and a toilet replacement that didn't solve the problem.  The plumbing issue is still ongoing and the plumber is coming back next week, once he returns from out of town, to try to figure out if the vent is plugged.

My plan was to seriously start working on doll repair once NaNoWriMo ended.  Of course, I thought I'd be further along with the reorganization project by now, but I still need to start devoting time to repairing some client dolls.  So that's one of my major goals for the week, right behind working on my novel every day.

I didn't work on my novel at all over the weekend, but I decided late Saturday after a very busy day that it was going to be too difficult to do so.  I gave myself permission to let that slide over the weekend.

This week is starting off busy and chaotic.  Today my dad had a doctor's appointment that I went to, my husband had to take his car in for repairs (the emissions filter saga: part 4), and the plumber came (again) to remove the toilet so that I can paint behind it while he's out of town.  We still need to pick up Zac's car and do barn chores, which most likely will involve cleaning buckets today (since there's no way I can do it tomorrow).

Tomorrow my mom is coming over for haircuts, and then spending the night.  Originally she was going to spend two nights and have dinner with my dad on Wednesday, but she decided not to since she has book club on Thursday, and will be going home on Wednesday.  That will honestly be better for me getting things done next week, but hopefully she'll come visit again soon.

After my mom leaves on Wednesday, things should be a little easier for the rest of the week.

I'm trying to focus my week as much as possible on my goals:

  1. Work on my novel every day
  2. Start working on client dolls
  3. Work on organizing

Honestly, I'm going to keep my goals for the week down to just these three to make it more likely that I will accomplish what I need to do.  If I have time to do more, I can always add it in, but these are the things that I want to focus on first.

So far my energy levels are holding up well with the new meds schedule, so I have hope that I'll be able to get some good work done this week unhindered!

Friday, December 01, 2023


NaNoWriMo 2023 has come to a close, and I'm not sure if I'm relieved, sad, energized, or a combination of all three.

Probably all three.

I finished last night at 51,767 words, including 36 hours (36,000 words' equivalency) of revisions of the part of the draft from last year.  For the first time ever, I kept my word count above par for the entire month, and received the daily update badge.

The final write-in of the year went off without a hitch, but also somehow without much fanfare.  I almost regret that, looking back at it.  We have one final event, a TGIO (Thank Goodness It's Over) party on Saturday, and then we're done until next year.

I've already set up a new project goal on NaNoWriMo's site to complete the novel, hopefully by the end of the year.  Once I removed all the revision "words" and added back words I wrote in last year's draft, I had 72,030.  Some of those still need to be cut from this year's draft, of course, but all in all that's more word count than I was expecting.

Since I think I'm only about halfway done with the story, it also means this is going to be a longer novel than I thought it would be.  I set my overall goal to 100,000 words, but I'm really going for a range of between 100,000 and 120,000.  If I reach 120,000, that would be about 400 pages in book form, which isn't a bad length.

My goal is to write at least 1,000 words a day and hopefully finish the book by the end of the year.  I'm hoping that on good days, I'll actually get significantly more than 1,000 words a day, and make up the difference between 100,000 and 120,000 there.  But ultimately I decided it would be better to set the goal at the lower end of my range and overshoot it, than to set it higher and not reach it at all.

I'm planning to schedule my writing time first thing after my coffee every day whenever possible, so that I can get it done and out of the way on days where I'm not inspired to write more than 1,000 words, and to give me time to continue writing on days where I feel motivated to do so.

With any luck, I can finish this draft by the end of the year, and start on revisions and other tasks after the holidays!


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