Congratulations, everyone, we survived another February

Congratulations, everyone, we survived another February

It is officially March. We can all relax a small bit and take a deep breath. We survived February. Sometimes I didn’t think we were going to, but we pulled it off there at the end.

Now, while we’re catching our breath, is a good time to look back and see if I’ve accomplished my February goal.

Spoiler Alert: Not exactly…

No. I didn’t finish my 0 draft of the new book. But, I’m close. I should be done by this weekend and ready to dive into a real first draft.

It was harder than I thought it would be. It could be my rusty writing chops slowing me down. I’m not even averaging 900 words per hour when I sit at my keyboard. I used to do 1500-2000.

I’m also using up some of my writing time each day to get into the habit of dictating. I’m not even close to comfortable telling stories with my voice, and it is slow and painful.

But, since I dictate blog posts, personal notes, and my journal, I know it can be fast and smooth once I get used to it. I have to find the rhythm.

For now, though, 10 minutes a day is slowing me down, not speeding me up.

I’ll keep working at it.

Lessons Learned

I’m happy with the progress I have made. I’m working much slower than I’d like and the wordsmithing isn’t even there yet, but I also feel like my story is a little better developed overall.

Looks like all this time I spent procrastinating with plot and story structure books might have a benefit.

I don’t know how much the story will change in the actual draft 1. My characters are still feeling off for me—not normally a problem I have when I’m writing.

It might be as simple as making sure their dialogue and mannerisms are more defined but as I flesh them out more, I’ll see what I need.

It’s interesting to see where I started with the story concept and where I’m at right now. I moved way away from the original idea, but, I’m back on it with deadly precision.

It’s almost like writing is fun again.

March Goals

We are in March, and it is time to set some new goals.

Blog Post Schedule

At the beginning of the year, I promised 5 blog posts a day through the first quarter. I’ve felt good doing them, but I think it is time for me to rethink my blogging strategy.

My weekday themes seemed like a fantastic way to keep myself working ahead, bu these days they feel more like a collar. I’ve never worked well with these kinds of guidelines. They are too narrow for my random creativity and too broad for the part of me that likes assignments.

Another thing I realize is trying to keep up with the blog schedule and get new words out is stressing me out. If I want to deliver good blog content, I have to spend at least an hour on a blog post.

That’s five hours each week I could spend putting fiction onto the page.

Most of my writer friends would sacrifice the blog for more fiction time, but that way leads to mental illness for me.

I will have to find a balance or I will burn out and not recover.

So, Goal One for March is to reevaluate my blog strategy.

Drafts 0 and 1 Finished

I will have draft 0 done by this weekend.

I will dive into draft 1. If I run as slow as I have been, I should still be done by the end of the month. I’d like to be done sooner, but I will not give myself an unrealistic goal right now.

Screw the moon, I’m shooting for the ceiling.

If I can get a jump on draft 2, I’ll be happy, but I will not hate myself if I don’t.

What else?

I cut back the number of books I will read this year to a mere 52. A single book each week. So far, I’m behind but not because I haven’t been reading.

I’ve been rereading some of my old favorites. Some of the books that inspired me.

I’ve also been listening to podcasts at work instead of audiobooks. So, lots of knowledge getting shoved into my head, even if it isn’t all fiction.

I think I’ve limited myself to my current number of podcasts, though. Once I’m caught up, I’ll have more time to listen to audiobooks.

Then we’ll see the numbers take off. A seven or eight hour audiobook will only take two days to finish at work.

I plan to put my Kindle Unlimited account to good use.

So, those are the March goals. We’ll see where I’m at in four weeks. I will dance triumphant from atop a pile of trophies. Otherwise, I don’t know what I’ll do, but it will involve video content.

Comment below and let me know what you think is an appropriate price for failure.