Hello Lovelies, and welcome back to the blog. We’re ending out another quarter, so it’s time for another goals recap post.
If you remember from last time, I set some goals at the beginning of Q2. As a refresher, they looked like this.
Now, my Trello board looks like this.
Honestly one of my worst attempts, and I’m trying so hard to have grace for myself in a non-productive season. Let’s go over it in more detail.
Writing – 3/27 Goals Completed – 11%
The one big goal I had on my list that I planned to give myself all quarter to complete was writing book 1 of my vampire trilogy, Written in Blood. When I’ve written 50K word drafts in a month, taking three months to work on one draft seemed like it would be an easy task, not even a stretch. I thought I’d have given myself enough time to learn how to write in a new voice, and in first person rather than in third person like I have in the past.
I did get it outlined, and did start on writing the draft. I am currently on chapter three, scene five. But several things happened this quarter that, while I had anticipated them–I gave myself three months for an entire draft after all–I didn’t think were going to cause me as much problems as they ultimately did.
- My day job got busy. We always do in spring. We are a highly seasonal business and we pick up so much from the winter months that once nice weather hits, everyone wants to get out and about and do things. I know that this second quarter tends to be hard. There’s a huge jump up in customer load and sales and the amount of workload in my day job goes from very low to critical mass in a matter of days with little to no transition. Then it stays that way for several weeks, sometimes a few months, before leveling off to something more normal. I tried to mitigate this. I gave myself the whole quarter to get the draft done and still it didn’t get accomplished.
- The main character’s backstory wasn’t totally figured out. Not having something figured out is never a reason for me to not start writing a draft. Usually, I write and eventually as I get to know the character I figure it out. So I tried. As I mentioned, I only got a few scenes into it before I knew that I had to have this piece of Audrey’s backstory figured out. That it was too big and too critical a part of her to not know it.
- The writing conference I went to changed the way I thought about things. I have a lot of urban fantasy stories with backstories that are interconnected. The fairies hate the vampires because the vampires did them wrong way back when. Ever since, the fairies have been trying to infiltrate vampire society in order to learn what they are up to and to possibly topple their plans. There are shifters, and werewolves specifically that, because they are mostly human, have been able to successfully pass as humans and build some things within human society for themselves but they’ve never gone too big or too bold because they don’t want to be looked at closely for fear of their secret being found out. And going to the conference made me wonder if my angels and demons series which is also urban fantasy also fits into this same urban fantasy headcanon where they all live and operate in a post-apocalyptic society after their deity has raptured those souls that wanted to go and left Earth to its own devices for good, but has left some angels and demons behind to keep watch over it all. So I need to do some rethinking on how it all fits into the big picture, and then go small and think about how Audrey is just one piece in the puzzle.
Business – 7/24 Goals Completed – 29%
I pitched in-person at the conference to three people, and I also sent out four other queries besides. This brings my total to seven for the quarter, and twenty nine total queries. I have fifteen actual rejections, eleven no responses, and the rest are still out there.
I still didn’t look for an accountant. I have talked about this over and over. Yes it’s something I need to do. No it’s not a priority.
I also submitted my manuscript to two contests that we won’t hear back from till next quarter, if at all. That wasn’t originally on the list but I found out about them at the conference, so there’s that.
Marketing – 26/37 Goals Completed – 70%
While it looks like I am smashing through the blog and podcast goals, I am barely getting one out per week. Keeping them afloat is sometimes the only writing I’m doing in a week and it feels rough to write blog posts teaching people about writing when I’m not able to write words in my own manuscript. While this is just a non-productive season, and while I’m still doing a ton of thinking and planning, not getting my own words written except for the blog feels like a let down. I’m trying my best to have grace when there’s no need to feel bad for it. Figuring out the interconnectedness of my books on the back end is not only productive time spent, it’s necessary.
Mental health is so important. If you thought I had a whole team on the back end doing this for me, writing my blogs, scheduling all my social media posts, making all my graphics? I don’t.
Hi. Nice to meet you. It’s really me behind this blog, just doing the best I can for you every week. And it is hard. It is so hard sometimes to come to the computer and to type all this out. To jump into Canva and try to come up with graphics for the post. To grab my phone and then record a podcast and upload it.
But you lovely people reading my blog, I want you to know something. You, yes, YOU lovely people get me to my keyboard even when my own novels can’t. I cannot fail you humans reading this and not post something every week. So thank you for being here, even before I have any books to let you read. Thank you for following my journey. Thank you for listening, for showing up, for being here for me.
Travel, Training, Meetings – 6/7 Goals Completed – 85%
I don’t think there’s much to say about this category. I went. I did the things. The only meeting I missed was for my local group and it was the week after the conference. I was slammed at my real job and couldn’t get away during the day to make the meeting, otherwise I would have gone. I think I’m going to make a post on the conference and some things I learned from it, but for now the attendance is all that really matters.
Quarter 4 Overall – 42/95 Goals Completed – 44%
Overall, not a great quarter productivity wise. I was extremely busy in my personal life, and the blog and podcast were about all I could manage to keep up with. Burnout is real, and I refused to just push myself extremely hard for the sake of a checkbox this quarter. My productivity suffered.
Also though, the major thing I’d planned to do just didn’t happen. Not because I didn’t work on it. I worked really hard, and some things are falling into place finally on the back end that needed to happen. Some bigger picture worldbuilding stuff is happening that makes me feel like some kind of Cosmere is actively forming in my mind. It’s huge. It’s almost too big to think about at times. The interconnectedness of my stories, characters, and worlds is becoming real in a way that hadn’t been entirely clear to me before. It still isn’t, yet I am so much closer to it now than I have been.
So, all in all, a terrible quarter for checking things off lists, but not so terrible in terms of getting things better settled in my mind.
How was your quarter? How many goals did you set and how many of them were you able to accomplish? Let us know in the comments below!