Over the weekend, I finally sat down and read the February issue of bUneke Magazine. I try to read it every month so I know what’s going on (and also to find articles to highlight on the Sustainably North Twitter, @SustaintheNorth). In the February issue, Anna East writes about getting things done. You can find her article here:
Anna East’s article hit me pretty hard because I know I am very, very guilty of not finishing projects I am working on. Take right now: I’m part way through the story I’m writing for the Make Your Way Anthology, I wanted to start another short story about aliens in the wild west, I have three RPGs that I’m building on RPG Maker (Tears of the King, Memories, and Soccrpg). And I have various other short stories I have started and failed to finish for one reason or another.
I think Anna East’s problem is my problem, too: I want my work to be perfect. So when a project is failing to live up to my impossibly high standards, I stop working on it. I also have a million ideas and there’s never enough time to get them all written, so that doesn’t help either.
And I’m busy. I know that this is a problem that everyone has: there just never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. But specific to me, I started my other blog, Sustainably North. I started volunteering my time with bUneke Magazine, writing a monthly column. I’m trying to get a bunch of reading done (I did make a goal to read 25 books this year, plus I just really like reading). And then I do a fair amount of writing for my day job too (even more right now because I’m helping out on a few bigger projects that are coming up). All of this has been making me feel fractured and really time-pinched. Plus after a full day at work, I find myself coming home and just not wanting to work on anything else because I’m done for the day – I’ve got nothing left.
And since I have no intention of stopping Sustainably North, volunteering, reading, or working on those projects at my day job, I am going to dial back on projects at home. As much as I would really, really like to work on a story about aliens in the wild west, I honestly do not have the time for it right now (especially since it got stuck in worldbuilding). Plus the plot just isn’t worked out right now anyway, while the story for the Make Your Way anthology is plotted and just needs to be written. So I’m going to stop working on the wild west story, and just focus on getting the Make Your Way story written. And at this point I need to make sure I don’t bog myself down with feeling that it isn’t good enough; this is a first draft right now, so of course it won’t be perfect! It has to be written before I can worry about polishing it.
Filed under Updates, Writing
…time to see how I did with my goals and set some new ones for the year!
Last year I set ten goals for myself, but only wrote down the writing-related ones. But after a bit of a scare (I thought I lost the paper I wrote them all down on), I’m going to list all ten off here, along with my progress on them:
- Move out – success! I got my own place this December. I moved there with my new cat, Merlin. 🙂
- Get to GDC Main in SF – success! You can read all about it here.
- Finish reading 50+ books -success! I actually read 58 books!
- Get in better shape – sort of a success – I was going swimming twice a week all fall, but had to stop in December due to moving out and Christmas. Will be heading back to the pool this month though!
- Clear out my writing magazine stash – success! I got rid of a lot of them once I knew I was moving.
- Fix up my website (and eLance profile) – sort of a success – I fixed it up a bit before GDC, but haven’t done anything new to it since then (except update it with any articles I’ve had published). For the eLance profile, I don’t think I’ve even BEEN on eLance since the spring…
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel OR write a new novel using 90 Days to Your Novel – failure. All I did was look over 90 Days and decide not to use it. Since that time, I haven’t done a thing with my novel.
- Build 2+ of my worlds that need building – failure (sort of). I spent quite a bit of time working on worlds earlier in the year, and managed to get one up to a point that I think I could write stuff in it. It’s still not “done” though – there are some aspects that I still need to work on.
- Build a game (I don’t care with what) – failure. I was all gung-ho to build a Storynexus game after GDC, but that fell by the wayside (particularly when I realized the story I had in mind wasn’t going to work).
- Figure out Chat Mapper and write some branching dialogue – failure. I haven’t done a thing with Chat Mapper.
So of the ten goals, I succeeded at five, worked on two, and utterly failed at three. Unfortunately I didn’t really succeed at any of my creative goals (but I did a lot of work on worldbuilding, which will only benefit me in the future!)
With that in mind, it’s time to set some new goals for 2015!
- Read 50+ books off of The List (so that means non-library books – just books I currently own!)
- Stay in shape (get back to swimming and keep it up!)
- Get 2+ of my worlds that need building up to the point Imezza is currently at.
- Finish the screenplay I started. I forgot to write about it, but I started a screenplay at the end of November. It was meant to be a Christmas gift, but I ran out of time due to moving. So now it’s going to be a birthday gift. I have until August to finish it.
- Write the Grief Project. I had planned on doing this sooner, but my grief for my cat was too great and I couldn’t do it last fall.
- Write a story a month for Apocalypse Madness. Apocalypse Madness is a blog I started back in 2008. The idea is that every month someone would post a quote, then everyone who contributed to the blog had to write at least one story inspired by that quote. The blog died in 2011 (due to a number of reasons), but I decided I wanted to revive it starting today. So for the first time in three and a half years, there is a new quote; hopefully stories will follow! And if you’d like to join in on Apocalypse Madness, send me an email or comment on this post! 🙂
- Build a game. I don’t care with what (could be Storynexus, RPG Maker, Game Maker, a game book, whatever!)
- Figure out Chat Mapper. Same as last year.
- Take a Lego Picture a month. I’ve fallen away from Lego pics over the last while. I miss it.
- Fix up my Red Bubble profile. This kind of goes hand in hand with 9.
As a bonus:
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book. At least to the point where I feel okay sharing it with people.
So those are my new goals for 2015. This year there’s a lot more creative goals, so wish me luck with them! You’ll notice that there’s also nothing about getting to conferences. As much as I’d love to go back to GDC, or one of the other game ones, I don’t think that’s a reality for me this year. Of course, if that should change, I’ll blog about it. 🙂
Filed under goals, Updates
Today my 19th Library Detective article was published in the Chronicle Journal (my local newspaper). While this is may be my 19th Library Detective article, it’s also my 20th published article (not counting book reviews)!
This time I wrote about all the books and eBooks on game design the Thunder Bay Public Library has available. If you don’t have access to the Chronicle Journal but would still like to read it, you can find it here.
Since I haven’t really blogged about them all, I should also mention that there are links to my other Library Detective articles here. I’ve written about a diverse range of topics since “A Renewed Interest in Archery,” including zombies, procrastination, screenwriting, and the Tudors (which ended up the library’s first and only two-part article).
Last year I made myself a list of goals, most of which were writing related. Of the 11 goals I made for myself, I managed to accomplish exactly one off of the list. And it wasn’t one of my writing ones.
That being said, I did some work on the other goals. I played around with Chat Mapper a little bit. I started world building one of those worlds that need building. And while I didn’t clear out my writing magazine stash (one of my unlisted goals), I did clear out some other magazines.
I also accomplished some things which weren’t on my list. I was involved with a game project among friends. Sure, it ultimately didn’t go anywhere, but it was still a valuable experience. I also worked on Holdfast, which resulted in a published credit. And then I wrote that submission for the Dark Crystal Author Quest, which was quite a feat in and of itself (a couple months of research followed by three writing and editing it). I think the lesson from all of this is that while goals are good, it also pays to be flexible; you never know what opportunities life will throw at you.
So with that in mind, here are my new writing goals for 2014:
- Figure out Chat Mapper and write some branching dialogue with it.
- Build 2+ of my worlds that need building.
- Build a game (can be with RPG Maker, Game Maker, StoryNexus or whatever).
- Edit my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel OR write a new novel using 90 Days to Your Novel
- Get to GDC Main this year.
Most of these goals are the same as my last year’s goals, but that’s okay; I’m thinking they’re still good goals to strive for. For the fourth one, I’ve had 90 Days to Your Novel for quite awhile and wanted to give it a try. I might even just rewrite the NaNoWriMo novel using that book’s techniques since I’m pretty certain the book needs an almost total rewrite anyway.
I have a couple of other goals for the year that aren’t really writing related so I’m not going to post them here. That last goal isn’t completely writing related, but I do talk about conferences from time to time here, too. I’ve been saying I’m going to GDC for the last few years and still haven’t made it; I’d really like to change that in 2014!
Hopefully 2014 will be a creative and productive year for us all – Happy New Year, everyone! 🙂
I know, I know, this is a bit late. The new year has been here for a month already. I came up with my goals for the year about two weeks ago and have been meaning to post about them for awhile. You know how it is; life gets busy and sometimes the best of intentions get waylaid. But better late than never, right?
Back on January 14th, I wrote down ten goals for the coming year. About half of them were writing related, so I’m going to share them here:
- Submit at least six short stories for publication
- Figure out Chat Mapper and write some branching dialogue with it.
- Figure out StoryNexus and write a game with it.
- Build 2+ of my worlds that need building (I have a list of ten and counting).
- Build a game on RPG Maker.
Of course, when I wrote those goals, I managed to somehow forget about my NaNoWriMo novel, so a bonus goal is editing that, putting my goals up to 11 for the coming year.
There are many narrative systems that you can build a game with nowadays. I chose RPG Maker because I own it already and have been meaning to make a game with it for awhile. StoryNexus and Chat Mapper were both recommended to me by friends. I’ve checked StoryNexus out a bit and am intrigued with it, especially after playing Winterstrike (it’s well worth checking out!) For the branching dialogue, I wanted to give both Chat Mapper and Twine a try, but didn’t want to inundate myself with systems and so chose only one; if I manage to find more time I’ll be checking Twine out as well.
So what are your writing goals for the coming year?