Tag Archives: goals

#WriteTuesday – April Off to a Great Start!

I didn’t do much (other than work my day job) for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  But wow, this weekend was really great!

On Saturday, I worked on drafts for some upcoming Sustainably North blog posts.  One of them is pretty much ready to go; I want to read it over one more time before scheduling it for next Monday.  The other one is mostly written but still needs a conclusion (hence why it’s going to be posted in two Mondays instead).

Then on Sunday, I got yesterday’s Sustainably North intro post written and scheduled.  I didn’t want to do that until I knew for sure what the other posts for the week would be.  Since Sustainably North is now one year old, I decided to go with the topic of “celebrations” for the rest of April.  I’m currently calling these intro posts “editorials” on Sustainably North, but I might change that to something like “notes” or “editor’s notes.” Any suggestions for what else might work?

Then yesterday, I got a good draft of next month’s bUneke column written.  The magazine requests all articles in by the 10th of the month.  Normally I have mine ready to go a week or two before that but I really struggled with this one.  The topic they chose was “clean water initiatives” and I had no idea what to write about.  Part of the problem was that they ask for pictures to go with the articles, and we still had a ton of snow here!  So even though I had ideas for the column (rain gardens, plastic pollution in our lakes and rivers, or rain barrels), I couldn’t get a good picture of anything (no one is going to care about seeing a picture of a rain garden under a few feet of snow).  I ended up going with rain barrels because that seemed to be the easiest for pictures.

frozen rain barrel

It’s not perfect, but at least you can kind of tell this IS a rain barrel.

After this experience, I’m thinking I’m going to go around this summer and take a whole bunch of pictures of things like the rain garden, just so I have them on hand should I ever need them.  I’m thinking I might post them on Pixabay since that’s where I’ve gotten a bunch of pictures for Sustainably North from – it’ll be good to give back to that community. 🙂

So that’s what I’ve been up to.  It’s feeling really good to be kind of on top of these things right now.  This week I really need to get reading the book I want to review on Sustainably North, plus I want to post some pictures and/or quotes there on Fridays; I need to figure out what that’s going to look like (at least for this Friday).   I’d also like to fix up the Sustainably North blog categories (some of them are fine, but others are more appropriate as a tag), but that’s something that can wait until these other priorities are done.

How about you?  What have you been up to?  What are your plans for the week?

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#WriteTuesday – Blog Planning!

I know I cut it a bit close, but over the weekend (the last weekend of March), I actually did sit down and make a plan for Sustainably North for the next few months.  I used the blog planner I picked up from Tickled Think last week as a starting point for my blog plan.  I’m keeping the basic plan I came up with earlier in March, at least for the next few months (I can reassess at that time and see if it’s working).  I’m going to start posting a smaller post on Fridays, too; that’s going to be more fun things like quotes or pictures (plus I can write the monthly post about bUneke for a Friday, too).  I’ve got an idea of topics for the next three months, and I’ve decided on the actual Monday essay posts for the rest of April (as well as a book to review).  So now I have to get going and actually write/read everything!

Over the weekend I sat down with the productivity planner I got from Tickled Think, too.  I was able to come up with goals for roughly the next year.  In terms of Sustainably North, those goals involve growing the blog.  In terms of other projects, those goals involve finishing them.  I don’t have definitive time tables for anything, just roughly what I want to accomplish in the next month, three-six months, and year.  I wasn’t able to come up with any goals at this time beyond the year mark because I want to see where I’m at.

So with that being said, for April I want to get the next 2 months of Sustainably North written and scheduled, as well as get a 1st draft of the Make Your Way story done. I know I’ve been saying that for the last few months, but I want it finished so I can move onto other things.  Beyond that, I need to get my next article written for bUneke Magazine before the 10th, so that’ll be happening too.

Thinking of bUneke, I did manage to get a few more book reviews from Sustainably North cut down to the length they wanted and submitted yesterday.  So that’s pretty exciting.  Unfortunately I’m almost out of books I’ve reviewed on Sustainably North, so I guess I need to get reading, too!

All in all, this was a good week of planning.  And now I’m going to have a busy April.  Wish me luck – I’ll let you know how things are going next week! 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – March Goal

Good news everyone: my Sustainably North‘s Pinterest account was reactivated!  😀

So I realized yesterday that I haven’t officially set a goal for March.  As I mentioned at the end of February, April is the one year anniversary of Sustainably North.  I want to have a solid plan for the blog as of April, so I’m dedicating March to working on the blog.  I had come up with a plan last summer, but that ended up falling by the wayside incredibly quickly and I’ve been just winging it ever since.

So over the last few weeks, I started thinking a bit more about what I’ve enjoyed writing and what I’d like the blog to look like.  A post that I really enjoyed writing was the one on bUneke Issue 9.  Normally I wrote a post just saying I had written an article in bUneke Magazine and just giving a vague overview of why I chose the topic I did.  For this post, I used the topic as a starting point and went into more detail (and in a slightly different direction) from the bUneke article.  With that in mind, I think I’m going to try to write more essay-style posts, both factual and opinion-based around particular monthly themes.  My current plan is to have two essays per month, plus a post introducing the topic (so I guess that ends up being three essays per month).

I also like writing book reviews, but I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to (or be interested in) write one every month.  So for now I’m thinking I’m going to have either a book review or recipe for that fourth monthly post.  Then for the fifth post, when there is one in a month, it’s kind of going to be whatever works for the topic (be it another book review, another recipe, an article, or something else).

I’m going to pick a few topics for the next few months and give this plan a try, then reassess and see if it’s working.  If it isn’t, I’ll tweak it or come up with a new plan at that time.

Now the one thing I’ve been struggling with is trying to figure out how to bring in talking about whatever I write for bUneke Magazine, too.  I’m planning on choosing my own topics for Sustainably North, not following the bUneke topics, so it doesn’t make sense to me to factor in talking about my articles as part of my blog’s editorial plan.  So after a lot of thought, I think I’m going to be starting to post on Sustainably North on another day of the week.  I’m not entirely sure what the second weekly posts will look like overall, but right now I’m kind of thinking it’ll overall be a fun post/shorter post, like maybe a quote, or a picture or something like that (I don’t think I’ve got it in me right now to do a second longer post every week).  I can then use one of those posts to talk about whatever I wrote in bUneke that month, too.

So that’s the current plan for Sustainably North.  Do you think it’ll work?  Do you have any other suggestions for things I can try (especially when it comes to continuing to add in a monthly post about bUneke Magazine)?

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Hello 2019!

Happy New Year’s!  It’s that time of year again – time to look at the goals I set for myself last year and set new goals for this year.  Last year, my goals were:

  1. Read 25 novels.  Success! I read over 50 novel-length books this year!  I didn’t read many long ones, but that’s okay. Having no pressure to read made it much more enjoyable over 2018.
  2. Write two polished short stories.  Failure.  I wrote one, but didn’t finish the second one. 😦
  3. Finish a bloody RPG! Failure. I didn’t really work on anything at all. 😦

For 2018 I was hoping to work towards freelancing more.  Even though I wasn’t really successful with my goals, I think I was somewhat successful thanks to starting my other blog, Sustainably North. Thanks to Sustainably North, I was asked by bUneke Magazine to write a monthly column, which has been a lot of fun and tremendous experience.  For my day job I also wrote 9 articles, 7 book reviews, and interviewed 12 authors for TBPL Off the Shelf, so that’s pretty good, too.  Oh and I almost forgot that 2018 saw my first published short story, “A Harmony of Soil and Sand,” which was published in Menagerie de Mythique Anthology back in May.  So while I didn’t exactly meet all of my goals, I still think 2018 was a pretty good year of writing for me! 🙂

Oh yeah, and I participated in my very first game jam back in January!  That was fun, too! 🙂

For 2019 I’d like to do things a little differently, particularly in regards to my writing goals.  This year I’d like to set smaller goals every month rather than big overarching goals.  My thought is that way I can use the end of the month as a deadline, plus I’ll have more flexibility in case other unexpected projects come my way (like when that big freelance project came my way back in 2017).  Plus if something takes longer than planned (like how the story I’m working on for the Make Your Way anthology got bogged down in worldbuilding), I can adjust my scheduled goals accordingly.  So here are my goals for 2019 so far:

  1. Read 25 novel-length books. 25 books worked really well for me last year and I’d like to keep the same goal.  Like I said, this took the pressure off of me and made reading more fun.  This goal is the only one I’m naming that’s for the whole year.
  2. Finish the story for the Make Your Way anthology by January 31st. I think that’s a reasonable amount of time to get this story written (and hopefully submitted!)

I’m not going to talk about Sustainably North goals on here right now.  At this point I’m kind of just carrying on, trying to get a weekly blog post written plus an article for bUneke Magazine.  If that changes, I’ll let you know. 😉

This will be an interesting year – I really hope that setting smaller monthly goals (with deadlines) will work better for me!

So what about you? Have you set any goals for the upcoming year? 🙂

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#WriteMonday – Happy Labour Day!

It’s #WriteMonday, it’s the end of the summer, and I thought that now would be a good time to reflect on those goals I set for 2018.  To date, the only goal I accomplished from my short list was to read 25 novel-length books. That leaves me with four months left and two goals to go.  I think what I’m going to have to do is set a goal for each month (which will also leave me with an extra month either for a goal that needs a bit more time, or to work on something else).  For September, I think I’m going to finish the short story I was working on in June.  I’d like to get that story out of the way since all it needs now is some edits.  Depending on how long that takes, I may also do a bit of work on Memories (which I think is going to be the RPG Maker game I try to finish this year).

So with that in mind, I spend a couple of hours yesterday writing down everything I could think of about an idea I’ve had for a few weeks now.  I love this idea and would really like to work on it.  But first I need to finish some of my other projects that are on the go before I plot it out (and learn how to write for a whole new medium, which this project will require).

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Read 25 Books + Editing Pass Complete!

So earlier in the week, I got sick.  It sucked, because while I was feeling completely like crap, I didn’t feel like working on that short story I’ve got on the go (even though I had just a few paragraphs left to go on that editing pass!)

But what I did end up doing was reading.  Quite a bit, actually.  As of today, I finished one book and read two more, including Steve Brusatte’s The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, which I read in about 24 hours (thanks in large part to starting it while waiting to see a doctor yesterday).  The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs actually ended up being book 25 in my reading challenge!  So yes, as of earlier today, I accomplished one of my goals for the year – I read 25 books!  At least some good came of being sick. 🙂

In all seriousness though, I am feeling a bit better today.  I’m now on antibiotics, which I think is the main reason for that.  I’ve eaten a bit more today without feeling super nauseous (thanks to being nauseous, I barely ate anything over the last two days).  I’ve spent the evening making soup (it seriously has ended up an entire evening affair – I started at about 6pm, and it finally finished at almost midnight! Oh well, at least I now have soup). And over the last few hours of soup making, I sat down to finish this editing pass on my short story. 🙂

So with my story shaping up, I went to go and check the Duotrope listing I’m planning on submitting it to.  The listing closes in about a week and a half, so I’ve still got plenty of time to work on it.  Unfortunately, I just realized the listing wants short stories of 3500- 5000 words in length.  And their website says they are looking for horror (the Duotrope listing says horror, sci fi, and fantasy).  This story is currently quite a bit shorter than 3500 words (it’s now 2440, which is over 1000 words longer than the first draft, so it’s moving in the right direction), and is not at all a horror.  I just sent them a message over Facebook asking about the genre and whether they are open to accepting shorter submissions (someone else asked about the shorter submissions on their website, but they didn’t answer).  And of course after I asked my questions I found that they say they are open to all forms of speculative fiction.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get this story to 3500 words or not.  But that’s a problem for another day.  For tonight I’m just happy to be done this editing pass! And whether it gets submitted anywhere or not, at the very least it will hopefully be one of the two polished short stories I wanted to write this year. 🙂

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Blog Progress

I’m rather proud of myself: I’ve managed to successfully post on Sustainably North weekly for over a month!  When I first started that blog, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with it (considering my track record on here hasn’t been great).  I don’t know that I’ve managed to find the proper voice for the blog yet, but it has been getting a bit easier to write posts.  I don’t want to stretch myself too thin or get overwhelmed (I have a really bad habit of that because I always seem to take on too much or try to work on multiple big projects at the same time), so I’m going to keep Sustainably North going at one post a week for now.

With that going well, I need to start adding in other things too (but nothing too big because I don’t want to get overwhelmed).  Specifically, I think I need to start working on some of my goals for the year.  I’ve already managed to read 16 novel-length books (8 were actual novels), so I’m not too worried about my reading goal.  So that means it’s time to either work on one of my RPGs or look at writing a short story.

Oh, thinking of short stories: I WAS working on one back in early April.  I found a market that sounded intriguing and started writing something for it.  But by the time I got through most of a draft, I realized the story wouldn’t actually fit the market very well.  So that got shelved and unfortunately I haven’t been working on anything else since.

So I think my plan of attack for this week is going to be to start working on another short story.  I need to either find another market on Duotrope that interests me, or else pull out one of the stories I’ve shelved and actually finish it.  I’ll see what catches my interest over the next few days. 🙂

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