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Revisiting October Goals

Hey everyone, how’s it going ?  Over the weekend I finally sat down to look at the goals I set back in October.  At that time I had set some three month, six month, one year, and more than one year goals that I wanted to work towards, mostly concerning my language learning.  I intended to revisit them back in January, but kept putting it off.  And suddenly we were already a week into February – whoops!

I actually missed two of the three three month goals I set for myself at that time – editing short stories, and finishing Short Stories in French for Beginners.  While flipping back through the book where I like to set weekly goals for myself, I also realized that I stopped setting weekly goals at the end of November, which is most likely why I failed on the reading front (I honestly kind of forgot about the book during the holidays).  So I’ll have to try to get back into that habit, too!

My new three month goals are mainly the six month goals I set back in October, but with the addition of finishing Short Stories in French for Beginners, and without finishing the French Duolingo tree now that I’m no longer subscribed to Duolingo Pro.  I still intend to finish the tree; I’m just thinking it’s going to take a bit longer than three months now, especially since I’m exploring French on LinQ and through Barron’s Painless French.

Regarding my Ukrainian learning, I planned to finish reading 100 Easy Texts in Ukrainian by the six month mark.  I completely forgot about that too, so if I plan to meet that goal I’m going to have a lot of reading to get through over the next few months!  I also planned to finish Ukrainian Lessons Podcast season 2 by the six month mark, so we’ll see how that goes, too.

And just so I didn’t forget about it, I also added in some editing milestones for myself concerning the book I’m contracted to edit.  I’m going to have a very busy couple of months!!!

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October Goal Review

I didn’t set myself any major goals last week; I was on vacation from work, and just wanted to relax (and work a bit more on learning my languages!) Although I did manage to fit in some fun reading too (I finished The Gown by Jennifer Robson yesterday!) I was also excited to attend a virtual hour-long French discussion that is put on by a local organization.  At times I had a hard time following the discussion, but at other times I felt like I understood a fair bit.  This meeting is held weekly, so I am hopeful that my brain will be able to follow along with the discussion a bit better after attending a few. 🙂

But now that it’s November, I wanted to look back at the goals I set for October (or at least the second half of October – I set them on the 12th).  I set four goals for myself, and managed to completely accomplish three of them!  The only one I failed to accomplish was getting six Ukrainian Duolingo lesson bubbles to gold – I only finished five of them.  The sixth one I kind of lost interest in at the time, and started working on some of the other bubbles instead. All in all, I am very happy with what I managed to accomplish over these last few weeks!

I sat down last night to set goals for November, all of which support the 3 and 6 month goals I set last month, too.  These include editing one story I’ve already written, reading more short stories in French and Ukrainian, making more progress on the two language trees on Duolingo, and finishing listening to the first season of the Ukrainian Lessons Podcast.  I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to complete all of these goals; the one I imagine will be hardest to meet is editing the story because that goal doesn’t have easy to follow steps like the other ones do (ie read one chapter of a story, or complete x lesson bubbles per week).

So how was your week? Have you set any goals for yourself this month? Have you made any progress on goals you’ve previously set?  Let me know in the comments! 🙂

PS Good luck to everyone who is participating in NaNoWriMo this month! 🙂

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Tuesday Update: Revisiting Goals

Hey everyone, Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you had a good weekend *and a good Thanksgiving if you’re in Canada too). 🙂

This weekend, I sat down and revisited my goals.  I realized that I haven’t really been thinking about that sort of thing in months.  But I’m doing well with the goals I set here on the blog: I finished Memories and have already read over 25 books this year!  That just leaves editing a few short stories that I’ve previously written.  So I need to get on that over the next few months!

I also noticed that in my notebook with the weekly goals I try setting for myself, back in 2019 I set more long term goals.  So I took some time to set some goals for myself over the next year and beyond.  At this point, I’m mostly focused on my language learning as I’ve already put in so much time learning both Ukrainian (over four months) and French (about 3.5 months); I don’t want to stop working on either of them right now because I’m afraid I’d lose the progress I’ve made.  So ideally I’d like to get one of them to a point of conversational fluency sooner rather than later to get it off my plate, so to speak (I’m hoping/thinking that it’ll take less time  per week to maintain a language once you’ve learned it well enough to have in-depth conversations in it).  Realistically, this is going to be French, thanks to both its similarity (particularly in terms of vocabulary) to English and the fact that I took French classes in elementary school many years ago.  I’ve found that French vocabulary is currently a lot easier for me to learn and retain, and for that reason alone I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to have conversations in French far sooner than in Ukrainian.

So with that in mind, I set the goal of conversational fluency in French for one year from now.  I made some goals to build towards that through the year, including making it through some books, finishing the Duolingo French tree, and understanding French media without subtitles.  For Ukrainian, I’ve set similar goals, but with a longer timeframe; my current hope is to be conversationally fluent in Ukrainian two years from now.  But it’s okay if I don’t meet the goals I set in the exact timeframe I’m hoping for; I’m going to treat these goals as a sort of road map to help me get to that point (not as a set in stone deadline for being able to have deep conversations with people).

In terms of writing goals, at this point I haven’t set any new ones for now (although as a super long-term goal, I’d love to create French and Ukrainian versions of Memories….)  Hopefully I’ll be able to meet the last goal I set for 2020 here on this blog (editing two stories), and then I can plan for some new writing projects for 2021!

Oh, I am still planning on brainstorming a new story idea I had as well, but I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself by making that into a set goal for the remainder of the year.  We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

So what about your goals for 2020?  How have they been going?  🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Reflecting

Wow, where did the week go?  And also, where did June go?  I can’t believe it’s July already next week!

June has not been a great month for me and the goals I’ve been setting for myself.  Yes, I’ve gotten a few of them accomplished (I was actually really proud of myself – I got my email back under control!)  But I haven’t done any edits on the Make Your Way story.  I also haven’t sat down yet to take a look at how my goals for the remainder of the year will change thanks to that big project I’m taking on this fall.

I was thinking about it a bit today, and it almost feels like I’m focussing on the wrong things right now.  I’ve been working so much on Sustainably North over the last while, that everything else has sort of taken a back seat, even though finishing some of the games I’ve had on the go for the last few years (!!!) is just as important (if not more so?) With that in mind, I really need to reevaluate my priorities for the coming months.

That’s all I’ve really got for today.  I wish I had a bit more, but right now it’s kind of just a time for reflection and planning.

How about you?  How are things going? 🙂

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#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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