Tag Archives: goals

Oops, forgot I had this thing…

So, I can’t believe I’ve spaced out so much lately. I thought about this blog this week, loaded it, and gasped when I saw my most recent post on here was from New Years this year.

JANUARY 2019.

OOPS.

I know I said I’d do better, so I’m going to be more diligent when it comes to anything author-related.

That being said, first step was getting into writing again because, unfortunately, haven’t written much since Smoky Writers back in February/March. During which, by the way, I finished the draft to Kinetics #5, the fifth and final book in my KINETICS saga. For the entire story behind my KINETICS saga from start to present day, check out this separate blog post [PENDING POST] for the whole history of it. It’s a long, emotional roller-coaster of a journey, so it deserves its own post.

Needless to say, when I was deciding which project to pick up again, I did what I always do, and review my spreadsheet. For those of you that are unaware, or just didn’t pick up on it, I am a very organized, task-oriented person. My messy room would have you fooled, but when it comes to computers and digital content, I am more OCD than out in the real world. I also work in IT for my day job, and I’ve even had managers in my career that say I am the most task-oriented person they’ve met, and applaud me for it, saying they could never have the persistence to record and organize my tasks and projects so detailed, so creative, and so flawlessly quick.

As example, I will go back to the original point: my writing spreadsheet.

Here’s a few photos of the many tabs that make up this spreadsheet::

Tabs1-As_of_2019-06-09

Tabs2-As_of_2019-06-09

Tabs3-As_of_2019-06-09

Didn’t think I’d be that digital OCD, did you?

I warned you.

Oh, and it gets WAY worse. Just keep going! (*insert laughing with tears emoji here*)

The un-colored tabs are for my productivity records, which I’ll cover in a bit. The highlighted tab colors signify their use/status. I’ll list them in order, skipping the purple one to cover later (and trust me, your brain will explode at what’s in that tab).

Here’s the color guide::

Light green = Current WIP (works in progress, for those of you unfamiliar with that term). These are projects I am currently working on. These could also be projects I’ve just started a bit, presently writing a few words here or there, while getting deep into nitty-gritty research and profiling and mental plotting for the story as a series and as a whole.(Spoiler alert: I can’t do one-off/single books. I’ve always been a series/serial kinda gal.)

Yellow = Projects I’ve started recently that are my backups for if I get writer’s block / LOI for my Light Green projects. (To learn the term LOI that I created, see [this blog post] to see if you agree with the differences). These ones are projects and/or series I’ve gotten a decent amount into, and can still feel a flame of inspiration in my heart; barely there, but waiting for that fuel to truly flame.

Red (both shades) = These are projects and/or series I’ve put on hold for now. Ones that have caused my lack of writing in recent months, or ones that tormented me months or even years back that I still want to attempt someday. Light red projects are hopeful ones to pick up; the dark red tab is the one currently in question on what format to output, due to reasons I will NOT be getting into.

Blue (both shades) = The blues are ones barely started, not touched in ages, and can’t be considered for the Red “Hold” highlight due to the length of time they’ve been on hold. I might revisit them someday, but those can wait a good amount longer without breaking my inner college writer. The darker blue one already has stories published, but there’s 1 or 2 more stories I want to write for it. However, those 1 to 2 stories haven’t been worked on since 2014, and still not urgent to feed my inner imagination and inspiration as an author.

Dark Green = These ones are series in which every book/story is completed. Could be all first drafts, could be all edited drafts, could be partially published works, or a combination of the three.

Now, to really make your heads spin.

This is what is on the purple tab, labelled “Overall Index”. Don’t hurt your eyes trying to read. (Again, *insert laughing with tears emoji here*)

Overal_Index_Tiny-As_of_2019-06-09

flail_kermit

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This tab lists every project I’ve worked on since Spring of 2011. As you can probably tell, there seems to be more projects than what the number of tabs suggest (Just kidding, your brains are already mush by this point; no one assumes that). But, if you are sane enough at this point to think that, you’d be correct. I do have projects on the Overall Index that do not have their own tabs. Yet, at least. Planning on adding them eventually, then hiding them until I might want to pick them up a few years from now. You know three years… five years… twenty years…. something like that.

Now, to cover the painful proof of my LOI (again, here’s my [blog post] for LOI comparison).

Here’s my current Word Counts for the year 2019 thus far, broken up by project and month:

WC-As_of_2019-06-09_14-40

I know, I know, 64k in less than six months is nothing to sneeze at. However, I made a goal for myself at the beginning of the New Year: a goal instead of a resolution, something to try your best to achieve and not give up when you mess up once. My goal was to write every day, no matter whether it was 5 words, 500 words, or 5,000 words. Wouldn’t matter, as long as I got something written down, some progress, however small, is still progress.

These next two photos show why I’m slightly disappointed in myself.

Here’s a screenshot of a table I made which shows my productivity by week, making an average that compares the number of days each week that I wrote (the “Y” column) verses the days I didn’t write anything at all (the “N” column)::

Yes_No_Comparison-As_of_2019-06-09_14-40

(This is as of today (6/9/2019), and I wrote today, which is why Week 24 shows 100% “Y”, because Sundays are the start of my week counting)

As you can see, some weeks are 100%, meaning I wrote something each day of that week. Some also have partial percentages, meaning only wrote a few times that week, less than 7 days, but at least 1 day of that week.

Then look at the 0.00% rows.

Nine weeks of 23 (still ignoring Week 24), I didn’t write ANYTHING at all.

ANYTHING.

And, here’s the comparison between “Y” days and “N” days for the full year::

Ttl-Yes_No_Comparison-23_Weeks-As_of_2019-06-09_14-40

Nope.

Not good enough.

Not gonna cut it.

So, after looking into all my older projects, I decided to pick up a series I’ve been working on since early 2017; a story saga which released its first 3 stories in 2017, 2 more in 2018, and the first collection of those 5 stories releasing March of this year (2019).

A series I hadn’t touched since mid-2018, when I finished the first draft of the fifth story.

A series I haven’t written new words for since this past April.

A series with an entire TWO more story arcs.

Figure it out yet?

Yes, Vikans, I have picked up THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS short story serial once more! [This Page Link] will take you to the links to all the published stories thus far in this hidden war between the MRC and ChaosBlaze.

The fifth story left off at a slight hangover, with Division 3 promising each other they would regain the friend they lost: a friend who gives himself up for the rest of the team’s lives.

Not spoiling any more than that, but trust me on this::

The story is just beginning.

I’ll be publishing my post on my KINETICS journey sometime soon, and once I do, I’ll link it in the appropriate locations on this post.

Until then, Vikans…

Keep Faith!

-C

 

Wow, New Year already?

What happened? 2018, gone just like that? Where’d the year go?

When I realized what that meant, I felt like I’d barely accomplished anything of value in my life. Had I written stuff? Yes, I had.

However, the kicker for me was this…

I hadn’t published much of anything.

Granted, three works got published, but without really any noticeable success, either reader-wise or sales-wise. “Account of Secrets” and “KINETIC MEMORY” both were released in January 2018, with the 5th CHAOS ACCOUNTS story (“Account of Risks“) released in July 2018. Yes, these are published works, but my mind believes that even with those releases, there is a lack of accomplishment or fulfillment. Especially because the last two months, as 2018 started coming to a close, my inspiration and motivation to write weakened, due to anxiety of holidays, day job, and prepping for my wedding in Fall 2019. (Getting engaged was one of few high points in 2018, let me tell you.)

I feel a bit weird about all of that in general. Think about it for a second. 2017, after I lost JV, was my most productive and active year of my writing career thus far. I wrote the first 4 CHAOS ACCOUNTS stories and published 3 of them. I also published a prequel ebook (“KINETIC TRAGEDY“; only available on Instafreebie) and the first KINETICS book (“KINETIC REBIRTH“), as well as written that whole first book, its sequel, and the fifth CHAOS story, rounding out that series’s first Arc.

Move onto 2018. I wrote as much as I could, but the inspiration and motivation started to wane and weaken. I ended up transferring to a merger company that my day job joined with, a company that started business early 2018. Since I had to learn a completely new system and way of doing day-to-day activities, plus having to interact with people of lots of different personalities and work ethics. That was a HUGE learning curve, and I think that stress and elevated anxiety was probably a root cause for lack of activity.

Now, like I said above, I got a LOT of writing done in 2018, at least in the first half or so. Highlights:

— Finished writing AND personally editing first drafts to the third AND fourth KINETICS books, as well as written 1/3 of the fifth and final installment

— Wrote a couple thousand words for CHAOS ACCOUNTS #6, as well as began formatting for the first CHAOS ACCOUNTS collection, for Accounts #1-5 (Aiming for physical copies of this as well)

— Worked on editing old WIP projects

— Started writing new WIPs – one that I’m presently working on in hopes of traditional publishing (hopefully)

However, still hardly any publishing credits for most of 2018. I have a good amount of finished projects, as well as dozens of WIPs. You want proof?

Image may contain: screen and laptop

Yeah, looking at that makes my head spin too.

The above and below screenshots are a spreadsheet that catalogs progress on any projects I’ve written for as far back as New Year’s 2011. That means today marks eight years of consistent writing, and hopefully useful words and maybe eventually books / ebooks. I created this Spreadsheet around 2014/2015-ish, and any projects I’ve made progress on since then actually keeps track of my word count each day for whatever project I wrote for. I’m OCD to the max, I already know this. 😉 But, the above is almost all my projects, either WIPs, completed novels, or spin-offs/sequels to earlier projects in the first two categories. Any project since 2011. ANY.

Now, the top right of this spreadsheet made me feel at least slightly accomplished when I did my end of the year WC check:

No automatic alt text available.

Yes, you are seeing correctly. Eight years of monitoring my word counts, and in the year 2018, I reached over 1.1 million words written, either in completed works or the word counts in my present WIPs, since 2011.

Then, looking through my project tabs, I mentally remembered plot lines to the WIPs I hadn’t touched in years, smiled slightly. Those 1.1 million words created so many great ideas and so many happy memories. Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to share them with you.

I replacement of a New Year’s resolution (as no one keeps those anyway), I will be even more meticulous when it comes to my writing schedule. I’ve added tabs to that massive spreadsheet, where I will also record each day’s word counts. I’ve added a reference tab as well, where I outline the minimum word count I’d like to achieve each month, and even broke that minimum to how many words per day I’d need to reach the monthly goal. I chose different minimums for each month, varying depending on what activities I know will be going on that month, outside of author-dom existence. Hopefully I can stick to this OCD recording better than I have my blog in recent years.

I will also attempt to save money to eventually roll out KINETICS #3 and #4 in the coming years (as self-pubbing costs money, and I really don’t have a huge fanbase. Actually, to be honest, might only have a handful of them. Wish I was more visible…).

And, as always, I will write. I write for my readers. I write for myself. And, I write for my future, as well as the futures of anyone that cares to grab digital and / or print copies of my books and stories. As an author, the best part about getting your stories out there is to have people take a leap of faith and join your characters on their journeys. And, even with the minimal readers I have now, I will always write stories. Because, maybe one day, I’ll look back and be happy that I took a leap of faith too, hoping people might enjoy my stories. And, hopefully, that dream might become a reality.

Here’s to an exciting and unpredictable year!

2019, bring it on!

Have Faith,

– C.

 

 

Affirmation #1: The Happiness Factor

(#1 in an 11 part series of posts about change, perseverance, and being a better you. Though personal to help myself, I’m posting these here in hopes I can help others who are struggling and wanting to make a change)

*     **********

Happiness. Depression. The infinitely-lasting struggle between the yellow ball of sunshine jumping around and the little blue sweetheart that can’t help but grab your heart and twist hard.

It happens to all of us. Yes, every single one of us. Even you, Mr. Johnny Positivity, over in the corner. We’ve all struggled with this before, even if you don’t want to admit it. We lose trust in others. We get separated long distances from friends, maybe in completely different time zones. We mess up a project with only a limited time to fix it.

Worst of all…

We’ve doubted ourselves.

You don’t have to say it out loud if you don’t want to. Just think about it for a second or two. Think of a particular moment in your life where something went wrong. How did you feel? Angry? Upset? Scared, maybe?

Now, think forward a little bit until where you fixed it. You remember that moment? Great!

Wait, some of you don’t? How could you not remember feeling excited and energized once again, ready to take on the world in a giant mecha-robot suit, taking down giant aliens with advanced technology, while you rescue people running in fear of their own doubts and-

Well, you get the idea.

But why? Why wouldn’t you remember? That moment that caused so much pain, so much doubt, so much negativity; how could you forget when it changed?

Think a little harder. DID you change it? Did you actually work hard and go the extra mile to fix that time of despair and worry? Or did you just let it get pushed to the wayside, only to be remembered years later and get depressed that you never made it better?

That’s the key to happiness. It’s just not drinking a margarita poolside at a beachside resort. It’s what led up to it. How did you get to that point? How did you end up in a lounge chair on white sand catching some rays while listening to the sound of the-

Gah, getting lengthy again.

Let’s get back on track. How were you able to relax like that? You would probably have had to rack up vacation time from work, pay for travel expenses – hotel, airfare, food, gas, etc –  take time to pack everything, and then deal with the crying baby three rows behind you on the airplane.

You ENDURED. You imagined sitting on that beach, and now you get to, because you worked for it. When you saw that flier for a five-day, four-night stay in Hawaii, you wanted it badly. It ate at you on and off. You normally come home exhausted from working 8-10 hour shifts, sometimes have to cook dinner for yourself or your family. You look at your wallet to find little fruit flies flying out and nothing more. You look at your body, and want to look good in a bikini/trunks, but it seems too hard.

You wanted that trip. Every day that passed, you worked towards it. Taking on extra hours at work. Running two miles at the crack of dawn before the sun even rises. Resort to small, healthy lunches and easy-to-prepare dinners (such as the glorious invention of the microwave). You turn away from that shirt or purse or POP! Figure you’ve wanted, in order to save money.

This makes things more difficult to live by. You start feeling disheartened, worried, doubtful, that this could ever pan out.

And then…

You look at your bank account.

You look at your reflection.

You look at those boarding passes you are handing to the flight attendant that say  “Flight #XXXX to Hawaii”.

And you smile.

That’s the happiness factor.

You wanted it, you WORKED FOR IT, and you got it. Happiness isn’t free. Either you or somebody else had to work hard to make it happen. Every road to happiness is a rough one. There will always be obstacles, hurdles, hills, and barricades in your path.

Just keep pushing onward.

Only YOU can do that.

It’s YOUR happiness.

Work for it.

 

-Insert Obligatory New Year Post Here-

So, running a little behind on my New Years post. Here we are, five days into 2015, and I’m running the past year’s events through my head. I was Phi Beta Lambda’s (last minute) Relay for Life captain, and raised over $1,000 in the month I was in charge. I got to travel to Nashville, TN and win fourth place in the nation in a Project Management competition. My grandmother got married to an amazing guy. And… I PUBLISHED MY FIRST BOOK! These are the ones that stuck out to me, but there were many other good memories that were made this past year.

However, 2015 is sort of a clean slate. I have 360 days left to do whatever I so desire (within reason). So many options, and a decent amount of time. I was considering making some New Years Resolutions, to keep me on track. However, I saw a statistic that said that a good chunk of people drop their resolutions within the first month or so. I actually know this from experience.

So, what else should I do? I want to have goals and changes in my life, right? So, I’m proposing a new New Years tradition: New Years Objectives. You are all welcome to join me. The premise behind this is make a list, like you would with the Resolutions, but they’re just GOALS, meaning you can move between them should time constrain you. If you want a hiatus from your Objectives, feel free. The idea is that you TRY to reach these goals by year’s end, whether you take breaks from them or not. This way, you don’t feel like having to commit to it all year, then be disappointed when it doesn’t last past February.

My list?

– Edit 2 books

-Query a TON of agents

-Work on one or two of my WIPs, and attempt to finish one.

-Get a new job [Just graduated almost a month ago from college 🙂 ]TheProtektorsReality_400x640_115dpi

-Network, Network, Network

-Promote my new book, The Protektor’s Reality (in print and ebook versions; if you want a summary, either click the link or look on the My Works tab above)

With these Objectives in mind, I will plunge into the unknown 360 days left. Now, it’s time to look toward the future.

2015, BRING IT ON!!