Counter-intuitively to how I usually start these particular posts, I have to admit that August went by extremely slowly for me. This is likely due, at least in part, to the fact that I got called back out West to the Alberta oil sands, and spent the majority of August doing a 24-day shift there, followed by only a week off before returning. There’s nothing that will make time seem to have slowed down like working 24 straight days in a row. That said, I also had a strangely productive August overall, so let’s just jump right into it.
Goal #1. WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE.
August was, by far, my best month not only of the year, but for much longer than even that. In July I decided to set myself a mini-goal of writing at least 300 words per day, whether those words were fiction, blog posts, or whatever. Despite a bad habit of mine of missing one day on a goal and then abandoning it completely, I actually did manage to accomplish this one. I did not going a single day in August without writing at least 300 words. The result of the success of this mini-goal is that I rounded out the month with 16,473 words, and nearly 10k of those were scenes for my next “The Other World” book. To put it in even more perspective, that’s 7k words more than my next best month this year so far, and more than double what I wrote in all the other months. That’s pretty goddamn spectacular, if I do say so myself. I want to see if I can continue this trend, so for the month of September I’m challenging myself to write at least 400 words per day. Wish me luck!
Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
I’m crossing this one out for the foreseeable future, not because I’ve given up on erotic fairy tales, but simply because I’m trying to focus on the second book of the “Other World” series, so this isn’t really on my radar at the moment.
Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
This one has been a little difficult for me to get going with. I love this new blog, I love the look and the feel of it, but I haven’t been finding myself writing many blog posts aside from sharing our YouTube videos. Part of this is because – as previously mentioned – I’ve been focusing on “The Other World”, but part of it is simply that I haven’t been able to think of anything that I want to write about. I used to defer to The Daily Post when I was looking for ideas, but in the time since I last used them they’ve changed their format from actual prompts to simply single words that you’re meant to revolve your post around, and I don’t find that particularly helpful, to be honest. I’m going to start looking for new ideas in the future, however, because I don’t want this new blog to be completely drowned in nothing but YouTube videos all the time.
Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book(s).
This particular goal continues to be an enormous thorn in my side, especially this month, since I got a whopping dose of reality thanks to a book-based subscription box. I’ve been writing to several of these box service companies for months, inquiring about the possibility of them putting one of my books in one of their boxes. I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it, to be honest, but I thought it was worth a try for the chance of exposure. Well, after months, a lovely couple who runs a horror-themed book-box actually responded to me, and explained why, exactly, these boxes were not keen to work with indie authors. The problem, you see, is that because of the way these vendor/service relationships work, I would be on the hook for the bill for printing and shipping the books. Theoretically they would pay me back, of course, but as some people are finding out these days, that doesn’t always happen (*cough*Nerd Block…Google it*cough*). So basically, I’d be gambling on the fact that they’d actually pay me back for this upfront cost. And what would that upfront cost be? Well, based on the subscriber base of this one particular box (which is definitely not the most popular box in the genre), I’d be on the hook for nearly $20,000. And I don’t know about you guys…but I don’t have that kind of money to just throw around and hope that I end up getting it back.
So, long story short, we’re continuing on with the trend of “you can’t promote yourself without spending tons of cash you don’t have”.
#2. Get healthier.
I’ve never been much for convincing myself to avoid bad-for-you foods, but I did manage to seriously take a step toward becoming healthier this month concerning the topic of exercise. Like the several months before August, in which I completely failed to complete it, I took the 30 day challenge involving increasing numbers of push-ups, crunches, squats, and lunges. This month, however, I actually completed it. I didn’t miss a single day, and I didn’t fudge a single number. I started on day 1 doing 5 push-ups, 25 squats, 10 crunches, and 20 lunges, and I finished off the month on day 30 doing 40 push-ups, 135 squats, 100 crunches, and 50 lunges. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. For the coming month I’m attempting a slightly different challenge that cuts out the lunges, but results in much higher numbers of squats and push-ups by the end of it. Wish me luck!
Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run
10k 8k steps per day.
I KILLED it! Well, okay, maybe “killed” is a little bit of an over-dramatization, but I did great for sure. Out of 31 days in the month of August, I hit my 8k goal on 26 of them, failing only on the days that I’d come home from work – days that were spent mostly filming and sitting down playing games with my daughter, so you can understand what happened there. At work I get a lot of walking in without even thinking about it, so by the end of the month I’d averaged out 10, 985 steps per day, absolutely demolishing all previous months by around 3k steps a day. Damn RIGHT.
Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
This is another one that I’m crossing out for now, not because I don’t think it’s an important goal anymore, but because I’m finding it very difficult to quantify, especially now that I’ve been doing things like the exercises mentioned above. Do those technically count as “me time”? Should it be something more relaxing? Something that doesn’t have ANYTHING at all to do with even the YouTube channel? I’ll work in the future on defining exactly what I want this goal to be and how I should go about recording it.
#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.
Baby steps are important ones, and in this case those baby steps were another mini-goal. I set up my personal planner to remind me to Tweet, Instagram, Snap, and share something to the Facebook group daily. I demolished that goal as well, not missing a single hit on a single day, and I like to believe that it has helped. Unfortunately I didn’t think to take down any numbers on things like followers or engagement at the beginning of the month, so I can’t really SAY that it helped, but I believe that it has, and I’m going to take note of those numbers this coming month so that I can actually quantify it.
Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
This one might always be a work in progress, but I do like to think that I’m getting a lot better at it, specifically concerning emails. There is definitely more work to be had, however, especially now that I’ve got a new phone and don’t always recognize or notice the notifications telling me that I have something to respond to.
Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
As previously mentioned, I got this one in the bag in August. I challenged myself to hit every one of the four social media accounts I use daily, checking them off in my planner as I went, and I managed to go the entire month without missing a single platform on a single day. I am genuinely impressed with myself on this one, as this is something I’ve been struggling with for a while, owing mostly to just a terrible memory. Day planners and to-do lists are wonderful things, aren’t they?
So that was my August. All in all, I feel extremely accomplished concerning this particular month, and I’m quite happy with myself. It’s been quite a while since one of these posts was overwhelmingly positive, and that makes the “failed” bits much easier to handle. 🙂
How was your month? Did you accomplish anything awesome? Have any setbacks? Feel free to share!