So Long 2018! Last Year’s Plans & Goals in Review

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Image courtesy of iStock

2018 was an enigma to me. In some ways it felt as though the entire year just passed in a flash, disappearing from me in the blink of an eye. In other ways, however, it felt like one of the longest years of my life. I didn’t always mention everything on this blog, but if you follow any of my “Tracey’s Basement” social media you may have picked up on a few dozen frustrations. 2018 was the year of financial and existential horror for the Tobin household. It just seemed as though everything that could go wrong did go wrong. TVs exploded, cars broken down and had their windows smashed, a beloved fur-baby passed on…and in the midst of all that, gainful employment was just not to be found.

It was a shit year. Let’s be straight. It was a shit year.

But the good thing is that it’s over! January 1st always feels like a fresh start to me, even if it’s basically a placebo effect situation.

We can’t move into the new year, however, without looking back at the old, seeing where we gained, where we lost, and where we can do better. So let’s take one last look back at my good intentions of 2018. Deep breath! Diving in…


Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
In some ways I’ll give myself props for actually putting more focus into my writing throughout 2018. If nothing else, I definitely thought a lot more about my writing, took some new steps with the new social media accounts, and worked toward getting Book Two of The Other World in a publishable state. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though. I went weeks without writing anything substantial, and months without working on Book Two if it felt like my brain wasn’t quite working. That was my biggest failing in 2018, I believe, and something I definitely need to work on in 2019.

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. Half a million didn’t even come close to happening. I lost count somewhere during the holidays, but throughout December I only wrote a couple of blog posts, so I can estimate. That estimate brings me to approximately 245,000 words. Or, in other words, less than half of my goal. Now, I’ll try not to be too hard on myself – 245k is still a lot of words – but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit disappointed in myself. I can do better than this. I will do better than this.
    One good thing: I discovered Pacemaker.press in 2018. It might seem a little superfluous, especially since I’ve always tracked my written words manually in my day planner anyway, but I did find that having that goal set up with suggested daily word counts helped a lot in the second half of the year. I’ve already set up a new goal on the site for 2019, so here’s hoping it continues to help and I actually hit the goal in the new year!
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. In retrospect, if I was going to set a goal like this, I really should have kept some kind of actual record of book sales. Hindsight and all that. That said, what I can report is basically that book sales were abysmal at best. I did pick up a few paperback sales here and there, a few ebook sales here and there, and the occasional book’s worth of page reads on Kindle Unlimited, but none of it was anything to write home about. A huge part of that, I suspect, is that I’ve been really overly shy about actually promoting myself. Sure I’ll tweet or make an Instagram post every so often, but the amount of promotion I do overall is rather pathetic. This assessment is backed up by several of my close friends (who are also my beta-readers) regularly yelling at me to promote myself more often. So, yeah, maybe I should start doing that! o.o
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. There were definitely a few hiccups with this one. I won’t mince words: I screwed up by spending more than a couple of months in 2018 avoiding the hell out of this goal. I wanted to accomplish it, but I was having a really hard time with Book Two and just couldn’t press forward with it for a while. When I eventually did complete the manuscript (yay!) I sent it off to my beta-readers and was promptly informed that I’d been an idiot for thinking it was crap (uh…yay?). Unfortunately, by the time all this came to pass it was already the end of the year, so the publishing didn’t happen. Fortunately I should be able to (should be able to) crank out the last few steps early in 2019. Fingers crossed!

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
I’d like to say that I did okay with this one, but I’m not really all that sure that I did. As previously mentioned, it was a really rough year. A lot of crap happened, a lot of time was lost on things I had to deal with rather than things I would have liked to be dealing with, and my focus was well-scattered for weeks at a time. Combined with the fact that YouTube did everything in its power in 2018 to discourage and destroy small YouTuber’s channels, and 2018 was just definitely not our year for YouTube.

  • Goal #1: Film more often. I’m not going back to confirm, but I think the number of videos we filmed in 2018 was fairly close to the number of videos we filmed in 2017. In other words, not more. Then again, not really less either. The end of the year is what really screwed us up, as it simply got too busy to find the time to film the many things we had available to film. We cranked out a few good ones at the last minute, but nothing compared to what we would have liked to have gotten done in November and December.
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect.  Here’s one that I can say was actually rather successful. There’s still room to grow, but I spent a fair bit of 2018 building up my social media presence. Even after I split myself between the channel accounts and my author accounts, I still managed to keep myself active, at least on the Twitter and Instagram, which are the two most important ones anyway. My followers are building, if not a little slowly, and I hope to continue that momentum in the new year.

#3: Focus more on myself. 
I didn’t really keep any kind of actual record of this one throughout the year, so it’s hard to judge, honestly. I think I did half-decently well in some ways, although there’s definitely more progress that could be made. I tend to think more about what I should be doing than what I want to be doing, which can be a good thing sometimes and a bad thing other times. I definitely didn’t spend as much time just ON ME in 2018 as I should have, but I’m gradually getting better at giving myself some focus. Baby steps!

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play.  For the most part I think I did okay on this one, although not in the way I would have liked. Let me explain: I spent a lot – A LOT – of time in 2018 playing stupid phone games like Sailor Drops. That’s not to say that I shouldn’t be allowed to play those games if I want, but they’re very insubstantial and have no end-game, so to speak. While I was playing those games I could have read a lot more books, watched some shows I’d been meaning to, or played actual VIDEO GAMES that give a person a sense of actually completing something awesome. It may sound like splitting hairs, but in the new year I definitely want to focus more on things like books and console games – things that have an end to work toward – rather than those little time-wasters that just drill into your brain and get you addicted.
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. I don’t even know how to report on this one, honestly! There were definite good points throughout the year: I spent several months plugging away at Zombies Run, had a successful Keto Diet experiment, and wound up with a very physically stimulating job right at the end of the year. There was also a fair amount of good old fashioned SUPER laziness. But then again, there’s that little bit up above about not obsessing, so I’d say that, in general, I did okay with this one. I didn’t obsess. I didn’t get mad at myself for not being active. And I also got active as often as I was able. I’m calling this one a win, people. I’d definitely like to do better in the new year, but I’m definitely calling this one a win.

All in all, looking through everything I’ve just written, it would appear as though I experienced a lot of failure and am being really hard on myself. On the contrary. I know that there was a lot of failure concerning these plans and goals, but I’m not being hard on myself. I’m just stating the facts. I didn’t accomplish what I set out to, but I did accomplish a fair bit, especially considering how absolutely shit 2018 was to me. I’ve learned a lot, come up with new ideas and plans, and I’m ready to move forward into the new year. And that’s what really matters at this point, right? Right.

So let’s say good-bye to 2018, kick it in the ass on its way out, and look forward to 2019 with new plans, new goals, and a renewed determination to accomplish those goals.

SO LONG 2018! I won’t miss you!


How was your 2018? Were you able to accomplish anything? Do anything fun? Make any progress toward your own goals? Feel free to share!

Plans and Goals 2018: Weeks, Uh…46 Through 48

plansandgoalsweeklyreview

“Dear Tracey: Where the hell have you been? Sincerely, Everyone.”

So the good news is that I’m alive. I’m going to go ahead and assume that you managed to figure that much on your own. The bad news is that I’m pretty sure both my mind and body have been completely fried in these past few weeks.

Let’s go back a tad. You remember how I’m always saying that this time of year is really busy for me at the best of times? Well it hasn’t been the best of times. That’s not to say that I’m in a bad place mentally or anything; it’s just been extra busy this year for a variety of reasons. First, as I mentioned in a previous post, our older kitty passed on, which resulted in a few days of just not giving a damn about doing anything. Then I started a part-time job to make some extra cash for Christmas, and that job, while relatively simple, involves a lot of physical labor and has me working odd evening shifts that leave me pretty exhausted. There was also my daughter’s birthday, which tends to wear me the hell out even when I’m trying my best not to stress. And on top of that there’s been a lot of visitors lately, what with my parents coming home from their Alberta job, the inlaws coming up for the niece’s hockey games, and all that good stuff. PLUS we’ve been trying to clean and decorate and get the house ready for Christmas, which has been stymied by the fact that we’ve got large items for sale laying all over the house because the interested buyers keep just not showing up, omfg I hate Kijiji. 

The long and short of it all is that today is honestly the first day I’ve had in the past three weeks or so when I’ve actually felt like I could sit down, take a breath, and do some things I want to do, rather than things I need to do. It’s bloody glorious, honestly. I’m typing this on my laptop while sitting on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and a coffee, and it’s glorious

That said, this is going to be a very vague kind of report, because I haven’t caught up on my personal “bookkeeping”, so I’m not even sure what I’m going to report exactly, and also because these past few weeks have been so busy that I haven’t really got much done worth reporting. But hell, we’ll give it a try!

This will also be my last of these posts for the year until the final one looking back at all of 2018. I’d like to write the last few weeks in, but right at the moment I see it as a needless waste as I’m going to have little – if anything – to report.


Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
Hoo-boy…okay, let’s start off with the absolute worst one! The truth is that the last time you heard from me is practically the last time that I wrote anything. I may have scribbled a few things here and there, but this is the “bookkeeping” I haven’t caught up on, so I can’t tell you exactly what.

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. I don’t have an exact number, but I think I can safely say that the grand total for the past three weeks is somewhere in the “couple of hundred”‘s range. Seriously, there has been no writing going on. There just hasn’t been any time at all lately. I keep telling myself that I’m going to write during my lunch breaks at work, but it never happens because the time just seems to up and vanish from me by the time I’m finished eating and checking my phone messages. When last we checked I hadn’t even hit half of this goal yet, so it’s pretty damn safe to say that it’s a bust for the year, but hey…I did write a good few books worth of words, and I learned some things for the coming year. So there’s that!
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. Book sales have been dead lately, which is annoying given that it’s Christmas and people should be buying gifts for their bookish friends. But that said, I haven’t exactly been putting a lot of effort into publicizing myself lately. So yeah, it’s likely my fault. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a few moments to breathe in the coming weeks and maybe grab a few sales from people. Fingers crossed!
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. Here’s another goal that won’t be completed in 2018, but I’m not terribly disappointed with myself. Given how deep into the year it took before I was able to really get some work going on this one, I’m happy with what I did manage. I’ve got notes back from one of my beta-readers – just waiting on the other three – and I plan to put my nose to the grindstone in the new year and get this done and published ASAP.

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
Given the state of the part-time job I mentioned earlier in the post, you can probably take a wild stab at where this one is going.

  • Goal #1: Film more often. It has been really difficult to find time to film these past weeks. The evenings after Adrianna has going to bed are one of our best filming times, but I’ve been at work during those hours more often than not recently. School hours can be good too, but between some shifts Jason picked up, the need to run around for errands during business hours, and the fact that we’ve had family coming back and forth a lot lately, it’s been practically impossible to string enough moments together to actually be able to film a whole video. We only actually published, like…2 vids since my last update post, and that’s flabbergasting, but also not surprising given all the circumstances. Keep your fingers crossed for us to find a breath or two sometime this week while I have a couple of nights off!
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect.  Social media definitely went out the door for a little while as well, although I think I’ve managed to work myself back into it. Everything went dead silent for about two weeks, except for a small few Instagram posts made by Jason. In the past week, though, I’ve managed to start squeezing posts in, in between work breaks and waiting for supper to cook and things like that. The author accounts have still been pretty dead, but I’m working back toward it.

#3: Focus more on myself. 
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play. The closest I’ve gotten to any of these things lately is playing a round or two of Sailor Drops on my phone during my 15-minute breaks at work. Jason and I also managed to watch the most recent season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but only because we watched it in parts while eating supper or laying in bed at night waiting to pass out. Last night was the first time I’d touched a book in ages, and it was one of Adrianna’s; we started reading “Young Scrooge” together.
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. Go right to hell on this one.
    Seriously though, my job has been so physically demanding (lots of walking back and forth, lifting and carrying things) that I’m calling it a win and refusing to do any more. End of story.

And there you have it. Three weeks of “I didn’t have time to do anything”, basically. And somehow I stretched it out into a pretty lengthy post. Go me. There’s my accomplishment for the week. 😛

How was your week? Were you able to accomplish anything? Do anything fun? Make any progress toward your own goals? Feel free to share!

Plans and Goals 2018: Week 45 Review

plansandgoalsweeklyreview

It’s Monday morning. I woke up today to the first snow of the season. Then I ran to Walmart for cat food and found that they were playing Christmas songs. And you know what?

I’M IN A BLOODY GOOD MOOD, SO THERE!

The frustrating truth is that I tend to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder during the winter months in Eastern Canada, but right now, at this moment, sitting in front of my laptop with a coffee while shivering from the cold…I’m actually in a really decent mood. I’m not entirely sure what’s up with that, but let’s run with it, shall we?

Week 45 was a busy one, although now that I’m looking back on it I couldn’t quite tell you what it was that made it busy. It just seems as though I was nonstop throughout the week. So let’s have a look-see and try to determine what took up all my time.


Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
Though there are always going to be distractions, the thing I love about National Novel Writing Month time is that it gives me a sense of motivation to do better. I see all these people on social media just killing their word counts and it makes me think, “Dammit, I can do that too!” I’m not always able to actually pull off what I’m seeing other people pull off, but it’s definitely a huge boost to my willpower.

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. I’ll be totally honest and say that I was hoping to do better on my word counts this past week, but that’s not to say that I didn’t do well. In fact, I did quite excellent! I wrote 3201 words toward blog posts for this site and TraceysBasement.com, and I wrote an awesome 8699 fiction words toward The Other World Book Three, and an as-yet-unnamed ghost story that I’ve been playing with. Woo! That gives me a week’s total of 11900, which is just 17 words shy of being my second best week of the year so far. Not too shabby at all! Those words also bring my year’s total up to 231699, and my daily average up to 735. Yeah! The average is still going up!
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. I don’t wanna talk about it, dudes.
    Seriously though, I’ve had a total down-slide on book sales recently. I’m not sure what’s up, but there’s been absolutely nothing. Obviously I need to do some holiday pimping myself out.
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. Continuing on from previous weeks, I must repeat that my manuscript is currently with my beta-readers. That said, I’m going to go ahead and say that the book will likely not be “complete and published” by the end of the year. I was hoping to have it out for Christmas, but chances are that I’m going to want to make a bunch of changes after my beta-readers are through with it, plus I need to commission the cover art, plus I need to go through the new Kindle publishing process, wait for a proof copy, and confirm that everything is all good. That’s not all likely to happen in the next seven weeks. Plausible, sure, but I also don’t want to rush and end up screwing something up. So let’s take it a little easy and say that the book will be ready sometime in early 2019.

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
The focus has been in and out on YouTube for the past few weeks, as you likely already know. We’re trying to psyche ourselves up, try some new things, and engage followers more, but it’s also the busiest time of the year for us, plus I’m starting a new job shortly, so YouTube naturally lags a bit as a result.

  • Goal #1: Film more often. We managed to get two videos filmed, edited, and uploaded in the past week. One of those was a bit of a time-consumer too, since it involved lugging a bunch of discounted Halloween purchases around and trying to work out how to lay them out so we could record everything. The other was another full case blind box opening, too, and those are never super-quick because of the bulk involved. So yeah, we definitely could have done more in the past week, but I’m happy with the two vids we managed to get up.
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect.  I think we did enough with the social media late yesterday to qualify for an awesome week overall. 😛
    Jason went absolutely mad with Instagram pics, which I then shared on the Twitter account as well, so it was a very social-intensive night. That said, the week in general wasn’t too shabby either. I may have drifted off from the social media a bit recently because of the amount of time I’ve been spending trying to get some writing done, but I’m still always there, tweeting away and sharing pictures when I have picture ideas to share. All is going well.

#3: Focus more on myself. 
Focus on myself, in recent weeks, has been delegated down to basically just trying to get done all the stuff I want to be done. As mentioned, this is a very, very busy time of year for us, what with the holidays coming up, plus both Jason and Adrianna’s birthdays, plus my stubborn insistence on participating in NaNoWriMo, so it’s definitely hard to find a moment or two to actually focus on myself.

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play. Something I did manage to sneak in this past week was the time to finish reading Carrie, and I can officially say that I love it. I won’t say too much because I might find the time to write an actual review post, but I’ll definitely say that if you’re a King fan and you haven’t read his original, first published novel, you need to. Especially if you are, or were, a teenage girl. Absolutely awesome.
    I did try recently to sit down and play a little bit of the Nintendo Switch, but it only lasted about two minutes before I decided there was stuff that needed doing.
    As for “watching”? Well it hasn’t been me time, but rather us time with Jason, but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this ridiculous Food Wars anime we’ve been watching. It’s a ludicrous, over-sexed cooking anime, of all things, and I’ve been totally hooked. We watched almost the entire first season over the course of a few days.
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. Though I haven’t been doing any actual runs or “real” exercise, I’ve actually been fairly active of late. In particular, I spent a good chunk of the weekend as a whirlwind blowing around the house, trying to get it more-or-less clean.
    It’s starting to get genuinely cold out now, so I doubt I’ll be going for any runs in the near future, but I might still manage a decent bit of walking. The job I mentioned above is located only a 15 minute walk from my house, so I’ll probably walk to and from most of the time to avoid taking the car away from Jason and Adrianna, and the job itself involves pretty  much constant movement and a lot of lifting. So here’s to “free” exercise! Ha!

Having gone through it all now I’m still not exactly sure where I was so busy throughout the week, but I’ll settle for knowing that I had a decently productive one. Here’s hoping I can continue that on through the next seven weeks. I tend to lose any semblance of productivity the closer we get to Christmas, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

How was your week? Were you able to accomplish anything? Do anything fun? Make any progress toward your own goals? Feel free to share!

Plans and Goals 2018: Week 44 Review

plansandgoalsweeklyreview

Halloween has come and gone. Christmas is sneaking steadily toward us. And it is currently November, the National Novel Writing Month, also known as the month during which Tracey laughs, cries, loves herself, hates herself, eats way too much junk food, drinks way too much tea, and wonders why she can never seem to force herself to write this much during the other eleven months of the year.

But that’s nonsense for another post. Right now we’re talking about week 44 of 2018, also known as the week of Halloween preparation, execution, and post-holiday discount shopping. Also also known as the week during which I do a lot but accomplish little.

Mind you, this particular year the week was not as mind-blowingly unproductive as in previous years, so this isn’t going to be an “oh my god I did nothing!” post, but I guess what I’m saying is: don’t expect TOO much. ^_~


Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
I did my absolute best to find the time and energy to work on my writing during week 44, and honestly, I don’t think I did half bad!

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. Obviously, because of the aforementioned several-days-of-Halloween-events I didn’t get as much done as I could have, but I still managed to squeeze in a lot more writing than I have in previous years, so I’m actually fairly impressed with myself. I wrote 1766 blog words, and 5073 fiction words (mostly toward NaNoWriMo, once the 1st had rolled around), for a week’s total of 6839. That’s my best week since the huge week 40, which is pretty awesome since I generally crumble like an overbaked cookie during those few days leading up to and away from Halloween. Go me!
    Those numbers bring the year’s total up to 219,799, and my daily average back up a bit to 714. Yay for moving upward again!
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. I’ll be honest: I haven’t even really been looking at my numbers the past week or so. I know (because I checked today) that there hasn’t been much movement, aside from a few pages read on Kindle Unlimited, but I just haven’t had the time or energy required to self-promote. I’m going to be moving back into the promotion in the coming weeks though, what with the holidays approaching. Buy the reader in your life an awesome book! You know you wanna!
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. The manuscript is still with my beta-readers, peeps! You can’t judge me on this one! It’s out of my hands! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
YouTube takes a bit of a reasonable backseat during those few days of Halloween, since the holiday is rather largely celebrated in the Tobin household. So just keep that in mind, yes?

  • Goal #1: Film more often. We did two videos during week 44, both of which were directly related to Halloween. Jason did a countdown list of movies that we watch every year during the season, and we did our yard haunt video, which is just an extra bit of fun to add to the actual day of Halloween. Both were fun videos that were obviously time sensitive, so I’m happy that we were able to get them done and up. It would have been nice if we’d been able to cram in a couple more, but as mentioned, Halloween is kinda huge for us, so our focus was very simply placed elsewhere for most of the week.
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect.  Social media continues to plod on forward without much issue. I completed the October challenge I created for the channel Instagram, which was tons of fun. I totally flaked out on the last few days of the author-account Instagram challenges, but there was simply too much to do and I was running ideas for those last few days worth of pictures. I also may have been flaking out on Twitter a bit the past few days, but that’s mostly because I spent so much time driving all over hell’s creation while we searched for discounted Halloween decorations, followed by the complete and utter crashing of my system once we finally returned home each day. Mama needs rest and a reboot!

#3: Focus more on myself. 
I’m not even going to joke; the week of Halloween is not a time during which I’m likely to find a few moments to myself. There’s too much preparation, family stuff, shopping, running around, deconstruction, and so on and so forth. So, yeah, I love it, but it’s also a period of time during which I basically lose any capability to have two minutes to myself.

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play. Aside from our nightly horror movies and Halloween-night specials, I don’t know if I really did any of this stuff during week 44. I was too damn busy!
    No! Wait! You know what? I read some more of Carrie. A little bit. So there’s that. I’m still trying to finish it (come the hell on, Tracey, it’s not even that long of a book…), but I did manage to read a bit of it through the holiday. I didn’t play bugger all though, and I didn’t watch anything that wasn’t a predetermined family-viewing date. I really have to find some time soon to sit the hell down BY MYSELF and catch up on Supernatural and Doctor Who. If anything is bound to relax me, that’s it.
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. And here we are, down at the last goal, the one that usually comes with the most excuses…but not this week! Staying active is absolutely not a problem during Halloween week. You know why? Because I basically NEVER STOP MOVING. Since our weather tends to be rainy and/or windy near-constantly throughout October, Jason and I do 90% of our Halloween decorating on Halloween morning. We run around like chickens with our heads cut off getting everything ready, then we each take shifts walking our daughter all throughout town, then after she’s in bed we go out and deconstruct the decorations, because if we didn’t half of it would blow away, get ruined, or get stolen. Then, the next day, we run around shopping, looking for discount goodies, and because the stores are stubborn and like to try to drag the good deals out until as long as possible, we end up doing the same thing for two or three more days in a row. In other words, I basically didn’t stop moving for a good 4-5 days straight. And I have the sore back, near-broken neck, and callused feet to prove it. Also, my Fitbit has been like, “Woooooah, bitch, calm down! What the hell is happening?” So, HA.

In case you hadn’t put two and two together yet: I LOVE Halloween, but it’s also one of the most physically painful and exhausting few days of the year for me. So I’m genuinely quite impressed that I managed to get anything accomplished in week 44, and now I’m going to go crawl into bed with a pile of Halloween chocolate (parent tax FTW!) and try to forget that Christmas is going to be peeking around the corner before I know it.

How was your week? Were you able to accomplish anything? Do anything fun? Make any progress toward your own goals? Feel free to share!

Plans and Goals 2018: Week 43 Review

plansandgoalsweeklyreview
Wait, who? What? Where? When? What day is it? What week is it? What YEAR is it?!

Seriously though, did someone place some kind of curse on me? Or did I get abducted by aliens or something? Because it feels as though I’ve lost massive amounts of time somewhere. I genuinely have no idea when it somehow became a new week. It’s not as though I was busier than usual, or that anything particularly time-consuming came up throughout the week. Maybe the transition into winter-esque weather is getting to me.

Anyway, I’m sure you can probably see where this is going. Week 43 pulled the rug out from under me, and without even thinking ahead to the rest of this post I can pretty much tell you that production was at a low.

So I’m going to sit here, take a gulp of water followed by a swig of black coffee, and see if I can’t make some sense out of just what exactly happened in the past seven days.


Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
My intention, during week 43, was to put most of my attention into this particular plan. How did that go? Uh…well..

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. *looks at word count for the week* Wait, what? Really? Dammit, how did that happen?
    My intention, after handing the manuscript I’d been working on over to my beta-readers, was to take the newfound open time to just write whatever I felt like writing at the time. In a sense, I did do that, scribbling a few words here toward The Other World Book Three, a few words there for a random ghost story idea that popped into my head… And yet somehow I find that my word count for the week is actually rather pathetic. It’s still not the worst I’ve ever done, but dammit…I could have sworn I wrote more than that. That’s what I get for writing free-hand, I guess. It’s sooooo much slower than plucking away at a computer, and yet also far more satisfying, so…yeah. Choices obviously need to be made.
    With all that mumbling to myself out of the way, here are the facts. I wrote 1894 words toward blog posts, and 1243 words toward fiction in week 43. That gives me a week’s total of 3137, which is quite a bit less than last week, but also more than the previous week, so at least I have that going for me.
    With those words my year’s total goes up a bit to 212,960, and my daily average goes down a bit, but still manages to stay above the closest hundred mark, with 708.
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. One paperback and a full book’s worth of page reads on Kindle Unlimited. It’s pathetic, but at least it’s something. There’s nothing worse than logging into my reports and seeing blank charts, so whoever you are who has been reading something of mine on KU: thank you!
    I’ve also gotten a bit of free publicity recently in the form of some lovely fellow YouTubers talking a bit about my books and how they’re planning to read them soon, so that’s quite nice! It hasn’t really translated into sales, but it’s still extremely nice regardless. Nothing makes me smile quite like someone shoving one of my books at a screen and demanding that other people read it. 🙂
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. There’s obviously not much to say here since, as previously mentioned, the manuscript is currently with my beta-readers. There’s not really anything I can do to move further until they’ve returned their notes to me. That said, one thing that I do need to do is commission the cover art which, I hate to admit, I’m having a hard time convincing myself to do since I don’t currently have the funds necessary.
    And now seems like an excellent time to point out the “Buy Me a Coffee” button on the sidebar to the right of your screen. I recently created an account for the service with the hopes of raising the money required to commission the aforementioned cover art. And hey, donating the minimum of $3 also gets you access to a couple of short-short stories that I wrote for a contest a while back, so there’s also that! So if you’d like to check those out and also support a starving author, give that button a little click. You know you want to. 🙂

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
I know I’ve said this before, and not all that long ago, but it has been so difficult to focus on YouTube lately. A big part of it is the fact that we don’t even make pocket change with our videos, and while the channel is more about the hobby aspect than any aspiration of money, at this current very very broke time in my life, it’s hard not to feel that anything that has no chance of making me money is a total waste of time. But that’s just a background feeling that’s been gnawing at me. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the actual week’s facts:

  • Goal #1: Film more often. Two vids. Definitely not as good as it could have been, not by a long shot, but given prior weeks I’m genuinely happy that we managed to get those two vids in. The intention was to do more Halloween- and horror-related videos, but Jason’s been the only one with a) ideas, and b) f*cks to give. That’s not to say that I don’t give a f*ck about Halloween or the channel – that’s obviously the opposite of reality. I just have to bring my thought process back to what I said above about the effort not feeling worth it. Instead of filming videos I’ve been looking for jobs and trying to figure out how to sell books/old clothes/toys we don’t want, etc. My brain has just been too stuck on this “where is the money going to come from?” issue.
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect.  Social media continues to move forward fairly well, at least the channel accounts (the author accounts have been ridiculously dead lately; I just haven’t been able to find the effort). I’m still having a lot of fun with my Instagram Halloween challenge; some of my pics weren’t the greatest, but some of them are downright cool, to hell with modesty. I do have to admit, though, that I really should be POSTING on Twitter more, rather than just SCROLLING through my feed. I’ve been weirdly addicted lately. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve been lazy, and swiping one finger up repeated is a really easy thing to keep doing over and over again. Thoughts? 😛

#3: Focus more on myself. 
We’re sneaking into winter weather, so baths have reentered my life (oh, how I missed you so), and that’s where the majority of my inner focus has been happening lately. I’ve been so sleepy and stressed out that I’ve been spending most of that bath time just staring at the walls around me, or closing my eyes and letting my head sink in the water, but hey…hot water and relaxation. Gimmi gimmi gimmi.

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play. I’ve been focusing my little bit of time on getting through Carrie, since that was the book I really really wanted to read for Halloween. And it’s genuinely good! And weird. And so very, very Stephen King. Totally enjoying it.
    Jason and I did watch “The Haunting of Hill House” during week 43, most of it binged in a single session that left us still awake at 4 am, because WE’RE SMART. I wouldn’t normally consider that “me time”, since it was spent with Jason, but I also really wanted to watch that show, so I’m going to count it just this once.
    Games? They’ve been totally on the back-burner lately. I’ve been plucking out a few stages on Sailor Drops just when I’m, like, sitting in the car waiting for Adrianna to get out of school, or in between episodes while binging Netflix shows, but that’s pretty much been it. Oh! But I did forget to mention last week that I finally managed to finish Dead Nation on morbid mode. Thank bloody hell. I thought I was going to put the PS Vita through the wall if I didn’t get through that soon. Now I just need to finish a single stage on “Undead” mode for another trophy, and, uh…you know what? I’m not going to talk about that right now because the rage might overtake me. 😛
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. Dammit, I still didn’t get those other two Zombies Run Halloween missions in! Curse you for running away from me, week!
    In all honesty though, I’ve also just been outrageously lazy lately when it comes to anything physical. Mental stuff? Yeah, I can handle that, even though I’ve been sleepy too. But physical stuff? Screw that. Let me stay in bed.
    That’s obviously got to change though. I’m sinking deep back into bad habits. And I do miss my Zombie missions. I miss Sam’s voice egging me on. And I need to get some distance on my Pokemon Go eggs.
    I’M SUCH A NERD.
    Seriously though, if anyone has any ideas as to how I can perk myself up and maybe start sleeping less than 10 hours a day so that I can work some actual movement back into my life, that would be great.

Dammit, that post took way longer than I was expecting. Not that there was all that much to say, or that it was much longer than normal, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been staring at this computer screen for an hour and a half now. No wonder I’ve been getting so few words written. >.<

ANYWAY, that’s enough b*tching and moaning for today, I think. All in all the week wasn’t the worst; the biggest problem was just that it disappeared in a blink on me. With Halloween upon us in the next couple of days, hopefully my mind’s tendency to make time vanish in a flash will back off a bit and I’ll actually be able to gather my thoughts and figure myself out again. Cross your fingers for me, for bloody hell’s sake.

How was your week? Were you able to accomplish anything? Do anything fun? Make any progress toward your own goals? Feel free to share!