Plans and Goals 2018: Week 11 Review



Week 11 of 2018 happened to be March Break in my neck of the woods, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on your own personal situation. In the Tobin household it resulted in a few days of family time, followed by shipping the little one off with her grandparents for a few days. So those few days were probably really productive, right? Ha ha ha ha ha….ahh…you don’t know me at all.

Okay, okay, they weren’t exactly massively UNproductive, but we did spend a fair chunk of time driving around the province, shopping and taking trips to all our local comic shops, so there was that.

But that’s not the point of this post! So let’s just mosey on along into the important bits.

Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
I’ve been trying to focus! Really! I really have! It’s just that my “focus” is less focus-y and more…split into twelve different “focuses”. *cough cough* My big problem this week has been that my brain keeps going off in multiple directions, as I’ve got multiple projects that I want to be working on, but as anyone who has experienced this knows, it usually results in nothing getting done.

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. It actually wasn’t a horrible week or anything; just not as good as I was hoping, given that we spent so much time out and about. Even still, I managed to write 5088 words worth of blog posts and scribbled out 442 words in my “random stuff” journal, for a week’s total of 5530 words. That brings my yearly total so far up to 55,937, and my overall daily average to 736. So I haven’t gone down on the average from last week, which is definitely a good thing. The problem is that the further I go into the year without boosting my weekly totals, the harder it is to get that daily average to move up to where it’s supposed to be which, if you’ve forgotten, is 1370. At this point I’d need to put one HELL of a push on to get up to that number, and I’m starting to wonder if it’s even possible at this point. I mean, I know it is possible, but it’s getting more and more difficult, that’s for sure.
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. One book sold! Woo-hoo!
    Okay, okay, sarcasm aside, I’m happy that I sold the one book. Just, you know…it’d be nice if was more, obviously.
    I haven’t heard anything back from the publisher I mentioned last week yet, which is unsurprising. I believe they said their average wait time was 5-6 weeks or so, which is still way faster than most publishers I’ve looked into, so I’m trying to be patient. That said, anyone who knows me or has followed me long enough knows that I don’t have a significant amount of patience, so it’s been difficult. I’m the type to click on my email fifteen times a minute when I’m waiting for a response to something.
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. There are no words to properly explain how frustrated I am with myself concerning this goal. I want this to move forward, but I’m in that ridiculously self-defeating mode in which you’re bored with your current work-in-progress and will find yourself doing anything and everything to avoid actually working on it. I’ve been trying desperately to figure out a way to rekindle my interest in the book, but thus far I’ve found nothing. Ideas would definitely be appreciated, if anyone has any!

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
Oh look, there’s that “focus” word again. XD

  • Goal #1: Film more often. Jason and I managed to pull off 5 videos in week 11, which again, isn’t bad considering how much time we spent wandering around the province throughout the week. Two of those videos were awesome gifts we received in the mail as well, which put me in just such an awesome mood, you have no idea. (Love you, Marie and Brian!!!) We honestly probably could have gotten more done if we’d had a little more (*cough cough*) focus and not totally worn ourselves out with the long days of shopping, but all in all I’m perfectly satisfied with what we did manage to accomplish. 5 videos in 7 days is nothing to scoff at.
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect. Let me start this one off by stating that our Instagram feed has been LIT THE F&$K UP this past week. Jason and I have both been having a blast sharing anything and everything, especially cool stuff we’ve been finding in comic shops, and random pick-ups as we wandered around shopping. Both our Twitter accounts have been just as active, and we’ve been seeing a fair amount of interaction there, which is awesome. I still don’t focus much on the whole SnapChat thing, but I’m giving myself a pass because, honestly, it doesn’t really seem like that many people pay any attention to my account there. Is it just me, or does SnapChat really not have much of a point unless you’re “chatting” one-on-one with someone? Like, does anyone actually go watch their friends’ “stories”? 

#3: Focus more on myself.
“Chu keep using that word. I do not think it means what chu think it means.”
(If you don’t understand that line, we can no longer be friends.)

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play.  I’ve become unhealthily obsessed with a mobile game called “Papa’s Cupcakeria To Go”. Whenever I can squeak out two or three minutes to myself (usually while waiting for supper to cook, or something of the like), that’s usually what I end up doing. I’d love to say that I’ve been spending that time working through my to-be-read list, or catching up on Supernatural, or getting back into Breath of the Wild…but no. Stupid mobile games. Why I am so easily addicted to stupid mobile games?
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. I made a decision a few days ago, which might seem counter-intuitive to this goal, but hear me out. I decided to take off my FitBit. Not because I don’t love it (which I do), and not because it’s not useful (which it is), but at this point in time, considering some possible health issues and a delicate emotional state (WHY THE F&@K AM I STILL GAINING WEIGHT?!) I decided that being able to see my activity level at all times is not currently productive to my well-being. Once I’ve worked out a few things, I might start using it again, but for the time being, I don’t really need to know whether I’m getting 1000 steps or 20000 steps in a day, because both numbers stress me out for different reasons.
    On a more week-11-related note: I did a lot of shopping. Shopping is exercise. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

So that was week 11! I got a bit done, had some fun with social media, and listened to my own brain shooting off in a million different directions because it has apparently forgotten the definition of the word “focus”. Here’s to week 12!

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


March’s “To Be Read” List

Whoops! I seem to have gotten a little behind with my TBRs! Fancy that…who would have thought that I would ever get behind on any goals? *cough cough*

I’m not exactly deep in an inescapable hole or anything, but I definitely feel I should preface this post with the fact that I still haven’t finished A Clockwork Orange (not because I’m not enjoying it, but simply because I haven’t had a good chunk of time to sit down and read a novel lately), and I never actually got a chance to even start the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comics yet, so in addition to the following to-be-reads, note that I’ll be trying to get through these two during March as well. Please also note that my review of the Tomie deluxe edition from last month’s TBR will be coming soon.


So what’s on the “official” TBR list for March? Well, since I went so crazy on comics for February, I thought I’d move into a few actual novels for March (wish me luck). Starting out, since I’ve been experiencing a lovely bout of writer’s block, I thought I’d finally get around to checking out Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft“. As one of my all-time favorite authors, and the man who inspired me to write and publish a horror novel, I expect that he may have a few things to say that will be helpful to me in my forward journey toward continual writing. Maybe he’ll even help to teach me not to write ridiculous-sounding sentences like that last one! We can only hope!

Once I’ve picked Mr King’s brain and (hopefully) chiseled my way through that writer’s block, I thought I’d finally get around to reading “Winter“, the fourth and final chapter in Marissa Meyer’s “The Lunar Chronicles” series (excluding the standalone, “Fairest“). I fell in love with the series when I picked up “Cinder” on a whim and found out that it was practically nothing like what I was imagining, and I blew through the first three books in record time. Right around that time, however, I got hung up with a number of things and never managed to find the time to finish up the series with “Winter“. I think it’s about time I rectify that situation!

I will, of course, write reviews of both books, as well as the ones I have yet to catch up on, so look forward to those in the near-ish future. So look forward to those! For now, however, I must cut this post short and leave you because, well…I’ve got to READ! ‘Later, book-lovers!

So those are my upcoming reads for March! Do you have a TBR list? Have you read any of the books on my list? Feel free to share in the comments!

Put a Little Fan in Your Fiction

A Question!

What are you thoughts on fan-fiction?

Myself, personally, I’ve been writing fan-fiction since long before I knew that fan-fiction was a thing. My first real, recognizable foray into the world of FANDOM was when my two best friends introduced me to the original Star Wars trilogy when we were in the fifth grade, and from there it was only a hop, skip, and a jump before my writer-wannabe self began writing her own stories about the wondrous world she’d been dragged into. My memory is not the thing of legends, so it’s possible that I’m wrong here, but I believe the first fanfic piece I wrote was about a lost female Jedi – who didn’t know she was a Jedi – seeking out Luke Skywalker to train her after the events of Return of the Jedi.

Come to think of it…that sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it?


From there on I wrote a few other Star Wars pieces, never really finishing any of them, but just enjoying writing out the best scenes and re-reading them again and again, because I can occasionally be a little full of myself. Later on, sometime around the end of high school/beginning of college, I began to write fan-fiction again, but I moved on to different fandoms. One of the first pieces at this point was a Harry Potter fanfic set in the time the Marauders were in Hogwarts. My best friend had come across something that seemed both strange and wonderful at the time – slash fiction – and I decided to try my hand on it by writing a short story in which Sirius Black and Remus Lupin fall in love. It wasn’t graphic or anything (trust me, there’s plenty enough of that stuff out there), but rather just a sweet little tale about two school-friends realizing they had feelings for one another. I decided to post this particular piece on a new site I’d found – – and to my surprise it actually got a fair bit of attention. I ended up re-writing it later on to make it a little more profession (although I imagine if I were to sit down and read it now, I’d probably want to die), and since then it has continued to garner a review or two every so often, never ceasing to amaze me that people are still finding it and reading it.

I still love this thumbnail I used for my user image. :3

There was more, of course…I began a Final Fantasy 3 novelization, but never found the time to finish it, a few other Harry Potter bits and bobs, and several other pieces that I decided to keep personal for a variety of reasons. The long and short of it is: fan-fiction has definitely been an integral part of my growth as a writer.

Of course, there are some who will see this as a bad thing. There are definitely people out there who, for one reason or another, consider fan-fiction to be the lowest possible point in a writer’s background. And to be honest, I find that a bit hysterical. For one thing, if you’re aiming to be a writer, ANY kind of writing is good writing. It might never be published, but it’s practice, and we all absolutely, 100% require practice. Lots of it.

For another thing, though, fan-fiction has brought us an amazing number of excellent works. 50 Shades of Grey aside (gag me with a spoon), some of the best episodes of our favorite TV shows came from fans writing fan-fiction that wound up becoming a real script. Some movies have come into existence in the same manner. There are highly enjoyable books out there that are technically just fan-fiction created out of love for an older, much-loved story – look at books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, for example.

Mind you, I don’t ever expect any of the fan-fiction I’ve written to become a movie or a bestseller, but my point is that fan-fiction isn’t BAD, and it isn’t something to be ashamed about as a writer. It’s just something else to write, and specifically, it’s something fun that gets you excited about the writing process. And as someone who has suffered terribly from writer’s block, I can assure you that anything that gets you excited about the writing process is a damn good thing.

So I’ll ask again, just in case your thoughts changed by the end of this post: what are your thoughts on fan-fiction?