Plans and Goals 2018: Week 25 Review

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Did you know that it’s exactly 6 months until Christmas? The two goofballs on our local radio decided to announce so this morning, and I’ve been shuddering internally ever since. Not only is mentioning Christmas when Summer literally just started a crime that should be punishable by a public stoning, but it’s also a harsh reminder to me that the year is half over, which means I only have half as much time to accomplish some of the goals I set for myself waaaaaay back in January.

Oops, there’s the internal shuddering again. >.< I’d better get this over with before my body vibrates itself to death.


Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
There were a couple of life-infused days that knocked me off course a little in week 25, but I still managed to put a good bit of effort into writing-related activities, so a big thumbs up to myself right off the bat, even if I didn’t accomplish as much as I was hoping to.

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. This is one of the ones that really makes me shudder. To exemplify why, let’s first look at my numbers from last week. I did a little better than previous weeks, with 1398 words written on the blog, and 2092 fiction words written. That’s a total of 3490, which brings the year’s total so far up to 103,514. See the problem? I’m less than 21% of my goal with only 50% of the time left to do it in. So, yeah…shudder. It’s still possible, of course, but instead of the 1370 words per day I’d originally calculated back in January, I’m looking at close to 2200 words per day required every day for the second half of the year. And considering my average thus far (including week 25’s numbers) has been 591 words, it doesn’t look like a serious possibility.

    Mind you, that’s quitter’s talk, and I’m refusing to quit just yet.

    That said, I wouldn’t be opposed to someone waving some pom-poms and cheering me on a bit. Just sayin’.

  • Goal #2: Sell more books. GAH. Just…can I remove this one from the list? I’d very much love to sell more books, but it’s definitely not getting any easier. I’ve been putting a fair amount of focus into building my author platform through Twitter and Instagram, and hopefully that will make a difference someday, but for the time being I’m still trapped in a world of not having the capital that’s apparently required in order to effectively promote myself. GAH. So HEY YOU! GO BUY MY BOOKS! GO ON! DO IT NOW!
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. Here we go! I can continue to make a positive report! This was my main focus in week 25, and thanks to that I’m really starting to get somewhere. Unfortunately, thanks to some changes I had to make in order to rectify a plot hole – as well as a plot point that I decided just sounded awful – I’ve had to do some active rewriting along with the editing, and this is obviously slowing me down. I do, however, have a plan that will hopefully speed things along a little. Rather than going through this editing and then going back and editing the rewritten parts, I’m going to play a little game with my beta-readers. I’m going to see if they can recognize the fact that certain parts were rewritten without proper editing taking place. If they see no issues, I’ll know everything flows well despite taking out parts and replacing them with different parts. If they come back to me with issues and questions about why things happened a certain way, or complaints that things don’t seem to match up properly, I’ll know I need to take the extra time to go back through and make sure those rewritten parts fit into the story properly. At least, that’s my plan! Here’s hoping it works, because I’d rather get the manuscript to my beta-readers sometime in the next couple of weeks rather than delay it a few more months.

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
Focus? Psh. Who needs focus? >.>

  • Goal #1: Film more often.  Okay, it’s not a huge leap, but we’ve started moving forward again after that full week of absolutely nothing. We did two videos, one of which was the winner announcement vid for our giveaway hosted by Entertainment Earth, and it was a fun one because I got to attack Jason with copious amounts of baby powder. XD We also did a My Geek Box unboxing, which aren’t generally the most exciting videos going, but this one was super fun because of the absolutely epic shirt design that was included. So hey, two fun vids? I call that a win! Let’s try to keep the fun rolling this week!
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect. Still rolling along pretty well with this one. It’s a bit tricky to manage two personas at once, as far as the author stuff and the channel stuff, but I’m getting the hang of it, and sometimes I can even kill two birds with one stone by posting a bookish-toyish thing on one account and then sharing it on the other account. Plus, although it’s slow on a couple of the accounts, everything seems to be steadily growing as far as followers and engagement, so I assume I’m doing something right!

#3: Focus more on myself.
This one has actually gone by the wayside recently, despite previously being the one thing I was managing to do very well on, but it’s not all doom and gloom by any stretch. I’ve just been a little stressed lately for various reasons, and when I’m stressed (for reasons I’ll never understand) I tend to overwork myself on things like housework. Maybe it’s a mechanism to try to keep my brain from thinking too much.

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play. I don’t think I read anything in week 25 (aside from, like…Tweets), which is a sin because I’ve got my reading room all lovely and cozy and smelling wonderful, so I should definitely be cuddling up in there and reading something, but it just didn’t happen recently. Watching stuff has also been on a bit of a downturn simply due to busyness and the fact that lately I honestly haven’t felt like watching much. Playing? Okay, I can give myself a bit of a nod on that front, because my little moments of free time have been distributed pretty evenly among the Switch (Breath of the Wild & Just Dance), the PS Vita (Rayman Legends & King Oddball), and my phone (Fallout Shelter, Sailor Drops, & Plants vs Zombies). Mind you I only seem to find a handful of minutes at a time to play any of them, but when you squish all those handfuls together I think you’ll find that I did manage to take the time to play.
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. Dear mother nature: kindly take your rain out to the ocean for a while, yes? I only went on two or three (I’m seriously drawing a blank) Zombie Run missions in week 25 because we’ve been getting soooo much rain. Couple that with a bug that knocked me down for a day, and I have definitely not been as active as I would like to have been. I did play a couple of hours worth of Just Dance with the little one though, including a try at the “Sweat” version of “Footloose”, which very nearly murdered me. So that’s something!

All told, I don’t think it was too shabby of a week. Could I have done more? Sure. Would I be mentally, emotionally, and physically broken if I had done more? Okay, maybe not, but you get my meaning. It was an okay week, and I’m holding tight to that. Onward to week 26!

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

You’ve Got to Spend to Make…and I’ve Got Nothing to Spend – An IWSG Post

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First off, this is my first Insecure Writer’s Support Group post since changing over to the new blog, so for anyone dropping in here for the first time: Welcome!

Okay, now that that’s over with…

The past month-and-a-bit have been very up and down for me concerning writing. On the one hand, I set myself a mini-goal to write 300 words per day and I KILLED it, turning out the month of August with nearly 16.5k words. The majority of those words were also toward my WIP, “The Other World: Book Two”, which was a big deal for me because I’ve been stagnating with that for quite a while now and it’s nice to see that I’ve crossed a point wherein I can force myself to write something – anything – in order to move forward.

However…

There’s another goal that I’ve been working on all year through, and I’ve experienced little to no success with it at all. That goal, in short, is to find new ways of promoting my books.

Why is this so difficult?

In short, the problem that I’ve found is that any kind of promotion past your basic pimping on social media (which, honestly, only works for so long before people’s eyes start glazing over and they start ignoring  you) costs money. Money that I don’t have. Ads? Costs money. Sending out free books in return for reviews? Costs money. Submitting your book to competitions? Nearly always costs money. Sure there are lots of websites that will temporarily promote your book for free, but most of them have requirements such as a certain number of reviews on Amazon, or your book has to be free at the time of the promotion, or it has to fit a particular genre/length/language/what-the-hell ever. Overwhelmingly, the methods that allow you to simply promote your book as it is, for the price you want people to pay for it, require you to fork out cash in advance with no guarantee that you’ll ever see a return.

I’ve been struggling with this particular issue for ages now, feeling that, if I just kept looking, EVENTUALLY I would find a couple of options that would allow me to promote my book for free, but none have ever come. I even tried contacting book-based sub boxes, only to be (eventually, after months of throwing myself out there to multiple companies) patiently schooled on the fact that, due to the logistics of such a thing, I would be required to front the printing and shipping costs. Theoretically I would be paid back later, but the initial cost would be multiple thousands of dollars more than I even have, making the whole thing a moot point.

And so I sit here, and I grumble, and I look at my 4-5 sales per month and I wonder if there will ever be a day when I’ll actually be able to feel like it was worth it putting all those countless hours into writing/revising/editing/formatting/and so on.

It’s definitely quite depressing.

I press on, because the fact of the matter is that I love writing and I do it as much for the sheer enjoyment as I do for the chance of ever actually making a living from it, but it definitely chips a little more away from my soul every time a possible promotion method turns out to be either useless or too costly.


Thanks for reading my little rant! If, by chance, you’d like to check out the books that I’ve been so desperately trying to promote, you can find them right here! Cheers!