Plans and Goals 2018: Week 15 Review


I am not going to tell you guys how horrible week 15 was. *cough cough*

Okay, okay, it seriously wasn’t that bad. Mostly it’s just been such a gloomy few days as far as weather and our hockey team getting their ass handed to them that I feel like I need to be in an awful mood. But seriously though, it really wasn’t that bad.

It was another one of those quick weeks, which I’m growing to hate. I seem to be spending too much time asleep lately for some reason, which doesn’t help at all either. It feels like it takes me halfway through the day to even get started, and by then it’s starting to feel like the day is practically over, which screws with my mind. Has anyone else ever felt like that? Like the day is over before you can even get it properly started?

Anyway, I suppose that’s enough of that nonsense. Let’s just go ahead and see what week 15 entailed.

Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
Is it possible to do both better and worse in the same swoop?

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. As the sentence above implies, I feel like I’ve somehow done both better and worse on this goal in the past week. Technically I did do better, with a total of 3825 words distributed across blogging, fiction, and non-fiction, which brings my year-to-date total up to 69,268. However, since I’m already so far behind and the days are only moving forward, my daily average actually went further down, landing at (dun duh DUHHHHN!) 666 words per day. That is definitely discouraging. Since I originally calculated that I would have to write 1370 words per day to hit this goal by the end of the year, I’m not only ridiculously far behind, but I’m also growing farther behind for every day that I fail to reach that goal. I’m trying not to take this to heart, since it’s not exactly an end-of-the-world situation, but since my original goal was actually going to be to write a FULL million words throughout 2018, I’m really starting to realize how badly I overestimate myself sometimes.
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. April is both being a successful, and yet an extremely frustrating month for book sales. On the positive side of things, I’ve been promoting my birthday sale, and as a result I’ve sold 7 e-books and 3 paper backs in the past week, which brings me up to 19 e-books, 3 paperbacks, and 107 pages read on Kindle Unlimited in April so far. As small as those numbers are, they’re some of the best I’ve had ever (excluding the month I did a free e-book giveaway weekend), so that’s definitely cause for celebration. On the other hand, aside from 2 of the e-book sales, all of those book pick-ups can be attributed to two particular days: the day I launched the sale and shared it all over my social media, and the day I launched my birthday haul video on the channel, in which I mention the sale and encourage people to go check it out. In other words, even though the books have been massively discounted every day for a couple of weeks now, people only come across the sale on days that I make a rather large effort to shout about it at them. On the one hand I understand that effort has to be put into self-promotion if you want people to buy your self-published book. But on the other hand I can’t help but feel, like, do I seriously have to put aside time daily to shout at people about my book in hopes that they’ll buy it? Because, a) I do not have that kind of time in my day, and b) I don’t know if I can mentally handle the idea of acting like a town crier for myself on a daily basis.
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. I was determined to do something toward this goal in week 15, and in a way I did, although it’s not any kind of traditional progress. I’ve been having difficulty focusing on The Other World lately, whether because I’ve been away from it for so long, or because the world itself has lost a bit of it’s luster for me, it doesn’t really matter. The point is that I had an idea for a little side project – something that won’t ever be published, but may help my wind my brain back around the story. Basically, I’m “rewriting” the story up to this point from Jacob’s point of view. I think it might help me get a better grip on the character, while looking at the whole story through different eyes, and since I don’t intend to let anyone ever read it I don’t have to worry my little head about it being any good. Hopefully this little idea should help me not only in getting my head back in the game-plan, but also with bolstering my word count as well.

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
I’ll go ahead and say right now that my focus was not on YouTube in week 15. Where that focus was, I couldn’t begin to tell you; I just know that it wasn’t on YouTube.

  • Goal #1: Film more often. It was another one of those “meh” weeks for videos. We managed to do 3, one of them my birthday video, which isn’t exactly bad, but could have and should have been better. We got sidetracked by another snow day for the little one (yes, I said a snow day….in April. Please kill me), and distracted by the NHL playoffs (which likely aren’t going to last much longer for us Leafs fans…my lord boys, what is happening to you?), but the fact of the matter is that we just…didn’t. We could have, but we didn’t.
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect. I had a small lapse in the second half of the week, but for the most part this one remains unscathed. There’s been Tweeting, Instagraming, Facebooking, and even Snapchatting abound; I simply fell asleep one day and failed to do any of it. 😛 In general though, all is still quite well here. No issues to speak of.

#3: Focus more on myself.
Spurred on, perhaps, by my birthday, I did manage to snatch some time for myself in week 15.

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play. Video games! Real video games! Okay, I still played a bit of Sailor Drops, and the little one weaseled me into a couple of the “Papa’s Pizzeria” line of mobile games, but I also played some real games, specifically Breath of the Wild on the Switch, and Friday the 13th The Game on the PS4. I didn’t really get anywhere, because both of these are the kids of games that require hours and hours of play in order to actually accomplish anything, but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself and hope to squeeze more of both games into week 16 if I can.
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. I had a hard time with the “don’t obsess” part of this goal in week 15, specifically because I’ve been a bit tired and lazy, but also because I managed to turn around and gain back some of the weight I had lost, which is like a huge kick in the teeth. I know not to focus too much on the number, because it can be affected by so many things, but I’ve just been in that kind of mood, you know? Sometimes you just get into that mood and start praying for the miracle drug that makes you lose weight while you sleep. I’m in that mood right now.

So that’s that for another week. I don’t feel particularly accomplished, but it wasn’t a bad week, and I did come up with an idea or two to help me progress into the coming weeks (hopefully), so I’ll call that a win for now.

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

Stories to Steal

I’ve been toying with this idea for a while, and I thought I would bounce it off some people, because it’s something that would require a bit of time and organization, but I also think it could be really interesting…

So we all have our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to writing. One of my strengths (at least, I like to think so) is being able to visualize a particular scene as if it’s happening in my head, just like it’s my own memory, which can make emotional scenes much easier to write. One of my weaknesses, however, is that oftentimes these scenes are things that pop into my brain out of nowhere, and then fail to go anywhere else. I’ll get ideas from dreams, other books, movies, video games, whatever, and I’ll have this great scene playing out in my head, and I’ll often write it down in one form or another…but I haven’t actually got a story. Just a scene, sitting there all on its lonesome, with no book to snuggle around it.

Every so often I will, in fact, return to one of these scenes and think of something to do with it, but more often than not it ends up languishing in my “Random Stuff” Scrivener file, likely to sit there until the end of time because I just have no real use for it.

So then I had this idea for a book…

I got the idea from the NaNoWriMo forums, in which every year there’s a thread where writers drop random ideas with the expressed purpose that other writers who are struggling with their stories can wander in and steal them. What then, I thought, if I wrote an entire book of these “stories to steal”, using all the little homeless scenes I’ve compiled over the years?

A book of ideas of things to write isn’t a new idea – I have a few of them on my shelf upstairs right now – but this wouldn’t be a book simply of ideas. It would be a book of actual written scenes, with character names and all. The writer who reads the book could steal the scene verbatim if they wanted, or change it as they desire, and build their own story around it in the way that I wasn’t able to.

So the question is, what do you think? Is it an idea worth pursuing? The main issues in my path are that I’d have to flesh out my cache of scenes, as I’m not sure I have enough of them to fill an entire book, and also I’d have to work out how to format the book, as it obviously wouldn’t work with just paragraph after paragraph on the pages like a standard novel. But I’d be willing to put in the time and effort to combat those issues if I thought it was a genuinely good idea that people might be willing to purchase.

So let me know! Is it a good idea, and why or why not? Do you have any suggestions that could make it a better idea? Ideas for how I could approach the formatting issue? Please let me know!