Camp NaNo Progress – days 11 to 20

I finished day 10 days by editing chapter 4. This update is on how the middle of April has gone (days 11 to 20).

I started off by celebrating how well the first 10 days had gone by watching Contagion with my husband.

Chapter 5 and 6 needed more work than I expected. This slowed my progress and affected my motivation. I got them done but I felt like I was getting nowhere fast.

Then, I literally was getting nowhere. I was so exhausted in the evenings that I wasn’t doing any editing. I read. I attended online writers meets. But, I wasn’t editing. I realised I needed a break and took a night off to watch The Quiet Place with my hubby.

I’ve been using Google Docs and a Trial of Dabble Writer. I really love Dabble writer but can’t use it on my mobile. On the last day of my trial, they released the Dabble Writer App for mobiles. I really liked it and was very tempted to buy it.

I finished day 20 by completing my edits for chapter 7. I’m frustrated with myself as it’s not as far as I’d hoped for.

Here are my responses to World Indie Warriors Instagram photo challenge:

#NationalPetDay – My Cats

I have two cats, Evie and Gracie.

Evie

Evie has the nickname Evie Knievel for all her dangerous antics and vet visits as a kitten. She thought she was the neighbourhood vigilante. Thankfully, she is more chilled now.

Gracie

Gracie looks very elegant, like a Burmese Blue but she’s just a moggy and shows her true colours when she’s fed. Greedie-Gracie-Guzzlechops sings for her super and scoffs it down like a pig, with the snorting noises.

Favourite writer memes

There are so many but I thought it might be fun to make my own up.

Here is my “Aspiring Indie Author” meme, inspired by the ‘What I do…’ memes.

Aspiring Indie Author

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Age 5. As soon as I learned books were written by someone, I knew I wanted to be that someone. My first stories would be classed as fan fiction as they featured characters from Orchard Tree books and were about more magic key adventures.

Plotter/Pantser/Plantser

I think I’m a Plantser. I’m somewhere in the middle.

For a long time I would just pants my way through a novel. Sometimes I’d write a brief outline. But, I was just writing for fun, for me, and it didn’t matter if it was any good.

It wasn’t until I decided I would try and publish that I realised what a mess my manuscript was in. And how much I hate editing. I realised I need to plot more to reduce editing.

I invested in Save The Cat and it showed me how to plot. It’s been a game changer and I now use it before starting a novel. I still write a brief outline and only plot one Act at a time, not the whole novel.

I like the freedom of pantsing too much to plot every detail. In my plotting, I still allow myself some gaps to fill. An element of surprise is the fun part of creating.

MidMonth Check In – How’s It Going

I’ve split the month into thirds. So, on my blog I’m sharing how I got on at the 10 day mark, 20 day mark and 30 day mark. But, I gave a mid month check in on Instagram.

Indie or traditional publishing?

I’ve spent a long time chasing the Traditional route. It appealed because I wanted validation from someone in the industry. I wanted someone to support me with guidance on what to do when and with access to the resources I needed. I wanted publishing and marketing done for me.

But, now, I am pursuing indie publishing.

As a member of World Indie Warriors I am not alone. Many other members have published successfully before me and are willing to share their experience on what worked (or didn’t) and the best resources. I am also doing Pagan Malcom’s Story Seller Academy course which is full of useful information. I now struggle with time to digest it all but I know what I’m doing or who to ask for help.

The biggest hurdle was a change in mindset. The moment I decided I no longer need validation to be good enough because I know I am. With that, I no longer needed permission to publish. I will publish when I want.

As for the marketing… it turns out I really enjoy it. I love talking about my writing and connecting with others. I love sharing book reviews and recommending books. My creative side loves making images to support my content. One day, I’m hoping to make videos too.

It is hard to find the money to invest in myself but when someone says, “What do you want for your birthday?” My answer is money. It goes in my publishing pot. I keep adding to it. It’s not much but little by little it grows. One day, this pot will by my published book(s).

#FactFriday – Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I’m a pretty open person that I’ve probably already shared anything remotely interesting already.

I am a natural redhead. I now love my hair and embrace it as part of my identity but that wasn’t always the case.

Favourite Indie Book?

Campfire stories: Any local myths/legends

My favourite folk story is about the green children of Woolpit, Suffolk. During the 12th Century, a boy and a girl appeared. Nobody knew where they came from and they could not speak a word of English. But, the most bizarre detail was that they had green skin and would only eat green beans.

As they learned to eat different foods they became a more normal colour. They were baptised but sadly the boy died shortly after. The girl learnt to speak English and told of the place she came from called Saint Martin where everyone was green. The girl was called Agnes and married Richard Barre.

I discovered the story because I fell in love with Michael Talbot’s faeries. I’ve collected many. The original three were my favourite and has green skin (but, I only own one of these). When I learned the factory allowed tours, I planned a day out for my mum and boyfriend to come with me. We saw the faeries being made & hand painted & their delicate wings crafted. Afterwards, we visited the local church when I happened upon a leaflet about the Green Children of Woolpit.

My favourite film is Labyrinth. I discovered the artist behind the film was Brian Froud. I bought his books and one of them contains a story about The Green children of Woolpit.

The Green Children are special to me. They inspired two of my favourite artists and filled my heart with wonder.

If you ever switched genres, what would you switch to?

I’ve written most genres but there are some that I’d like to give more attention.

Current plot bunnies include a dark fantasy, an erotic paranormal romance, a contemporary YA, dystopia sci-fi, a children’s chapter book and more picture books.

I like magic, fantasy and sci-fi in stories so I am unlikely to write a novel that is a cosy mystery, crime or a thriller. But, I’d never say never.

I would love to see your answers to the above. Let me know if you are taking part on IG or posting somewhere else.

If you enjoyed this post you will like:

Camp NaNo Progress (days 1 to 10)

Book Review: Save The Cat

Book Review: Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S Weaver

Behind the Book: Sorceress of Truth by J D Groomuh

My plans for 2020

You may have caught my last post of 2019 where I reflected on how last year went. As I welcome in the new year it’s time to set new goals. Oh my, some of these are big!

I’m always looking for ways to improve myself and to start the year I am changing up how I set goals.

Publishing – Jewel of the Sea

This is the big project of 2020.  I have no idea how long things will take me as I have no benchmark to compare it to.  I’ve set these deadlines to help keep my on track but I will need to check progress often to adjust deadlines as I figure out what is realistic.

Here is my rough outline of all the different things that need to happen if I want to release my book by June.  I have a feeling that these goals are rather ambitious but there is no harm in trying.  

Publish Novel info graphic
JOTS = Jewel of the Sea; DITS = Diamond in the Sky

General Writing Goals

Here are my everyday writing goals. 

social media 2nd

Social Media

Blog (Word Press):  Aim to post once or twice a week.  

Instagram:  Aim to post to feed every other day.

Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr:  Continue to share links to my content on these platforms.

News letter:  Aim to send out my newsletter at least once every other month.

Writing 2nd

Writing

Jewel of the Sea: Aim to publish my novel by June.  See info graphic that breaks down activities required to achieve this.

Diamond in the Sky: Finish writing first draft in full.  Start editing. 

Festivals:  Attend festivals:

  • London Book Fair
  • Felixstowe Book Festival
  • YALC
  • Bradford UK Indie Lit Fest 
  • MK Lit Fest
  • Wow-Con

World Indie Warriors:  Continue to be part of this awesome group.  I loved making their brochure and if they’d allow me to do this again, I would love to do this.  

Personal 2nd

Personal

Crafts: Make time at least once a week:

  • Planner:  try different methods of managing my time and goals to find a method that works for me
  • Pocket letter:  write another pocket letter
  • Scrapbook:  Do at least one page
  • Crochet:  Finish Aria’s blanket… I know, I feel awful that I haven’t finished it yet.  I just need to tuck in the loose ends.

Read more:  Last year I set the bar low at only 6 books.  This year, I am going to double it and aim for 12 books.  I know that isn’t many to some people but with everything else I have planned… I have got to be realistic.  

Development 2nd Set

Development

Editing course:  Complete the Self Editing course provided by Willow Editing

Resource book:  Buy and read a book to develop my writing craft.  

What are your goals?

I shall review these throughout the year.  I will likely need to check in on my big goal every month but the general goals I’ll do once every three months.  

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:

Suffolk UKPA Meet

World Indie Warriors Brochure

How was NaNoWriMo 2019

I got to tour Ingram Spark’s print facility


To discover more ways to connect with me, please click my link tree

@Redfae

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Goals: Progress Since September 2019

Here is an update on how I have progressed towards the goals I set in September 2019 (towards achieving my annual goals set in January).

2019 Goals - Dec Review

Social Media

Blog (Word Press):  To continue to post at least twice a week keeping to my content schedule as much as possible. 

I am so proud of myself for keeping up with this goal.  Even during NaNoWriMo I managed to post twice a week.  

Instagram:  To maintain the new connections I have made and continue to engage with them and share content about my writing.

My posts have slowed down but I am still posting regularly.  Recently my post have been every two days.    

Twitter:  Continue to share links to my content on Twitter and connect with writers on the platform.

I took part in #RevPit and was one of the winners.  I keep meaning to write a blog post about it.  Basically, winners get to email their first 5 pages and query letter to an editor.  The editor then tweets about the ten submissions they have with advice on how to improve – this advice is useful to all writers so worth following the hashtag.  The next day, winners get an email to let them know which tweets were about their work.  

I did Boost My Bio for Pitch Wars then forgot to enter the main competition for a mentor – OMG I was so cross with myself (serious understatement).  It had been a busy weekend with two book festivals!

Facebook page:  To brainstorm how I can use this to connect with more writers.

I haven’t done anything new to my page but it is getting more traffic.  I have also been active on World Indie Warriros Facebook page.  I did my first Live via their page.  Then during NaNoWriMo, I did three live write-ins and I’ve hosted a midweek chat in December.

YouTube: To be brave and get in front of the camera and start sharing video content.  

I’m not sure I understand the change in terms for YouTube videos so I’ve not pushed myself to do this but I am super proud of myself for getting in front of the camera (see Facebook above).  

Tumblr: Share Instagram and Word Press content to this platform.

This happens all the time as my other sites are set up to automatically share there.

Newsletter

I sent out my second newsletter at the end of October.  This also included a full guide on using Hashtags on Instagram.  My next newsletter is due out at the end of December.  Click here to sign up.  

Writing

Jewel of the sea (formerly Drift)

Enter into the Wattys.  Put novel out to Beta Readers.  Take part in September’s #PitMad.  Work on my query letter.  

I entered Wattys but wasn’t a winner.  I also entered Wattpairs Mentorship Challenge on Wattpad but wasn’t chosen to be a mentee.  My Beta Readers went quiet…  I didn’t let these things halt my progress towards my dream. 

At the end of December it will be 10 years that I have been chasing traditional publishing.  I have decided it is time to be brave and self publish.  With my birthday money I have booked an editor and taken that first step towards making it happen.

Diamond in the sky (formerly Glide)

Re-plot novel, edit existing version and write ending.

I edited the first few chapters and updated Diamond in the Sky on Wattpad. I then used Save the Cat to plot and develop the remaining chapters.  Then during November, I worked on this novel for NaNoWriMo.  I managed to write a further 45k words, bringing the book up to 60k words.  There is still more to be written but I am so pleased with my progress and I know how it end now.  

Red Dresses

#NewYearNewNovel start a new novel for 2019

This is the new novel I started in April this year.  I plotted out the first few chapters and wrote the first 15k words to see how I got on.  I really enjoyed this novel.  I envision it being a steamy new adult romance.  I definitely plan to return to this project at a later date.  

Tinsel Tiger (picture book)

Research publishers and Literary Agents and pitch events to consider querying.  Consider whether to commission an artist to do the images and then self publish.  

I haven’t had any time to make any further progress on this project so it has taken a back seat.   

Other

In October, I volunteered to write the World Indie Warriors brochure, ready for December. 

I planned to have the brochure completed by the end of October so it would not distract me during NaNoWriMo.  It turned out to be really hard to get all the details required from all the creatives involved.  

During November, there was still missing information I was chasing.  I set aside Sundays to make time to get it finished and I managed to get everything by 1 December 2019.  

It was my first time creating a brochure and it was a steep learning curve but I really enjoyed doing it.  I wish I could do something like this everyday for a living.  You can view the World Indie Warriors brochure here.  

Writing Course/Writing Festivals

Attend writing festivals

I got to attend The Ingram Sparks Print Facility Tour which was part of the Milton Keyne’s literary festival #MKLitFest.

I also attended WoW Con which is an online Literary Festival run by Write Mentor.  I also paid for a one-to-one via Skype with a Literary Agent.  I intended to write a blog post about it but just haven’t had the time.  

Personal

Personal

Crafts

Make time at least once a week: Planner:  continue to use Carpe Diem planner; Pocket letter:  write another pocket letter; Scrapbook:  Do at least one page; Crochet:  Finish Aria’s blanket for her birthday.

I haven’t found anytime for crafts. I haven’t been using my planner, written any letters or created any cards.  I haven’t added to my scrapbook or finished Aria’s blanket.  

I did attend the Festive Planner Meet in Felixstowe.  I can’t even begin to express how amazing it was to spend time with these girls doing crafts for a few hours.  It had made me feel motivated to do more crafty things in 2020.  

For Christmas, I have brought brown paper and festive stamps to decorate it with.  That counts as a craft, right?

Read at least four and a half books by the end of September (annual goal 6 books)

I’ve exceed this goal and read a total of 11 books.  I will be sharing a post in early 2020 with a collection of all the book reviews posted in 2019.  

I have also read The Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin (review  scheduled for January 2020) and Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S Weaver (review scheduled for February 2020) and Trust Me by Maddie James (review scheduled for March 2020).  

I have also signed up to Net Galley to be able to review new releases.  I will write a review on how I get on with the site and I’ll post about any books that I manage to read (time is always my biggest challenge).

Development

Development

Writer courses:  Continue to take advantage of any free courses that come my way if I have the time to do these. 

I desperately want to enrol on Page Malcolm’s courses, especially her author academy, but it is beyond what I can afford.  I keep missing her live videos as they are when I am asleep but I always try to catch the replay as the content is valuable.  

I am also incredibly lucky that Willow Editing has given me access to her self-publishing course to beta test it.  I started it at the end of October but then had to stop due to NaNoWriMo.  I intend to make good use of this during December.  She is so friendly in the videos she actually gets me excited about editing which is you knew how much I hate editing then you’d understand how awesome she is.  

Resource book:  Buy another writing help book.  I am considering the Emotion Thesaurus.

I haven’t ordered any resource book but my wish list has got longer.  lol!

What’s next

I am really pleased with what I have achieved this year and I’m feeling positive that 2020 is going to be even better.  I am actively pursuing self-publishing and I love being part of World Indie Warriors.  

How did your goals go this year?  Are you feeling positive about 2020?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:

My Books

#BoostMyBio for Pitch Wars 2019

How was NaNoWriMo 2019

I got to tour Ingram Spark’s print facility

Why I Love World Indie Warriors


To discover more ways to connect, click my link tree.

@Redfae

 

 

Click My Link Tree
To Connect On Social Media
Click My Link Tree
To Connect On Social Media

Goals: Progress Since June 2019

Here is an update on how I have progressed towards the goals I set in March 2019 (towards achieving my annual goals set in January).

Social Media

Blog (Word Press):  To continue to post at least twice a week keeping to my content schedule as much as possible. 

This has been happening even though it has been challenging to find time since returning to work.  With my hashtag series, I’ve got quite a few posts already scheduled so I should be able to post twice a week for a little while still.

Instagram:  To maintain the new connections I have made and continue to engage with them and share content about my writing.

This has definitely happened and I there are some writers that stand out to me as we have been chatting off Instagram (I even met three of them in person).

On Instagram, I took part in the #WIWJulyChallenge by @worldindiewarriors.  I have continued to post for the #StorySnippetsSaturday challenge and I took part in their week long #WritingJourneyChallenge in August by the same hosts.  For September, I have been doing the #aestheticWIPup photo challenge (I’ll share my highlights soon).  

I got to create the October Instagram photo challenge #WIWOctober for @worldindiewarriors , so I need to post daily for that – eek. 

Twitter:  Continue to share links to my content on Twitter and connect with writers on the platform.

Twitter is a platform I’ve neglected as Instagram has taken precedent and I tend to only use it for events.  On Twitter, I took part in #SFFpit September,  #PitMad September.  I am also taking part in #PitchWars.  

Facebook page:  To brainstorm how I can use this to connect with more writers.

I haven’t really done this.

YouTube: To be brave and get in front of the camera and start sharing video content.  

I just don’t have the opportunity to create videos. With an ambitious, mischievous, one year old that rarely naps, I think I will have to put this goal on hold until she moves out.  

Tumblr: Share Instagram and Word Press content to this platform.

This happens all the time. 

Other?

I managed to send out my first ever newsletter (sign up here).

Writing

Jewel of the sea (formerly Drift)

  • Edit: Enter into the Wattys.  Put novel out to Beta Readers.  Take part in September’s #PitMad.  Work on my query letter. 

I’ve attended a few pitch events and got some requests. As a result, I had to work on my query letter (which I am rubbish at) and send to the interested parties.

I didn’t put my novel on Beta Readers but I did email it to some writer friends to read for me. I’m saving up for an editor and I think once I finish the next edit, I’ll try out the Beta Readers site.

I entered Wattys 2019 and as I write this post I don’t yet know the results. They are released today! Wish me luck.

Diamond in the sky (formerly Glide)

  • Finish & edit:  Diamond in the Sky has been on hold but work on this is possible to start in July or August but I plan to give myself a little break.

I went back to the drawing board. I’ve got a new notebook and I’m exploring all the characters – even the side ones – to make them more real. I’ve also been use Save the Cat to work out the plot and beats as I’m struggling with how to put the pieces together towards Act 3 and 4. I know what I want to happen and can see certain scenes in my head but I need to put it together. The aestheticWIPup challenge this month has really helped me discover where the gaps are.

Tinsel Tiger (picture book)

  • EXTRA: I needed a picture book to enter a competition.  I decided to edit a poem I had written into a picture book format and submitted it. I also pitched it during #PitMad.

I have pitched my picture book a few times but not had any interest. Is it the pitch or the story? I don’t know.

I have thought about researching agents and querying them. I love the story but I’ve not written a picture book before so perhaps I’m doing it wrong.

I’ve also thought about another poem I wrote that I think could be edited into a fun picture book.

Writing Course/Writing Festivals

  • Third Quarter: Attend writing festivals

I’ve attended a few Literary Festivals over the summer and they’ve been a wealth of information.  Granted these weren’t free to attend but I made the most of what I got for my money:

  • Felixstowe Book Festival – Felixstowe
  • YALC Book Festival – London
  • MKLit Festival (blog post coming soon) – Milton Keynes
  • Wow-Con (blog post coming soon) – online

Personal

Working Together Course:  Finish this course.

I’ve got a certificate and everything. *happy dance*

Crafts: Make time at least once a week:

  • Planner:  continue to use Carpe Diem planner
  • Pocket letter:  write another pocket letter
  • Scrapbook:  Do at least one page
  • Crochet:  Finish Aria’s blanket for her birthday

Over the summer crafts has taken a nose dive. I did take Noah to a local craft cafe to do some activities but the challenge is Aria.

This week she removed a painting from the wall, took the leg off a table and climbed up a chest of drawer to throw pens at us. If you restrain her (car seat, cot or a high chair), she just screams. Until Aria is more easy going, she needs someone to play with her so I can help Noah do crafts or even his homework.

In the evenings, I’ve been focused on reading/writing and it’s left no time for anything else. The local craft cafe also do evening activities for grown ups so once Aria is better at night, I’m going to a scrapbook evening.

Read at least four and a half books by the end of September (annual goal 6 books):

I’ve smashed this. I’ve finished my annual reading goal. This summer I have read Envy, The Deepest Blue (book reviews of the last two are coming).

I bought lots of books at YALC. I’ve also been sent some books by authors for me to review and I’ve borrowed books from the library. I’ve got ebooks on my Kindle. I’ve even got sample books and guide books from Ingram Spark. I’ve got more books than time!

I’ve almost finished You Stole My Heart, Do I have To Take Your Name and I’m reading The Lost Prince on loan from the library and got The Cruel Prince waiting on my Kindle.

That’s enough about my goals, did you achieve yours? Let me know in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, you will like:

 

 


Development

  • Writer courses:  Continue to take advantage of any free courses that come my way if I have the time to do these. 

These have mainly been the workshops at the book festivals, etc.  However, a friend on Instagram recently sent me access to her self editing course for me to review which I am eager to take a look at as editing is one of my major struggles.

  • Resource book:  Buy another writing help book.  I am considering the Emotion Thesaurus.

I downloaded a sample on my Kindle but haven’t looked at it yet.  The other day someone posted on Instagram a picture of a book they are using for plotting and it looked awesome and now I want that one too.  And, I’ve been toying with buying the Writers and Artists Yearbook but can’t decide if I need the children’s one or adults…

What’s next

I’m going to evaluate how I am doing and set some new goals for the next quarter.  

Let me know how you are progressing towards your goals and whether you check in on yourself too?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:

Goals: Progress Since March 2019

Felixstowe Book Festival – How to connect with local writers?

Why I love YALC

Book Review: Save the Cat, Writes a Novel

 

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Click My Link Tree
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Book Review: Save the Cat – Writes a Novel

Author:  Jessica Brody

This book came highly recommended on Instagram and when Bethany Atazadeh and Brittany Wang did their #STCExperiement – YouTube videos of them using the book to outline a novel – I decided I had to get it so I could join in.  

What is the book about?

The book is based on books by Blake Snyder who writes guides for scriptwriters.  Jessica identified that the best novels use the same structure.  In this guide to writing she adapts the ‘Save the Cat’ beats for novel writing.  She also gives plenty of examples form best sellers – even if you haven’t read them you will know their names.  

How it works?

This guide splits the novel into four Acts.  Each act is broken down into beats.  The Beats have names and descriptions to prompt you what needs to be happening in your novel.  

Once you read the book you will start noticing the beats in films you watch.  It is a real eye opener. 

How I used it?

Editing (Jewel of the Sea)

When the book arrived I had just decided that Jewel of the Sea needed yet another edit!  I wanted to re-write the ending, however, that’s not as easy as just jumping to the end and writing it.   There are little details that need to be woven in throughout the novel.

After reading STC, I created a spreadsheet based on my word count and used the percentages to see where certain beats should be happening.  It turned out I had a lot of the beats but in some places my pacing was off.  I then used STC to help with that.  

Plotting Act 1 (Scarlet Dresses)

For Camp NaNo April, I used STC to draft out the first Act for a new novel called Scarlet Dresses.  During the challenge I made a really good start on this novel.

My only hold up was that I felt my characters were a bit flat as I had not spent long enough developing them.  I feel the story had got potential so I plan to return to this project and complete it… one day.  

Plotting and editing (Diamond in the Sky)

This month, I decided to do Camp NaNo July.  Jewel of the Sea is out with Beta Readers and I need to start thinking about writing the next novel in my shifter series.  Now, Diamond in the Sky has been started but never finished.  Now I am more familiar with STC, I decided to use it for both editing and plotting.  

To start with I need to edit what I already have.  I have used STC to plot the first Act and created my spreadsheet to check the pacing is right.  There are a few instances where it is slightly off and I have noted this on my spreadsheet to check later.  First, I want to get the novel written.

The next step will be to use STC to plot the rest of the novel – the unwritten chapters.  I will use STC to check that when I create the different beats that I am getting the pacing right.  

Final thoughts…

This book has changed the way I write.  I have always been a pantser and found editing incredibly hard.  Writing without a plan often can take you off on wayward paths that are not necessary or haven’t been preempted to create the right impact.  This results in a lot of editing – something I hate. 
 
With STC, I feel have a guide keeping me on track and I can check my pacing is working.  Previously, my outline was incredibly brief and left a lot of gaps for me to fill but having a plot keeps me on track and I don’t get stuck.  
 
If you need help plotting and with pacing, then I highly recommend this book.  Now, it is always close to hand and I wouldn’t write a novel without it.  I love it.  
 
Do you have any writer resources that you swear by?

If you like this, you may enjoy:

How I edited my novel – 12 tips for self editing

Where to find great story ideas…

Book Review: Who runs the world by Virginia Bergolt

Book Review: Lion’s Share

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My plans for the third quarter

You may have caught my previous post where I reflected on my progress so far this year towards my annual goal. As we enter into Summer, I am evaluating where I am at and setting myself some new goals for the next quarter.

Social Media

Blog (Word Press):  To continue to post at least twice a week keeping to my content schedule as much as possible.  

Instagram:  To maintain the new connections I have made and continue to engage with them and share content about my writing.

Twitter:  Continue to share links to my content on Twitter and connect with writers on the platform.

Facebook page:  To brainstorm how I can use this to connect with more writers.

YouTube: To be brave and get in front of the camera and start sharing video content.  

Tumblr: Share Instagram and Word Press content to this platform.

Writing

Jewel of the Sea:  Enter into the Wattys.  Put novel out to Beta Readers.  Take part in September’s #PitMad.  Work on my query letter.  

Diamond in the Sky: Re-plot novel, edit existing version and write ending.

Festivals:  Attend festivals:

  • Felixstowe Book Festival
  • YALC
  • Wow-Con

Personal

Working Together Course:  Finish this course.

Crafts: Make time at least once a week:

  • Planner:  continue to use Carpe Diem planner
  • Pocket letter:  write another pocket letter
  • Scrapbook:  Do at least one page
  • Crochet:  Finish Aria’s blanket for her birthday

Read at least four and a half books by the end of September:  I have read three books so far this year.  I’ve started two books I have just not been able to get.  I will most likely buy new books at the festivals.

Development

Writer courses:  Continue to take advantage of any free courses that come my way if I have the time to do these.  

Resource book:  Buy another writing help book.  I am considering the Emotion Thesaurus.

What are your goals?

I shall review these again at the end of September.  I often feel like I haven’t achieved much until I acknowledge what I have managed to do.  Will you be setting any goals?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:

My plans for the second quarter

Camp NaNoWriMo Diary (middle to end)

A local girls guide to Felixstowe Book Festival

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Goals: Progress Since March 2019

Here is an infographic of the goals set for this year showing whether I have achieved them yet or not:

goals-2019-june-progress

Social Media

  • Consistently Post: Post twice a week to my blog, post three photos/videos a week to IG, share content to Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. Brainstorm how to use my FB page more.

I am really pleased with how I have done here.  I have managed to keep up with my blog schedule.  I have also posted daily to IG.  In addition, I have been networking a lot on Twitter this past month and my connections have boomed.  

  • YouTube: Start making YouTube videos.

This hasn’t happened. I am no longer scared, I just want to do it but it is actually really hard for me to get the right conditions to create a video.  I often have kids around or it is late and I am tired.

  • Online Events: Take part in Twitter and Instagram events 

Woah!  I only just finished editing Jewel of the Sea in time for the June #PitMad Twitter Event.  This deadline gave me the kick I needed to cross the finish line.  

This month I am doing the #authorschallenge2019 on Instagram.  Last month I did the one week #StorySnippetsChallenge which was so popular it had now become a Saturday event called #StorySnippetsSaturday.  

In April, I took part in the Camp Nano. More about that later.

I am planning to take part in PB Pitch on 20 June 2019.  

Writing

Jewel of the sea (formerly Drift)

  • Edit: Finish work on Act 2 and start Act 3

I smashed this goal.  I have not only finished Act 2 and 3 but also Act 4. That’s right, Jewel of the Sea is finished.  You can read it on Wattpad for a limited time.

Diamond in the sky (formerly Glide)

  • Finishe & edit:  Diamond in the Sky has been on hold but work on this is possible to start in July or August but I plan to give myself a little break.

Scarlet House

  • First Quarter: Start novel #NewYearNewNovel

This was my Camp NaNo project.  I used Save the Cat to write an outline for the first few chapters and set myself a goal of 15k. I am please to say I achieved it!

Tinsel Tiger (picture book)

  • EXTRA: I needed a picture book to enter a competition.  I decided to edit a poem I had written into a picture book format and submitted it. I also pitched it during #PitMad.

Article Writing

  • All year: Submit to Little Mum Mag & to Ginger Parrot

I still don’t have time for this at the moment.

Writing Course

  • Second Quarter: Take advantage of free opportunities to learn

An advert came up on Facebook to join a group to work on pitches ready for #PitMad.  It was a week long course, each day we were set a challenge to help us develop our pitch. 

The course was brilliant and I really like my pitches.  Here are my favourite two for each book.

#PITMAD #YA #PR #ContemporaryFantasy

TEEN WOLF but mermaids in the UK.

Love struck, misfit, redhead discovers she’s a mermaid.

Being in the middle of a love triangle awakens Mariah’s dormant weather powers and gives a dangerous new meaning to the status ”It’s complicated!”

#PITMAD #PB

VELVETEEN RABBIT for Christmas decorations.

A tiger made of tinsel comes to life and has all sorts of fun.  A story told in rhyme to inspire the imagination of children.

Personal

  • Second Quarter: Flexible work request

I had to put in a request to change my hours and attend a meeting with HR to persuade them to agree to the change. The meeting was a success. When I return in the autumn I will have the hours I want. I’m very happy with the outcome.

  • All year: Crafts

I am ashamed to admit I have not found time for crochet. I hope to finish Aria’s blanket by her birthday. I still haven’t done even one scrapbook page. think I need to set a night aside for crafts.

On a positive note I tried something new and created my first pocket letter for a friend. I wish to do another and write a blog post about it.

  • All year: Journal/Planner

I bought a Carpe Diem planner and find it very therapeutic to see my monthly and weekly plan. The stickers are aesthetically pleasing. I do find the layouts restrict me from doing what I want. I’ve searched for someone selling dotted paper but nobody does for this planner.

  • Read a book every two months

I’ve finished Red Queen and posted my review. I have completed Save The Cat (review to come) which is a theory book.

I’m currently struggling go get into a book at the moment as I’m so focused on finishing up my novel and have limited time but I am making slow progress.

Development

  • Working together course (be able to effectively support my son’s school)

I had my first volunteer session and it went really well. I still get nervous when I go in to help but each time I go it gets easier.  The children are wonderful and so enthusiastic about technology.

  • PitMad Challenge (Facebook Group)

This was a private group that you had to request to join. It involved a 7 day challenge during the week leading up to PitMad where Kathy Ver Eecke helped authors to develop their pitches with daily lessons.  It was incredibly good.  I cannot fault the woman and I am so thankful for everything I learnt on this course.

What’s next

I’m going to evaluate how I am doing and set some new goals for the next quarter.  

Let me know how you are progressing towards your goals and whether you check in on yourself too?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:

Goals: Progress since Jan 2019

Book Review: Red Queen

#PitMad June 2019 Summary

The Story Snippets Challenge

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My plans for the second quarter

You may have caught my previous post where I reflected on my progress so far this year towards my annual goal. As we enter into Spring, I am evaluating where I am at and setting myself some new goals for the next quarter.

Social Media

Blog (Word Press):  To continue to post at least twice a week keeping to my content schedule as much as possible.  

Instagram:  To maintain the new connections I have made and continue to engage with them and share content about my writing.

Twitter:  Continue to share links to my content on Twitter and connect with writers on the platform.

Facebook page:  To brainstorm how I can use this to connect with more writers.

YouTube: To be brave and get in front of the camera and start sharing video content.  

Tumblr: Share Instagram and Word Press content to this platform.

Writing

Red Dresses (formerly Scarlet House):  To start writing a new novel.  I shall use Camp NaNo to make progress towards this goal in April.

Jewel of the sea: To edit Act 2 and hopefully begun editing Act 3.

Personal

Working Together Course:  Complete this course and decide what my plans are as my maternity leave comes to an end.

Scrapbook/Journal: Start using a planner to get more organised.

Read at least three books by the end of June:  I have already read one this year so I just have two more to go to get back on track of my goal of six books by the end of the year.

Development

Writer courses:  Continue to take advantage of any free courses that come my way if I have the time to do these.  

Save the Cat Writes a Novel:  Finish reading this fabulous resource on novel writing.

What are your goals?

I shall review these again at the end of June.  I often feel like I haven’t achieved much until I acknowledge what I have managed to do.  Will you be setting any goals?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:

Reflecting on Goals set in January

Do you keep notebooks of story ideas?

Spotlight on Spring Literary Dates calendar

A little post on how I am doing…

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Goals: Progress since Jan 2019

Here is an infographic of the goals set for this year and whether I’ve achieved them or not:

07

Social Media

  • Blog: Keep up with two posts a week. Start including links to my previous posts within new posts. Rework old posts to give new life & build an advice collection.

Posting twice a week has proven more challenging than I expected but I have discovered the IFTTT app. This app is able to convert Instagram posts into draft blog posts. When I have struggled for time this has been a game changer. I highly recommend it.

I have also revamped old posts and started referring readers with links to previous content they may like.

  • Instagram: Try to post three photos/videos a week

I have been posting two to three times a day! I have over exceeded this goal. I’m so pleased with myself and connected with lots of cool new writer friends as a result.

  • New:  Discord (new) & Facebook Group (new)

This wasn’t in my plans but a lot of IG writing groups have invited me to their Facebook group and discord channel so we can chat more easily as IG limits chat groups to 30 people.  I have also created a Facebook Page of my own which I hope to utilise in the near future.

Online events:

  • Twitter: Take part in Twitter events like #PitMad or #AskAnna

As I’ve ripped Jewel of the Sea apart I have nothing to query. #WriteMentor did a pitch event to earn a place on their rolling course with a mentor. I didn’t win but I gave it a go as I’ve worked hard on improving my pitch.

Mariah has a magic-meddling mum, and about to discover she’s a storm summoning mermaid that needs to gain control of her emotion-connected powers ready for the impending battle with the powerful, unstoppable death crows!”

I’ve also taken part in IG events like monthly photo prompts and joined #FellowCreativeMinds and #HustlingWritersCommunity. If Aria wasn’t unwell I would have also got more involved in #STCExperiment – there is still time.

  • YouTube: Try making a video once each quarter, working towards once a month

I still haven’t braved the camera. But, I took baby steps and made two Instagram story videos which has helped me feel more confident. It is still something I am keen to do and I’ve started following more writers on YouTube. I really enjoy their content and they help inspire me to create my own.

YouTube writers I’m enjoying are:

April Grace Reads

About:  “24. Writer. Reader. Full-time final year Creative Writing graduate. Full Time Ride Operator in a children’s play centre. Books are my passion, especially YA fantasy fiction. Email me at aprilgracereads@gmail.com. I’d love to chat with any of you guys! “

Fellow Creative Minds

About:  “A channel to give help, support and encouragement to creative minds everywhere! I post twice a week. Once on Wednesday, usually a reading your writing, and then I post another video each week at a random time. To join the growing creative minds community, join our Discord and follow lizthewritingwiz on Instagram. Happy Creating! 😊”

Bethany Atazadeh

About:  “I’m an author of science fiction and fantasy novels, as well as a writing coach over on Patreon, and obviously, a youtuber! (AKA authortuber 🙂 This channel also used to be dedicated to music, so if you look back far enough you’ll find some fun songs.”

Author Brittany Wang

About:  “Hello friends! My name is Brittany Wang and I’m an aspiring author currently working on my YA Fantasy Novel. If you’re looking for writerly insights as well as writing community, you’re in the right place and I hope you’ll subscribe so you don’t miss a thing! If you’d like to interact more with me and my writer’s community, join our Plotter Life Writer’s Facebook Group and come hang out with me on Instagram where I’m active daily!”

Happily Ever Author

I feel I should mention Pagan as although she’s not on YouTube she does post videos to Facebook and helped me with advice on how to get started.  Click here to read about my review of her Facebook Group.

Writing

Jewel of the sea (formerly Drift)

  • First Quarter: Another edit

I have been fortunate enough to get some feedback on my novel that has helped me see what I need to do.

I’ve also been following the principles in Save the Cat Writes a Novel. It has really helped with pacing. If you have not read it, you are missing out. Once I’ve finished the book I will write a review.

Diamond in the sky (formerly Glide)

  • First Quarter: Finish novel
  • It started out well but once I realised the extensive edit needed to finish Jewel of the Sea, I decided I needed to focus completely on one project.
  • Diamond in the Sky has been put on hold for now.

Scarlet House

  • First Quarter: Start novel #NewYearNewNovel

This did not even happen even a little bit. I was struggling with time for my other projects so something had to go and this is what got the chop.

My plan is for this to be my Camp NaNo project next month. I shall use Save the Cat Writes a Novel to have an outline ready for April.

Article Writing

  • All year: Submit to Little Mum Mag & to Ginger Parrot

I have been so tied up with my own projects I have not had time to write for others.

Personal

  • First Quarter: Get my bodacious body back (diet & exercise programme to achieve a more healthy me)

This has gone so well. Eating paleo has been a life style choice and I hope to write blog post to share more. I feel more healthy and my figure is looking great.

  • All year: Scrapbooking (my son is now 5y old and I still haven’t started his. I need to do this).

I haven’t had time to do this. At the moment I can’t see when I will have time which is sad as those memories are precocious. I showed my son my baby album and he loved it. Maybe if I print his pictures at the very least I can put them in an album.

  • All year: Crochet – I learnt to crochet in 2018 and if I don’t want to lose the skill I need to keep practising.

Well… I still haven’t finished the blanket. How embarrassing is that! I hope I finish it before Aria turns one.

  • All year: Journal – I’ve always wanted to get into it as I love the creative way of expressing yourself and being organised.

I have tried a few times but over think it. I’m going to a meet up at the end of the month with some local planner girls.  I am hoping these women will share their wisdom with me and help me get started.  I want to use it to help me organise my writing.

  • Read a book every two months

I’ve read Rebel of the Sands (review coming soon) but I am a little behind target. I’ve started Red Queen but doubt I will finish it by the end of April.

 

Development

  • Working together course (be able to effectively support my sons school)

I have now started this course. I feel nervous about volunteering at the school (first volunteer session is on 27 March).  It is so silly but I am scared of the little kids (lol).  I feel supported by my peers and the staff at the school and I am sure that once I have done it, I will feel better about it.

I feel this course and the experience will boost my career.  I would like to work in a school as the hours would be good for my children and there is also the aspect that once I am published, I would love to visit schools in Suffolk and inspire the next generation of writers.

  • New: #WriteMentor

This wasn’t in my plans but when the opportunity to try it out for free came up, I went for it.  For February, I was fortunate enough to be part of the exclusive private Slack group for writer #WriteMentor.   I need to write a blog post for you to truly appreciate how amazing this opportunity is and why when I return to work I plan to subscribe as a paid member.

 

What’s next

I’m going to evaluate how I am doing and set some new goals for the next quarter.  

Let me know how you are progressing towards your goals and whether you check in on yourself too?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:

Goals for the year ahead – 2019

My best kept writing secret of last year (Happily Ever Author)

I did #FebWritersChallenge

I did #JanWritersChallenge

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