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

 

 

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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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YALC Prep

I am getting so excited about my upcoming date with YALC! I can’t wait to be surrounded by all those wonderful books, authors and influential people in the industry.

But London is expensive and a long day out for me so I’ve thought about what to take and wear.

What I’ll wear

I want to be comfortable so I will be wearing flat shoes. Not only will this trip involve a lot of travelling for me but also book festivals involve a lot of walking around visiting the stands. I couldn’t believe me luck when I discovered this cute T-Shirt in a sale at NewLook with the slogan “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”

I’ll also want my makeup to last all day so I’ll be wearing Pacifica waterproof mascara and Ere Perez lip stain in Joy. I’ll take my rose facial spritz in case it is sticky hot and sun lotion in case I am out in the sun.

What I’ll pack

I haven’t decided what bag to take yet but I plan to pack a notepad, and a reusable shopping bag for all the books I buy.

I will also pack my water bottle, snacks and, if I’m organised enough, a pack lunch.

And finally…

My last bit of prep will be to check my travel details and time with my friend. We’ll likely drive part of the way and the train/underground the rest. I’ll also double check I’ve got my tickets.

Also, someone I connected with on Instagram is going too. We are hoping to meet up. I’m super excited as I’ve never met an online friend before.

I don’t travel to London very often. What tips do you have for me to ensure my trip is a success? Are you going to YALC?

If you enjoyed this, you may like:

Felixstowe Book Festival – Containment

Summer Literary Festivals

Uk Literary Festival tour dates

I went to YALC – did you? (2017) 

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Winter literary festivals

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post listing literary festivals taking place in the UK throughout the UK that have caught my eye.  To read the full list, please click here.

This post is to remind you of those taking place this Winter.

It looks like December and January are a downtime for book festivals so this list starts and ends with February.

February

Verve Poetry Festival

  • Date: 14-17 February 2019
  • Location:  Birmingham
  • Tickets:  Fee (£4 to £35)

“A four day festival of world class poetry and spoken word, with readings, performances, and workshops taking place in the heart of Birmingham.”

Faversham Literary Festival 

  • Date: 21 to 24 February 2019
  • Location:  Faversham
  • Tickets:  Various

“Our inaugural festival in 2018 was a great success with a line-up including Man Booker-shortlisted author Deborah Levy, journalist Martin Bell, psychogeographer Iain Sinclair and performance poet John Hegley. We featured over thirty events with writers from Kent and further afield, as well as writing workshops, poetry events, and more.

We hope you will join us again in February 2019. We have another exciting programme of events and activities planned for book lovers of all ages and persuasions, featuring author talks, discussions, creative workshops and spoken word events.”

Limerick Literary Festival

  • Date: 22 to 24 February 2019
  • Location:  Limerick
  • Tickets:  TBC

“The Festival, formerly known as Kate O’Brien Weekend, is this year celebrating its 35th edition. The event continues to honour the life and works of the Limerick author, while attracting prominent participants from all over the world. Building on this significant history, the Limerick Literary Festival seeks to promote Limerick nationally as a place of literary excellence and to provide a platform where readers can meet their favourite authors and other readers.”  

If you like this post, you may also like:

#PitMad December 2018

Uk Literary Festival tour dates

NaNo Progress Diary (week four)

More than 10 Extravagant Ultimate Gifts for writers


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