I read Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff.
My review is a different post. I’m going over the notes here, doing the actions from the book.
My secret rules:
(To idenitfy, destory, and replace.)
1- Do I even like this goal?
2- What’s my real goal?
3- Does the method I’m using match who I am? (Play to my strengths, give me joy.)
4- Is it time to quit?
5- What has stopped me from already accomplishing this goal?
Write 60k more words of Anah’s story (ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS) by August 2020.
1- Yes. I like her story. I care about the character.
2- To give her more of a story. She was just an A to Z short story. But I want there to be more. I guess selling it is also part of it, but less so, because I think the theme is important. Money is nice, but it’s not my reason.
3- Not so much. I’m trying to fill in the longer, missing parts of the story. I’m better at writing start to finish. But I faked it through school, so I know I can pull it off.
5- Something happened in real life that made one of my fictional scenes more relevant. As a result, I don’t know what Anah’s parents should tell her to do if the situation comes up. And it matters because there’s a direct correlation that is real for too many people. So I feel like I should know the right answer. I don’t.
Write 15k more words of high fantasy short story by Feb 2021.
1- Yeah. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time.
2- It’s kind of a fan-fiction of a sub-story from Fractions of Existence. It landed on the cutting room floor. I have even read a review where the person deducted a star because I didn’t include this story. (Thanks so much to the agent that told me to cut. You owe me a star for your bad advice costing me one! Sorry for the rant there. It’s my fault, I’m the one who listened.) So I want to save it because there clearly are some people who want to know what happens with Monoghan and Candra. And, if it sells well, I’ll probably write more of those. Though I’m considering making it free to draw people in. I don’t know.
3- When I actually sit to write it, yes. I just haven’t been. Bad author, bad!
4- Nope. Not even close.
5- Disorganization. I have parts of this story in different files. I didn’t write it start to finish, and now it’s a puzzle that needs to be put together so I can fill it all in.
Write 20k more words of WIGS tribal short story by April 2021.
1- Yes, I like this goal.
2- To prove to myself that it’s a good story, a better story than it was given credit for, if only it had more words. There was a LOT of lore and two time periods in one short story. I cut and cut and cut, and I think it got confusing because I cut too much that maybe explained things. (Like if you watch Endgame without any prior Marvel movies. You’re going to be confused by a lot. Or if you watched the Harry Potter movies without the books, you wouldn’t know why a certain Professor knows EXACTLY what the Marauder’s Map is because hello Moony.)
3- Yes, yes it does. It’s tree lore!
5- I lost some of the enthusiasm, and it doesn’t feel as important because it’s for me. But that should make it matter more, not less.
Write 40k more words of the next Existence book by Sept 2022.
1- I love this goal.
2- To share this version of a story that was passed on to me, and hopefully make some money and have a career as a writer as a result.
4- Nope. Never!
5- I keep taking a break from difficult scenes. When I come back, yes, I now know how to fix them. But then I want to reread everything and fix other stuff that changed because of this. And then I’m editing instead of writing and deleting and it’s slowed the progress to a snail’s pace.
Write 90k more words of Alison Fantasy book by Sept 2023.
1- Yeah, it’s fun.
2- To sell books, making an old hobby a profitable and professional life experience.
3- It’s a fantasy story that doesn’t start in a tavern! Ha ha ha. But seriously, it’s fun to write, so yes, that plays to my strength.
4- No. I quit once because one person, who DOES NOT write fantasy, didn’t like my opening. I really looked up to the person at the time. That person has since fallen off the pedestal and has had many complaints from more well-respected sources. So maybe some or most of that evaluation belongs in a trashcan.
5- That person’s voice in my head. The story opened very much like Divergent. I need to tell myself it could “fail” that bad. (Which translates into a big pile of money and a movie deal.) Divergent doesn’t open with Tris at the ceremony. It opens with her getting ready. Harry Potter doesn’t open with the owls, it opens with the Dursley family. Hunger Games didn’t open with the “I volunteer as Tribute!” ceremony. So why am I listening to someone who said I can’t have 300 words that paint my character into her world as she refuses to wear a fancy fantasy dress and instead jumps out of her window? (Because she’s NOT going to the ceremony. Where Tris, Katniss, and Harry went… Alison is skipping out to go do forbidden stuff.)
Enter 2 writing contests this year.
1- Kind of mostly.
2- To get my brand out there.
3- I prefer writing longer works. But I do learn from writing short ones. Hard to say.
4- Probably not.
5- I haven’t looked for them, much less written anything to enter.
Complete my reading challenges half way for the year.
1- Yup, love it.
2- The real goal is read more because reading isn’t just fun, it makes one a better writer. And one of my challenges involves reading books that help with writing, so that’s double points there.
3- Yes. I pay attention when I read. I notice things authors do and think about how I could use that, or avoid it.
4- Hell no.
5- I’ve been working on them. I do other things too. Note this list.
Comment on 20 blogs a month.
1- I really like this goal.
2- The real goal is to stay connected with my blogging community.
3- Well yeah, I like to think so.
4- Uh, no.
5- I have been keeping up. It’s a monthly goal, it isn’t like it ends.
Tweet 5 diverse books a month.
1- Yes I do.
2- To support book diversity.
3- As a diverse person who uses Twitter and read books, yeah, I certainly think this plays to my strengths.
5- Have been doing it.
Tweet 2 debut books a month.
2- To support debut authors.
3- It’s pretty easy. So yeah.
5- Have been doing it.
Fix 13 blog posts a month from Photobucket broken links.
1- I like the end result.
2- To have my blog looking proper, like I know what I’m doing and it’s not amature hour over here.
3- I don’t know. I maybe once I make more effort I’ll find a good method. It’s all frustrating.
4- Not really.
5- It’s an annoying pain in butt so I just haven’t made the time because look at all the other goals I want to do! And yet I want this done. So, there you go.
Unfollow 900 Tweeps by Aug.
1- No, I do not like this goal. But I hate being in Twitter jail MORE than I dislike this goal.
2- To get out of Twitter follow jail.
3- I guess so.
4- No, it’s more like time to start.
5- I was hoping it would resolve itself. I guess I knew it wouldn’t. So, yeah, gotta be proactive.
I was supposed to find my secret rules by asking those questions. And then I can ask what it means. I don’t know if I found any secret rules though. Who says I have to do any of these things? Umm… me. This is all me. Who says I have to write? Me. Who says I have to read? Me. Who wants me to Tweet? Me (though others may benefit, but it’s my call.) Who wants my blog to look nice? Me. Who says I have to get out of Twitter follow jail? Definitely me. So I don’t see anything to replace.
Looking at what has stopped me from already accomplishing my goals?
I don’t know what to tell Anah to do. Her parents probably don’t either. Because, honestly, I’m not sure there is a right answer for that scene. I’ve been looking (not just because of the story). But no one knows how to best handle it. You really need to get lucky to survive it at all. Money, looks, connections — none of that is of any use. It’s downright terrifying. Maybe that’s what I need to say through her parents.
And I guess that’s my secret rule there– that I can’t write it unless I have some idea how to handle an impossible situation.
Or that I can’t write until things are organized correctly.
Or until I feel excited.
Or until I get out of my own head.
So I guess the “new rule” would be to just sit and do it and deal with each thing as it comes.
The data I want to gather is how many more days I spend writing. How many more book I publish. I should eventually add in sales. But, for now, I want this to be more about what I’m doing on the front end instead of the back end. (Both are important. But I’m trying to focus.)
Data can avert disaster if one pays attention. Data can prevent shame.
So the three things I’m measuring are:
- Time spent writing.
- Number of books read.
- Number of Twitter followers.