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.
Learning from my past:
1- What happened the last time I attempted a goal like this?
2- Who did I involve last time?
3- How long did it take?
4- How much money did I spend?
5- Was there a deadline?
6- Were there consequences for not finishing?
7- Was there a reward for finishing?
8- What would I do differently if trying the exact same goal again?
Write 60k more words of Anah’s story (ANAH ON TENTERHOOKS) by August 2020 and write 15k more words of high fantasy short story by Feb 2021 to give the characters more story-space/ page-time.
Write 20k more words of WIGS tribal short story by April 2021 to prove to myself it’s worthwhile.
Write 40k more words of the next Existence book by Sept 2022 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.
Write 90k more words of Alison Fantasy book by Sept 2023 to sell books so my RPG time was valuable.
1- The last time I wrote a fictional story to self-publish, Fractions of Existence came to be.
2- I involved my assistant, an old friend who is a writer and avid reader, a friend who taught English at a University and was an editor, a paid for editor, a few Beta readers, a friend of a friend who knows formatting, feedback from some agents and published authors, some ancestors, my Snookums, another friend who let me complain, probably some other people too.
3- SIX YEARS.
4- An absurd amount that I’ll probably never recoup. Four figures.
6- Feeling like I failed my soul, my purpose, let down the ancestors. Shame, lots of shame.
7- Yeah, a book that’s for sale. Feeling of accomplishment. Relief that it was done. Pride.
8- Not overspend. Not take so long. Stress less about editing. Maybe not write 50 some different openings. Or scrap a scene I spent a year on. Scene… pfft… two paragraphs. What was I thinking???
Enter 2 writing contests this year to get my brand out there.
1- Won an award.
2- Asked one person to read my story beforehand.
3- A week, thereabout.
6- Not getting to enter. Can’t win if you don’t play?
7- Yup, got an award. And feedback.
8- Not use a sports reference.
Complete my reading challenges half way for the year for fun and to be a better writer.
1- I didn’t complete the goal last year. I usually do.
2- Just me, really. Unless you count check ins?
3- A year.
4- Bought some of the books, so I don’t know, say $30.
5- One year.
6- Just my own bad feelings.
7- The reward of having read a good amount of books.
8- Read more early on, not leave so many for the end of the year.
Comment on 20 blogs a month to stay connected with my blogging community.
1- Last time I managed.
2- Just me, unless you count the blogs I went to.
3- A couple of hours. I didn’t time it. Five?
4- None. (Unless we’re nit-picking about the cost of Internet and stuff.)
5- Just my personal one of the end of the month.
6- Less interaction. More disconnect.
7- More interaction. Feeling more connected.
8- Nothing really.
Tweet 5 diverse books a month to support book diversity. Tweet 2 debut books a month to support debut authors.
1- I accomplished the goal last time.
2- Just me. (And I guess the people I retweeted.)
3- Couple of minutes.
5- My deadline was a month.
6- If I didn’t do it I guess I just wouldn’t have supported people. Bad karma?
7- Having cool tweets and having shown my support. Good karma?
Fix 13 blog posts a month from Photobucket broken links to make my blog aesthetically pleasing to my eye.
1- I started the project, but then had more important things to do at the time. Never went back to it.
2- Just me.
3- I could gnaw a tree limb off faster.
4- None. Though I had been paying for it before, but they cancelled that plan.
5- I never gave myself a deadline before.
6- Not being pleased when I look at old posts.
7- Blog looks better to me.
8- I don’t know yet. Maybe make the pictures easier to find? The download killed their titles.
Unfollow 900 Tweeps by Aug to get out of Twitter follow jail.
1- Last time was YEARS ago. And I got more followers. Except the gap was only a few people last time, not 900. It resolved itself in a month or so last time.
2- TwitterHero. But he’s no longer there.
3- Last time it basically fixed itself in a about a month.
5- I hadn’t had a deadline.
6- Twitter follow jail means not being able to follow any new accounts. Which kills the growth of my own account. It makes Twitter less fun.
7- Able to follow other again.
8- Well it was easy last time. It’s this time that’s a bear.
It was fun to edit Fractions of Existence. Yeah, it sucked in some ways. There was a steep learning curve. But I did a lot of the editing with some friends. It was a thing we put on our calendars to do together every week. I barely have any contact with one of those friends now, and the other is a distant memory. I hang out with the other one yet. But we miss the other two. They’re busy with their lives, their families, their own goals. End of an era.
It HURTS to know that time will not come back. Those good days have vanished. Maybe that’s why I get lost in editing? Maybe I’m searching for something that isn’t there. It’s all dry and clinical now. It wasn’t. There was laughter. Bonding. Time together. Shit.
Here. Have a potato. I just broke myself.
What I can adjust if the above goals aren’t going my way:
- The goals themselves.
- My timelines.
- How I do these goals.
“It’s one thing to complete your book. It’s another thing to have that book open to feedback from strangers…”
Wow, is that the truth! And it’s the other reason I edit with such vigor.
When it comes to the Existence series, I fear they weren’t right to pick me to tell the story. That I won’t do it well enough. That there will be grammar and spelling errors. More scenes I should have tightened, tells I should have shown, and confused readers because they haven’t encountered these exact beings before.
Omnipotence is the quality of having unlimited power. “able to do anything that is in accord with its own nature” “omnipotence is generally understood to be compatible with certain limitations or restrictions”
That’s what the actual characters are, as they’re born from a mythology.
“A superhero is a type of heroic stock character, usually possessing supernatural or superhuman powers, who is dedicated to fighting the evil of their universe, protecting the public, and usually battling super-villains.”
That’s not far off. It’s not how I think of them. But okay.
“A fairy tale is a story, often intended for children, that features fanciful and wondrous characters such as elves, goblins, wizards, and even, but not necessarily, fairies. The term “fairy” tale seems to refer more to the fantastic and magical setting or magical influences within a story, rather than the presence of the character of a fairy within that story.”
It isn’t for children. There are no elves, goblins, wizards, or actual fairies in the book. The settings are NYC, southern California, and some highways. Nothing about this definition fits the story. (Other than a chapter title. CHAPTER 4 — FAIRIES AREN’T REAL)
So I look at the category list and wonder if it means I didn’t tell the story well. The book still isn’t in these two:
Myth & Legend Fantasy eBooks
Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
Which is where it belongs.
What if it’s not amazing? I don’t market well enough for Fractions of Existence to have sold to the potential it has. The book suggests it’s more so because life isn’t perfect. Could be both reasons, I suppose.
But finishing can mean starting the next thing. And it looks like I have a good list of next projects. So there’s that.
How to finish when there’s a crisis? According to the book, either have a life-altering experience that kicks you into gear, or have a friend who reminds you of your goals.
What am I getting out of not finishing?
Holding on to the illusion that I could finish?
That publishing more books could lead to more sales?
Getting other goals done instead, and making it seem like their just as important?
No one expecting my books to be perfect, or best-sellers, or to have a wide fan base?
Those are what I need to have bigger rewards (or fear motivations) to overcome.
I just finished the GOAL of doing all the actions in the book.