For those who don’t know, the Insecure Writers Support Group is open to all writers to share their fears, doubts, and concerns, as well as your triumphs. So if you have something to share, visit the link at the end of this post!
Happy New Year!
I love starting a new year. It’s a chance to plan and start new things. It’s also a chance to look at everything you’ve accomplished in the last year and figure out what you can do to make the new year even better. My biggest accomplishment in the last year has to be learning to accept my limitations (as weird as that may sound).
I have Hashimoto’s Disease (an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid) and a daughter with ASD and ADHD. My daughter, even though she is twelve now, needs a lot more attention than other kids her age. There are some things she’s not able to do for herself and she needs help coping with her erratic emotions (especially now that she’s hit puberty). On top of that, I have to deal with being in constant pain and feeling like I haven’t slept in weeks, even after a full night sleep.
At the start of 2017, I set some lofty goals for myself as far as writing is concerned. Other indie authors are out there finishing a new book or story every couple of months, and I thought I should be able to do the same. When I couldn’t keep up, I became depressed and beat myself up over it, until I realized those people are healthy and likely have no other responsibility other than their writing. Even those who have kids don’t have kids with special needs. I can’t expect myself to keep up with people like that.
So as the year wore on, I paid more attention to my limits and reorganized my goals to fit me. Surprisingly, it’s helped me to accomplish more than I expected I could do since I wasn’t stressing myself out and making my health go downhill anymore.
This year, I plan to focus on my strengths and learn how I can use them to overcome my limitations. I also plan to set more reasonable goals for myself as far as writing is concerned. This year I plan to:
- Finish my Shadow Stalker serial
- Write and edit my A God’s Deception series (and hopefully publish the first book before the end of the year)
- And write and publish about 3 to 5 short stories or novellas.
I also want to start writing more flash fiction that I’ll post here on my blog and in my newsletter.
So what are your new year goals and/or resolutions? Let me know in the comments below!
This month’s ISWG question is:
What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?
I don’t like using schedules, at least to the extent of setting specific times to accomplish things during the day. It’s never worked for me because I can never tell what my health will be each day or when my daughter will have a bad day and I’ll be dealing with meltdowns all day. I have to play things by ear, but at the same time, I need to have some kind of schedule set or I won’t accomplish anything at all.
So, what I do is I use Evernote to keep track of everything I need to do, and everything I’ve already accomplished. I created a few calendars on Evernote. One has all of my weekly objectives on it. While I do set daily objectives, I generally will just do what I can during the week, following the schedule. Priority jobs are at the top, so if I don’t have time to finish something that isn’t a priority, it can be moved to the following week. So far, this has been working well for me. I can work when I’m feeling up to it, and I still accomplish everything I need to. I can even keep up with some things when I’m sick by working on my phone or tablet.
My other calendars are to help me with organizing releases, blog posts (like this one and my spotlights), and I even have one for sharing posts.
I don’t actually have a schedule for writing anymore. Each time I sit down to write, I have a goal of writing 2k to 2.5k words each sitting. I try to write Monday through Friday, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, especially when my daughter is out of school. When I’m editing, I spend about 3 hours a day doing that. Then the rest of the day is spent on doing promotional stuff and social media work (answering emails… and all that fun stuff). I try to spend about 6 hours a day working (Monday through Friday). If I work on the weekend, it’s to catch up on what I couldn’t accomplish during the week or writing if I’m in a really creative mood.
So my schedule is loose, but it’s effective for me. Unless I get really sick, I have no trouble keeping up with it.
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