August Retro and Update

It’s that time again to take a look over the month to see what we’ve done well and what we could do better.

It’s that time again! 

The last couple of months have been filled with chaos and heartache, both personally and nationally, but we’re still here. That’s got to count for something, right? But now, it’s time to take a look back over the past month to see where “here” is for ourselves. I’ll start:

Goals I set last time 

  • Set up my writing wall.
  • Get my Patreon page more fleshed out.
  • Learn how to (and then) write my business plan.
  • Write more, submit more, be rejected more.

So how’d I do?

Actual picture of a lazy writer’s writing wall.

Eh, not too bad. I don’t quite have a writing wall set up yet. I do have some sporadic post-it notes slapped up onto the plaster like a lazy conspiracy theorist, but I’m not full-blown, red-string-connecting-bigfoot-to-Captain-Picard yet, so I have some work to do.

My Patreon page is still a tad skimpy, but I’m currently working on a plan, and I do have some posts up. I’ve finally figured out at least a little bit of what I will be posting there, so please stay tuned.

As far as business plans go, I’m still learning about those. I think it’ll make a great topic to write about in the future, once I figure it out enough to put it into words. For now, I’ve started on building a better marketing strategy for the future.

I’ve written another story! I even had it critiqued by a fellow writer, but something is still off about it so I’m fixing it. It should be ready for submission soon. I have also had an additional rejection (already added to the count), and I’m starting to work on setting up the emotional guide for the novel I want to write.

What went well

  • I have SO MANY PLANTS! This isn’t strictly writing related, but I do have them, and they make me happy, so into the “went well” pile they go.
  • It feels so good to get back into long form writing. 
  • I was really nervous about having a piece of my work critiqued, as I haven’t been through that since the last time I attempted college, but it went really well! The person I worked with used to work as an editor and they were professional and extremely helpful, and the story is much better for it.
  • I have a lot more plans (as has already been mentioned, I suppose) on how to improve and new things to try. All shall be revealed in time.
  • I have some new organizational software. I’m still figuring out how it works (I only just heard about it like 3 days ago), but so far I think this will be how I get my entire life in order. Once I’m full-time it’ll be an absolute godsend. More to come.
  • I think I almost have a new routine figured out. I haven’t kept to it as much as I’d like (see below), but it’s a start at least. In the mornings, I get up early, drink my coffee, (usually) go on a walk with my spouse and get to writing. This gives me about 2 hours to write before I need to start my “day job.” During lunch, I do smaller writing tasks or read. At night, I typically spend time with my spouse once he’s done for the day. I try to finish up anything I started for the day, and then read or research while I wait for him. I’ve also set an alarm for twice a day to get up and stretch or exercise. I’m trying to remember to stand during meetings, but I hate standing so I forget a lot.

What didn’t go well

  • I’ve almost completely stopped journaling for about two months now. I just sorta tuned out a lot of thoughts and emotions, and I think that’s making this whole “blog about life” thing a lot harder. Part of it also comes down to timing, but I’ll get that ironed out soon.
  • Also related to timing is that I still haven’t been recording word counts like I want. As of the second, I managed to get my (absolutely pathetic) count written down for yesterday, but August was a wash record-keeping wise. 
  • While I did write a new story and have been working on my novel more, I feel like I haven’t written much. I don’t know if this is an accurate representation of reality or just because I don’t see the numbers in front of my face yet. It could also be that I only just started this new routine and haven’t pushed to the “habit” stage yet.
  • Dealing with loss has made my motivation plummet. It’s natural, but it is a fact nonetheless. I’m making it a point to keep working as much as I can to avoid the whirlpool of grief. It’s hard, but I think it’s been working. Breaks happen when I need them of course – self-care is paramount – but I try to keep going as much as possible.

Goals for September

  • Actually set up my writing space for real this time. The desk and all are ready, but I need to hang my cork board and paint my wall with special paints. This will let me start to take notes so I can easily visualize novel as I plot it out. We’ll see how well it works. Worst-case scenario, it means I have a place I can draw on the walls when I get stuck.
  • Get this new software set up for every facet of my life. I can’t wait until I have it ready and can write about it. It’s such a wonderfully designed set of tools.
  • Finish the research for my novel. This is going to require a bit of work, but I have faith I can get it done. Maybe. Possibly. Let’s just mark this one down as a stretch goal…

So how did your August go? How have you been dealing with life in general? Anything you’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments below.