Hello Friends and Welcome.
I hope that you’ve been having a great year so far. I can’t believe that it’s already February! In today’s post, I wanted to discuss my writing goals for the first quarter of this year. Originally this was going to be a yearly goal overview post, but I decided instead to really focus on the projects going on this quarter as even over the last month my plan for the year has shifted.
Goal Number One: Complete Review of the First Draft of Autumn Sunrise
If you’ve been following me on social media, you probably are aware that I am in the middle of reviewing my first draft of Autumn Sunrise. Revisions are a slow and somewhat difficult process. There’s a lot of cutting things out, changing things around, and just making a mess of the manuscript. It’s necessary in order to tell the story in a coherent and cohesive manner. Originally, I thought I’d do a quick pass through the manuscript, review and revise my outline, and get the second draft completed by the end of this quarter.
However, that’s no longer the plan. I am realistic enough to know that this book needs more time spent on revisions than some of my previous work. I can’t produce the best second draft possible if I were to rush through the manuscript. So instead, this quarter is focused on really diving into the manuscript, spending the necessary time to figure out what is great and what is not so great, and getting the plan for the second draft in place. I’m hopeful that maybe I’ll be ready to start draft two in April, but I’m not going to pressure myself.
Goal Number Two: Publish 18 Blog Posts
My plan for this quarter at least is to publish six posts a month – four writing posts and two reading posts. This allows me to continue to release new content and build this blog without taking a ton of time away from my creative writing – which is the real priority. I am so excited to share bits of my reading and writing life with you, but I know that in order to call myself a writer, I need to be writing. There’s only so much time we have and that time is precious, especially when working a full-time job and pursuing graduate degrees in addition to continuing to write.
There may be more than eighteen posts over the quarter, however setting the bar at 1-2 posts a week keeps me from feeling stressed over everything I have to do. I’m all about keeping things manageable at this stage in my life.
Goal Number Three: Continue the Habit of Writing Daily
My goal is continue the habit of taking at least few minutes each morning to write. There’s no plan or intention set out as I am not working on a new draft, but I want to keep up the habit of creating every day. This last week, a new story has emerged in my mind and I’ve taken the mornings to write a few little one-page scenes. Two years ago when I was writing each morning I started coming up for ideas of Autumn Sunrise from doing these daily exercises.
I allow myself complete freedom to write whatever comes to mind each morning as the important thing is to keep writing something. Once I have completed revisions for Autumn Sunrise, I will begin to draft the project I am referring to as Serial News. I already have that plotted out and will be ready to roll once I get Autumn Sunrise’s next draft completed and set aside.
Goal Number Four: Read Almost Only Books off My Current TBR List
My Goodreads TBR list is up over 1,000 currently. There are so many books that I want to read and new books just keep coming out! For this quarter, I wanted to get back to that list and start knocking some of those books off the list. The few books that are not on the TBR list but that I am reading would be the selections for my book clubs and The Lord of Rings, which is the series I have chosen to reread this year.
Other than those two exceptions, I am not allowed to ready anything that was not on my TBR list prior to January 1st this year. I am always adding books to the TBR list, however I am doing my best to work through getting some of the first ones off the list — though I’m not sticking to only the beginning.
Goal Number Five: Get My Home Office Cleaned Out and Set Up
My home office is a complete disaster. It has boxes stacked in it from when I first moved into my apartment back in 2018 and has bookshelves stuffed full with piles surrounding the shelves. The desk is piled high with random items and the closed is full of old business supplies. Ideally, I would love to be able to crank out this project in a weekend but it’s going to take a little bit.
I want to get the office set up as a great writing space with a clear desk with lots of room for notes (and Luke-he’s a velcro kitty!). I want it to be a room that I enjoy stepping into and getting work done in. Right now I work out of my dining room and living room and while it works for me right now, it’s not my ideal set up.
Bonus Goals (Personal/Professional)Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE
Bonus Goal 1: Complete and Pass Business Law
Right now I am in the midst of pursuing the CPCU designation, which stands
for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter. It is a very prestigious
designation in the insurance industry – about 4% of professionals hold the
designation and it is essentially a Master’s in Insurance. It is rigorous, but
it is a really valuable education to have. For right now, I really enjoy my job
as an insurance underwriter. I love writing creatively and I have no plans to
stop, however I am dedicated to my career in the insurance industry as well.
For this quarter, I am focused on completing and passing CPCU 530 – Business
Law which is one of the two most beastly exams that are required for the CPCU
designation. The other one is Business Finance-which I intend to tackle during
quarter two of the year.
Bonus Goal 2: Meditate at Least Three Times a Week
Recently I finally downloaded the Calm app and have really enjoyed starting
to build a meditation practice. Ideally, I would love to build a habit where I
am meditating for half and hour every day, however that is not possible at this
point in my life. From the time constraints of a full-time job, an intense
round of revisions, studying Business Law, and trying to keep up with all my
household tasks I just don’t have that time right now. I also haven’t built a
habit of meditating yet. I have to crawl before I can walk. I have to walk
before I can run.
I am committed to doing the 10 minute Daily Calm meditation at least three
times a week to start that habit. Hopefully I will begin to do it more
regularly as I have already seen a difference in my stress level from taking
the few precious minutes to get quiet and focus on my breath. I anticipate that
this is a practice that I will make a regular habit in my life.
That’s it for today! Thank you so much for hanging in here with me. What
goals are you working on this quarter? I’d love to hear.