Monthly and Quarterly Goals

So I’m trying something new. I’m going to try a writing schedule filled with goals; daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. This is pretty new to me, I prefer to write by the pants, but let’s face it, that’s not working out for me at all. So now I’m going to have a schedule. I’m still trying to get a feel for just how much I can accomplish between my daughter and my job (I do need to feed us). The first week I did this, I piled on way too much. Lesson learned. I got almost none of it done because I underestimated the amount of time the first task alone was going to take me. So for the first few months, I expect a lot of failed tasks.

I also plan on posting them here at least monthly. Accountability. Should work. Hopefully. But here goes!

Okay. I’m starting off with my quarterly goals. Because I’ve only recently decided to do this, I obviously had to wait until the beginning of April to start this one. So technically I’m starting in the second quarter of the year.

Goals for the Second Quarter of 2016:

  • Instagram challenge. To be honest, I have never even seen what an Instagram challenge looks like, so I’m not really confident in this one. But I would at least like to figure out what they are (I heard about them in a passing conversation).
  • Finish new rough draft. Okay. This one may seem slightly confusing because I was already about halfway through my rough draft the last time I posted. However, I was having a LOT of issues with the direction of my story. I felt like it lacked in a lot of things and I was having a hard time saying what I wanted to say. So, out of desperation, I looked at my entire outline again. And I discovered it was shit. Well, almost shit. It at the very least didn’t have enough oomph. I found plot holes, lack of character depth, and in a lot of it, too much unnecessary action that was a little misleading. So I rewrote it, almost. I only have to finish outlining the last four chapters. That alone shouldn’t take too long, the last eight or so chapters aren’t really changing all that much, I’m just adding more detail. This new outline is about three times longer than the old outline already. But I’m not changing too much about the story. There are three chapters that I’ve already written that I’ll need to completely trash and rewrite, but the rest of it could probably just be rewritten to work for what I now need. And most of what I haven’t written yet is all action, and that alone is exciting. I have faith that I can accomplish this task. It might be at the last minute, but I think I can do this one.
  • Research Bookbub promotion. I also heard about this one in a passing conversation, but I have already been exposed to Bookbub in general, so this one shouldn’t be too hard to do. I did a little research on this already today, and so far it sounds like something I will be doing, but not until the book is already launched so I have time.
  • Research editors. I started doing this about a week ago. And so far I’ve found that there are a lot of editors out there, but not a lot of them specialize in horror. I could pick a general fiction editor, but I think I would much prefer someone who does horror and maybe a couple other related genres. And I’m having a hard time finding someone I like – and I haven’t even looked at any prices yet (getting kind of nervous). –Psst. If you are or know someone who is a freelance editor that does editing for horror novels, please let me know in the comments section with links. I would greatly appreciate it.

Okay, so far all of my goals are writing goals. But I do have some personal goals as well. Might as well group them all in one so I’ll feel motivated to get them done as well.

  • Pay off all my debt. This may be too personal for some, but I feel more motivated to get my finances in order when I talk about them with people, for whatever reason. And I’ve already mostly gotten this done. Yay me! I have one account in collections left that I need to settle, but it’s my big one. It accounts for half of my total debt. And it makes me nervous. But now that I’ve gotten all of the other ones paid off, I feel excited to be one account away from being debt free. I haven’t been debt free since I started college way back when I was 18. I turn 27 next month. That’s a long time to be in debt have that much money stress pushed onto me. I got sick of it. So back in November, when my lease was up on my apartment, I moved back in with my parents. It sucked. It still sucks. But I couldn’t afford where I was living anymore. It was bad enough that if my lease hadn’t ended when it did, I probably would have had to borrow rent money from my parents. Not fun. So I moved back in with the intention of saving up my awesome earnings from work (Christmas time is my favorite time when it comes to my checks, they’re usually about $500 more per check) while I looked for a far more affordable option. I found one at the end of December. It had income limits, a washer and dryer in every unit, and it was affordable. I met the income requirements, I actually almost made too much. But when they processed my application, they wanted me to have a cosigner. What? I almost make too much money to live here and you want a cosigner? Well, that didn’t happen. The only people I would ever ask to cosign with me are my parents, and they are buying a house and couldn’t do that. So when that fell through, we came up with the idea of just buying a house. I would be paying just as much as if I rented, if not less, but it would be mine. Only problem is I had a substantial amount of debt. I have always intended to pay it off, honestly, but as an introvert, I didn’t want to call any of them. Talk to people? Me? Hell to the no. I wanted them to magically know my new address, assume I would want to pay the debt off (preferably at a discount), and send me a nicely written bill. Apparently, it doesn’t work like that. Boo. My dad is much more comfortable with that stuff and helped me through it.So this is where I am now. One more account and I’ll be debt free. Can I get a woot woot! ……woot woot.
  • Get a mortgage and a house. Or at least a house picked out. I know that technically this step takes time, but time is kind of working against me right now. My credit score is actually pretty good considering what’s on my report, but it’s not quite enough. However, I have found a government backed program that I qualify for that will help me; I just have to show proof that I’ve paid the accounts that I have paid because they haven’t fallen off yet. The reason time is running against me is because also next month, my daughter turns five. Which means in September, she’ll be starting school. I have never intended on pulling her from any school she starts and I don’t like the idea of enrolling her in the current school district we live in only to transfer her somewhere else after a few months. I feel like I need to get a mortgage and find a house soon. Like really soon. It’s a little stressful actually.

So those are my quarterly goals. All in honesty, that selfie should have been a goal. I hate taking pictures of myself. Don’t even really like the word selfie and hashtags are painful. Here’s to hoping I accomplish all of them. Now for my monthly goals for April!

  • Rewrite outline. Should be done tonight. Yay!
  • Rewrite chapters 1-9 and the prologue. Right now, I have a prologue. In my new rough draft, my prologue will become chapter 1 because it’s only a page shorter than my current average chapter length. Even if this ends up changing so that it’s shorter than the rest, I’ll keep it as chapter 1. Which means all the other chapters will be pushed back by one. It will still only be nine chapters though because I completely cut out one of the old chapters because it is no longer applicable.
  • Do character maps for my main characters – Ryan, Chloe (oh hey, I renamed Lizzie), and Lily. I’m ashamed. I never did these to begin with even though I had them all thought out in my head. I will never make this mistake again.
  • Do mini character maps for secondary characters – Tony, Erick, Hannah, and Gideon. These characters have more substance than background characters, but don’t need to be as fleshed out as my main characters.

And that’s it! This week I only planned on finishing my outline. But because I’ll probably have that done by one tonight, I should be able to do at least one character map too. I would like to have all the main character maps done by the end of this week, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to do that. Today is my last day off and I’ll be working 10+ hours for the next four days. In a warehouse. That’s exhausting.

Blogging will also be partly of my weekly goals. I haven’t picked a day yet, but I have a feeling it will be Tuesdays. I have a fixed work schedule and my days off are Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. They’ve reopened voluntary overtime right now and I plan on work half-shifts on Sundays so that day is out of the question (I tend to sleep all of Sundays anyway). My daughter has school on Mondays so I guess I could technically do it when she’s learning stuff then, but I’ve been using that time to work on my writing and researching marketing techniques and whatnot anyways and I would really like to keep doing that. So Tuesdays will most likely be my day. I could always schedule posts, but I’m not so sure about that one. We’ll see.

I guess that’s all I’ve got right now. See you next week!

My short stories are still on sale at Amazon! Check them out!

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