April Showers Me With To Do Lists and Goals

Hi guys!

It’s a bit of a personal post today, rather than a certain topic. I need a good written ramble though, so please bear with me.

This month is going to be a chaotic one in my life for a number of reasons:

  1. I’m back in school, working to become certified for a specific job in the medical field. Anything related to that area means studying, sleeping if possible, more studying, a bit of crying, and then studying again, as I have learned the last few weeks. I loved what I’ve learned so far though, and I am glad I chose a career change.
  2. I’m trying to complete a whole manuscript with Camp NaNoWriMo. It is only a first draft, but the pressure is on, because I chose this MS over one I’ve been working on for ten years and now I feel like this is a monumental decision, because I shelved my dream project(s) for one I hadn’t planned on writing for another ten years. However, I wanted to do an OwnVoices novel, so that is what led me to this one instead. More news on that later, as time progresses.
  3. I’ve assigned myself a massive TBR to complete, because my hope is that I can read enough books to populate posts for every single day of Pride Month in June. Will it happen? Who knows. However, I am still going to try. I’m an ambitious sort, what can I say?
  4. Outside of this, I am a parent, and a person who has to do other things related to being a human. I also have other goals I won’t list here, but ones that could potentially be difficult given that every single free moment from here on out must be scripted or scheduled.

Reading over this you might wonder, why on earth would you take on all of that at once? The answer is short – I’m tired of wasting time where I don’t want to be, career wise. Also, I have stories that need to be told, and ones I want to boost because representation matters, and those seeking it should find it. I’m working towards a better future for myself and my family, as well as my little corner of the world. Sometimes that means making sacrifices, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.

As for the blog, the schedule will retain its normal routine. I’ve got scheduled posts that will drop while I’m busy. In a month I’ll let you all know how this craziness goes, and whether I’ve gained a few gray hairs or not.

So, readers, what about you? Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? What are you entering? Have you got a big TBR, or no? Let’s talk in the comments!

I hope each person who reads this has a swell day!

Until next time,

T.J.

Advertisements

Prioritizing Goals For A Successful Future

In a world of push notifications and near constant immediate gratification, it can become overwhelming, whilst in the midst of the slew of communication that appears at the forefront of our thoughts throughout each day, to remember certain events or facts. This can impact the way we approach our work loads for the year, the month, or even down to the minute. Unless one is determined to prioritize their goals, then they are more likely to be caught up in the endless waves of the all consuming ebb and flow that is life in this current decade.

How then, one might ask, with the hustle and bustle that accompanies the majority of our days, can that be done? To this, I say, there can be a variety of ways, because no two lives or people are exactly the same. Perhaps, for some, that means post it notes placed around their homes, or reminders set in phones. The point is to keep the project, or projects, in the conscious part of thought.

Each one of us have dreams that we fantasize about transitioning into reality. However, without making space for them in our day to day motions, they are most likely to be cast to the side, in favor of procrastination. It’s easy to do when there are other pressing matters in our lives, such as work, school, or family. The case can be made though, that if there is a goal we are adamant to see through to completion, then finding time in a day is crucial to our existences overall, and nothing less.

Outlining; Or, My Attempt At Leveling Up My Writing

Outlining; Or, My Attempt At Leveling Up My Writing

I have raged against proper outlines from the moment I learned of them. I have never been a fan. In the past, I have info dumped, and then continued from there. At least, until now.

Be it the fact that I binge watch certain author YouTubers, such as Jenna Moreci or Alexa Donne, I felt compelled to work harder at my craft. At one point last year, I had almost given up entirely. Their channels, as well as others, kept me from throwing away a life long dream. But as with all dreams, there comes a point where you either have to settle for it as a mere fantasy, or bust your ass to make it a reality. I have chosen the latter.

Yesterday I outlined the first four chapters of a fantasy novel that I have been working on for a while now. By working on, I mean writing chapters or snippets, rather than outlining, when that’s what I should have been doing all along. Sure, I can get by without an outline, but that doesn’t mean I should.

Everyone works differently, of course. However, the more I prepare to write, or continue writing the books I have plans to one day query for publishing, the more I’ve realized my disorganization has affected my output and my motivation for the projects in general. That’s why this year I am sticking to firm goals and/or deadlines. It’s the only way to prepare for what I hope is a life long career of writing.

My goal for this month is to finish that outline. In February, my plan is to be tweaking said outline. Then March the real fun begins with a pre-NaNo writing month that I hope will yield a majority of my first draft. In April, I hope to finish up my first draft during Camp NaNo. When May arrives, I will be taking a breather, for various real life reasons. Once June 1st begins, so will revisions. It is my hope that by July I will be able to write a second draft. Should I do that, August will be a break month. Then comes September and October, or in other words, the months leading up to the main event – National Novel Writing Month. It is here I hope to write my final draft, unless that has already happened in September or October. In which case, I hope that during that month I will be doing last minute checks on the last draft. At some point before January of 2020, I hope to be querying, and so on.

I feel like, given the year I know I have ahead, this is an ambitious schedule. However, it is not impossible.

With that being said, every other post here at least, will pertain to some aspect of the writing process, as that is the main theme of this whole blog. I’m not an expert though, just merely chronicling bits of my life as I continue to work towards what I have hoped to achieve from a very young age. Younger me is counting on older me, so I can’t let them down.

Consistency Is Key

So it’s been a while. Almost a year, to be exact. It seems that’s been the norm for me, up until now at least. In spite of what I have managed with this blog, I actually have developed consistency in other areas of my life. Namely, with my writing, as of late. Yes, I still do that, even if I’m terrible about the upkeep of this blog.

If I’ve learned anything, especially if I want to continue this venture, it’s that I need to foster a schedule that will allow me to incorporate it into the rest of my life. Therefore, I am going to attempt a post once a week. *gasp* I can hear naysayers already, my inner conscience being one of them. Hah. Well, buckle up you negative Nellies, because this is happening.

Now, moving on. The whole point of this blog was to talk and/or vent where applicable about my experiences as a writer. Over the course of the last three years that this blog has been published on the open internet, I’ve done very little writing about writing. Mainly because, I spent a good deal of time procrastinating and/or waiting until the Muse decided they were ready to make an appearance in my daily routine. Well you see, as much as I am terrible about consistency, my Muse is even more so. Which brings me to my next point.

As a writer, or artist of any kind really, you CANNOT wait until inspiration strikes. If you mean to make it a career, it means working on your latest project (s) with the same intensity daily, regardless if it strikes your fancy or not. Because writing or any other form of art is work, no matter what anyone else tells you. It is not easy, and if you got into it because that’s what you wanted, then you may as well tuck tail and run, because this is not the career for you.

In regards to my own writing, I’m still working on the novel I started now eleven summers ago. It has gone through so many different outlines and drafts, that I have lost count at this point. There’s no telling how many versions I’ve made, because as the years have gone on the story has evolved to the point where I changed my main characters entirely, different characters have been scrapped and/or added, the point of view has been swapped from first to a version of third person, and the main overall plot has been changed. If I were to see the very first version of this draft, I might weep out of sheer embarrassment. Yes, it was really that bad, if memory serves me correctly. Which, knowing who I was at roughly 13 years old, I’m sure it does.

My goal for this year is to finish the first and second drafts of the novel, depending on how well I keep to the schedule I’ve set for myself. Where I’m at in life now affords me more time to work on it, if I manage my time wisely. I no longer have a newborn who needs every ounce of my attention, so that does wonders for productivity. So, I should *fingers crossed*, be able to do this.

As I write, I will update this blog on my progress. It keeps me accountable, and talking about it bolsters my excitement to continue. So, that will be the bulk of my posting as I start getting back into it the swing of things. However, there may be some posts here and there, discussing the process of writing, publishing, etc., depending where I’m at with it all. Overall though, I’m glad to be back, and I look forward to producing more blog posts, filled with writerly content for all of those searching just for that.

Until next time,

T.J.

Small Victories

In life, there are many times in which we can celebrate ourselves, or the accomplishments of others. There are some who believe that it’s only when we’ve “made it” that it should be a time for marking the achievements that follow. However, it takes time and effort to reach that point. It also takes a mountain of small victories to be able to launch an avalanche. So, why not start early?

No, this isn’t a post in favor of participation trophies, because I can already hear the grousing from those trouble makers in the back. You know who you are, so just please kindly slink away back to the dredges of society where you came from. Your negativity is not wanted here. Now, that we’ve got that covered, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Making it a point to commend yourself or others for a job well done, at certain stages, is important. It creates a habit, and habits once they are started, are very hard to break. So, rather than reminding yourself of all of your shortcomings, how about celebrating for the things that really matter?

For me, personally, some days it’s simply getting out of bed. With anxiety and depression permanently poisoning my brain on an almost constant basis, it takes effort some days to merely do that. To those who do not suffer from either of those, you cannot even imagine the pain it takes to fight against the voices in your head telling you that you aren’t good enough, and that you probably never will be. From my experience, celebrating my accomplishments, even just by myself, has helped combat my mental illness immensely.

So, I am in favor of building others up, mental illness or not, because at some point there will be someone who wishes to knock you down. How far you fall may not wholly be determined by you, but how you deal in the after math can be changed by a kind word, or a sincere compliment even. I know this all too well, because it is an almost daily cycle of picking myself up again after I’ve mentally fallen. Some days, it’s harder than others, admittedly. But, the fact that I am sitting here writing this post is proof enough that I’ve been doing something right, even after all that I’ve been through. Take that for what it’s worth.

XOXO