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The funk of 2019 befell my first quarter of 2020.  Get sick for a couple of weeks, lose some loved ones, and fall desperately behind, and I suppose it will linger for a while.

Now with the world the way it is, I have to admit that the last month of quarter one hammered me with some more setbacks.

Since I’m not one to complain too vehemently, I want to focus on my lessons and what I did accomplish instead of focusing too greatly on what I didn’t. So, let’s get the icky bits out of the way.

Honesty: I gave up trying to write in my current project because of the state of the world and the stresses it caused globally, nationally, locally, and personally. Two weeks of no words means a loss of  roughly 7,000 words. Sigh.

I also had to give up on my edit catch up for two weeks as I graded papers and replanned the rest of my semester to film, edit, and add participation for my new online classes.

Finally, I back-burnered my fitness goals and my marketing/ad/sales planned for the quarter.

All right, let’s get on with the positive and lessons learned over the last three months.

First, I finally finished a project that I’ve been trying to complete since July of 2019. Something that should have taken me three months stunned me with its difficulty. I hated writing in it most of the time. Then…I read it.

Holy shit. It’s good! I’ve impressed myself. The consciousness I had during the process really paid off, even though it seemed like torture at the time. And now, I have a cover and just need to set up a landing page to shove it out into the world! Quarter two, I have plans for you!

Speaking of quarter two, I had planned on finishing my new novel, the sequel to The Girl with the Glowing Hair, dubbed Graves Two currently. But since I tabled that, needing a serious amount of my brains to fix some of the outlining problems I’m currently experiencing, I’m trading it in for a new idea in April. One that’s fun and not so serious that I can crank out and let consume me at times. 

It’s seriously necessary at the moment. And May will mean picking up Graves Two…unless I get hooked into finishing this project, which could happen.

Back to last quarter, I wrote a nice 29,500 words. That’s nothing to scoff at given the amount of work I put on my plate. Was it the 45,000 I wanted? No, but you know what, that’s 29,500 words that I didn’t have before, and I’m excited about it.

I also made SOO much progress on my freelancing project. The website almost done, pitch written, a loose cover letter and  resume on standby, and my scripts are ready for me to film. I was so scared to do this for so long, and it feels nice to see some actual, tangible progress. Woot!

Now, the real successes have come in my reading. Three books a month!? Are we serious right now? I went from three last year to three a month. I am loving it. And it’s taking the place of my work when I get overwhelmed. 

This has lead me to making more videos, too. Almost enough for two videos a week, and it’s tailspinning me into an addictive line of thinking for the summer when classes are over….daily challenges. But this isn’t the time or place for that.

Not yet. We’ll get there.

In any case, this last month has been a great reading month, and I’ve enjoyed each of the books I’ve read so far. And even the books that I struggled with, especially in February…cough cough, Lord of the Flies, cough cough…I’ve appreciated pushing through until the end. Poor Piggy.

I’m really hoping that I can build my reading up to four or five books a month, but if we’re being honest, which of course we are, I’m not sure how realistic this is with the amount I read otherwise. We’re talking up to 650 essays a year, 300-plus short story submissions, plus editing the ones I accept at least twice, thousands of articles from research, hundreds of thousands of emails, and I’m sure I could keep going. So, I’m  just setting myself up for failure. 

But still, books. I want to read more of them.

Finally, quarter two is going to refocus me on my health. I’ve restarted my favorite work-out regime, Chalean Extreme. Weight lifting makes me happy. I’m going to refocus my writing, participate in Camp Nanowrimo, and jump on my #100daychallenge to write 500 words a day for 100 days. I want to publish at least three new shorts during this time. I plan to build my online course for college students and new writers. I will absolutely finish up our On Time anthology, Kickstarter, and hardback book box. And finally, we will be cleaning and fixing our house. I have the summer set up for this, so we will at least be starting if not finishing this project.

So, am I crazy? Yup, probably. Welcome to the diaries of a workaholic.

Tell me about how your quarter was, your plans for quarter two, and let me know how you are otherwise.