Check out my writing vlog with some clips of me trying out my new meat grinder, baking for Easter, making drinks, cute kitty closeups, and my struggle against the clock and writer’s block.
I’m at the end of my book, and y’all, it’s hard to craft the right ending. Being nearly there gives me so much anxiety, but I can almost feel the relief of having draft one done.
Of course, since it’s hard to write, I’m not getting a whole lot of words in, so I’m counting my plotting time—you know, the time I sit and stare at my work even when the words don’t come, and my research into my own 940+ page book to be sure I’m being consistent.
However, with all of that finagling, I didn’t catch up from last week, and I missed out on a few minutes this week, too. Oh happy days.
So, let’s look at my final numbers:
Week One | April 4-10
Minutes Logged: 831/875
Minutes Behind: 44 (plus the 90 from last week)
Words Written: 2,596
Total Words in Manuscript: 253,709
Y’all, I can’t really be too mad at myself. The numbers don’t count as much as I want them to because I just want to finish this behemoth in any way that I can. Sitting with it every day seems to be doing the trick, so I just have to stick with it.
I’m almost to the last major plot point, a couple of pages away in fact. And I’m trying not to freak out.
No worries though, I still have massive amounts of work to do on this to finish it out, filling in some scenes, and giving myself some more space to explore the alphas that I restrained in cycle fourteen—aka, I tried to limit them too much in word count and now need to go back and beef them up a bit. Let them grow!
All right, I’m going to stop stalling and get back to work.
Let me know how your writing is going this April in the comments below, and I’ll see y’all next week for another update.
Check out my writing vlog with the kitties and my crying while I write, cooking chicken noodle soup and playing in my bullet journal.
I’ve written more these last few days than I have for most of the month of March. Work has been killing my energy, so the daily habit has made me happy.
However, I am behind. Counting minutes makes me far more flexible with my writing time as long as I write every day. And that’s a win so far.
So, let’s look at my final numbers:
Week One| April 1-3
Minutes Logged: 285/375
Minutes Behind: 90
Words Written: 2,164
Total Words in Manuscript: 251,190
Here we are. I’ve got some time to make up. Days off are excellent for that as long as I don’t let myself get too far behind.
I won’t. I vow it!
I will finish this book. That is one of my goals for this camp experience.
Overall, I hope to write every day, to edit cycle four, send cycle three to my betas, track my time and my words, participate in sprints, vlog every day, and write for 125 minutes a day (my actual camp nano goal).
I don’t think I’m asking too much from myself. At least I hope not.
Wish me luck, y’all! I’m almost there.
Are you participating in camp? How are you tracking your progress this go around? Let me know in the comments below!
Okay, so I’m pretty sure everyone understands that 2020 didn’t go as planned. My year didn’t either, and with that in mind, I’m going to be loose in my evaluation of my goals.
2020’s actual goals:
Write 152,500 words in various projects, like the second Lily Graves novel, Loving Them Both (the final installment in a trilogy), and seven short stories.
Edit On Time, Lily Graves 2, and those seven shorts.
Market with consistent content, Kickstarter, Bookbub, swaps, and A/B ad testing.
Build a Broken World companion, a family cookbook, freelance clients, tutoring clients, and a $40k income.
Reach bestseller status, Kickstarter success, financial freedom, and 175 pounds.
Learn twelve new recipes, web coding, my camera settings, insta stories, and how to use a saw.
Create On Time book boxes, a new desk, and a filming space.
Fitness: 1 pull up, run 5-10k, do a handstand, and increase flexibility.
Make a habit of writing every day, increasing water intake, increasing cardio, eating cleaner, work abs, and reading regularly.
Fix my home.
Yeah, that’s a lot of specifics, isn’t it? I can tell you right now, most of this didn’t happen. First, let’s see what I did accomplish.
2020’s ACTUAL accomplishments:
I wrote 246,215 words in 2020. Fiction words. This does not include all of the other things that I write regularly. Next year, I will be tracking those as well. So, I definitely hit my word count goal, although not in the projects I’d planned.
I edited and published On Time. Check!
I created consistent content on YouTube, better content on Instagram, and okay content on wordpress and facebook and emails.
I started taking notes on my Broken World companion, although it’s not much. I’ve also collected a great deal of recipes for my cookbook.
I reached Kickstarter success with our On Time campaign!
I learned twelve new recipes, one includes an amazing chocolate cake that I make weekly.
I created and mailed 26 book boxes, unearthed a plain filming space, and built new organization for my desk.
I can hang for a full minute but no full pull up, and I’ve made greens a major part of my diet. Butter is still my greatest weakness, however.
I succeeded in my writing habits, my cardo habits, and my reading habits (over 100 books this year)!
And I got myself a better paying job with some fun people.
All in all, that’s not a bad list.
I feel like I’ve accomplished much of my intentions regardless of the projects I poured into. Lofty goals always make me push harder, so I plan to keep making them.
How did you do in 2020? What are you plans for 2021? Let me know in the comments below!
It’s the end of the year, and the burnout is real. Writing nearly double the words in 2020 as I did in 2019 and NaNoWriMo killed my brain function. I swear.
Pair that with editing and publishing an anthology with 74 stories, and brain has mushed. As it has a tendency to do. I often like to push myself past where I should.
I probably wouldn’t do this so often if it didn’t produce such nice results. The problem with this, however, is when my productivity dips, I chastise myself with how lazy I’m being, how I could be making this or getting that done. It’s not healthy.
So, it’s time to refill the well, and if I plan some of it into my schedule, I can feel like I’m not just wasting time.
Here are some of the things I plan to do to take care of my creativity and mental health:
Baking—chocolate cake, brownies, cinnamon rolls, cookies (of all varieties), and pies. I love to make sweets. The boys love to eat these, too, if they can get ahold of them before I do. I found this new chocolate cake recipe that is the fudgiest thing ever. We compared it to the boxed stuff, and man, does this beast kill on flavor. If you bake, try it out and let me know if you like it!
Trying New Recipes—cooking in general is my main contribution to my family, so often, this feels like another chore. Unless I’m trying a new recipe. I love experimenting. It’s the best when the family likes the new meal, which also adds a new choice to the rotation, but I also really like to try some strange things. So when I get a chance to meddle in something that’s just for me, it’s a real treat. Got any suggestions? Drop them below for me!
Reading Books—on average, I’ve been reading between eight and twelve books a month. With my new job, I’m not sure how those numbers are going to sway, but reading amps up my creativity. I’ll read in my genre, out of my comfort zone, nonfiction, and it all offers me something new. I love that about books. If you’re a reader, please make me some recommendations.
Coloring—I’m a big kid, and as I’d like to start drawing and painting again, I love to color. Give me a line-drawing and hand over those colored pencils, and I am on top of that. I’m layering colors and using different strokes to enhance my masterpiece. I used to do this for my bullet journal. I have a Bob’s Burgers coloring book that I can’t wait to crack open.
Sudoku & Puzzles—I LOVE puzzles, number puzzles, word puzzles, and jigsaw puzzles. I need to get my hands on more of the last. I’ll spend an entire day working on a 1,000 piece one, and the best part is that the family can come and help. The downfall…cats. We need a safe place to store them.
Planning—I truly love my bullet journal, my traveler’s notebook, and my home-made mini–Happy Planner. I also have so many sheets for preplanning and book planning, and I probably overdo it just a tad, but when I’m exhausted, I like to dabble in them. It means drawing and crafting and paper and markers and a different kind of creativity that can lead to future results. Two birds meet stone.
Down Time with the Family—Sometimes, it’s just nice to sit on the couch, play a game on my iPad and have the boys talk about gaming and stocks and reddit and the news. It’s nice to play with the kitties. It’s nice to watch a movie or new show or eat cake together and talk. It’s just nice.
YouTube Binge—I have some clear trends on my YouTube feed: Korean cafes and cooking, planning/bullet journaling, booktube, authortube, cake decorating, Eva Fitness (Mira is magnetic y’all) and other workout girls, soap making (Royalty Soaps!), illustrators and their packing videos, and pop music. I can find myself running the rabbit hole in spirals.
Working Out—this is a habit that’s serving me so well. I started working out consistently about ten years ago. And not only does it have all of those chemical reactions that signal happiness and elevate the mood, but I’ve noticed while working with some people half my age to eight years my junior that I have a lot more energy than they do. I don’t have complaints about standing around, bending or lifting things, or a bad back. I mean, sure, my back or my hip or my neck might get me on the occasion, but regular weights and stretching and cardio really do keep me young. Also, walking and running and stretching is a great way to brainstorm ideas, too.
Resting—Oh, this one is hard. Sitting or lying with nothing to do. Just letting my mind wander…it’s not something I often do. Even when I go to bed, I have cartoons playing in the background. It’s my overactive mind. When I don’t engage it, it goes off on its own, and that can be great, but it isn’t always, which is likely why I tend to avoid it. I think some meditation or guided breathing might do me good.
Yup, that’s a great big list. Is there anything on your unwinding, self-care, or refilling the well activities list that isn’t on mine? Please, share them with me! I love new ideas. If you do anything on my list, tell me about it!
Check out my writing vlog with the kitties and Bob’s Burger Monopoly, sweet tart martinis and workouts, bullet journal set ups and lots of freaking out about my word count racking up to the sweet 50k.
Welp, I did it. I wrote all of the words.
Somehow, the universe lined up just right to let me complete this challenge. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I put in A LOT of work. I sat with my book when I didn’t feel like it, when I barely had the time for it, when the words didn’t want to come, when I had too much going on with life. I forced myself to hit that wordcount or make it up if I got behind. And it worked.
I managed no zero-word days. One day below a thousand, and most of the days were close to the goal (between 1600 and 1800 words). I got one day of over 3,000 this week because of my 500-word day, which was Thanksgiving. I had a headache all day, plus, holiday.
So, let’s look at my final numbers:
Week Four & Five| November 22-30
Words Written: 50,053
Words Ahead: 53
Total Words in Manuscript: 204,116
Yup. That happened. It really did. And as excited as I am about it, I think I need a rest! Not that I plan to put my book down for any length of time. I’m just going to take it easy on myself. 850 words a day doesn’t sound too bad after 1,667 a day, right? Well, we can thank my writeropoly board for that.
Ultimately, it pushes me toward my goal of consistently writing a thousand words a day. One day. One day.
I also have no planned celebration for winning Nano (and getting a new job). Let me know what you think I should do to celebrate. And please tell me about how your November went in the comments below.
Check out my silly writing vlog where I freak out about how close I am to completing not only NaNoWriMo but my manuscript as a whole. Yikes! I also pack and ship my new book boxes.
This was a good week for the words, which is odd since I had a couple of low-energy days. Or to say plainly, I’m getting tired. However, I am almost DONE with story thirteen of fourteen. Yeah.
I’m pretty sure the looming end is the only thing keeping me going, even though I have no idea what I’m doing in story fourteen.
I also had two interviews this week for a job, and that’s made me excited and is pushing me to get the words before I might not have the time to put into it.
But y’all. I am actually keeping up. I can’t believe it.
So, let’s look at my numbers so far:
Week Three | November 15-21
Words Written: 35,047
Words Ahead: 40
Words To-Be Written: 14,953
Look at that! I’m way past the hump, and if I’m being honest, I’m a bit terrified about the end of this project.
It’s so long, and it’s come together so quickly. I hope I make the right choice at the end.
As a side note: with the tired I’ve been feeling, I’ve distracted myself with some fun, like making a new reading challenge game (aka a TBR game), and it’s complicated, which I totally love. Next week, I’ll be working on my new writing challenge game.
If you didn’t know, I currently play bookopoly and writeropoly every month to challenge myself.
So with that in mind, if you have any challenges or prompts for either game, please leave them in the comments below for me so I can add them to my game. And be sure to let me know how you’re doing!
This week came with its ups and downs, but I’m actually doing nano… watch me freak out a little about it in my vlog:
I had a few days where I wasn’t feeling particularly productive, so I let myself have the day on Saturday to putz around, play games, and read after I struggled to get any words out on Friday. I did, however, return to my manuscript and bang out over seventeen-hundred words.
I’m trying to listen to my body more, and when the words don’t come after some heavy work, I might be close to burning out. A headache usually confirms it. Hence the rest day.
I keep making it back to put the work in, though. It’s all about that grit at this point.
So, let’s look at my numbers so far:
Week Two | November 8-14
Words Written: 22,819
Words Behind: 519
Words To-Be Written: 27,181
With all of these words, I was able to get through story twelve of fourteen. Only two stories are left in my project, and I can’t believe it.
Unfortunately, my plotting has fallen behind, and I haven’t finished figuring out what’s going to happen between Winter and Newt. That isn’t such a good place to be in, but I have a feeling that writing Newt will help me more than the planning might.
And I also might be freaking out a little bit about story fourteen. I still don’t know who I’m going to choose or how much of that part of the story is meant to go. This terrifies me, but it shouldn’t. Afterall, I used to write entire books without a plan.
Maybe, it’s how massive this one is that scares me. I guess we’ll see.
All right, y’all, now that I’m rambling about my fears and process, it’s about time to get back to it instead of yammering about it.
Let me know how you’re doing this month in the comments below.
It is NaNoWriMo season, and I have been training hard to create a consistent writing routine. Last month with my writer-opoly challenges, I got my 750 words a day—or 23,250 words for the month. I was 500 shy of that goal, so I still consider this a success. It helped me get ready for 1,667 words a day in November.
Yup, that’s what National Novel Writing Month is for: writing 50,000 words in thirty days.
We authors are a crazy lot, yeah?
Well, it’s the first time I’ve gotten to participate in the ACTUAL NaNoWriMo because November is usually the time for grading essays and midterms and readying for finals. It’s usually a time of editing stories for a December publication. And since I have neither of those things this month. I’m going to give that 50,000-word goal a genuine try.
Here’s a little comparison of my Preptober goals, and all of those nice boxes that I did not check off, with my goals for November, where you’ll see I was nicer to myself because…let’s face it, the word count goal for the month is a killer. It’s hard to do anything else.
One thing I’ve really noticed during the first week of Nano is that the sprints have been my friends. I’m doing four or five of them a day to combat with writing fatigue, and my chart is a lifesaver for keeping myself on track.
I’m off to an okay start for week one. Even with going to the dentist and the job interview that I got lost after, I’m not as far behind as I would have predicted.
So, let’s look at my numbers so far:
Week One | November 1-7
Week One | November 1-7
Words Behind: 221
Words To-Be Written: 38,552
See! I’m doing okay. I’m roughly 165,000 words into Wooing the Alpha, and that’s over 600 pages, by he way. My end goal is 210,00-220,000 words for this project, so I’m getting close.
Here’s hoping NaNoWriMo gets me to a good spot where the end is in sight.
This project has been a rollercoaster. And being in the muddy bit—the end of the middle—during a high-powered month like this may seem a little insane. I’m not running on the shiny new project high to get me through this.
This is all grit and grinding, folks.
I’ve trained all year for it. And damn it, I want to be a winner at the end of this.
So wish me luck, y’all, and tell me about what you’re working on in November. Is it Nano? Is it something else? Let me know in the comments below.
Y’all, NaNoWriMo is on its way. In less than a month, I will be participating in my first-ever real National Novel Writing Month. Typically, I’m in school right now and have been for the last seventeen years (between my education and educating others). The end of the year also usually means I’m elbow-deep into an anthology.
Well, I have neither of those responsibilities this year. Does that mean I can pull off 50,000 words in a single project? I have no idea. Probably not, but you know what? I’m going to try.
The way nano works is that authors are meant to start a brand-new project and get that first draft done in 50,000 words.
I’m not doing that.
I’m still working on my Wooing the Alpha project, which I already have 136,000 words in.
My goal for nano is to get as far as I can in this 210,000-word project. If I can accomplish this, I’ll have this baby done by January.
Let’s sidetrack for just a second and just say that writing 210,000 words in a year is near twice what I did last year.
2020 has been nutso.
Okay, now let’s talk Prep-tober.
October is the time to prep, prep, prep as much as possible to be ready to simply write in November. Here are my goals: establish a new routine, outline the rest of the story, and character website pages. I have several video and blog ideas to keep up with the non-writing prep as well.
This is my bujo spread for easy reference.
My new routine is packed with writing sprints and ways to refuel my creativity between—and of course, to complete necessary work. I want to track more, which has been fun so far this month. I want to be here more! And y’all, as always, I need to work out more than once a week. I’m so much more productive when I do.
I also have five more stories to prep before I’m done with this baby. Whoo!
Creating character profiles on my website is a great way to amp up my brainstorming and character development while adding to my author presence. It makes total sense to me. That’s why I’m focusing on stats, pictures, and synopses, which will be helpful for those back blurbs.
While I’m doing all of this craziness, and still writing, I want to find my cover photos, to build some test covers, brainstorm titles, practice vlogging daily, create teasers, relaunch my marketing platforms, and prepare my launch plan for this Wooing the Alpha series.
Nope, didn’t pile my plate too high at all!
Wish me luck, y’all, and tell me if you’re prepping this October and what you’re working on.
Want to watch me set up this spread and talk more in detail about my goals? Check out my video!
Camp NaNoWriMo is over! And wow, I pushed myself so much further than I thought I could. My stretch goal of completing two and a half cycles is done. Finished. I did it. I won!
What the shit? I wish I could write like this every month, but I’ve backed off a bit more the last few days in an attempt to recover.
My brain still hurts.
I also got through my re-read of Project Graves 2, and I was pleasantly surprised by what I had there, and that it seemed like so little at 35,000 words. The best part is, I got past my writer’s block and figured out what needs to happen next. Now, I need to double check it against the new outline and continue to revise as necessary.
I’ve also started the branding and marketing plans for this series, which is super freaking exciting. If you’re interested in this wolf erotica series, and similar things, here’s my website for Autumn Lishky. I don’t typically cross-promote, but it’s my Nano Project, so we have some overlap.
I did fail, however, in most of my writer-opoly prompts, but I’m working on that for August, adding them on to my new rolls. Yay for me! I definitely beat that word count goal though.
Anyways, let’s look at the numbers!
Week One | July 26-31
Minutes Completed: 736/720
Minutes Ahead: 2
Words Written: 8,045
That brings me to 39,067/20,150
I’m halfway through Marsh, and he’s my midpoint for the series as a whole. Yikes! I need to get planning the next few bits so I can keep up the productivity.
Especially since I’m planning to have this series launch in January 2021.
Want to watch me do all the things, like making banana muffins and play with cats? Check out my camp writing vlog:
How did your July go? Let me know in the comments below!