Journal

MONTHLY GOALS REVIEW – April 2021

Chipping away at everything, under Coffee Owl’s diligent gaze.

Although it’s not quite the end of the month yet (and a day late! Oops!), I thought it was a good time to check in with my annual/monthly writing goals. It’s kind of nice to have a week to try to remedy anything behind schedule. Helps organize priorities in the short-term!

So to begin: April has been a solid month. Chunked away at the novel word count. Having the entire thing sketched out in a massive scene list definitely seems to help motivation, in that I can pick and choose what kind of scene I feel like any given day.

One downside of the skipping around is that I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to do a massive read-through edit to take out redundancies, smooth transitions, and modify tension/tone to grow appropriately. And it’s made me realize how much I’d like to have the time to write whole, complete scenes in a single go (or at least have time at the end of the day to review and smooth things out). It’s nice to feel the structure of the scene as complete.

I also wrote a new short story that’s currently tucked in and resting for future review. I was hoping I could use April as a kind of modified Chekhov month (writing a new story each week), but reviewing things for possible submission stole a few of those weeks, and derailed the (loose) plan. I may try again in May, for fun, as I really like regularly working on short fiction to keep my skills up and to build a stable of stories to choose from, but I also need to balance that with finding time to edit and submit things.

No new submissions yet, but I think I can get “The Showerlier” out by the end of the month, which will derail new short stories for the rest of April, but I reeeeeally need to get this out.

No new summary draft, but that hasn’t been the focus so far this year. Hopefully as I wrap up the current novel (and/or find a touch more uninterrupted time come next school year?) I’ll be able to chip away at this.

Total Word Count is moving right along at 76,253 / 100,000 completed. And we’re not even to June yet! So feeling pretty fine about that.

So far, have only read two books this month (BREASTS AND EGGS and CETAGANDA), but I think I can finish BANKER by the 30th, and I’m hoping to bridge the gap with a novella to hit four books.

I have successfully re-established the habit of reading 1 short story a day, which feels fantastic, so I’m hoping to maintain that moving into May. Habits-wise, I’d love to establish a habit of generating 3-5 story ideas every day for practice, but we’ll see when that happens.

In other stats, I’ve made five submission attempts (better than I expected, actually, though still have a long way to go before I feel confident about that), no personal rejections yet, and I’ve still got one story sold (just waiting on the contract to announce it), though–of course–I’d love to get more out and see that number climb.

Main priorities for the end of the month are getting “The Showerlier” submitted, and finish two more books.

^ ^ ^

How has your month been going? Have you been making progress on the things that matter most to you? If progress is feeling hard to come by these days, and boy! is it reasonable to be struggling right now, what little change or small habit can you focus on that will help get you gently back on the right track? And as always, I’d love to hear what’s inspiring you these days! Hang in there. Another month is on the way, and it’s a great time to start fresh!

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