Failing Camp NaNoWriMo and Book of the Month

If you’re someone who follows my blog, by now you may have noticed my blog posting schedule has been off kilter. Reflectively, this past month has been one of my most difficult in a while, even compared to both semesters I had 4 classes (20 credit hours) at once. My classes have been almost entirely group projects, which anyone who’s had to participate in them knows the hell that is working with several people at once, especially creative ones who often lack strength in areas besides creativity.

Organizing a film and getting it done is crazy, and for people who work in that industry I cannot begin to understand the patience they have, and that I have none of. Due to all of these school shenanigans and mental health episodes triggered by them, I was unable to finish both main goals I had for the month.

Camp NaNoWriMo, as always, started off great. I was ahead of the minimum for a while, until I decided to change the midpoint. Why did I change the midpoint right when I was getting to the midpoint? I honestly don’t know why it took me that long to realize it didn’t work, but if I hadn’t changed it, I probably would’ve been able to continue at the rate I was going at. I wound up stopping at page 45. I need to finish it, but I think I’ll wait for a little while before I do. I still need to reconstruct the outline.

For July’s Book of the Month, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, I am also about halfway through it, at 164 pages of 369 pages. This is the first time where I haven’t been able to finish a book in the month yet still want to read it. So for that, I plan on binge reading as much as I can in the next couple of days to get it done and perhaps make a delayed post about that. It’s a different type of book than I usually read, but I’m enjoying it. That factor just makes it a little slower of a read, but still an enjoyable one.

I can’t speak for August’s Book of the Month yet, but it’s going to be a shorter one. Is that cheating? I wouldn’t say so. I still get to read a book in a month, at least. I’m thinking of one of my new Stephen King books.

2018 Goals – Halfway Check-in!

Wow, this year has felt like it’s flown by. Maybe it’s due to my overpacked spring schedule, moving, and focusing on getting things done. Either way, I’m holding myself accountable for my goals and theoretically by the end of June, I should be halfway done. How am I standing?

For my weekly goals, excluding week 25 (this week), I have only missed three tasks that range from three different weeks. My focus for the week is between going to the gym at least once, posting one YouTube video, and one blog post to my blog. I have missed going to the gym twice, which is nothing I regret not doing. Next year I think I’m going to up this goal to at least twice a week. The other task I missed was posting a blog a few weeks ago, which was hard to accept, but schoolwork comes first.

For my monthly goals, excluding June as a whole, I’ve only missed one of the three tasks in only one month. I was unable to finish one leisurely book in February, which was Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. I made a blog post about that and why I felt like I couldn’t complete it, so if you’re more interested you can check it out. Otherwise, I haven’t completed any of my June goals quite yet. I’m almost halfway through my book, Anna Dressed in Blood, so look for my book of the month blog post about that.

For my yearly goals, I wanted to write two books, one feature film, have my work-in-progress novel ready for querying, and write two pilot episodes. My Dramatic Writing major denotes that I should be writing in more script form, so I wanted to be able to write a couple of things outside of classes. I managed to write both pilot episodes, one of which I pitched for the school’s selection of student shows. While I didn’t get picked, I still managed to get it done within about a month’s notice which I consider a win. I managed to finish one book I’ve been working on, and I aim by the end of June to finish another book I’ve been working on since NaNoWriMo back in November, and Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I’m about a couple chapters away from finishing it, so I think I can finish it by the end of this month. In July for (previously unbeknownst to me) Camp NaNoWriMo (round two for the summer) I plan on writing the feature film. Regarding my work-in-progress, I have my third and fourth drafts done and have opened the gates for beta readers. So if you want to be a beta reader, check my other post for more information! Otherwise, I have about two planned drafts left, and probably another draft for line edits after those two.

Percentage-wise, I’m about 44% through my weekly goals, 39% through my monthly goals, and 54% through my major goals. I’m confident I can have about 90% done of each, if not 100% by the end of the year!

2018 Goals

Last year I separated my goals into more topical categories, but I was inspired by seeing many bullet journal spreads organizing them by frequency that I decided it would be a potentially more effective way than before. It’ll be harder to achieve the once a week goals, but I look forward to the challenge!

For my weekly goals, perhaps the toughest of all, I want to keep up with three things: go to the gym once a week, make a blog post once a week, and upload one YouTube video once a week. The gym goal will probably be the hardest to achieve. My current student dorm is the second furthest from either of the gyms, but one of the buses I would have to take to get back to my dorm stops by it. I’m not athletic by any means, and because my dorm’s so far from the walkable area of town, I don’t get any exercise anymore. I would theoretically by okay with just half an hour at least once a week. I also would like to make a blog post once a week along with a YouTube video once a week. These two I’m more accustomed to completing on my own. This blog I usually update once a week, and I’ve been getting more persistent with YouTube. I made an entire list of video ideas to get started on as well!

For my monthly goals, they seem rather relaxed but with those intense weekly goals I want to be able to complete them on a regular basis. I want to read at least one book a month in my free time, and not for school. This upcoming semester alone I have eight books to read, and I don’t want to include them. I got a lot of books for Christmas this year, and I look forward to reading them all! I miss leisure reading. Besides reading, I want to submit to two publications each month and have something polished to go out to them. The only non-literature based goal is to hang out with my friends outside of class at least once a month. Usually I become a hermit and rarely leave the dorm except for class but I want to work on being more social and developing the friendships I currently have because I’ve met some great people in the past year or so.

For my major goals for the year, I’ve got a handful of writing goals. Last year I completed my goal of finishing three books, so I was trying to think of how to challenge myself this year, considering I had originally never imagined finishing even two. So this year, I want to finish writing the first drafts of two books, write one feature film, write two pilot episodes to different series, and finally, have my one book from last year ready to send out to agents. The way I’m planning it is having a third draft, fourth draft, sending it out to beta readers and getting their responses, editing a fifth draft accordingly, and then a sixth draft to polish it off.

I’m not entirely sure which task will be the hardest, but it’s a tie between having a polished book and going to the gym once a week. The only days I’ll accept as a gym day, if I’m not at the gym, is if I did at least 30 minutes of walking in an activity like shopping around somewhere or walking a distance like to get to my café. (My cafe takes almost half an hour to get to from the bus stop. The walk back as well would make it count.)

I have a lot of goals this year, and honestly, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be able to complete them all. But if I manage to do at least three quarters of them I’ll be satisfied with myself and call it a productive year. Happy 2018!

2017 Resolutions Results

2017 was the first year I gave myself solid goals that I didn’t forget after the end of the week. I uploaded them to my YouTube channel and let them free into the world. I realized later on I felt a little awkward about letting one of my more personal goals out and decided that I wouldn’t cover it. So here they are:

The road trip must’ve been the one on Spring break, because that was the only road trip I took last year. It was fun jamming in the car with my best friend, and the hours faded away from my memory until we began to get down to the last one where we critiqued Florida’s naming system of towns and looked at all the farms in the middle of generally nowhere that we felt could be a horror story of some sort. I originally had plans to go to the beach in the summer, but those fell through.

I finished all of the books I had been working on last year. The first two I finished last January by adding over 61,000 words in a few weeks alone during my free time from my classes. In July, I focused on completing my third novel for the year and did so as a part of the King Challenge I invented. Over my Winter break in December, I managed to slay the second draft of it. I wanted to surpass my goal by completing a first draft for a novel in NaNoWriMo, however, that didn’t happen.

The final goal I had was to post more frequently on social media. While none of my YouTubing was consistent, I managed to upload 11 videos, which is more than I ever had produced in a year before. I consider that a small victory. I also active on Twitter at the expense of my Tumblr. I haven’t been drawing much serious work, so my art blog isn’t very active but I recognize that that’s okay. Now that my major’s changed and I’m on a different life path, I don’t expect to be drawing as much and certainly not many serious works.

Overall, 2017 was a success. Even if I hadn’t achieved my goals, I worked towards them. I had never even set goals before then, so any attempt at achieving them even halfway I would’ve considered a victory. I definitely didn’t expect to finish two books I had been slaving at for years in the first month. The deadline of a year and the energy of starting a new one inspired me. Before, I would excuse how long it took me to write because of my time at school. After, I recognize that it’s all up to myself to make time to do the things I love, so long as I’m staying healthy while doing so.

Look out next week for my post on my goals for 2018! I had trouble trying to find out how to challenge myself after last year (I never had imagined I could finish even three books in one year) but I think I’ve found a good set of goals.

2017 Resolutions: Halfway Check-In

This year I forced myself to decide on some resolutions to follow. You know; the kind you make on New Year’s and then forget the next day? Or the other ones you try maybe once and then drop. This year I discovered a third kind; resolutions you actually follow through with. I made a video summarizing my goals on my YouTube channel where I went into detail explaining my goals, and so here is my progress.

#1: NICENESS. I’d say I’ve been doing some more things for other people this year. It was a bit difficult when I had a packed course load for my Spring quarter (20 credit hours. Survived with straight A’s and my 4.0 intact!) to find free time (or rather, free energy) to generally help people, but I did little things to help when I could. One of the things was making snacks for the people around me. I always have time for food, and I’d commonly bake cookies or brownies for my room mates and classmates just to make the day a bit sweeter. Midterms and finals are hectic, and usually everyone around me is buzzing around worrying about their projects and setting aside important things like sleeping, eating, and bathing. I’m not entirely sure how I always wind up with free time to do these things, but I won’t question a working situation too intensely. With some of that free time, I’ve been also considering becoming a peer tutor for the Fall quarter. There’s always room to improve myself as a person –which is why I have this on my resolutions– so I look forward to what I’ll do in the future.

#2: ROAD TRIP. I haven’t officially gotten to this one yet, seeing as I just recently arrived back in the area where I grew up, so I haven’t gone anywhere else yet. I’m still trying to work out the details with potentially going to Centralia, seeing as it’s a doable drive from where one of my homes is. Technically I did a road trip with my best friend Maddie driving down to my mom’s house in Florida for Spring Break, but it wasn’t really for driving and enjoying the road and the stops along the way. It was more so to get back to my mom’s house to show Maddie that town. Another possible road trip, or at least, vacation, is going to the beach with my #homesquad. They’re my closest friends from my years of public school, and the plan is currently to spend the weekend after the fourth of July at my grandparents’ beach house. Whatever I do, I’ll try to make a vlog of it.

#3: FINISH MY CURRENT BOOKS. I started the year with three books that I was seriously writing, and by that, I mean I plan to publish them one day. At the time of posting the video, I managed to already finish one book. I’d been working on it for almost six years, but boy did it feel good to finally finish that draft. It was like an adrenaline rush. I rode that success high for the next two weeks and managed to finish another book I’d been working on for about four years. In that first month, I wrote over 300 pages. In February, I began writing the sequels to both books. (My writing process is a jumbled one; I think I might write a post about it another time.) During that month, I also managed to rack in another hundred or so pages. My third and final book included in this goal, I have barely touched. Like I mentioned earlier, I just got back to my home region, which is where I need to be to write it. I have it all planned out in detail, I just need to sit down and write it. I’d do it as a part of Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’ve already gotten about 80 pages done (22,381 words) and that’s cheating. I’ll make my goal to finish it in July, however, as a part of my own challenge I’ll be making myself. (And of course I’ll be posting that here to share with you all as well!)

#4: POST MORE FREQUENTLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA. This one I’ve still been working on, however, I feel like I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I began updating and going on my Twitter more often. At the very least, I’ve made the effort to post on it. I’ve been in the process of developing my own Facebook page, and that’s been steadily going along. I also created this blog recently. With my YouTube channel, I’ve been thinking of different ideas to do and it’s just a matter of doing them. So far, I’d say I’ve been doing satisfactorily on my progress for this, despite the fact I’ve been posting a bit less to my personal Tumblr blog and my art blog. In my own defense, I haven’t had many opportunities to make much art lately, but I’ll be doing that more now that I have free time.

When I was recently thinking about my goals, I realized that half of what got me to do them was the fact I published them online. Initially, I didn’t think that doing so would push me to follow through with any of them. I’m notorious for going on a kick with something, dropping it to go to something else, and then coming back to it months later. However, this time I somehow unintentionally gave myself social pressure to do the things I wanted to. My anxiety in my subconscious was probably going, “Well, you told people you’re going to do these things. They have the proof right there. Are you gonna do it?” Granted, that video doesn’t have many views nor did I link it anywhere besides my twitter, but I guess it was enough of a push that I needed to work on them.

For some people, announcing their goals might just kill their commitment to doing them. For me, it’s the opposite; it fuels me to meet them, whether it be through both my own anxiety or my own excitement, I think I’ve been making some decent progress with 2017.