cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Yikes! It's been awhile since I've popped by. I've been updating my WriYe progress thread, though, and I've been more productive than I usually am. Well, here's to coming back and having a more public form of accountability. In June, I started this challenge called the Ray Bradbury Challenge, which is writing a short story each week. I've already flubbed one week, last week, but I'm catching up now. I'm excited that I've got nearly 400 people on board too. 

Here are my goals for July:
  • Write 4 short stories. [Camp NaNo Goal: 20,000 words.]
  • Read 3 books and write reviews.
  • Write the copy for the home page of my author website.
  • Write 4 blog posts for my author website.
  • Write the perma pages for lit mag.
  • Edit: G1 and NV and Pride Park stories [3]
  • Critique for: Paul, Dax
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 I've already lost a day (Monday), so I'm working with 6 days. That's all right. :) 

  1. Finish Scrivener tutorial.
  2. Write 2 permanent pages for website.
  3. Write 1,000 words for Cozy 1.
  4. Brainstorm 10 letters for challenge.
  5. Write 2 synopses for challenge (preferably A and B).
  6. Read one book and review.
  7. 50% edits for Liz.
  8. 100% edits for Paul.
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 I don't want to set myself up for failure and call this a May goals post since half of the month (more than half) has passed. So, mid-month it is.
  1. Finish Scrivener tutorial.
  2. Write down all potential topics/themes for the A-Z challenge..
  3. Set up the A-Z challenge in Scrivener -- the challenge is one project, and each letter gets its own folder. Since there will be two stories per folder, I'll just nest the stories in them. I want to set it up in advance, though, for easy access.
  4. Write 2,000 words for Cozy 1.
  5. Read 2 books and review on Goodreads.
  6. Edit two manuscripts. [Liz's and Paul's] Return them.
  7. Set up in Scrivener the 6-part novelette series and start to plan each story in more detail.
  8. Write the permanent pages for literary magazine website.

That's still kind of a lot to do. Fortunately, the first couple won't take too long. I'm nearly halfway finished with the tutorial now already. Setting up the challenge in Scrivener won't take long either. Still, I better get moving. Weekly goal post coming soon.



cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Okay, so, I really like that word. Sue me. (Please don't.) It's the second-to-last day of February, which, of course means there are only two days left to edit this client's manuscript. To say I'm freaking out is an understatement. 

Not to mention I work my day job (which is kind of an anytime-of-the-day job) on both these days.

As of right now, I have 56 pages left to edit, which isn't too bad. I can knock that out in three or four hours this late at night . (I'm much less productive after midnight, but I have my ways to stay awake.) The scary part is that I still have to go back and address all those things I need to research throughout the manuscript, which is about two-hundred random comments. I'm not even sure how long that'll take. Two days, probably. 


I suppose, then, I'd better make this a short and sweet post. 

Let's see, a recap. 

I finished the final two books in the cozy series, and it ended exactly how I knew it'd end. (No spoilers.) I also wrote reviews for both books. I never did actually write the short story for the crime anthology, and, after seeing the quality of the cover and some of the stories, I'm kind of glad I didn't. You know that phrase "guilty by association?" Well, that's why. I'm spending a lot of time and energy building this series, so I need to ensure its quality, which means I need to ensure the quality of all the other stories in the anthology. I don't like to badmouth other indie authors because, well, the world kind of does that to us already, so I'll just say that there were a lot of corners cut. Besides, if I were to bang out the piece in a day or two, it'd leave little time to edit and no time to send it to beta readers. I'm starting to be okay with not finishing. I do, however, still have a detailed outline of the story, so I'll work on it next month and do it right. Maybe I'll even expand it to a novella-sized story and put it up as a solo project. It did keep wanting to expand past the five-thousand word limit. I'm thinking maybe fifteen-thousand words? 


And my goals now. I want to only focus on these two days before even thinking about March. Basically, my only goal is to finish editing this manuscript and get it back to my boss-lady before 11:59pm on Tuesday. I doubt I'll even read my book until it's finished. 

I'll make sure to come back on or around March 1 to dive into more goals.  
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 February is halfway over, and I'm wondering where all this time is going. Certainly, not in my writing projects! Here are some updates!
  • I'm on book 12 of the year. (And I'm over halfway through with it.) This is the penultimate book in the cozy series.
  • I actually started editing the client's manuscript - about time, too. I was asked to copy edit, but after taking a closer look, I saw it needed a little more than that. I'm dipping into line editing territory. I'm nearly on page 40, which, in two days, is pretty good for me. [My goal is to get to page 60 before going to bed tonight.] I need to edit at least 20 pages a day to finish on time. *yikes*
  • I started planning my own cozy mystery series - about the English teacher. I'm having a lot of fun with it too. I need to have that all planned by Sunday, so I can start writing the short story.
  • For now, I've shelved the children's adventure story. I'll pick it up later this year when I can figure out what it's missing.

And, of course, where would I be without my goals?
  • Edit 30 pages a day. I want to finish this project by next Friday. It'll give me four days to go over all my comments and do research to fix individual problems I didn't address before. [This will take approximately 4 hours a day.]
  • Plan the cozy series - complete with the town history and characters - by the end of this Friday (tomorrow!).
  • Plan the short story for the anthology by the end of this Sunday - the 19th.
  • Write the short story and have it finished and edited by next Sunday - the 26th. [One week is doable.]
    • To break it down a bit, I want to write from Monday to Friday, let it sit on Saturday, and edit it on Sunday. If I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I want to have it written from Sunday to Wednesday and send it off to one beta reader on Thursday, get it back on Saturday, and edit on Sunday.
  • Finish reading this cozy series by Sunday - and write the remaining two reviews, of course.  
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Hello, productivity. It's nice to meet your acquaintance. Each year, I always feel a big push to "DO ALL THE THINGS" in January, but it seems like it's my least productive month. What's with that?! I always feel like February should start the year, while still being the second month. I'm not sure how that works, but let's just go with it. In the one week that has been February, I've been as nearly productive as I've been in the four weeks prior to it.

I'm focusing on the positives here, okay?

Here's what I've done and planning to do -


  • I managed to read nine books this year so far. I'm currently entrenched in a murder mystery series, cozy of course, and I have four books left. Three and a half, really.
  • I inadvertently signed up to read one hundred cozies this year in a Goodreads challenge, so I'm scrambling to find books in various subgenres. This opened up my eyes to potential writing projects too!
  • I currently have 13,299 words written this year. I'm aiming to have 60,000 words by the end of the month.
  • My children's adventure story is not as adventurous as I planned. I'm slogging through the first draft while taking notes for future edits.
  • I decided to convince a friend to extend an anthology deadline so I can submit a story for it. Instead of the original outline I planned, I'm writing a short story to work as a supplement to my own murder mystery series.
  • So far, I have nine adult murder mystery series and two children's murder mystery series planned. (Not all to be completed - or started - this year, but they've been planned to various degrees.
  • The first one I'm starting features a creative writing teacher as an amateur sleuth, and she loves all things Shakespeare.  
  • I revised a clients manuscript after flubbing pretty bad on it. (I notated the scene numbers incorrectly. It's good I'm not a math teacher!)
  • I still have a full-length manuscript to copy edit and deliver to the client by the end of the month. I haven't started yet.
But there is time yet to complete everything! :) 

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
I have a nifty spreadsheet that tells me when I'm on target or if I'm horribly off-schedule. (It's the latter right now for me.) I am 24.287 words BEHIND schedule. That's scary, honestly. Instead of holing myself up for two days, neglecting all my responsibilities, and writing, I decided to just catch up by the end of this month. Unfortunately, it's not a leap year, so I have 28 days to work with. Actually, I have 24 days left to work with. The spreadsheet tells me I should have 60,000 words by the end of this month (PANIC!) and I'm nearly 25,000 words behind already. That means, I have to write something like 48,000-someodd words to write this month. I rounded it to 50,000 words because I like easy-to-remember numbers.

Essentially, I'm playing NaNoWriMo in February. And that doesn't include the manuscripts I need to edit for clients. Or taking care of my kids, the house, my out-of-home work, or the number of other projects I have.

So, I just need to take this thing one day at a time.

Daily, what I need to accomplish is:
  • 2,000 words written for my current WIP.
  • 20 pages edited for client manuscript - SS.
Weekly tasks include:
  • Reading 2-3 books and writing reviews on Goodreads.
  • 3 blog posts - one each for the author, editor, and spiritual blogs.
  • Doing one thing for another online venture (spiritual/homeschool/writer courses).

That's not too bad, right? Totally manageable...

I guess we'll see. :) 



cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 January was a trying month. I seem to always struggle in the beginning of the year. Last year, I had a baby in January, and this year I started working in January. While it isn't a full-time job by any stretch of the imagination, it does encroach on my post-midnight writing and editing time since shifts start around 4am, which means I can't stay awake until 3am writing and editing. During the day, I'm a single mom of two young children, so time isn't easily found.

I try, and I think that's what matters.

In January, I
  • read 8 books and wrote reviews for each.
  • wrote 10,713 words.
  • secured five manuscripts to edit in the next two months [2 novels, 3 short stories]
In February, I want to:
  • be more realistic with my time and goals.
  • read 5 books and write reviews for each.
  • write 500 words a day for RB to develop a writing habit.
  • edit SS manuscript for client.

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