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)
I decided that, in order to get myself motivated and writing, that I needed to do a seven day challenge. [I'm on WriYe, so I signed up on there.] The idea is to pick a minimum amount of words to write each day - then do it. Simple, right? Well, I tend to complicate everything in my life. In past years, I chose a godawful goal like 1,000 or 1,500 words per day for a week. [I didn't get past the first days on any of those attempts.] This year, I chose the smallest goal they offered: 100 words. It sounds stupidly low, but I swear it has been working. I officially started it on Monday, yesterday, but I wanted to get myself used to writing daily so I started on Saturday. Since I don't get time to write during the day with the kids, I have to wait until they go to sleep - except I've been working graveyard shifts. So, I get out around 3 or 4am, and I still need to write my words for the day. [For me, the day doesn't start over until I go to sleep or until the sun rises.] Here I am, sitting in the car in the driveway, half delirious and wondering how the hell I drove halfway across the state and made it home without dying in a fiery crash because I'm half-drowsing while going 80 mph. I reach in my bag, pull out my laptop, which, by now, has only half battery. I pull out my notes, open my word processor, and get cracking. Sometimes it's all I can do to churn out 100 words before needing to just go to bed. But I did it! I actually expended that extra energy to sit down and spend time with my story, and I feel so much better for it in the morning. 

So, 100 words might not sound like a lot, but to me it's the difference between feeling confident versus feeling like a total failure. I'd say that's a pretty big deal indeed. 

This is all to just create the habit of writing something daily. It's a reminder that it doesn't matter how many words I write, just that I write. Words add up. I'm trying to do this all spring. [Sunny weather just makes me want to soak up the warmth and spend the day writing. Weird, I know.] Anyway, I'm starting week 1 with 100 words a day. Week 2, I'll write 200 words a day, and so on. Eventually, I'll be writing 1,000 words per day, but I won't really notice it because I'll already have that habit of just sitting down to write. 

That's my intention, anyway.

For this challenge, I'm working on the cozy mystery series that features a high school English teacher as the amateur sleuth. I'm really excited about this first installment, and I hope to finish it by the end of May. [It will get written.] Ideally, I want it released by October, which means beta reads, edits, and promotions need to be planned too. *squeal!*


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.
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 I'm actually a little surprised I hadn't updated yet. I'm a little horrified, to be honest. Not only that, but I haven't stated my January goals. [It's probably a good thing since they've been tweaked a bit.]

Here are my goals:
  • Read 5 books and write reviews for each.
  • Write 31,000 words [of fiction].
  • Write 90,000 words [31K has to be fiction; the rest can be blog posts, website copy, etc.]
  • Launch the Storenvy store and accompanying blog.
  • Complete dev edit for DoaS [client novel]
  • Complete half of line edits for DoaS [client novel]
  • Participate in the WWC. [extends until April]
  • Complete copy edits for MD [client novel]

Progress:
  • Read a book [The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating] and wrote GR review.
  • Wrote 1,762 of 59,000 words. [randoms]
  • Wrote 683 of 31,000 words [fiction only]
  • Completed 3 assignments of WWC.
Goals this week [until Sun 1/15]:
  • Read book 2 [The Third Eye] and write review on GR.
  • Finish planning novella #1 [approx. 3,000 words]
  • Write 4,000 words for novella #1 [manuscript]
  • Start dev edits for DoaS
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 This isn't my official goal list; that'll be posted on the first. I wanted a place to write what has been percolating in my mind lately. 
  • Write 365,000 words. [novels, novellas, short stories, info articles/blog posts, educational packets, NF books]
  • Publish [anthologies, novellas, collections]
  • Read 70 books; write reviews for all
  • Read 3 children's books to the kids per day
  • Review/beta read one chapter/story per week on Protagonize
  • Send one query letter to agent/publisher for novel
  • Weekly blog posts [Nature Cottage, Sacred Moon, CS Editing, CS Writing, storiesbycayleigh, lit journal]
  • Promote editing services; earn $10,000
  • Promote spiritual services; earn $1,000
  • Research local yoga teacher classes; choose affordable one; 2018 goal to register
  • Exercise 4X per week [yoga, pilates, weights, walking, hiking]
  • Save $3,000 in savings account
  • Establish a garden
  • Meet local friends [similar interests - homeschool, reading, writing, etc.]
*My unofficial word count goal is one million words, but I want to write at least 365K, which is 1K per day every day.
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (kitten)
 I almost gave up. Almost! Time flies by so quickly - especially at the end of the year! So, I was on a mission to try and remember where the heck this journal was because I completely forgot DreamWidth. I rifled through my browser history and my email (for a welcome email), and I came up empty-handed. I tried everything. Turns out, it was probably because I didn't look far back enough. What ended up working was just going through my emails one by one, and I saw the DreamWidth newsletter. Honestly? The domain name didn't even register to me, and I signed in thinking it couldn't possibly be here. Spoiler alert: It was. 

The reason I felt it was so urgent to find this was because during the last couple days, my depression has taken a nosedive. It's starting to crush me. I know I feel better when I blog and make some goals (and share them with the wo

Now that it's been ten days, here's an update! 

I managed to read two books. I'm more than halfway through the third installment of Divergent on audiobook, and I'm now reading Alice Hoffman's "Practical Magic." I wrote a story for the addiction anthology I'll be publishing later next year, too. And I planned a story for another anthology. 


Here's what I want to accomplish in the next week:
  • Write TotPK story.
  • Write ASitD story.
  • Edit story for CM.
  • Finish listening to Allegiant.
  • Finish reading Practical Magic.
  • Work on editing website. 
On Thursday, I have training for my new job. I'm not thrilled, but it'll help pay the bills. Hopefully I can stick it out for awhile. At least until I can publish some of my own novellas and novels (not to mention homeschooling supplies) and rev up the editing business, so I can bring in more income. It won't happen unless I make a goal and try, right? 

Here's to success and goals! 


(And by the way - I bookmarked this website AND jotted it down in my BuJo.)

First post

Dec. 8th, 2016 07:37 pm
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
I actually discovered this website because a yearly writing group in which I participate called WriYe has a journal here. A little bit about me and my plans for this e-journal. I'm a mom of two boys (3 years old and 11 months old). I've been a stay at home mom for all of 2016,and I'm going back to work, graveyard shifts, for some pocket change. I'm an author (you can find my Amazon author page and Goodreads on my profile), an editor, a co-editor for an online magazine and publication press, and a professional Tarot reader. I also run a website for homeschooling parents in which I create awesome educational packages and talk about the woes of homeschooling. Just kidding - it's great!

So my plans for this journal are simple. In 2017, I'm teaming up with one of my best writer friends who lives in Norway and participating in MilWordy. If you haven't heard of this extreme challenge, scooch up because this will blow your mind. In the course of one year - 365 days, or 366 if it's a leap year - the challenge is to write ONE MILLION words. Yep, that's right. One million words in one year. That comes out to be something like 90,000 words each month, which is the average length of a novel!

Okay, so I may be ambitious what with all the other things I have going on, but they say (whoever "they" are) that to be in the league of a professional writer, you need to get all the crappy words, plots, characters out of the way by writing a million words. Some genius designed this challenge to get a lifetime of crappy words out in a single year. Kudos to them. I've actually participated in MilWordy before, but not seriously. Sometime in December, I decided to throw in all my chips and sit back to reap the rewards, of which there were none because I did zero planning for the year.

Not this time! I have a semi-solid plan, at least a raft boat of a plan, for the year, which is as follows:

-Write two short story collections.
-Write three novellas (that's around 40K words).
-Write two novels.
-Write twenty short stories for various anthologies and contests.
-Write an editing guide for fellow authors.
-Create several bundles and themes for the homeschooling bunch.
-Write a homeschooling handbook.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to cobble together a million words next year with this. I'm trying to limit my blogging, but, of course, I will track those words. I am trying to stick with once a week for each blog/website, which includes the literary journal, my Tarot blog, my author blog, my side writing blog, my editing business blog, and this one.

Honestly, this will probably be the longest post just because it's the first one. From now on, I'll simply write out my weekly goals and give short daily updates because I think it's important to track stuff like this, especially when I have mental illnesses that sometimes get in the way of my creative ventures.

So this is me and these are my goals for the next year and how I will utilize this fun journal. :) I hope to find friends on here and team up for some projects.

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