Happy new year!! While yes, resolution setting is an endlessly talked-about and controversial topic, I – predictably enough – really enjoy this season because of the monthly goals that I keep. In retrospect, it’s gratifying to see how much I was able to accomplish on my personal projects despite the hectic day-to-day responsibilities getting in the way, and the failures are put into a greater context which puts in perspective what really needed to be prioritized. Since it’s Jan. 1 and the Endless Impossible Year is finally over, this post will not only cover my usual monthly goals recap for December, but it’s also going to -surprise surprise – include my resolutions and plans for 2021.
So without Further Ado, let’s get into the goal recap and resolutions…
This month was especially difficult for my family, and especially busy with finals, Christmas preparations, and a new job on top of the family stuff, so I was surprised to see how much I actually got done in the 1 week before life went crazy, and the few days between the 26th and 31st. Winning a month of goals with only 12 normal days to work? I did what? To be fair, some of these were easy goals and I didn’t add any goals for certain projects and WIPs, but I had a lot of other life and family goals too that I was able to accomplish and so I’m taking it in stride. And this marks three years I’ve been keeping monthly goals, since I started in January of 2018, which is a pretty cool milestone too.
Figure out plan for authors website updates in December and 2021: See below! Post to blog following schedule: This is only a separate goal because I didn’t queue posts ahead of time and the middle weeks of this month were insane so actually making all the posts for December on time was a small miracle. I’ll be working ahead for this upcoming year (hopefully).
Find someone to interview for January on website: I didn’t have the chance to do this in December buuuuut, see below if you want to be on the blog!
Finish Words of Radiance: This book. This book! Is the first book in a long time that I have actively stayed up until 4am to finish reading. Do list of questions to start Laoche’s outline: If you’re following my my tumblr you’ll know that I finally got the chance to bust out the sticky note board, old 3 ring binder of composition books, and start braindumping for this series! I have made a lot of progress so far, but I have also found a lot of holes in the original concept (which I made when I was 14 so no surprise there) so there’s more work to be done in the future! It’s like before I had 6 duplo blocks and had put them together into a child’s house or something, and starting this outline was like knocking that off the table altogether and dumping out a whole tote bin of the little legos in it’s place. It’s awesome and fun and an absolute mess and there are no instructions included. Draw 5 things: I had the chance to draw a few fun characters for the Writeblr Secret Santa and some doodling for my own characters! 5 exactly, and hoping for more next month.
Edit 10k words for Storge (allowed to skip chapter 3): *sigh* so this could have been done. I was partway through and going at a good pace, but then when the family emergency happened, not only did editing schedules get thrown off, but also the next chapter I had to cover hit a little too close to home for me to rewrite with an objective and critical eye. Even with the caveat that I later added about skipping it, I wasn’t able to get back into the story since that chapter is the immediate aftermath of the inciting incident, and just ended up tabling it for the new year. (I should say, my family is alright, it was a couple rough weeks there, but we’re good now.)
My top creative resolutions for 2021:
- Finish editing Storge! I’m really re-writing it into a 2nd draft, and since the first one took me over 3 years, I don’t have high hopes for this goal, but I’m getting better at time management and I’m a better writer, so *crossed fingers* on this one.
- Starting beta readers for this would be incredible but I have a feeling that’s a project for next winter break.
- Finish Outline for Laoche Chronicles: This includes figuring out the plot and themes for the trilogy, backstories, motivations, and arcs for each character, worldbuilding for the world’s science/magic system, and cultures for 3 countries (8 subcultures if I count correctly). This is the most ambitious project I’ve ever tried, and though I didn’t have the skill to manage it when I was 14, I hope I’ll be able to figure it out this go around.
- Read 24 books: I have a good mix of nonfiction, Sanderson, and a never ending TBR so only time will tell if I can pull this off!
- Get my act together with this Author Platform business. I hope the plan that I have outlined below will be a good start on this, but I know I have a lot of research and learning ahead of me if I ever want to get these stories published, so this will be an adventure! That being said…
Now the exciting update!
I posted this on tumblr earlier in December when I actually figured it out, but not many people saw it there, and it’s relevant to the website itself so here it goes. My process for choosing weekly posts so far has been a mostly last minute array of “uhhhh what can I grab from tumblr today?” with occasional put-together content, but moving forward I have *trumpet sounds* a schedule! New plan, starting this month, is that I’m keeping to my once a week on Fridays update schedule, with each month having a theme and pattern:
- The 1st week will be my usual monthly goals recap, both as accountability for myself and to check in with you and your progress because I like hearing about what you all are working on.
- The 2nd week of the month is going to be a post about my writing process. This won’t be a “how to” post, since everyone has their own way of writing that works for them, but rather just sharing another way of developing a different aspect of the story like worldbuilding or characterization. I think it’ll also be a fun “behind the scenes” of what I’m currently working on, and because I have a series in development, a fanfic in drafting, and Storge in editing, all the bases are covered.
- The 3rd week will be a resource recommendation, similar to my last post. These will be links of books and that I think really exemplify the theme of the month and a brief analysis on how to learn from them, as well as a chance for you to give me your recommendations. The last post and the first in this series was more general “how to write” resources, if you want to check that out!
- The 4th week of the month will be some of my writing that keeps with the theme of the month – probably either a Storge excerpt or introduction to the main trilogy of The Laoche Chronicles. I’m excited for this, because it’ll force me to do drills and learn certain skills I need more practice on, in addition to helping me make progress on my stories and letting you see some actual content from my worlds!
- Months with 5 Fridays will get special bonus content revolving around the community – hopefully either interviews/collabs with other writers, shoutouts, or something else fun that you pick! I’ll have polls up on my IG account (@ettagraceauthor) for these.
Now that that’s been explained, here are the themes for the next several months that I have figured out so far! If there’s something not here already that you want to see, leave a comment and I’ll add it to a future month.
- January: Character Voice/Characterization
- February: Outlining and Complex Plots
- March: Worldbuilding
- April: Editing and Prose
- May: Research and Adaptations
- June: Developing Strong Themes
- July: Poetry
- August: Short Stories
That’s all I have for today, but I’m excited to see what this year brings. I enjoy interacting with the writing community and want to be better about reaching out to people in the future. I also want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void, and so if I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me on the 5th week in January, you can leave a comment below for both of those, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! Also feel free to tell me some of your accomplishments in 2020 and what you’re excited to be working on in the future. I hope you all have a wonderful start to your new year and a happy 2021 🙂