Creative Writing Plans for 2021

One of my goals for 2021 is to finally get back into a writing routine. I feel like that gets pushed to the back burner far too often.

It’s going to be a priority this year (and beyond).

Creative Writing Plans for 2021 | RachelPoli.com

I tend to work on a handful of writing projects at one time because… attention span.

I don’t want to get burned out on one project and sometimes you’re just in the mood to work on one project over another.

Oftentimes, I work on one or two books per month. I’m not sure if a month is too long or too short, but I like to give myself the 30-day deadline to get through another draft whether it’s writing or editing.

I mean, I can write 50,000 words in 30 days for NaNoWriMo but can’t do it on my own for some reason.

So, I’m going to stick with the 30-day deadline but I’m not going to beat myself up over it if I don’t reach it. Every book is different and some are going to take longer than others. I’m going to take it month-by-month and see where I am with each book and then decide what to work on the next month.

Instead of doing what I normally do, which is plan each month for the year ahead of time and then get angry when I’m five months behind schedule.

George Florence and the Perfect Alibi (Book 1)

Did you know that January 13, 2021, was the ten-year anniversary that I started working on this book?

Well, George and Lilah are not going to get the best of me this year!

I made excellent progress on the novel for NaNo last November. I’m going to finish the draft by the end of this month. I only have two or three chapters left to write, so… I can do it! Stay positive.

In February (and beyond) I’ll work on edits and revisions.

My overall goal? Find and hire an editor by the end of 2021.

I think this can be a process depending on how long it takes to find an editor I click with and how booked out they are. So, that’s why I’m hoping to leave 2021 with an editor. The earlier the better, but it’s not something I want to rush.

It’s been ten years already, what’s another?

Sunday Morning (Vol. 1)

In April, it will be two years that Sunday Morning was published. I can’t believe it, either.

I have two goals for this one: talk about it more and release it in paperback.

After I published this, my mental health went downhill. Even though I’m proud of the book and proud of myself for taking the leap to publish it, I didn’t give it the attention it deserves.

So, I want to hype it back up and again. By doing so, I’ll also release the book in paperback. I actually have the proof and have had it for about a year and a half. I just never followed through with it.

Expect to hear more about Sunday Morning this year along with its younger sibling…

Sunday Morning Coffee (Vol. 2)

This has been in the works for quite a while. Once Sunday Morning is all set with the paperback and such, I want to focus on the next installment.

This is another collection of 52 flash fiction stories that I’m excited to share. It most likely won’t be released until spring 2022 but I’m going to spend the year editing and revising the stories and prepping it for launch.

If you read and enjoyed Sunday Morning, I hope you’ll look forward to Sunday Morning Coffee.

That’s it for now

Those are the three main books I want to work on this year. I, of course, have other story ideas in mind that I would love to work on. I’d like to focus on these ones first though.

If I get burned out from these projects, I’ll probably work on something else for a little bit, but that’s not going to stop me from prepping George for an editor, Sunday Morning for paperback, and Sunday Morning Coffee for publication.

What are your creative writing plans for the year? Let me know in the comments below!

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Welcome 2021!

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2020 is gone

Well. Here we are. We made it out of 2020.

This doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet, of course. I’m hopeful 2021 will be more positive than 2020, but who’s to really say?

In the meantime, I’m going to attempt to keep moving forward. I’ve let the weight of the world hold me back for far too long.

Sure, we all need a break now and then. And if I’m completely honest – I don’t have much to complain about. For the most part, the virus has stayed far away from my friends and family.

I do know a few people who have gotten sick and I also know some people who have died from COVID, though they weren’t close family and were older. It still sucks though.

I’m grateful it hasn’t affected my family all that much (knock on wood) and I’m sorry for any of you who have been personally affected by the virus. Everyone who has worked on the frontlines such as healthcare workers and grocery store workers is a blessing.

If someone told me this is how things were going to be for a while I would have never believed them. I never thought I’d ever say to anyone, “Hey, I like your mask! Where’d you get it?”

I guess the most important thing to do now is to move forward and try to carry on as “normal” as we can, right?

2021 has arrived

I’m sure you guys have noticed that my blogging has dwindled (okay, okay, totally disappeared) in 2019. I tried to get back into the habit in 2020 and then the pandemic hit and… things were just weird, to put it lightly. So much was going on and I didn’t have the mental capacity to handle blogging or too many creative things, unfortunately.

It wasn’t until the end of 2020 that I started to get my mojo back. I’m not entirely what it was.

Maybe my nearly two-year hiatus had finally reached its peak allowing me to get into creative work again. Or maybe the weirdness of 2020 got to me so much that I started craving a creative outlet once again to escape everything else.

Whatever it was, I’m glad to be excited about creativity again. I’m happy to be excited about blogging again. I’m eager to get back into my creative writing.

I’m looking forward to seeing how far I’ll grow in 2021.

So, what’s in store for 2021?

I’m going to push forward and pursue my dreams that I had planned to work on in 2019. (No, that’s not a typo, unfortunately.) And then pursue those same plans in 2020 when 2019 didn’t work out.

The third time is the charm, right?

Blog changes

First thing’s first: this blog is going to be more of an author platform. Did you know I self-published a book in 2019? That was a thing I did before going into a massive depressive episode. Well, I’m going to talk about it more. I’m going to talk more about all of my books.

I’ll still post Short Story Sunday, of course. Mental Health Monday will come back in full swing. This needs to be talked about more. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my anxiety in the past couple of years. Now that I’ve been diagnosed with depression on top of it, I’d like to create a safe space for all. Hopefully, my experiences will help others. (Maybe I can learn a thing or two from you guys, as well!)

My book reviews will also come back on Saturdays and Tuesdays as well. And yes, my book review requests are currently open.

What about “writing” articles?

Those will still happen as well, though not on this blog. This was a weird decision for me, so let me explain.

Toward the end of 2019, I discovered a website called Medium. I enjoyed the way it was set up and started writing articles regularly on there for myself as well as for publications, such as The Writing Cooperative.

I’ve decided all writing articles will be published on Medium from now on. My username is RAPoli03 if you want to give me a follow on there to keep up with my regular articles.

I apologize this won’t be all in one place, but I think making this website more of an “author platform” and a place to discuss books, promote other authors, and general lifestyle topics for myself will be a nice change of pace for me. Medium will also offer more opportunities for me in terms of publication and have the ability to dapple in various topics and such.

Hopefully, it’ll suit you guys as well and you’ll still enjoy my content no matter where it’s posted.

That’s about it for now

Trust me, I have a lot more to share, but I think it’s best if I spread it out a bit.

In fact, this post was supposed to be me explaining my creative writing goals for 2021. Then I started ranting about the pandemic and… oh, well. No going back now!

Fridays will be creative writing updates, so I guess I’ll tell you guys about my writing plans for the years next week. This will give me some extra time to figure it out, anyway.

Is that technically cheating? I don’t know, but I don’t care. I’m making up my own rules as I go along here.

Let me know about your 2020 and what you’re planning for 2021 ahead in the comments below! I’d love to chat and catch up. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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Goals for August 2020

Happy August! It doesn’t quite feel like the end of summer is around the corner with school starting soon. 2020 has been a mess and I’ve lost track of all time. But we’re that much closer to 2021 and hopefully, it’ll be nicer to us. 

Goals for August 2020 | Creative Writing | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Creative Writing

I set up deadlines for all my novels! Yes, yes, I know – I’ve done this before. But it’s legit this time, I promise. (I’ve probably said that before too.)

I have a long list of novels I want to work on. There are a few that are top priority though. Instead of working on a bunch of things at once, I’ve worked it out so that I’m only working on two or three at a time (not necessarily all at once but this is also in case I get burned out from a single project). 

As soon as August first hit, my sister and I made accounts on 4 The Words. This is an online writing program that I’ll talk more about in a later post. (Most likely in September so I can have a full month with the program.)

I’ve been using that program along with Scrivener to work on my novels. At the moment, I’m working hard on my George and Lilah cozy mystery series and my Sunday Morning flash fiction collection series. There are plenty of other books I want to work on but they’ll come once I finally finish George and Lilah. So, with that said, this is what I’ll be working on this month:

  • Edit the first draft of Sunday Morning Coffee
  • Prep the paperback version of Sunday Morning
  • Complete writing the current draft of George Florence and the Perfect Alibi

I’ve already made decent progress in this first week of the month. Here’s to a productive rest of the month!

Reading

My reading has slowed down a bit but I’m still planning on two book reviews a week when I can. I have a list of books I want to get through for August.

I’ve been trying to set aside some time every morning to read for about an hour or so to get myself back into the routine again. So, we’ll see how the month goes.

Everything else

Spilled Ink Press Shop

I don’t know who’s noticed this, but I have a new page on the blog (which you can see at the top) called Spilled Ink Press Shop. Click it and it’ll take you directly to a new website in a new tab.

This is something I’ve been working on for months and months and months. I’m finally getting closer to opening my shop. Yay!

The shop will contain a lot of goodies from printables to physical items for writers and readers alike. Items include notebooks, bookmarks, mugs, writing workbooks, and so much more. I can’t wait to finally show all of you what I’ve been working on!

Spilled Ink Press Shop will hopefully be open by the end of the month. You can head there now and sign up to know when it does. 

Medium

I took a hiatus from writing articles on Medium when the pandemic hit. I’m planning on getting back into writing articles on there for August and beyond. These articles are the same I typically write on my blog, but they’ll just be homed on Medium instead as I move this website into more of an official author space instead of a “blog”.

My username is RAPoli03 over there, so feel free to check out my articles and give me a follow over there.

Happy August!

I hope the month goes well for all of you. September is probably going to be here before we know it. 

What are your goals for the month? Let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please share it.

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Goals for July 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve had monthly goals. Yes, I know we’re already a week into the month. We’re going to roll with this anyway.

Goals for July 2020 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | Business | RachelPoli.com

Creative Writing

It’s Camp NaNoWriMo this month and I have to admit I got a late start this time around. I always begin on day one (as you do) but I actually didn’t begin until the second day. Even then I didn’t meet the daily goal and just added what I wrote on day two to my word count on day three. I never do that, but whatever. It evens out in the end.

There are a lot of creative writing projects I want to work on that don’t necessarily mean writing. I seriously need to catch up with my Short Story Sunday posts. So, my Camp goal this month is 30,000 words instead of the usual 50,000 words. I did this so that I can get back into the swing of writing (roughly 1,000 words a day seems much more doable than 2,000 words a day) and also because I want to focus on my other projects which need more editing rather than writing.

Yes, you can create a Camp project to edit. You can track your progress y pages or hours instead of words, but I like sticking to the word count. It seems to work better for me.

Mostly, I’m trying to gather my thoughts with my creative writing and create a plan for the rest of 2020. I’ve put off my projects for far too long.

Reading

I was in a slump for well over a year in terms of reading and reviewing. I’m back in the swing of things and plan to begin writing reviews again. In fact, I wrote a book review yesterday.

One of the reasons I haven’t posted book reviews in a while is because I got so far behind that I was trying to slowly get back into my reading habit without having the actual reviewing part looming over my head. So, I’ve been reading and now I have a decent backlog to post reviews regularly again while keeping up with the actual reading part.

…I guess this part’s not really a goal, huh? I’ll just say my reading goal for July is to keep reading. Perfect.

Everything else

As ridiculous as this is going to sound, there’s a lot of other stuff I need to do. My goal for July is to play catch-up, get a little bit ahead, and keep up with everything I’ve been doing.

I’ve been getting better at this. 2020 has been a wild ride and even though I already worked from home I felt like I needed to get into a new routine. So, July is going to be me trying to stick with that routine.

We’ll see how it goes.

How’s July treating you so far? What are your goals for the month? Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please share it around.

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Goals for April 2020

Well, here we are. It’s April 2020. It’s hard to believe we’re in a new decade, new year, new month. I’m late to the party, I know, but this is no April Fool’s joke – I’m back.

Goals for April 2020 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | Self-Care | RachelPoli.com

Writing

Aside from freelance jobs and the occasional blog post or article here and there, I’ve barely written anything. When I say that I mean I haven’t written creatively in about a year. In 2019 I wrote during Camp NaNo and the regular session of NaNoWriMo in April, July, and November respectively, but that’s it. Even then, two of those months were spent working on Short Story Sunday for the blog. I didn’t work on novels at all.

I’m anxious to get back to my novels, especially my mystery series. It’s been on hold for far too long and I want to give it the attention and time it needs. I can’t wait to share it with the world. It deserves to be seen after being in my head for nine years.

It’s Camp NaNo this month and I’ll be working on George Florence and the Perfect Alibi. Again, I know. But hey, it’ll be the best it can be whenever it does see the light of day.

As for creative writing, that’s all I’m going to work on this month. I want to get back into things slowly and be sure I give all my attention to George and Lilah. I have big plans for them. I just need to implement them now.

Reading

In addition to being in a writing slump for the past year, I’ve barely read any books. I’ve been struggling with reading – mostly because I can’t focus on it. It’s not that I like or dislike a book, my mind just wasn’t motivated to sit for 10 minutes to read a chapter of something.

I’ve been slowly getting back into this. So, my goal for this month is to publish two book reviews for the month of April. It’d be great if I can start writing a review a week again, but I’m going to take it slow and enjoy the books I have at the moment.

Blogging

Things on this blog are going to change. I’m not going to go into too much detail about it – you’ll see should you stick around to read it.

There’s a lot happening on this blog and I’m working on so many projects. I primarily made this blog to be an author platform. So, I’d like to start discussing my books more. At the same time, I want to branch out and talk more about life and other things. There’s more than just reading and writing, did you know that?

There will still be writing prompts, book reviews, a weekly short story, and such. However, there will only be one or two times a week I’ll share an article that has to do with reading or writing. (This made better sense in my head – this is why I said I wasn’t going to go into too much detail about it.)

Most of my articles, however, will be on Medium. I’ve been using that platform a lot lately. So, if you want to keep up with more writerly articles and such, feel free to give me a follow over there. I love WordPress, of course, but Medium has been a nice change of scenery for me. It’s another great community as well.

I’ll be sharing a lot here but extra creative articles will be on Medium.

Thanks for sticking me through my hiatus and while I make slight changes to the blog here and there. I appreciate it.

Self-Care

One of the reasons I’m making changes on my blog is due to self-care. I’ll be still publishing daily, but most of it will be able to be written well in advance so I don’t need to stress over content too much – especially since I’m also on Medium. That’d be overkill.

Starting this month, I’ll be adding regular self-care into my routine. After a year of being on hiatus and stopping most of my creative work (I say most because I was still working on a few projects behind the scenes – The Merry Writer Podcast being a prime example), this is certainly needed for myself and honestly, I think all of us.

Mental Health Mondays will no longer be the first Monday of the month but every Monday of the month.

I haven’t fully figured this one out yet, but I’ll be adding a self-care routine to my life.

I think now is as good a time as any to do this. With everything happening in the world right now – the virus, the news, anything and everything in between – self-care should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list. I’ll explain more details about it on Monday.

With that said, I hope everyone is safe and healthy. We’re living in a weird time right now. It’s stressful and scary, but this is something we’ll overcome.

So, how have you guys been lately? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll catch up!

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