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. 

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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.

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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.

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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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Hello, 2020!

Here we are. Another day. Another month. Another year. It’s been a while. How are you all doing?

I feel like such a broken record saying this but… 2019 was a rough year. I’m not entirely sure what happened to my mental health, but it threw a lot of things out the window. This blog included.

I barely wrote anything. I didn’t read at all. A lot of my other work fell to the wayside.

This isn’t to say I didn’t accomplish anything. 2019 was great in its own way for other reasons.

To be honest, though, most of 2019 is a blur. I didn’t really start to feel better until September/October and I’m still trying to crawl out of this hole.

With that said, toward the end of 2019, I started to get hopeful for 2020. I know the calendar is just resetting, but I have some plans to help me get back into the swing of doing what I enjoy.

I’ve come to a conclusion about all the work I do and plan to do. This is something I’ve known for a while but didn’t necessarily want to do anything about it. But now I think it’s time I cut back.

I have a lot of creative projects I want to pursue and always trying to get them all done in one go. I want to work on them all, but I need to prioritize what’s the most important, what I can do now, and what’s the best for my mental health and time.

So, I’ll only be working on a couple of different projects this year. I haven’t given up on everything (not at the moment, anyway). Instead of trying to squeeze it all into one calendar year, I’ve decided what I want to work on in 2020 and pushed other things back to 2021 and beyond. Assuming nothing changes between now and then.

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This Blog

First and foremost, this blog is coming off hiatus but things won’t be back to normal. I’m not going to post daily anymore. I’d love to get back into posting daily at some point, but until further notice, I’m only going to post 3-4 times a week.

Short Story Sunday will still be published every Sunday. I’ll still post book reviews though I’m not sure if it’ll be every week. I’d like to get back into the habit of reading one book a week, but I’m not sure when that will start.

Time To Write is on hold until further notice. It’ll be back at some point, but it’s not something I can keep up with at the moment. This also means that guest posts and author interviews will be infrequent.

Aside from Sunday and Saturday with Short stories and book reviews, I’m planning on posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These will be articles or general updates on what I’m working on.

Patreon

For those of you who don’t know, I do have a Patreon for my creative writing. I post exclusive short stories on there once a month plus other content that’s not shared anywhere else.

Some new things will be happening on my Patreon this year that I’m excited about. To start off, an ebook will be sent to all my patrons at the $10+ tiers later this month. This has all the exclusive short stories from 2019 plus a bonus story. If that’s something you’re interested in receiving, you can sign up here (must be at the $10 tier or higher to receive this ebook).

More will be coming to my Patreon in the coming months. I’m in the works of creating a community for creatives and artists. So, please, if you enjoy my work and would like to be part of this community, consider joining my Patreon. It means a lot.

Novels

I’ve decided which stories I’ll be working on in 2020. They all have deadlines attached. Something (that’s long overdue) will be coming April 2020.

I have two more projects that are aimed to come in 2021. Yes, George and Lilah will finally see the light of day in 2021. The hype train for that will begin soon.

Services

As much as I would love to sit down at my computer and write creatively all day long, I still have bills to pay. My characters dancing around in my head are dancing because they’re living rent-free up there. I know, I know. I should be harder on them but I love them too much.

I’ve worked hard over the years in other areas than just writing. I edit, I can do website admin work, I market on social media, I market books and more.

If you like my work and are looking for some help with your own website/blog or your novels, be sure to check out my services.

Also, I’m going to shamelessly plug my Patreon again. If you enjoy my work, then join my Patreon and get exclusive content consistently.

Secret Projects

I wouldn’t be me if I said I wasn’t working on a few things behind the scenes. One of those things is for this website that my email list will be the first to know about as well as help me out with it.

My sister and I are working on a few new things for Double Jump. If you enjoy gaming then be sure to check out my other blog.

Finally, I’m working on a special project with a friend. Information on that will be shared in the coming months.

2020

Hopefully, 2020 will be a great year. I’ve cut back on some work, even though I still have a lot of plans. I’m going to take things slow while still working hard.

I’m looking forward to it.

What are your plans for 2020? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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I’m Starting Over

2019 has existed. It was mean at times and it’s just been an interesting one, to say the least. I haven’t had a “bad” year in a while, so I guess I was due. However, with everything that happened, I’m trying to move on, get past it all, and try to have a sense of normality again. With that, I’m starting over.

“Starting Over”

No, this isn’t meant in a literal sense. I’m not scrapping the blog or anything like that. But I’m going to basically pretend that this year didn’t happen. I wasn’t consistent on the blog, I rarely read other blogs, I missed so many comments, and I just haven’t engaged like I normally do.

I keep trying to think of ways to “get back into the swing of things.” I keep looking back at past posts and the long gaps in between them wondering how to get back into my usual routine.

At this point, it makes me overwhelmed. I have too many other things on my mind. There are so many projects I’m working on, I want to work on, or I’m collaborating with others behind the scenes on secret projects. This isn’t to say I want to stop doing any of these things – I want to continue them all. But I think that’s part of my problem. I’m trying to do too many things at once.

Between all that and real-life happenings on this side of my computer, 2019 has been pretty bad.

Thinking Outside The Box

In other words, I need to stop looking at what I have done and start thinking about what I need to do in order to move forward. I look back at the past couple of years, blogging daily, writing, and everything else. In my mind, getting back to normal is doing that again. But I don’t think that’s what needs to be done. I think that’s what I’m used to so I’m trying to get back into those habits.

I’m starting to realize that I need to form new habits. I need to work in different ways. It’s time things changed and that I shake things up a bit.

I need to stop trying to get back to where I was when 2019 started. A lot of things have happened, a lot has changed. I’m sorry to not go into detail about what these things were, but it’s put some things into perspective for me and I’ve come to realize that the “normal” I’m trying to get back to is not my “normal” anymore.

So, What Am I Trying To Say?

Well. I have to admit, this was not my original intention for this post. But, as I type this out, I realize I made a decision deep down and my mind is now just catching up. I think it’s the right decision too because I think I’ve known this for a while but just didn’t want to admit. So, with that said…

This blog is on hiatus until January 2020.

Yes, I know in my October goals I mentioned that I’d be getting back into the swings of things. But, as I just said, I think the normal I’m trying to get back to isn’t my normal anymore.

I have plans and ideas for this blog going forward and I think I need time to sort them out so I can implement them and enjoy myself while doing so. I haven’t been able to yet because I’ve been so busy trying to come up with content so I can start posting daily again. But I don’t want to post for the sake of getting something up here.

Not for nothing, but I originally started this blog in 2012 to share my creative writing. I’ve barely written a thing all year long. It’s hard to talk about writing when you’re not actually writing anything.

What About The Rest Of 2019?

I’m not stopping everything. Short Story Sunday will still be posting every week for the remainder of 2019. I am stopping Time to Write though. I love the writing prompts and will continue them in 2020, but for now, I can’t be sure I’ll check them each week to add your stories. I apologize for this. I will add the stories from last week on this Friday, but there will be no prompt to follow.

For the rest of October, I don’t know how often I’ll post (if I post). I definitely want to keep in touch so maybe, in addition to Short Story Sunday, I’ll whip up a post once a week or once every other week. The same thing will go for December. Between 2020 prep for everything plus the holidays, I’ll try to keep in touch and post a handful of times, but I make no promises.

November, on the other hand, is NaNoWriMo. I’m still going to participate in the event and will post at least once a week about my progress.

2020 Will Be Great

I have a lot of great ideas for 2020. Features, post ideas, collabs, and more. I’m really looking forward to it and I think taking a couple of months off from the actual blog content will allow me to start fresh with a brand new year.

A lot of things, unfortunately, fell to the wayside in 2019. I’m going to take a look at each and every on and either bring it back, as usual, bring it back in a new way, or just do without it. We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime… I hope 2019 was a lot kinder to you all. It was a good year – I don’t mean to sound pessimistic and say 2019 was absolutely horrible. But there were some questionable things that happened and it was just a weird year overall.

I appreciate you all being patient with me this year when I disappeared without a trace on a couple of different occasions. I’ll be back and ready to go in 2020, but I’ll keep in touch.

Talk to you soon!

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