Goals [January 2019]

New year, new month, new goals. Even though we’re already a week into the month, here are my goals for January.

Goals January 2019 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I’ll be posting four book reviews this month, each on a Saturday, as always. I read more towards the end of 2018 so these reviews are mostly from books I read before the new year. I still plan on reading a book a week though so that I stay ahead of my reviews and I can make headway on my 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge, which is to read 52 books this year. Three out of the four reviews this month are books I read in December. I’m hoping I won’t get into as bad of a reading slump this year like I did last year!

Books I’ll be reviewing this month are:

  • Wagging Through The Snow by Laurien Berenson
  • Warriors Omen of the Stars: The Forgotten Warrior by Erin Hunter
  • Warriors Omen of the Stars: The Last Hope by Erin Hunter
  • Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen

Books I’ll be reading this month are:

  • Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen
  • Warriors Vision of Shadows: The Apprentice’s Quest by Erin Hunter
  • Death by Vanilla Latte by Alex Erickson
  • Warriors Vision of Shadows: Thunder and Shadow by Erin Hunter

Writing

Where do I begin with this? January is going to be a crazy busy month for my writing. I’m working on so many different projects and am participating in the 85K90 Writing Challenge.

Sunday Morning (Vol. 1)

This is in the final stages! I’ll be announcing the official release date soon as well as cover reveal for the book. While I work on final editing stuff and publishing/marketing things, I’m running a special promotion on my Patreon for the book. You can find out more by checking out my Patreon page. The deadline for that is January 20, 2019, so hurry if you want the promo-box!

George Florence & The Perfect Alibi (Book 1)

I’m going to go through another round of edits since I’m giving this to my local writers group. I’m going to go over their notes from what they’ve seen so far and figure out the rest of the novel from there. I’m also going to get a good timeline going for the book, make a checklist from editing, marketing, publishing, and so on for it along with deadlines.

Short Stories & Submissions

I’ll be working on some of my short stories and writing new ones to submit to magazines and contests. My goal is to submit at least two this month.

Other

There’s another writing project I’ll be working on but I’m not ready to share what that is quite yet. I’ll be outlining and prepping it for writing this month.

Blogging

Aside from writing January’s posts, a huge project I’ll be working on this month is getting certain posts done for the whole year along with graphics. I normally try to get ahead in my blog posts, but I want to spend time creating graphics in bulk since that can take up quite a bit of time. There are also some posts – Short Story Sunday, Time To Write, etc. – that can all be written in advance. I want to create all those graphics and then create drafts for all those blog posts. This goes for Mental Health Monday and Healthy Writer as well. I have ideas for all those posts and plan to whip them up, get the graphics, and schedule them for the year.

Overall

January will be busy, that much is plain to see. I’m starting a new work schedule for myself though and I’m looking forward to getting a head start with these things. There are other projects I want to work on, but need to get the basics down on things I’ve already started. All of this will be a good start.

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

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September 2018 [Wrap Up]

2018 September Wrap Up | Blogging | Reading | Writing | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I did well with reading this month. I’m back to posting one review a week on Saturdays. You can check out my Reading List to see what I’ve read and reviewed this month and previous months. There’s also my Goodreads. I was behind in updating it for a while (meaning, the whole summer) but I finally caught up with it. So it should be up to date… unless I forgot a book or two.

Writing

Still going fairly strong with this. I’ve been working on a few projects… plus marketing and publishing plans for them. So that’s a thing. More will be on that in just two days!

Blogging

The blogging has been strong this past month. My stats have steadily grown over the past few months and I’ve finally settled on a social media schedule for my blogging and writing. So, I’m excited to officially start that in October! My blog posts for October are just about done as well.

Overall

September was super busy, but it was a great month. I got a lot done and a lot of thinking done as well. Which is sometimes not great, but it worked well for this month!

Posts To Remember

1. Blog Party Celebration
2. September & October 2018 Writing Submissions
3. The Creative Writing Process: Revising Your Novel

How did September treat you? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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September 2018 [Goals]

2018 September Goals | Blogging | Reading | Writing | RachelPoli.com

Reading

Summer is technically not over, but I’ll be going back to posting book reviews once a week on just Saturdays. I was going to list what books I plan on reading this month, but I’m not going to say because I know I’ll change my mind. Be sure to check back periodically on my Reading List to keep up. My Review Policy is also open for requests once again!

Writing

I’m working on the usual. Still editing my mystery novel as well as working on my next Wattpad novella. I’m also working on another project for my Patrons. Since school and work will be starting up for everyone else again in a couple of days, I’ll be able to get myself onto a regular schedule for writing and everything else. We’ll see how it goes.

Blogging

My posts for this month are just about done. I want to focus on getting my newsletter back up and running again. I’m also working on another big part for the blog that will (hopefully) be ready by the end of the month. Wish me luck while I figure that one out.

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

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August 2018 [Wrap Up]

August 2018 Wrap Up | Creative Writing | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I was in a bit of a reading slump this month. I read a lot of quick stories such as craft books and comics. Reading is reading and it was all good, but I’m hoping to get back into the novel world soon enough. Time has escaped me this month so it was harder for me to keep up with the reading. You can check out my Reading List to see which books I’ve read and reviewed this month as well as check out my Goodreads to keep up with what I’m currently reading… though I have to update it. I’ve even gotten behind with that.

Writing

Writing proved to be difficult this month as well. I did a lot of planning and brainstorming for various projects, but overall time got away. I did a lot of socializing with friends and family and writing took a backseat. Not a bad thing, but I’m ready to get back into a routine.

Blogging

I kind of got out of my blogging routine as well. August was filled with real-life things going on so my virtual life was sort of non-existent. I made progress though and my posts for September are almost done. So that’s something.

Overall

August was a good month – not really work-wise, but it was a good month to get together with friends and family as well as reflect on everything else. We’ll see how September goes!

Posts To Remember

1. 6 Types of Conversations Your Characters Can Have
2. How Do You Write Internal Dialogue?
3. The Best Tip To Know About Writing Dialogue

How did August treat you? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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July 2018 Goals

2018 July Goals | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

We’re officially in summer which means I’ll be aiming to read two books a week. Book reviews will now be on Tuesdays in addition to Saturdays. I’m a tad ahead in my reading, so feel free to keep up to date through my Goodreads.

Writing

Camp NaNoWriMo is here again. I’m sure my writing will get caught up with itself because of this. I’ll be working on George Florence & The Perfect Alibi some more.

I’ll also be working on a special project that I’ve only announced so far to my patrons. If this is something you’d like to be part of and you enjoy my work, please check out my Patreon and consider supporting me through there. It’s as little as $1 a month.

Blogging

I’ve gotten most of my July posts done. So, when I’m not working on Camp NaNo or reading I’ll be going through my blog and updating old posts and such. It desperately needs it.

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

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Wrap Up: April 2018

2018 April Wrap Up | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I’ll admit I didn’t get much reading done this month. Two of the reviews I posted were books I had already read at the beginning of the year and never wrote reviews for. I was on vacation for a week and Camp NaNo took up a chunk of my time. I’m sure I’ll get back into my reading habits next month though.

In the meantime, check out my Goodreads and Reading List on this blog to keep up with what I’m reading and their reviews.

Writing

My writing was pretty successful this month. Thanks to Camp NaNo, I outlined my next novel project, edited the next draft of my mystery novel, finished my Short Story Sunday stories for the rest of 2018 and got a head start on 2019, and wrote a mystery short story. All this resulted in over 80,000 words for Camp NaNo.

I feel pretty good.

Blogging

Blogging was slow. I was really into it at the beginning of the month and then I lost my groove after being on vacation. I thought the break would do me some good and while it did, I felt like taking an extended vacation from blogging. So I’ve only done the bare minimum for the blog pretty much this entire month.

Though I think I’m ready to get back into the swing of things for May and beyond. I ordered my new blogging planner (mine is July – June for some reason) so I’m eager to start filling that one up.

Overall

April was busy, but not in the way I expected it to be. I got a lot done and spent a good amount of time with friends and family, so who’s to complain? It was a great month and I’m sure May will be even better.

Posts To Remember

1. April & May 2018 Writing Submissions [Writing Contests]
2. A Million Dreams [Life]
3. Editing/Rewriting A Novel During Camp NaNoWriMo

How did April treat you? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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March 2018 Goals

2018 March Goals | Creative Writing | Writing Goals | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I plan on reading 4-5 books this month. I have a couple of authors’ requests to catch up on and I also have a couple of books I read back in December that I haven’t reviewed yet. So here’s to a catch-up month!

Writing

  • Edit George Florence
  • Edit Take Over
  • Write Perplexed

I’m planning on just plugging along with all of these projects. Take Over will have priority over the others since I’m planning on publishing it on Wattpad in April.

Blogging

I’ve got March planned out, I just need to finish writing all the posts. Then I want to get a good chunk of posts written for April because of Camp NaNo… Camp NaNo is in a month, guys… I don’t really know how that happened…

I also want to start planning May while I’m at it. For reasons.

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

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Writing Goals For 2018

How many times do we set resolutions for ourselves and never follow through with them? How many times have I published a blog post at the beginning of January with a list of novels I was going to work on or complete?

And how many times did nothing get done?

I’ve always set goals for myself when it came to my writerly habits. However, one thing that I never did was set an actual deadline.

Sure, I’ve always said I’d have the whole year to work on X, Y, and Z. 12 months should be plenty, right? By December 31 I’d have so much accomplished. Then what?

A deadline is a deadline, but when it’s set by you, and the deadline is so far away, you tend to push it to the side. There are no real consequences and it’s easy to procrastinate.

My past self had an epiphany back in November or December and I realized that I need more than a large deadline with many goals. I need a deadline for each goal. I need a schedule to tell myself what to work on and when.

So, that’s exactly what I did. I’ve created a concrete schedule for myself and have publishing plans and everything.

Writing Goals for 2018 | Writing Goals | Novel Writing | RachelPoli.com

Wattpad

The Scribe – This will be published on January 8. I ended up getting a little behind due to the holidays, but that’s alright. I’m looking forward to it and I hope you are too.

Take Over – This will be published in April. I’ll spend now through March editing, rewriting, and editing again.

Brave – This will be published in July. I’ll outline in April, write in May, and spend June editing and doing rewrites.

Silhouettes – This will be published in October. I’ll outline in July, write in August, and edit and rewrite in September.

Novels

George Florence – This poor guy has been running in circles in my mind for years now. I’ll be spending my January time planning and organizing the whole series. I have the first novel written so for the months after that I’ll be editing and rewriting. I plan on having it completed in August.

The Lost Girl – The first draft of this has been written since April 2017 (I think?) from Camp NaNo. To give myself some time with George, I’m going to start this novel back up again in June. I’ll edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite, etc. and have it done for November.

Perplexed – This is a mystery short story collection. I’ll be writing two short stories a month through June leaving me with 12 stories total. Then from July through December I’ll be editing, rewriting, looking for beta readers and advanced reviewers, and overall just prepping it for self-publication. I’m thinking of a January 2019 release date, but that may change… if it changes, it will be earlier.

Unwritten – This is another novel from a fairly recent Camp NaNo. I’m editing this monthly with my writing group. So this is kind of a project that’s on the back burner to everything else. Though I’m hoping to keep up with the edits each month. I’m hoping this will be done by 2019.

Side Projects

Poetry – I want to work more on my poetic skills… or gain some skills, I mean. I would like to write 1-2 poems a month, though if I skip a month or two I won’t be heartbroken about it. I have so many other writing projects to worry about, but I do hope I can somewhat keep up with it.

Short Stories/Articles – Yes, I have Perplexed in the works, but I want to submit shorts and articles to other blogs/websites as well as contests and magazines. It’d be nice if I could submit something once a week, but I’m aiming for 1-2 a month. I don’t want to burn myself out and I want to be able to submit quality pieces.

Screenplay – I used to write scripts back in the day when NaNo’s sister site, Script Frenzy, was a thing. It was every April but there wasn’t much interest so they turned it into a second Camp NaNo. I miss it though and I found script writing to be interesting. I’ve always wanted to get back into it and there’s an idea that’s been nagging me for a while. I tried writing it into a novel and it didn’t work. I tried a short story and novella and that didn’t match either. I have a trailer in my head and I’m thinking I might try to write a screenplay for it. This is not a priority if anything it’s at the very bottom of my list. But, time permitting, I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at scriptwriting again.

Dream Big | How I'm taking action on my writing goals and how you can too | Writing Goals | Follow Your Dreams | RachelPoli.com

I’ve always been a hard worker, but I’ve also been one to get overwhelmed with my goals and panic too much.

“Will I make it?” “What if this comes out terrible?” “What if I promise something and can’t finish it on time?” You know the drill. Those little people in your head nag you and just want to kick you down.

But I think I’m finally ready. I’m in a good mindset and I’m eager to get started on my life. I already took some pretty big risks and tried some new things in 2017. I think 2018 will be the bigger and better version of it all.

Do you have any writing goals or deadlines for yourself this year? What are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to chat with you!

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WIP Wednesday: December 2017

We’re already about halfway through December. I had a lot of projects lined up for this month in an attempt to get myself prepared and ready for January and beyond in the new year.

I’ve been working extra hard and, surprisingly, it’s been going well.

What am I currently working on?

THE SCRIBE

I’m currently working on two projects right now. One is The Scribe, which was my NaNoWriMo novel last month. I’m currently editing it, hoping to finish the first draft by Friday so I can retype/rewrite it.

As I’ve been editing, I’ve realized a lot of things… not necessarily wrong, but just didn’t quite fit. In other words, I have to rewrite the entire beginning, so… we’ll see how that goes.

Hopefully, that will be done this week because I also hope to get through the second draft by the end of the month.

UNWRITTEN

I’m also editing another novel, Unwritten. I wrote that for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I’ve been submitting a chapter to my local writer’s group each month. I’m finally getting around to looking at their feedback.

I’m going to edit the chapters I’ve received feedback for and edit the rest as well. So for the new year, my group should be reading the second draft material.

What’s the easiest part?

I actually have a good schedule down. I created a calendar for December and wrote in what I want to work on which days. I’ve been using Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Fridays to edit. I aim to edit each piece for at least two hours a day. While the process has been a bit slower than I would like, I’m making progress, so there’s no room for complaints.

What’s the hardest part?

I decided to do all this in December. The first week was slow because I had so many other things going on such as catching up with old friends and early Christmas parties.

Still, we’re about halfway through the month and I’ve been making good progress. So we’ll just have to see how the rest of the month goes!

What are you currently working on? What are your goals? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

Why December Is Always Easy Yet A Busy Month [Life]

Every month I feel like such a broken record.

“I can’t believe the month is already over.”

“I can’t believe we’re at the end of the year.”

“Time has certainly been flying!”

I mean, it’s all true. I feel like I blink and the month is over or the whole year is over. Well, guess what? The year is almost over. We’re already about a week into December. Life doesn’t slow down for anything.

This whole year, I’ve been doing themed posts on the blog. One month I talked about character development while another month I’ve talked about editing and so on and so forth.

When December rolled around, I wasn’t sure what theme I wanted to talk about. Then I wrote down a list of posts and assigned them dates. After that, I realized I didn’t have too many dates left for December. There wasn’t much of a point to me doing another themed month.

I tend to do a lot of end of the year and holiday type posts. Mix that with a couple of guest posts and interviews and then the month is over. It’s crazy how fast the dates fill up.

I always take the time for December to kick back, relax, and look back on the year. I’ve accomplished a lot of my writing, a lot of this blog and Double Jump, my career, relationships, and my life in general.

This is why December is the easiest month and the hardest at the same time.

It’s easy to look back and be amazed at all you’ve done and all you’ve accomplished. You think about the good times you had and even look back at old blog posts and see how much you’ve improved.

Then the hard part of December comes along. I was amazed at the end of 2015 when I made some major changes to this blog. I was amazed at the end of 2016 because I beat my 2015 reading goal, I made more changes to this blog, and I started a new blog.

Now, here I am, amazed at the end of 2017 because I surpassed a lot of my goals as well as made even more changes to the blog than before. All of these changes have improved the blog, my writing, and myself as a person in more ways than one.

So, the hard part of December is this: now I have to think of bigger and better ways to improve in 2018.

Okay, so I don’t have to. But I want to. It’s not good to push yourself too hard, but you have to push yourself a little if you want to learn new things, accomplish new goals, and improve.

I have been working so hard on completely revamping the physical look of this blog as well as come up with new features to add to it both on the blog and off the blog. Yes, outside this blog as in these things will be connected to the blog in some way, shape, or form, but it will not be in the form of a blog post on this particular website.

Some of these things will happen in January (hopefully I make the deadlines I’ve created for myself!) and some will be spread out through the year (again, hoping I make the deadlines I’ve created…).

Not to mention my books. I have four novellas planned to come out on Wattpad in 2018 while I work on four other projects that will… I don’t know if I plan on self-publishing or going traditional, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

It’s all been a lot of planning up until this point and now it’s time that I start putting things into action. Well, November helped a lot with the action too, but December is where most of the magic is happening.

Between the blogging and writing and then of course real life with the holidays and such, I may be a bit frazzled this month. Bare with me.

Do you spend December prepping for the following year? Do you have big plans ahead or do you tend to wing it? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!