2018 Writing Goals

2018 writing goalsWe’re finally in the 2018 year and I feel more prepared than previous years. I have goals setup, broken down into quarterly goals, along with deadlines and hope that I’ll find this year to productive as well as successful.

I broke down my goals to work in three month increments. This way, I break goals down to measurable chunks. After each quarter, I sit down and revise/review goals to see which ones to keep or even remove. Some goals I’ll toss because they’re not practical at this time, or I didn’t really want the goal anyway. Other goals might require more time, more effort, or even help to achieve.

I also recognize that any goal or new habit will take time (and even setbacks) to finally reach the final victory. It took me almost two years to stop biting my fingernails because I’d end up biting them. I’d then start again. I kept doing this, finding new habits to help along the way. I’d keep finding setbacks. I incorporated some new things, and now I have long fingernails. Try and try again, you’ll get to where you want to go

My writing goals include;

Make writing a habit. This should be done as easily as I sip my morning coffee. Not that I do much writing in the mornings. I’m not a morning person. I prefer evenings. It’s quiet, no phone ringing, no noise in our little town, the cat is fed, husband is sleeping, and I get the peace and quiet I need to write.

Redesign my previous published works. I want to redo the covers, but update the interiors with some updated information. I then want to follow through with a marketing plan. The anthology series I want to redesign the covers so they can be a set.

Write prolifically. I hope to write regularly and publish what I write both fiction and non fiction. I have book outlines made, plots prepared. Now I just need that uninterrupted time block to get into the groove of writing. I made a do not disturb sign to hang on the doorknob as well.

Blog regularly. This means posts should be published regularly and along a schedule. I will blend the topics and printables that my writer’s group covers in their topics/workshops. I hope to offer online workshops as well to subscribers.

Use a standing desk. As I age (I turned 50 last October) I grow ever more concerned for my health. This means diet, of course, but also less sitting around. I bought a tray desk that works perfect as a standing desk but I can also use in bed, sitting on the couch, etc. I’m standing now as I type and it’s comfortable. I found the tray desk more solid than I thought, with enough room for laptop and mouse. It includes a small drawer you can store things in like pens and a small notebook.  http://amzn.to/2rhocVB

There are more resolutions but I wanted to share only the writing-related goals. with this blog.

Want to share your goals? Post in comments. I’d love to hear how others intend on reaching their goals.

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Thoughts on Editing for Self Published Authors

Within my writer’s group, we discuss methods of editing for self-published authors. This is a challenge for those wishing to keep costs low, but there are a few things I can offer to help in the process:

Understand the different types of editing. Not all editors are the same.

Learn how to edit. You must remember, as a writing, words, sentences, paragraphs, storylines, character development…all are considered your craft. If you don’t’ know it- learn it. With the Internet, you can find plenty of resources to master the craft of writing, so take some courses, write, write some more, read, read some more, and understand that the process can take a while, but worth it.

bettereditor.org

freelanceconfidence.com/50-free-online-writing-courses

Use programs. Although programs are stupid, you can still catch some errors, misspellings, and punctuation issues. It won’t catch homonyms. For instance, conscious or conscience sound similar but used in sentences to mean different things. But programs can help catch things like finding passive voice, weak verbs, punctuation, and other elements of crafting a story.

www.paperrater.com

textalyser.net

www.autocrit.com

Find an editor you can afford. I would suggest looking at colleges for English Majors who want more practice with editing, or check sites like Fiverr.com to hire someone to look at your manuscript. Other options include asking other self-published authors if they found an editor, and check how much for cost and is it worth it?

Fiverr.com

Writers Beware!

Warning signs you’re being scammed.

TheCreativePenn list of editors (check reviews and costs)

If you have any suggestions or have your own experiences you’d like to share, please post in comments.

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My Top 10 Distractions From Writing

Besides having issues with my eyes for the past year, making reading and writing more of a chore, I have a number of distractions that keep luring me away from writing fiction;

youtube1. YouTube.com- I love videos. I don’t have to read. I can watch but I’m not entirely goofing off. I watch many writer based channels.

WritersD- This is the Writer’s Digest youtube page that includes many topics and samples of workshops/courses they provide.

M.Kirin – Self-published author. He has a great sense of humor and covers many aspects of the writing process.

Bruce Jones- Love his channel. He shares classes on self-publishing including marketing and book cover design.

pn2. Pinterest.com- Another addiction of mine. I love Pinterest. My profile has thousands of ‘pins’ but what I love about it is that it’s a search engine with graphics. Not to say they don’t provide some incredible links for writer resources.

Writing Prompts– My pins for all sorts of prompts.

Writing Craft– Pins for crafting stories. 

Writing Marketing- All things marketing for authors.

3. Facebook.com- My biggest reason for this as a distraction is that I connect with friends and family, keep up with news, and find some neat posts. Just this week I found-

21 Summertime Book Promotion Ideas for Self-published Writers

“Ghost Ship” Crewed by Mannequins Washes Up in Florida. (a prompt idea)

Random Name Generator– my sister sent me this link via Facebook to share with my meetup group.

4. Amazon.com – Amazon is not just online shopping. You can watch TV and movies, and you look up tons of books for Kindle.

Amazon Prime TV  and movies provides streaming TV and movies. Some are included in the Prime membership ($99 per year) while others you need to rent/buy.

Amazon Unlimited unlimited reading for $9.99 a month on any device.

Kindle Apps are not just for the Kindle. The apps are free for tablet, iPad, iPhone, android, and computer.

You can find tons of books through Kindle books.

5. Video Games – I love my video games. I like to play Fallout 4, Skyrim, Elderscrolls Online, Dishonored, Thief, and others. When my hands ache from typing, I like to switch to a game controller and be someone else for a while. It was video games that prompted me to write my lengthy Morrowind Fanfiction, which got me into writing and publishing my own stories.

I also get distracted with working on projects such as graphic design, worksheets, homeschool planning, and web design. Too many things, not enough time to do them all.

What distract you? Post in comments below.

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Writer Tech Trouble

pcillustratorThe other day I had some issues with my computer. It’s not a huge problem for me because I know how to take them apart and fix them, or get into the DOS settings and troubleshoot. Since the computer is vital to writers, I felt I’d share some tips that might help you out if you have problems and don’t want to lose your work.

Set your word processor to save every few minutes.

MS Word- autosave tutorial

OpenOffice autosave tutorial

Back up your file to a cloud drive. I also recommend backing up to a USB periodically. I use my Dropbox folder as the My Documents folder on my computer. This way, if I get a crash and need to format or get a new computer, everything is already saved and synced through the Internet.

Dropbox (free) If you sign up via the link, I get more space. If you sign up, you can get more space by getting people to sign up too.

Icloud- (free) If you have an iPhone, you probably already have an icloud account.

OneDrive (try for free) If you use MS Office, you may already have an OneDrive account.

Be sure to have your antivirus software update regularly. This means not only to update ‘definitions’ but also the program itself. Make sure settings scan the computer regularly.

Avast antivirus (free)

AVG antivirus (free)

Install anti-malware. I recommend Malwarebytes or Spybot. You can also install these programs on a USB drive and run a scan from the drive.

Malwarebytes (free)

Spybot (free)

Corrupted files. Sometimes with word processors, the file you save gets corrupted.  

MS Word document recovery.

OpenOffice documents recovery.

Make boot discs for your computer. A boot disc helps with fixing problems with the computer with a simple restart of the system. How to do this will depend on the version of Windows you have, and sometimes even the make/model of the computer.

How to create repair discs for your computer.

How to make bootable USB, CD, or DVD to install Windows using a ISO file.

If you have any questions, please leave in comments or email me at frootbat31@yahoo.com.

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