Happiness Is a Complete First Draft

Well, my first draft of Patterns in the Void is not quite done, but so close that I’m counting it as a win. Woo hoo! This round has been kind of a whirlwind, or the last part of it has, anyway. I lost momentum on the WIP during January, but since I got back to it in February, it’s gone really well. I’ve been writing a lot, enjoying myself in the process, and setting up good writing habits that I plan to continue into the rest of the year. I’m so thankful! That’s what this whole ROW 80 thing is all about, right? Establishing good writing habits and getting work done.

Overall I’m in a really good space, and I think 2015 is going to be a really big year for me. I’m already well into the process of crafting goals for the next round, and I have a writing plan in place for the rest of the year. This enthusiasm and confidence are new, but the timing feels right. I feel like I’m really in the groove now, with the way my writing career fits into my life as a whole.

And now a more detailed look at my goals and how I did:

2015 Row 80 Round 1 Goals

Complete current WIP. Finish the first draft of Patterns in the Void. Target is 100K words or so. Starting the round, I’m at 61K. As I write this update, I’ve written 104,391 words, and I only have 5 scenes left to write. I will update you when I actually finish, but I’m confident I’ll be done within the next few days. I’m so thrilled!

De-clutter and organize my life, creating beautiful work spaces. Clean and organize my upstairs desk and filing cabinets. Continue to de-clutter and beautify our shared living spaces. Set up my new planner with intentions and goals for the year. IN PROCESS. With the onset of really cold weather, my upstairs organizing project stalled. I’ve been working downstairs at the dining room table because it’s warmer. I have been doing a great job at keeping our shared living spaces beautiful. It feels good. I have a working 2015 planning system up and running, and I’m pleased with it so far.

Ramp up Feline Dreamers. Work on our cookbook. Research and create an Etsy shop. Submit two articles to magazines. We did some work on our business, much of it planning focused, but these particular priorities have shifted and changed. I did research Etsy, and it’s not a direction we’re going to pursue just now. I’ll have some updated business goals for the new round.

Focus on blogging. Post to my Starcat’s Corner blog at least twice per week, Feline Dreamers every other week, and on this blog twice per week. Write, edit, and submit guest blog posts for SoulFire Om, Kind Over Matter, Facing North, and Moon Books. Start and keep a running list of blog post ideas, drafts, and picture ideas. Results by the numbers: over the roughly 12 weeks of the round, I posted 17 times on Starcat’s Corner, 4 times on Feline Dreamers (so, every three weeks), and 18 times on this blog. I didn’t exactly reach my goals, but I do feel like my posts in general were more high-quality and focused than before. I spent more time on them and got quite a bit of good feedback (usually via Facebook). This round I contributed once to SoulFire Om and once to Facing North (which is a book review site).  I’m doing a monthly column for Kind Over Matter this year, and I feel like my posts for them have been on-target. I feel good about this goal, and will continue it. I’d also like to utilize the scheduling function more, and write my posts ahead of time. I do have a running list of ideas, which has been helpful.

Continue my craft learning. Read at least 3 books about writing and ethical marketing & promotion. In the queue: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch, Fiction Unboxed by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant, and Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran. Keep notes on ideas to use, and begin implementing them. DONE. I read all of these books, plus one more (How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn). I was a bit disappointed in Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. It had good information, but I’d read a lot of it elsewhere, and it was a bit dull. In contrast, I loved and was completely captivated by Fiction Unboxed. I very highly recommend it to anyone who writes fiction. Both Let’s Get Digital and How to Market a Book were very good, and gave me some good ideas. I was surprised by how much I adored reading these books. I think I’m just so psyched up about writing that I’m absorbing them like a happy little sponge.

Make inspiring art. Practice zentangling. Create my 2015 Word of the Year vision board. Create new scrapbook pages and art journal pages. Take nature photographs to use on my websites and blog posts. DONE. I’ve been doing nearly all of these things, perhaps not to the extent I thought I would, but certainly enough to consider it a win.

Upgrade my music. Practice drumming with my doumbek at least 20 minutes each day. Rehearse with BlackLion. I didn’t do as much music as I’d thought I would this round. I’m no longer in the performance troupe, and the way things were handled left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth (we never got to do the big final show that was planned, not by my choice, which was a bummer). I know I’ll be doing more music, though, and I’m not worried about it. I drummed recently at a friend’s party, and had such a fun time. I learned so much from being in the troupe’s band, not least of which is how to play with other musicians. I know I’ll be using those skills again, and learning more about music and rhythm. I plan to combine my music and artwork goals for the next round, because both are hobbies that feed into my main creative passion, writing.

Expand my spiritual awareness and the integration of all aspects of my life. Pay attention to my dreams and keep records of them. Set intentions before sleep and upon waking. Do the Abraham meditations 3 times per week. Learn about sacred geometry and deep energy work. IN PROCESS. The various aspects of this goal are going well, and I’ll continue it on into the next round.

GRACEfully invite ease, purpose, and kindness into my daily life. Do things I love: write in my journal, read, do yoga, dance, spend time with loved ones, and express my gratitude. Eat well and exercise. Get outdoors for walks on a regular basis. Go ice-skating and cross-country skiing. I had mixed results here. Several of my daily practices are going super well. I haven’t moved my body as much as I’d like to, though with the arrival of spring, I’m certainly doing more than I was. I’ve been eating too much sugar, and want to get a handle on that again. I only did a little bit of outdoor winter activities; I just don’t like the cold. I’ll continue the goal, modified for the new season.

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