I can’t believe it is New Year’s Eve! It seems to me that the year of 2013 just pulled a vanishing act. The month of December in particular has flitted past my awareness faster than a white rabbit disappearing inside a magician’s hat.
Speaking of vanishing, I must remind you all that today marks the last day of my Photography Sale. If you have not had the chance to purchase some of my gorgeous artwork, don’t delay any longer. Remember to use the Discount Code YMHLAA in your shopping cart to receive your savings. Okay, I promise I’m finished advertising. Now it’s on to the rest of today’s post!
Ever since I posted my Christmas sale, I’ve been hard at work doing a thorough review of my work accomplishments this year. If that sounds a little boring to you, believe me when I say that it often is for me, too. I mean I do love seeing all of the things I’ve created and improved over the past 12 months, but I also hate discovering all of the things that I failed to do.
There were several things that I did very well this year:
- Created and scheduled maintenance of AlyciaChristine.com
- Increased of my blog writing from monthly to weekly
- Maintained my Tuesday posting schedule
- Updated my photography website with new photos frequently
- Used new photos to add interest to my weekly blog posts
- Kept up with my daily and weekly house chores
- Began and maintained daily Bible readings
All of these things are wonderful personal accomplishments. However, there were several problems this year that must be addressed and corrected. Chief among these is my fiction writing schedule. While my weekly blog writing was regular, my weekly fiction word count was anything but steady. Most weeks saw one or two days in which I wrote strong word counts, while most other days I wrote little more than a sentence. There were also several weeks in which I didn’t manage to write anything at all. This major lack of consistency led to delays in finishing stories of all lengths and consequently caused me to fall behind on most of my year-end tasks.
If I am going succeed in writing, then I will have to put it first before all of my other major jobs. With that in mind, I made the following list of Goals for 2014:
- 300 or more daily word count total for fiction (1500 words minimum per week)
- SCRAWLS & Flashes of Perspective blogs maintained weekly
- Musings: published
- Skinshifter: published
- Dreamdrifter: 1st edited draft finished
- Fireforger: at least 3 chapters written
- Find a stock photography outlet for my work
- Continue to sale new photos to my photography website (at least 1 new photo uploaded per week)
- Twitter maintained daily
- Facebook maintained weekly
- Newsletter maintained monthly
- Amazon.com: Alycia C. Cooke author account made and maintained monthly
- GoodReads author account maintained monthly
- Build and maintain PurpleThornPress.com website
- Maintain AlyciaChristine.com website with regular updates
- AlyciaChristine.com: Build an “Opt-In” button for free copy of a short story to build contact list
- Exercise body at least 20 minutes every weekday (bike rides, karate, weight lifting, etc.)
- Exercise soul once a day (prayer and Bible-reading time)
- Exercise mind once a day (learn something new every day; read for fun and information every week)
- Learn to properly prioritize my jobs
- Finish what I start (nip procrastination in the bud)
My plan is to use the small daily word count goals to increase my confidence and then increase them later. I have also simplified my goals in other areas to help improve my writing. If I write only 300 words every workday of 2014, I will have a total of 75,000 words by the end of 2014. This word count will allow me to meet and even surpass my larger book-writing goals for the year as long as I stay focused. I find time management and prioritization very difficult, so I hope the smaller daily goals will help me combat those issues.
One final note on Musings: my beta readers have asked me to reorganize of the book’s included stories. Specifically they feel that the “Elza and Eliza” short story is not a good fit for the overall book and suggest that I publish it on its own or as part of a different collection. I have to agree with their assessment. The story’s longer length and its particular plot have more in common with the Sylvaeleth worlds discussed in Skinshifter and Dreamdrifter than any of the stories in Musings. Although it saddens me not to include “Elza and Eliza”, I promise that readers will see it sometime in the future.
Consequently, Musings now includes the following stories:
- “Banner Prophesies”
- “Chosen Sacrifice”
- “City of Twilight”
- “Of Kelpie Lullabies”
- “Raven’s Fall”
- “Star Child and the Golden Seed”
- “Sumari’s Solitude”
- “What Tendrils Echo”
- “Winter’s Charge”
The final book will include a collection of 10 to 12 short stories, but I am not sure which ones will be added to the current list yet. Please keep watching the Blog and News pages for more updates. Thanks so much for your patience!
Until our next meeting, have a joyful new year! May we each rewrite our world for the better!
The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the desk of Alycia C. Cooke and/or Alycia Christine Sears with love, fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!