March is a month where I often find personal plans disrupted – it’s the month when I realise how little personal project time I really have, and it tends to get poured into tax return prep and spring house projects. So, an adjustment to make next year may be to be less ambitious.
With that said, on to seeing how I did on the goals from last time.
This is the first update where I have traffic light colours. I am putting them in a table here as a handy overview.
|Look for an agent||n/a||n/a|
|Be productive in fiction||n/a||1/3|
|Run Hood To Coast||n/a||1/4|
… which is a pretty summary, but on with the detailed review.
1. Finish Song
Here is the plan:
- To complete the outline.
Last action: complete the outline once I write off the end of what I have.
This appears to be done after all, despite having done no particular work on it. I think I mis-assessed where I was.
- To complete the second draft in line with the outline.
Last action: continue second draft process.
I reworked my process to complete the second act, pulling in the first draft text and modifying the POV rather than rewriting everything. This was a good thing to do, since my outline was missing some scenes I wanted to include! I’ve completed the POV change edit on those scenes I can reuse, but still have one scene left to write to finish the act two draft.
Next action: continue second draft process.
- Edit that second draft. Pending completion of steps (1) and (2).
- Make submission materials. Pending completion of step (3).
So I completed the action, even if I didn’t do such a great job of applying it just yet.
Goals from Ostara were:
- complete second draft of act two – only one scene short, but not quite there
- revise outline for the rest of the book – apparently complete by dint of my mis-assessing what I had!
Total: 1/2 – yellow
Goals for next update: act two was the end of the plot from the first draft – now I am moving into new writing again with act three, and I think finishing that third act is a plausible goal for this next period.
My goal for next update is:
- complete draft of act three – twelve scenes.
Metric: Yellow for substantial work on this (50% of the scenes written, say), green for a completed draft.
2. Complete Shapes
Here is the plan for Shapes:
- finish reading of draft – once for readability, once for errors.
Last action: complete draft reading and markup.
- apply corrections from draft read.
- give it to my wife to read.
- restructure outline. Pending step (2) and feedback from step (3).
- second draft – make existing material match outline; add new material. Pending step (4).
- finish error markup – completed
- apply error corrections – completed
- hand off to my wife to read – completed
Total: 3/3 – green
Goals for the next update: Shapes is largely on hiatus, at the moment. I may pick it up again if I happen to get to the end of act three of Song faster than I expect, but primarily I am waiting for feedback. I do have that interesting change to the setup that I need to apply to the outline, though.
- receive feedback
- revise outline to reflect setup change
Metrics: yelllow for one, green for both.
3. Look for an agent
Last action: finish a novel so I have a manuscript to query.
This goal is pending having a manuscript I can shop around.
4. Be productive in fiction
As noted in the preamble comments, I’ve lost time to other priorities (tax return, especially), but I have done some work on fiction. I’ve also been working on the plotting and prep for the third season of A New Dawn, which I had no goals for because it does not really figure into my fiction.
- get up to write in the morning – done pretty consistently, and this should be easier from now on since I am no longer fighting my cat allergy.
- give time striping another couple of weeks – abandoned.
- try something else – not done
Total: 1/3 – yellow
Goals for next update: I’m going to be losing some bus time since I need to start riding into work, so the challenge this next period is to continue writing in the morning while managing to carve out some time at lunch to write.
- get up to write in the morning
- write at lunch when I ride
5. Run Hood To Coast
Here is the plan:
- lose some weight.
Last action: actually lose weight.
That didn’t go so well – I haven’t lost any meaningful amount of weight, although I have also recently stopped taking an anti-histamine and I feel a lot better for it, so I am optimistic that I will be able to control my eating more consistently.
Last action: actually lose weight, for reals this time.
- figure out a team training plan.
Last action: sketch out a team training plan.
Last action: rally the troops.
I wrote a blog post about training, but have spent most of my time at work working so have not done much more than that.
Next action: kick off team training
Last action: run Shamrock.
I ran Shamrock. It was nice – not as fast as I wanted, but a lovely run despite that. Next race is the Helvetia Half in June, so I will be kicking off the training for that soon but the thing I want to do now is to build up speed and cardio capacity, which means cross training.
Next action: ride to work a couple of days a week
Next action: maintain distance base
Last action: don’t get injured, but also do some low-impact exercise to rest existing weaknesses.
No new injuries! Haven’t done any low-impact workouts, but my right ankle is improving all the same.
Next action: remain uninjured.
- lose five pounds – about the only thing I can say here is that I did not gain. So, there’s that.
- have a team training plan – some steps, but incomplete.
- complete Shamrock. Goal time here is 9:30 miles – completed, but missed my target time by five minutes (actually ran 10:06 miles – but I did run)
- ride to work a couple of times a week – didn’t do this at all
Total: 1/4 – yellow
Goals for next update: more of the same, really, since consistency is the main thing about training for long runs.
- lose five pounds – let’s try this again, shall we?
- start team training – write something up, meet with the team.
- maintain distance base – I want to put in at least a couple of ten milers over the next few weeks. I’ll ramp up the distance a bit more closer to Helvetia, but staying on form is all I can really hope for here.
- ride to work a couple of times a week – the weather’s improved, so let’s have another go at this.
Metrics: yellow for 1-2, green for 3-4
Things that may sabotage these goals –
- not getting up early – as noted elsewhere, morning time is my only reliable writing time if I start cycling into work regularly, so I need to be consistent about doing this.
- roleplaying – A New Dawn started up again last week. I think I’ve done most of the plotting I need to do to support this, but I will still be spending a lot of my writing time in game weeks on session prep. This season will be running throughout the next period.
- projects – there is a lengthy household project list which I will be working on on the weekends.
So, overall, that’s a less successful period than I had hoped but a more successful period than I had feared. I’m going to call that a score draw.