Bimonthly Goals: March to April

*cue "Versace On The Floor"* 

Before I begin, let's look at how I did with my bimonthly goals for January and February, shall we?

- Finish #romanceclass2017 manuscript: Done! I finished at around 37k, but it went up to 43k after rewrites based on beta reader feedback. Apparently I'm an under-writer, and I have to work on that.

- Write 500 words/day: Didn't happen. I'm guessing that I don't have it in me to write every day, unless I've got a deadline (i.e. NaNoWriMo) and/or I don't have that many demands on my time. No regrets and no excuses, though.

- Finalize print edition of Crushingly Close: Done.

- Read 3-4 books. Done! I didn't finish Once Upon A Rose (Laura Florand), but I loved Beard Science (Penny Reid), After We Fall (Melanie Harlow), Under Her Skin (Adriana Anders) and Good Boy (Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy). I think I'm going to put reading in as a regular goal from now on.

- Post one new blog entry every week. Almost. I actually missed a week in January, but I made up for it by posting more than once the following week.

- Monitor caffeine intake: Still doing this. I'm at this point where I can drink caffeine and still lose my focus, so I can't attribute my productivity to it anymore. I still need it, but I have to work on being more organized to make the most of my day.

Speaking of which:

- Use all of my planners. My weekly schedules are still pretty much shot--too many appointments get cancelled or rescheduled--but I am at the point where I have to write down everything or I'd lose track of my days. You can read more about it here.

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Now that we've gotten that out of the way, it looks like the bimonthly goal system is working well for me, since it's easier for me to manage expectations with a more manageable time frame. I also think it's good that I'm blogging about them, too, because it gives me a lot to think (and blog) about for the following months.

So let's go to the March/April goals now, shall we?

1. Stick to a time-management routine. In other words, use my planner regularly and keep track of my days so I don't lose focus.

2. Read 3-4 books. My Kindle Paperwhite just arrived, so I'm going to start transferring my books there. I'm already looking forward to Madly (Ruthie Knox--finally!) but other than that I'll be reading the books that I've stockpiled in the last two months--and with a few free days in March and April, I think I'll be able to get through my TBR pretty quickly.

3. Recruit beta readers for my unpublished New Adult story (non-NaNo/non-#romanceclass). This is the manuscript that I mentioned in this blog entry (and also in this one from September), which means I have to go over it one more time before I can prepare a critique copy. I already have a few people in mind to critique it, but I might put out a call anyway to make sure I've got all bases covered.

4. Revise my NaNoWriMo story. Has it really been four months since I've touched that manuscript? I know I have to polish it to get rid of some factual errors and extraneous chapters, so it's going to be a lot of work.

5. Conceptualize the sixth book. I just started jotting down notes and writing sample chapters, but what I really want to do with this is to concentrate on the characterization, since this is still a weak spot for me. (I tend to write a lot opaque, unsympathetic female characters, so it would be a test for me to come up with someone worth rooting for from the get-go.) Once I get my characters down, I'm going to develop the plot, so I can lay down the foundations before I can find the time to write again.

6. Post at least six blog entries. I'm going to miss a few weeks of blogging because of some action in March (second week) and April (last two weeks) so I'll have to find a way around all of this. Maybe schedule blog entries in advance? Let's see.

There may be other things that might come up in the next few weeks, especially with Lent coming around and plans for my parents' golden wedding anniversary, so I might have to keep a few things close to the vest for now. But I'm hoping that I can start crossing these goals off the list so I can have a productive two months ahead. Here's to new beginnings!

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