Month in Review: January

Categories Blog
Excuse the messy handwriting, but this was my January plan.

We have reached the penultimate day of January 2018, folks. In case you’re wondering, I do love the word penultimate. I remember reading it in a Series of Unfortunate Events book many moons ago, and just relishing the texture of the word as it rolled off my tongue. Penultimate… penultimate… Anyway, moving on.

As I’ve said, I set a number of writing goals for myself this month, because this year is about making and sticking to plans, not wishy-washily stating some resolutions. Those planned goals were:

  1. Write ⅓ of my 2018 novel
  2. Finish a first draft for my essay about New Orleans
  3. Write seven blog posts for A Writer’s Life For Me
  4. Update blog appearance

I accomplished… fifty percent of these goals, and if you’ve been keeping up with me this month, you know which ones they are. It’s true, I’ve been spending a lot more time with A Writer’s Life For Me this year, more so than last year, because this is my most direct path to readers. I love that the moment I hit publish on a post, it’s sent to my subscribers’ inboxes, it appears on my social media pages, and it exists in the world for people to interact with. And throughout this month, I’ve noticed more interaction with my posts, and I’ve really started to feel the impact my words can have.

But I also wanted to have a completed draft by tomorrow, the 31st. I wanted to submit a post to a website that pays (because a girl’s gotta eat). I wanted to write everyday, no matter what obstacles got in my way (like a snow debacle that kept me at work for nearly two full days). I didn’t hit those marks.

I’m not taking those non-accomplishments as “failures” though, and I’m not going to look back at this month with remorse. Because I did post a lot to this blog, and I did increase my online presence to grow as a writer, and I did make my blog prettier and more welcoming (I hope). One of the most important things I did this month was show my readers that I have a head, something a lot of you may not have been sure I had, and revealing my name. I am Holley, an aspiring author. Sometimes, just taking ownership of your name and that title can make all the difference needed in a writing life.

For February, instead of playing catch up with my unaccomplished goals in January, I’m changing up the plan. I’m still going to try and write a good chunk of my novel’s first draft, but I’m not going to desperately try to make up the word count. I’m also going to put the New Orleans essay on hold for now and focus on another short work I’ve been putting off since last year. And I’m amping up the number of posts I’ll write. At the end of this month, I’ll give you all another review of those goals and how they turned out. I know the plan of action I need to follow to accomplish them: stick to the calendar, wake up earlier, and focus on the task at hand, not the distant horizon. The writing life is achieved with a series of steps, not a leap and a bound toward the sun. I’ll get there.

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