• Mary K Gowdy

Hey all! Hope you're having a good start to your year.

My year's been pretty good so far, though it's also been slow on the writing front. I haven't gotten as much done as I had hoped. Though I did a year resolution post, I didn't go over my past monthly goals or set new ones. For this post, I'm going to review the ones I made in December (and technically in that post, I didn't say if these were December or January goals).

Also, a year ago this month I did my first monthly goals post. I can't believe it!

December (and kind of January) Goals:

1. Finish Re-Outlining My NaNo novel (Chervaux)

Accomplished! It was a lot of fun, and I'm happy with how the new outline has turned out. Though,I haven't done anything else with Chervaux, I want to return to it sometime soon. I've done some research to help with the world-building. The next step will be to re-read the first draft, and after that, I'll start re-writing it into the actually usable second draft.

2. Re-read The One and the Other Volume 1

I didn't finish this till some time in January, but it's done as I'm writing this post so I call that accomplished!

I marked the book up as I re-read. I mostly found instances where I need to cut unnecessary words or places where I told and didn't show. There's also scenes I want to rework some, but those types of revisions are getting less and less in number with each draft.

3. Post 4 YouTube Videos

I did post 4 videos in December and January. I'm not calling this goal accomplished though because I didn't upload as many as I had hoped. The big reason for this being because I got a cough over my Christmas break, so I chose to rest my voice instead of making videos. Not to mention it's difficult getting time alone to film during the holiday and back to school season.

I feel like I haven't been focusing on my writing as much, and I'm dying to get back to it. But I'm also trying to balance what I can realistically do so I don't get burnt out.

Either way I love doing these monthly goal posts, and I do believe they help increase my productivity.

February Goals

1. Send out the first of my monthly newsletter

I meant to start this last month, but oh well. It's going out early February. As soon as I can write the newsletter. It's next on my to-do list after this.

In my new years resolution posts, I made sending out a monthly newsletter one of my goals. My newsletter will include a summary of all that I've been working on on my blog and my YouTube channel, and it will also have updates on my writing projects and the occasional sneak peak--whether it be a never-before-seen poem or some insider info about my novel.

It's not too late to sign-up and get the first one!

2. Get 5 reviews of Sensuality.

This goal is a small step towards a bigger one of promoting my chapbook Sensuality.. I released it into the world last year without much fanfare, but now it's time to start making some noise about it. I have plans to reach out to some booktubers and book bloggers to see if they're interested in reviewing Sensuality. in exchange for a free copy. Speaking of, if you're interested in doing this, feel free to contact me.

3. Finish analyzing my beta reader feedback and make a revision game plan for TOATO Volume One

I feel like this has been on my goals list for forever though this is the first I've made it explicitly a monthly goal (it was a year goal for 2018. Spoiler Alert: I didn't accomplish it.)

I almost done with it. Most of the feedback I still have to deal with is my own from when I re-read my book. I use Scrivener, and I'm adding all of the comments from my betas and myself into a Scrivener document so it's all in one place.

After I finish, I need to figure out how I'm going to talk this. I thought of color-coding the comments based on which ones I like, which ones I'm not sure about, and which ones I don't like. I've also considered making a list of big--or more abstract--things I want to address. I'll edit the manuscript from the beginning to the end again because revising that way makes the most sense to me.

4. Post a YouTube video once a week

I know I sound like a broken record at this point. I'll stop including this goal every month once it becomes a habit.

5. Write 2 poems

It's not my focus at the moment so that's why it's only two. But two's better than none. Revisions of old poems also counts towards this goal.

Those are my goals for February. Hopefully I'll be able to manage them. Most of them are fairly small.

Do you have any goals for February? What have you been working on lately?

#writinggoals #amwriting

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  • Mary K Gowdy

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

2018 has been a year of big changes and special firsts.

But most of all, I think 2018 has been the year I've become more serious about my writing career. Though I've been writing seriously for several years now, I hadn't started building my author platform till late 2017 but really this year. This year I've:

  • posted regularly on my website

  • started a YouTube Channel

  • performed my poetry for the first time

  • sent my novel to beta readers

  • published my chapbook and released the recordings of the poems

  • participated in and won my first NaNoWriMo

  • and updated my website

Also, I've done a lot in my personal life to. I've presented my research at a conference, studied abroad and left the country for the first time, and started a new job at my college.

Wow, it's been a busy year.

At the beginning of last year, I made 5 year resolutions, which also led to me making monthly goal posts.

Goals for 2018

1. Begin Friday 10 minute stories & 3. Receive 25 rejection letters from literary magazines

Both these goals I abandoned early in the year because I decided to focus my efforts on other things.

2. Recite my Poetry at Open Mic Nights, 4. Publish my first poetry chapbook & 5. Finish Revisions of Episodes 3-10 by May 25th.

All three of these, I accomplished. I recited my poetry at two different open mic nights in the beginning of the year. I published Sensuality. in September. Then, I finished the revisions for my book by the deadline and sent it to my beta readers over the summer.

Halfway through the year, I made three more year goals:

6. Write 35 poems

Accomplished! I wrote 36 and most of them in the summer.

7. Recite at more Open Mic Nights

Failed! I didn't recite at another open mic night in the back of half of the year. They kept sneaking up on me, and I was either too busy or not prepared.

8. Finish the beta reading stage and start the final round of the revisions for The One and the Other Volume One

Sort of accomplished? One of my beta readers is finishing up, but I've already started going through the feedback from my others. I've also read through the most current draft and written my own critiques. Once I've collected all my feedback, I'll be able to start revising.

I'd say 5 out of 8 goals is a productive year. It's been a good year, but I am looking forward to 2019. I can't believe we're about to be in the 20s again, though.

Goals for 2019

1. Work on 3 Work-In-Progresses at once

I've always worked on just one project at a time and worked on other ones while I've been on a break from my main WIP--The One and the Other Volume 1 (TOATO1).

But because I've worked on other projects on my breaks, I've started multiple other ones and haven't been able to finish them. And I don't want to wait for another break to return to them. So, for the first time, I've decided to try working on all three of them at once. TOATO1 will be my main WIP that I'll focus on during the week, and then the other two, I'll write on the weekends. I'll alternate between the two.

- The One and the Other Volume 1

I'm analyzing my feedback from my beta readers right now. While I'm considering doing another round of beta readers after some more revisions, I'm not sure if I'm going to. It'll have to depend on how I feel about the manuscript after these edits.

Also, it is possible that I could publish this novel at the end of this year. I'm not sure though, so I'm not making it a goal. If I have to do another round of beta readers, it probably won't be published. And I need the money and the following to give the book the launch it needs. I don't want to rush publishing my first book.

My goal for this manuscript in 2019 is to finish revising it completely.

- Poetry Book #1

This is my first full-length poetry book. I've had the idea since Fall of 2017, but I didn't begin serious work on it till this past summer. I'll only write poems for this book over the weekends because I prefer to write a poem in one large sitting rather than work on it a little bit over the course of many days. I feel like I write poetry slower in multiple sittings than one because each time I have to get back into the flow.

My goal for this manuscript is to write 90% of the poems. This goal doesn't include revising some of them, which I already know I need to do. I want most of the structure of the book to be done by the end of the year.

- Chervaux - my NaNoWriMo 2018 novel

I wrote the first draft of this standalone last November, knowing I probably wouldn't be able to revise it for a long time. But I've developed a lot of momentum with the story, and I really want to keep up with it. I've decided I'll work on it on the weekends, alternating with Poetry Book #1.

I've re-outlined the manuscript. The next step is to read my first draft and then work on re-writing the entire manuscript--which I knew I would do because it's part of my process. I have no goal for this manuscript other than to work on it. I would love to finish re-write draft, but I'm going to stress over it.

2. Hit 100 subscribers on YouTube

Just in the last month, I've gained some traction of YouTube. I've met a lot of other awesome AuthorTubers! They're so supportive! I want to grow my channel to 100 subscribers. I'm not sure how hard this goal will be to reach. It might be that I accomplish this way before I thought I would or it might be harder than I think. It seems like an attainable goal if I upload consistently.

3. Promote Sensuality.

I released my chapbook of poetry Sensuality. last September. I didn't promote it a lot when it came out because I wasn't sure of what I was doing and life happened, but I want to spread the word about it this year.

The plan is to post excerpts from it on my Instagram and read from it at local open mic nights where I can also maybe sell a few copies. I might reach out to book reviewers too. The problem is is that there's not many people interested in poetry. But a girl's gotta try, right?

4. Start a Monthly Newsletter For My Email List

Starting this month, I'm going to send out a monthly newsletter to the subscribers on my email list. It'll include updates on my projects, links to my recent videos and posts, and exclusive information about my work in progresses or maybe a never-before-seen poem. If that interests you, you can sign up today! You don't want to miss the first email!

Last year was the start of my author platform, and this year I hope to grow it further and reach people to share my work with. Do you have any year resolutions? How was last year for you? What are you looking forward to the most in 2019?

#yearresolutions #writing

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  • Mary K Gowdy

It's been a while. I'm sorry. But this semester has kind of been a mess but it's almost over.

Since I've lasted posted here, I've:

  1. Published Sensuality., my poetry chapbook, and uploaded the recordings onto YouTube

  2. Participated--and won!--NaNoWriMo for the first time!

  3. I haven't read at an Open Mic Night. It's just been such a hectic semester I haven't had the time to prepare.

  4. I didn't make a monthly goal post for October or November. And I've hardly been active on this blog or YouTube either.

Though I didn't post about NaNoWriMo on here, I made two videos about my experience.

A quick summary of both:

This was my first time officially doing NaNoWriMo. I've done Camp NaNoWriMo a few times but never set a goal even close to 50,000. This November, I worked on a standalone fantasy novel that I'm hoping to make more lighthearted than The One and the Other Volume I. It's about a family that goes on the run for treason, but everything doesn't go as planned: someone from their past is tracking them, romance happens, and there's a subplot involving a were-snow-leopard. I made a loose outline where I determined every scene but then just came up with the worldbuilding and fleshed out the characters as I went along.

I won, writing a total of 51,108 words and completing the first draft! After the first two days, I fell immediately behind and never fully caught back up till the end. Week One and Two were lots of fun because I was so excited to be writing something new. I hadn't first drafted a manuscript in ages! Then, Week Three was the hardest. I ran into some tough scenes to write and fell further behind. I was able to catch up a lot over Thanksgiving. On the final day of NaNo, all I did was write and I wrote 5000 words and won!

I intend to put this manuscript aside and return to The One and the Other, but I've already started revising some. What was a list of what I wanted to change turned into a several day reworking of the structure and characters.

I love my monthly goal posts, so I'm reinstating them this month.

1. Finish Re-Outlining My NaNo novel

I'm working out some kinks in the final half. I didn't want to start revising right away, but I don't feel like I can stop until I'm satisfied with the new outline. I want to ride the momentum while it's fresh in my mind.

2. Re-read The One and the Other Volume 1

I need to start the final round of revisions for this project. It's been since May that I touched it. I never expected the break to be this long, but it's given me some much needed space and perspective. I've received feedback from my beta readers, but before I implement any of those changes, I want to re-read it myself since I haven't done that with this version. I'm excited and scared to start the final edits!

3. Post 4 YouTube Videos

I really want to build my YouTube channel, so I'm going to start uploading consistently again.

I don't have any lofty writing goals since I want to focus on YouTube and I need to focus on school for the first half of the month at least.  I hope ya'll have a great holiday season. We'll keep in touch. Thanks for reading!

#amwriting #monthlygoals #nanowrimo

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