It's the end of January already, can you believe it? I can...and not. The days are slow, but in retrospect everything seems to move fast, doesn't it? Anyway, I've just completed my first month working through my customized Writer's Apprenticeship and I have to say, so far it's working out great! It hasn't been easy, but I've stuck to it and now I feel pretty good about my progress. I'm going to give you a run down of all that I did, but before I do, please remember that I write full time--as in I don't have another job. This is my job. That is why my goals are bigger and I have a good amount of time each day to accomplish them. If you are working through your own apprenticeship, please customize it to fit your own individual schedule and needs.
That said, at the end of each month I think it's important to take stock of what worked and maybe what didn't. Where things got hard. Where they were easier than expected. I found out that my work goals were easy to keep, but my personal ones weren't. I'm not sure why except I think that I'm so committed to breaking through with my writing that I'm probably prioritizing it over all things. I know that this isn't good in the long run for my family or me, so it's something I'll have to look harder at and brainstorm ways to improve what I'm doing. So here is my recap of January. The things I was successful at are written in blue ink. The things I did, but only partially are written in red. And the things I didn't to at all are in regular black ink.
My goals for January were:
Stay true to project timeline for Art of Letting Go
Complete an outline and project timeline for next project, Bait
Begin drafting Bait
Blog 4 times
Outline a course I’m developing
Prep for Orlando County Library System Writing Workshop
Create and complete tasks for Palm Beach Peril (the first event I’m organizing as Young Adult/Middle Grade Program Chair for International Thriller Writers)
Prep for Dreadfest Workshop
Write 1k per day
Do morning pages 5 times per week
Study one NYT bestseller (One Of Us Is Lying)
Go on 4 artist dates with myself
Read 4-5 books this month
Complete the Judy Blume Master Class
Some other goals I had:
Drink 2 bottles of water a day
Walk 5 times per week for 30 minutes
Lose 4 pounds
Cut down soda intake to under three cans per day
Have a set stopping point each night for work
Plan 1 date with my husband this month
Complete the Wolfgang Puck Master Class
Where did I do well?
I did really well with my writing/work goals and met nearly all of them except outlining Bait and beginning to draft it. And
On the personal side, I did walk 5 times per week and I feel much better for it.
Where did I fall short?
On basically all of my personal goals. I didn’t lose the weight. I also didn’t establish a set stopping point many nights or make a date with my husband. And I didn’t drink 2 bottles of water a day, but I did drink one each day, so partial success!
What I read: (way more books than I thought!)
One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer
Ready Player One (on audiobook) by Ernest Cline
Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds by Michael Hauge
Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
Story Fix by Larry Brooks
The Widow by Fiona Barton
What I listened to:
The movie soundtrack to The Greatest Showman. INCESSANTLY. I LOVE IT!
Many, many podcast episodes. Here are a few standouts I recommend:
The School of Greatness: “Keys to Persuasion and Powerful Self-confidence” w/Ed Mylett
The Writer Files: “21 Productivity Hacks From 21 Prolific Writers”
What I watched:
Orange is the New Black (I finished my binge of the entire thing, all seasons that started before the holidays)
A few episodes of the latest season of Black Mirror
Blade Runner 2049
The Greatest Showman
I went to the movies solo two times—I should probably get more creative here, lol!
I had lunch with my writing besties which technically isn’t a solo date, but it filled me with writerly inspiration, so I’m counting it!
And I stopped at a German bakery on the way to an event and had some me time...that involved serious bread consumption, lol--good for inspiration/relaxation, bad for my weight loss goals.
That I can accomplish a lot if I prioritize my time. I mean A LOT.
That many times when I say I'm busy, I'm not as busy as I think.