March Road Map/February Wrap Up

February is over and March is here!

Which means it's time to take stock of what got done, what didn't, and areas I need to keep improving upon.

Here's where I'm at:


I am keeping to the schedules I set forth for myself for my current project and for the one I hope to begin drafting come April. I did manage to write 1k per day, but sadly there was a chunk that I won't be able to use in my WIP--I had to do a little re-outlining and will be throwing out 20k from the middle of this draft...again. It is ridiculous how much work I've thrown out on this one. I am beginning to think I might never finish. But when I look at my pacing charts, I should complete it at the end of March and be ready to turn it into my agent mid-April. Stay tuned and cross your fingers to see if I manage it.

So why am I having so much trouble? I've thought about this a lot and I am pretty sure that I can chalk all of it up to the fact that this idea was just way beyond my skill level and I am having to rise to the challenge which means learning as I go and hoping I grasp the necessary lessons. I seem to be, just not on the time table I wanted, lol!


I showed you a pile of books I planned to read this month. I deviated, reading some and not others, but still, I managed to read...

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda--this was my books study book

The School for Good and Evil by Somain Chainani (listened to on Audible)

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Make a Scene by Jordan E. Rosenfeld--this one helped MASSIVELY with that story middle rework I did this month

Half of The Vanity Fair Diaries (Just not my cup of tea)

3/4 of Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland--I am almost, almost done, but didn't get done in time to count it as read for February. It was a busy month, yo.

Education/Professional Development:

I completed Shonda Rhimes Master Class and let me just say, even if you don't invest in any other Master Classes, this one is SO WORTH IT. She is just amazing and the lessons are very detailed. There is so much here to learn about story even if you never plan to write for television. Cant' recommend it enough.

Podcast I Loved: I listen to a podcast a day, so I could make this a long list, but there was one podcast that stood out and that I recommend to anyone who wants to get published because it gives you an intimate look at the launch of a book, in this case John August's debut middle grade. VERY INTERESTING.


Movies/TV I Watched:

Black Panther--I thought it was amazing, but full disclosure, I am worn out on super hero movies. This is a must see, but I think it might be my last for a bit.

The Alienist: still watching, final verdict is out.

Grey's Anatomy and Scandal: both still amazing. I just wanted to watch and study while I did Shonda's course. I studied the first two seasons of each in depth. Great television, perfect place to study how to construct dialogue that sounds authentic and for character development through action.

Final Assessment:

All in all, it was a very productive month despite two kids getting sick and missing nearly a week of school each (not the same week, sigh), having to organize one major event for International Thriller Writers and attend over two days where I was crazy busy and very tired after, a school shooting and the crazy aftermath down here in Florida that included reassuring my own nervous high schooler and middle schooler as they attended school in the weeks after, and some serious volunteering at the high schooler's school.

Here's Where I Fell Down:

In my personal life, where I always seem to lately because I'm focusing so hard on work. I didn't lose weight or drink enough water and I didn't galvanize my kids to start doing better with chores. My house is picked up, but dusty as all get out and the housework is definitely lacking. I did cook more, so yay?!

Also, I totally neglected this blog. I did go back and post my mentor author profile on R.L. Stine and a craft post on Larry Brooks's story structure, but I am behind on posting about last month's book study of One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus--but for now, go get this book. It's been a NYT bestseller for weeks and weeks for a reason.

March's Road Map (at least an overview):

1k per day as per usual, 2k per day weekdays

Keep up with schedules for my current WIP and the outlining for the next project

Read 4-5 books--which I'm not showing because I am not sure which ones I will read. I do know that at the very least Challenger Deep by Neil Schusterman is making the cut as is Leigh Bardugo's book, Six of Crows--it is my book study this month.


LOSE THE WEIGHT (meaning put into place the following: a ban on sweets during the week, portion control)

Walk 5 times per week (this I did successfully last month too. Need to keep it up)

Complete David Mamet's Masterclass

Post more about my daily/weekly progress

Here is a pick of my actual road map with all the gory details:

#monthlygoals #MonthlyRecap #writersapprenticeship

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