May 2016 Goals in Review


Okay! So I’ve had about a month off from this whole blogging thing, aside from sharing videos and the IWSG post from yesterday…so what have I been up to as far as goals? Let’s take a look!

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

This was probably my worst goal of the month, although it wasn’t as horrible as that first statement makes it sound.

Right off the bat, I came nowhere near 10,000 steps per day. It was actually an average of 7481 steps per day in May, and I only had 6 days that actually broke the 10k barrier. That’s my worst average and my fewest 10k days yet this year. So that’s a bit depressing, but there’s a bit of a…well, I guess you’d call it an excuse, but it’s kind of a good one. I’ve been out of work since the fires began in Fort McMurray. That means, basically, that I’ve had no reason to be up and walking around. At home I write, do a variety of things that involve sitting at a computer, and play with my daughter, so there’s not a lot of opportunity to work those steps in. There were a few days when I went for runs, and those were the ones that I did hit 10k. So, I guess, all in all, I don’t feel so bad about the numbers I wound up with here, because it’s a bit circumstantial. Yeah, I totally should have gone out for more runs and got those numbers up, but I’ve been focusing on other stuff so I don’t feel particularly guilty, to be perfectly honest.

As far as my 15-minutes-a-day…in a way this was the best month, and in another way it was the worst. It was the best because there was literally not one day when I didn’t manage to work in at least 15 minutes of some kind of relaxation. It was the worst because the overwhelming majority of those relaxation periods involved browsing 9gag or playing Sailor Moon Drops on my phone. I really have to start reading or something again. >.>

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

As far as YouTube goes, we’ve got this thing by the horns. My husband has been an amazingly huge help at building my brand and taking care of the editing process, and as a result we are almost up to 2000 subscribers, plus I’ve been increasing in subs on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and (newly) SnapChat. Plus we recently started a Facebook group called Basement Geeks for people to just hang out and be geeky together, and that really seems to be taking off as well. We posted 15 videos throughout May, and those videos combined have garnered 7860 views as of this date. Not too shabby at all!

On the book side of things we’re still basically dead in the water. I recently got some good advice from a fellow published author that I might put into effect in the near(ish) future, and I did attempt a very small (*cough*cheap*cough*) ad campaign, but no luck really. I got one sale and about 500 pages read via Kindle Unlimited, which nets me about…$2. Ha.

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

This is the one that I’m most happy about this month. As you guys probably know I’ve – at least temporarily – quit regular blogging as a way to gain more time to write fiction, and thus far it’s working quite well. I managed to go through and do a bunch of edits to The Other World, Book One, and now that manuscript is off with my two lovely beta-readers. Once that was out of my hand I got to work on two separate projects: The Other World, Book Two, and the first book of a “Fairy Tails” series that I’m starting (yes, the spelling of “tails” is intentional).

Looking at the numbers, this past month I wrote 1302 words toward the blog, 3426 in my personal journal, 3139 words in random non-fiction stuff, and 5854 fiction words, for a total of 13,721 words. That’s not a lot of words, and I think it might be the least words I’ve written in a month so far this year, but it also represents words that were written while getting stuff done. Know what I mean? I know you know what I mean.

So all in all, I’m happy with this goal, and my mini-goal for the month of June is to make sure I write something absolutely every day, even if it’s just scribbling random stupidness in my notebook. Wish me luck!

April 2016 Goals in Review


Well, I literally just said that I was going to stop regular posts in order to focus on actual novel-writing, but it’s been a few days since April ended so I guess I’ll get the goals stuff out of the way. 🙂

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

Well, this one definitely could have been better, but it also could have been worse, so I’ll take that for what it is. As far as steps go, there were only 9 days during which I surpassed the 10,000 mark, and my average daily steps was only 8253, but that was actually better than March, so there’s improvement for sure. I blame my inability to at least hit the average on the fact that I spent several days of my shift doing paperwork in the office, and another several days working night shift, which isn’t exactly an active time. All in all, I feel half-decent about the average, although the 10-k days count is pretty pathetic.

As for my 15-minutes-per-day…I counted 25 days during which I manage to hold to that tiny level of relaxation. I’m not sure what happened the other 5 days, but I scribbled “EPIC FAIL” in my planner several times, so I’m assuming those were not good days. 😛

On a related note, now that the weather is starting to turn around, I’m thinking about starting up the “Zombies! Run!” program again. I’d feel really good about myself if I could ever actually manage to get all the way through the 12-week program. >.>

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

One thing that I can definitely say for sure is that I’ve been spending a lot of time shooting videos and interacting with my viewers, and the hubby has been working hard to make the YouTube channel fun and interesting. It seems to be going well because I started the year with just around 1000 subscribers, and now I’m inching toward 1700. Go Team Tracey’s Basement!

Self-promoting in terms of writing is another story entirely. I don’t even want to talk about it because it’s just pathetic. That said, this is part of the reason I’m quitting (regularly-scheduled) blogging, so I’ll be removing the “focus and energy into my blog posts) part from this goal for the remainder of the year.

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

And here’s the BIG reason for the change to my blogging habits. This month I wrote 7307 words toward the blog, 1607 words in my personal journal, and 11,369 words toward various non-fiction stuff (including things such as answering the questions for Authors Answer, scripting for YouTube videos, and so on). That’s a total of 20,283 words for the month, which isn’t all that shabby, but it’s pathetic when you consider that precisely ZERO of those words were fiction. I’m a novelist, for the love of puppies, and I wrote ZERO fictional words over the course of an entire MONTH. That’s beyond sad, and it’s why I’m going to be blogging significantly less from now on. Having a platform is one thing, but if you’ve got no books to sell because the platform is all you focus on…well, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it?

So there you have it. Not a particularly great month for many aspects, but I feel good about the future. Let’s try and see that May is much better, shall we?

March 2016 Goals in Review


It’s another month in review, just a few days late because I figured with the A-Z Challenge going on I might as well just wait for the only day of the week for which a post wasn’t already scheduled. 🙂

It was a good month in many ways, a bad one in a few ways, and overall it just seemed that the 31 days of March flew by in a flash, leaving me standing here, blinking, wondering what the hell had happened. That seems to happen to me a lot, doesn’t it? Maybe I should just start taking it as a given. 😛

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

I should move this goal to the bottom of the list so that I’m not always starting off these posts on a sour note. It’s genuinely depressing how poorly I did on this goal throughout March. Right off the get go, out of 31 days there were only 9 on which I hit the 10k step goal. That’s absolutely abysmal. I haven’t had a month yet during which I managed it every day, but at least the other months averaged out a bit; big days brought up the average on behalf of bad days. This month, not so much. My average for daily steps throughout the month was 7527. Definitely not as bad as it could be, but also definitely pretty awful considering that I spent 14 of those days at work, working in the field, wandering around all day.

As far as “me” time, that wasn’t too, too bad. I only missed three days during which I didn’t find two seconds to relax, never mind 15 minutes, but on many of those other days I spent longer periods of time just sitting around doing fun stuff, so I can’t berate myself too much. I also got an amazing massage, and that just pushes things up super-high. God, I love getting massages.

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

This goal is much more positive, although only on the YouTube side of things. Thanks in great part to my husband, we’ve got a system pretty much down at this point. I’m shooting more and better videos, sharing everything on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, interacting with people tons, and generally just doing well all around. My follower stats keep rising, I posted 10 videos throughout March (1 every 3 days ain’t bad for someone with a full-time job!), and I continue my trend of mostly managing to avoid arseholes on YouTube, which is a miracle in and of itself.

On the author side of things I don’t even want to talk. I’ve come to a point where I don’t even know what to do with “Nowhere to Hide”. Any of my friends, family, and coworkers who give a damn already have the book, and no amount of promotion online seems to help at all. The only sales I’ve gotten in the past several months (which was, like…two or three ebooks) have been at complete random from across the pond somewhere. I’m just at a stalemate I think…no one cares about zombies anymore, and it’s not the kind of genre for which you go hunting for indie books.

I am however promoting the first book of “The Other World” for my A-Z Challenge this year, so hopefully that will help build some interest and maybe gain me some new blog followers who will actually be excited for the book to become available. *fingers crossed*

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

Now this goal I can’t complain about at all because it was a pretty damn good month. My only concern is that a large chunk of my word count came from loosely scripting YouTube videos (because my MEMORY, people…my GOD my MEMORY), but I accept it because at least it’s some kind of writing, right? RIGHT? I know you guys understand this, so answer me, for the love of puppies. ;_;

So, anyway, for the month of March I wrote 19,131 words toward blog entries (including flash fiction posts, which I forgot to separate again), 7195 toward my journal, 1446 words toward fiction (finishing up the current draft of book one of “The Other World”), and 15,127 words toward the scripting I just mentioned. All together that’s a total of 42,899 words for the month, which works out to an average of 1383 words per day. That’s way better than I’ve done in a long while, so I’m pretty happy about that. I wish more of it had been fiction, but since the A-Z Challenge always gets me well ahead on blog posts, I expect I’ll be able to focus more on fiction for April.

There you have it, then. A few ups and downs, but a pretty decent month over all. I think I’ll give myself a pat on the back for this one.

How did your March go? Did you get anything accomplished? Do anything for yourself? Have any kind of awesome fun? Please share!

February 2016 Goals in Review


Man, I have a lot of mixed feelings about February. For one thing, I feel like it disappeared in a flash, but I also kinda feel like it dragged on forever, mainly based on the fact that my work shift felt insufferably long. I also thought I was doing pretty good on my goals, but when I started adding up some stats some stuff didn’t look all that great. So let’s just get right into it so I can get a feel on the overall quality of the month and decide whether it was a success or a failure.

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

Okay, I definitely feel ashamed of myself right off the bat. It’s not that the results of this goal were absolutely terrible, but they definitely weren’t great.

First off, my 10,000 steps-per-day goal wound up quite similar to January, with the most glaring problem being that I didn’t get anywhere near that daily goal on the days when I was home. 10,000 steps while I’m at work? No problem at all…I don’t even have to think about it because I spend so much time walking around in the field doing my job. But at home? I spend so much of that time sitting at the computer (writing/blogging/etc), sitting in front of a camera (filming YouTube videos), and sitting on the floor (playing with the kid), that I don’t come anywhere near the 10,000 steps. And my days are so full that I’m not usually able to find extra time to, say, go for a walk or something and get those steps up. Luckily the work days help to average out the home days, but this month I didn’t quite reach that number. Overall, I wound up with only 15 out of 29 days having reached the daily goal, and for the month I had a daily average of 9831 steps. Not horrible, but definitely a step down from January.

As for my 15 minutes of relaxation per day, February was definitely a huge step down from January. I actually had 6 days during which I didn’t find 2 minutes to myself, never mind 15. At least I did well on the other 23 days. I had a mixture of relaxing with YouTube, taking hot baths, playing video games, watching Doctor Who, and just laying the hell down with a face mask on. So, not a perfect month, but at least I managed to get a few minutes of relaxation on most of the days.

So, okay, I may have initially jumped the gun on how awful the month was for goal #1, but it was still not as good as January, which sucks because you’d presumably like to move forward, right? Right.

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

Before saying anything else, I have to tell you that the majority of the success of this goal for February is due entirely to my husband. He’s been working super-hard to make my YouTube channel better. He redesigned the entire channel, started editing videos for me, and encouraged me to create separate Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts specifically for the channel. He’s been taking Instagram photos for me, sharing things wherever he can, and oh, did I mention that he built me a studio?

The result is that the channel has gone up approximately 200 subscribers just in the past month. That’s pretty amazing.

Also, on hubby’s behest, I’ve begun keeping a regular morning-and-evening schedule of making sure to engage my followers across YouTube and all the channel’s social media so that I don’t get behind and leave people out. He’s definitely my motivator, and the main reason that I managed to make it through the month on the upside of this goal.

On the writing side, things weren’t quite so great. I did manage to keep the blog going strong all month, but I did little to no self-promotion as far as “Nowhere to Hide” or anything like that, and I didn’t sell any books across any platform. Baby steps, I guess.

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

Okay, so let’s just get right to it and look at some numbers. The big number of the month is blog posts, for which I wrote 16,405 words. Some of those words are also fiction (for “Flash Fiction Fridays”), but I forgot to single them out so I’m not sure of the exact percentage. I also wrote 794 words in my journal, which went a bit by the wayside simply because I’ve decided that I don’t really want to be carrying that back and forth out West with me, but I might start a digital one on my laptop in March (which would have the added bonus of being quicker to do). In fiction not for the blog (i.e. “The Other World”) I wrote a paisley 224 words right at the end of the month, but since I’ve gotten back into the groove of the novel I’m expecting to do a lot better with that in March. And finally, in other words, I wrote 1669 words toward Authors Answer questions that are coming up over the course of the next two months.

So, to combine all that together, I wrote a total of 19,092 words for the month of February, which is actually not that much less than January, now that I’m looking at it. I’m pretty okay with that. That’s an average of 658 words per day, which isn’t too shabby at all.

Unfortunately I haven’t even started the novel that I’m supposed to write from start to finish, but at least I can say that I already wrote 38,809 words so far this year, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

So, okay, I started off this post a little on the downer side of things, but in the end it actually wasn’t that bad a month at all. My weak points were promoting the writing side and making sure to relax daily, but in general everything else was pretty good, and in particular the YouTube channel is taking leaps and strides (thank you, Jason!). So I guess I have to revise my former statement: February, you were pretty awesome.


January 2016 Goals in Review


Wow…have we really gone through an entire month already? This is…this is craziness. I can’t handle this. There’s some kind of crazy witchcraft going on right now because I can not accept that four weeks of 2016 have already passed me by. I need a moment to regain myself.

Okay, I’m good.

So we’re into February already, which means that I have to look back at January and determine whether I succeeded or failed at adhering to my goals. I’ve got a rum and coke sitting next to me as I’m typing this, so I think I can handle the results, so we may as well get right into it.

Goal #1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

When the month of January first began I was very determined with this goal. Then, around the third or so day of the month reality hit me like a 50 lb sack of potatoes. In case you weren’t around for the woe-begotten post that I wrote a few weeks ago, I got sick. Very, very sick. I wound up with numerous infections, two of which made my head feel like someone was driving a railroad spike through one of my ears and into my brain. Needless to say, the result of this was that I didn’t move a whole hell of a lot for several days. I was so frustrated at the time, because for the first couple of days I was dedicated to running in place or walking in circles around my kitchen just to make sure that I got my 10,000 steps per day, but then I hit the wall of infection and could hardly even move. As a result of this sickness – which clung to me for almost two full weeks – I only hit my 10,000 step-per-day goal on 17 of the 31 days of January.

But there’s good news! See, my job occasionally changes up a bit, and during this particular shift that just ended I was doing a hell of a lot of walking. During those 14 days at work I walked well over 10,000 steps per day. One day I even demolished my personal record; a coworker and I were competing to see who could get the most steps and we were both so determined to destroy each other that we both closed out the day with something like 23,000 steps. As a result of all those awesome days, my average steps per day for the month of January works out to 10,486, which is amazing considering that several of my sick days clocked in at less than 3000! So yeah, I’m calling that one a win.

As for taking my 15-minutes per day of fun/relaxation time, I didn’t have a perfect month but I had a pretty damn good one. I made a point of writing down what I’d relaxed with every day, so I can tell you that I had my 15 minutes (or more) for 29 of the 31 days of January. My most common relaxation technique was curling up in bed and watching Doctor Who, but I also had a few gaming nights, a few lounge-around-on-YouTube nights, and a few pampering nights with face masks and soft music. All around, it was an excellent month for taking a few moments out for myself. 🙂

So yeah, as far as taking care of myself goes – aside from the illness that just kinda tackled me in the beginning of the month – I think I did pretty well for the first four weeks of the year!

Goal #2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

Ha ha ha ha…oh dear… Okay, so this is where I become a bit of a downer because I totally flopped on this goal for the first month.

Okay, I might be being a bit harsh on myself, so let’s look at this a bit at a time:

I will admit that I think I did pretty okay with the blog posts this month. I posted a few things that people seemed to enjoy, picked up a few new followers, got a few nice comments, and even got nominated for a “Versatile Blogger Award”, which I will address later on in the week. Not too shabby there.

Shooting fun and different YouTube videos definitely did not happen, although I can’t really get too down on myself on that front. Two of the weeks of the month were spent at work in the oil patch, where I can’t very well be shooting videos, and almost the entire other two weeks were spent feeling like my skull was being split open. I did put some effort into planning out the answers for the Q&A Answer video that I’ll be shooting very soon, and my husband came up with some cute new ideas for the channel (shut up, I’m counting his effort as my effort), so that’s not too bad. In the end, not much happened in January, but I feel fairly prepared for February.

Self-promotion was definitely the big flop concerning this goal. I really didn’t do a damn thing, other than mentioning “Nowhere to Hide” in a blog post. I feel completely ashamed of my total lack of effort in this area.

So yeah, maybe this goal wasn’t as pathetic as I originally thought, but there’s definitely a ton of room for improvement.

Goal #3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

I have major mixed feelings about this goal, which is really nothing new as I always intend to write a lot more than I end up doing, but it’s not all bad. First let’s look at the hard numbers. I wrote 13,710 words toward blog posts, and 1657 fiction words that were also posted on the blog under Flash Fiction Fridays. I also write 3143 non-fiction words via my personal journal, plus 1203 non-fiction words toward other sources. That’s a grand total of 19,713 words for the month, which works out to an average of approximately 636 words per day. Definitely nothing to scoff at.

What annoys me about this goal is that, if you’ll notice in the numbers above, none of those words were toward that novel that I’m supposed to be writing within the year. I tried to convince myself to sit down and write a dozen or more times, but between being sick and being at work (12-hour days plus an hour’s worth of travel per day don’t really put you in the mood for further work of any kind) it just never happened. And though I justified every night of procrastination with the fact that I deserved to lay down and relax, I’m still extremely disappointed in myself for never once even opening the Scrivener file that holds my incomplete manuscript. For shame, for shame.


So, basically, we’ve got some major ups and downs for January. It’s not all good, and it’s not all bad. On average I’d say it’s more good than bad though, so that’s definitely something to lean on!

My hopes for February? Well I’d definitely like to spread the step count out a bit better (hopefully I won’t get sick again!), and I’m planning on recording a number of videos. There are plans in the works for a YouTube channel reboot, and I’ve got a bunch of blog posts already planned out, so hopefully that will help in leaving some extra time for self-promotion. Ooh, and I’m definitely going to have some nice, hot baths as part of my “me-time” goal.

In general, I just hope to do better, always better. ^_^

How was your January? Did you get anything accomplished? Do anything fun? Please share!


2015 in Review and Goals for 2016

Well, look at that; the calendars have changed, a New Year has rolled over, and some of us were out WAY past our bedtimes last night…

What? The little one? No, you fools, I meant me!

So it’s 2016, which means that it’s time to sit back, relax, reflect on the past year, and re-evaluate for the coming one.

Last year at this time I made three very broadly-termed goals:

1. Take care of myself more.
2. Continue to build my readership/viewership.
3. Write. Write a lot.

If I were to put a label on my success or failure of those three goals for the year of 2015, I would say, “moderately acceptable”.

Let’s start with the first goal: Take care of myself more. I think that, when looked at as individual moments, this goal could be considered something of a success. I did a lot of different things in an attempt to take better care of myself…I ate better, went for runs, took long, relaxing baths, learned how to meditate, and unashamedly enjoyed quiet nights of nothing but Doctor Who, among other things. The problem is that each of these steps forward often stood alone and was accompanied by several steps back. For instance, during the times when I was eating better I wasn’t exercising, and when I was exercising I wasn’t finding time to enjoy my shows, and when I was enjoying my shows I was getting less sleep, and so on and so on.

For that reason, this year I want to continue on with the idea of this goal, but be a little more specific. I’m going to continue to take care of myself in general, but specifically I’m going to do so via two mini-goals: I’m going to walk 10,000 steps per day (counted by my FitBit) even if that means I have to run on the spot at the end of the day in order to hit that number, and I’m going to take at least 15 minutes every day to do something fun and relaxing, whether that’s coloring, or a video game, or listening to music with a face mask on, or whatever.

Those two things, every day, that’s goal number one.

Moving on to the second goal from last year: Continue to build my readership/viewership. That was a very broad goal, based on gaining YouTube followers, blog readers, novel readers, and so on, and I have to say that in general this goal was something of a failure. I definitely gained a lot of YouTube followers this year, but that seems to have been by virtue of my videos themselves, because I did little to nothing to actually advertise them. Marketing myself as a novelist is something I basically didn’t do at all because of a combination of both laziness and the fact that marketing yourself is more difficult and time consuming than it sounds. And the blog…well I hardly even need to talk about the blog because you can just look at WordPress’s end of year review of it. According to those stats, my five most popular posts of 2015 were ones that I wrote in 2014, 2013, and even 2012. That’s a bit ridiculous, if you ask me; it means that no one was coming to my blog this past year for blog posts that I wrote this past year.

I’m not really entirely sure how I should go about fixing these problems, but I have a few ideas, including continuing on with ideas that I came up with at the end of the year concerning the blog. I share a lot of subscription box reviews on this blog these days, but what I need to be doing is more actual writing, so I’m definitely going to continue on with Memoir Mondays and Flash Fiction Fridays, and I’m going to try to spend more time talking about fun stuff on my blog, like the shows, games, and books I’m into, what’s going on in life as the parent of a toddler, any fun stuff I’ve been doing lately, and so on. Finally, I’m going to try to share more of what I’m actually working with on the writing front, rather than simply talking about it all the time. Similarly, I’m hoping to do some more fun, different stuff on the YouTube channel in the future, and if I’ve got any energy left at all I’ll try my very hardest to continue to promote my poor book (pst…there’s a link right there in the sidebar!).

So, more fun and various stuff on the blog, new and different videos on YouTube, and more self-promotion boils down goal number two.

And finally we have the last goal from last year: Write. Write a lot. Last year I decided to be very, very vague with my writing goal because in previous years I’d set numerical goals and spectacularly failed to get anywhere near them. In 2015 I finished up the year with approximately 226,000 words, which is significantly less than I wrote in 2013 and only about 1000 more words than I wrote in 2014. I was vague specifically so that I wouldn’t be too disappointed in whatever the results were to be, but I have to admit that I’m still pretty disappointed because when I look at my projects folders it doesn’t seem like I’ve really got anything to show for the words that I did write, especially considering that most of those words were blog posts, not fiction. So this year I’m not going back to a numerical goal, but I am going to be a bit more specific. I’m going to write. I’m going to write a lot. And somewhere amid all that writing, I am going to write an entire novel. Not necessarily within National Novel Writing Month (although it would certainly be nice to win again for a change), but sometime over the next twelve months. A little more specifically, I plan to both begin and finish Book Two of The Other World. Book One only has a chapter or two to go before I send it out to my beta-reader, so I want to have the first draft of Book Two written this year. And if I’m feeling really ambitious, maybe I’ll even write Book Three as well. 🙂

Write a lot, including beginning and finishing an entire novel. Goal number three is born.

And I’m going to stick to three goals because three seems like a nice number, a reasonable number. Throw too many things in there and you just stress yourself out, right? Right.

So there you have it…my three goals for 2016 are as follows:

1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.

2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.

3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.

I think those goals are attainable, don’t you? It’s going to take time, effort, and a better attitude than I normally have, but I think my day-planner and I can figure something out. 🙂

So how about you guys? How was your 2015? What are your plans for 2016? Do you have any major goals? Any little ones? How did you spend New Years Eve? Are you possibly feeling a little hungover today? XD Please share! And Happy New Year! ❤

November 2015 Goals in Review


Phew! Is it seriously December already? Well that’s just insanity, that’s what I think. November really got away from me there, but it’s all good because I’m not going back to work now until the New Year. Go me! ^_^

And on that cheery note, let’s take a quick look at how November treated me, shall we?

Goal #1: Take care of myself more.

Ha ha ha ha ha…oh man…wait, that wasn’t a joke? Oh, gee, sorry.

November seemed to happen so fast that it’s not surprising that I didn’t really find the time to “take care of myself”, exactly. That’s not to say that I was overly hard on myself, but there were definitely a few too many fast food meals, too few relaxing moments, and more than a little “Oh crap, Christmas is coming fast” stress.

All in all though, I can’t really say a whole lot about this topic simply because November disappeared on me so quickly that I hardly even noticed that I wasn’t really taking care of myself. So I guess we’ll just call it a wash? Ha ha…hopefully I’ll find some time for a few hot baths and maybe a massage during December.

Goal #2. Continue to build my readership/viewership.

Okay, I was going to laugh again, but I’ll restrain myself this time.

The truth is that I did do a few things toward this goal this month, although most of it was a bit unintentional. I, for instance, filmed a couple of videos that people really seemed to like, and therefore I had a nice little spike in YouTube followers. My rants about Hot Topic and the GameStop Black Friday Funko box also brought a number of new people to the blog, so that was pretty nice. I was also contacted by a few different companies wanting me to try out their product in return for a fair review on YouTube, which was very nice, although one of those companies has yet to actually send me the product, so I’m not sure if that one is actually going to happen.

On the book sales side of things, there is literally nothing to report because there haven’t been any sales. Not one book or e-book since October. That’s a little bit of a kick in the gut, but it’s softened by the fact that I got two new really nice reviews on the book, and one of those reviews was posted on three different sites. So that’s pretty nice, and definitely brightened my day when I saw them.

Goal #3: Write. Write a lot.

And so we come to the writing and the real question of the month…how did NaNoWriMo go? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, just like last year. I did not, in fact, complete NaNo, which makes me more than a little bit sad, but I’m also okay with it because I gave up the chance in order to get important things done (like working on my daughter’s birthday plans and Christmas shopping and the like). I really, really hoped that I would be able to squeeze the words in this year, and I was actually doing good, but it all came to a grinding halt around the 23rd. I was flying home from my shift, and since I’m off for the entire month of December I ended up having a few drinks with my coworkers at the airport, since I won’t see them for two months. Then I flew all night and all day, trying my best to get some sleep in on the way, and almost immediately after getting home I dove into the big pre-decorating clean, Black Friday shopping, tree-trimming, and so on, and I just didn’t really find any time at all to sit down and write.

That said, I’m not too disappointed in myself because I wound up with over 40,000 words throughout the month. I don’t have the exact number on me right now because I kept forgetting to update my spreadsheet as well as the NaNo page, but I know for a fact that it’s over 40,000 and that’s double what I wrote on my most productive months previously in the year. Not too shabby at all, and I’ve got lots of interesting scenes laid out for when I get the chance to sit down and really think about what I want to do with this Fairy Tales idea. So, all in all, I can’t say that it wasn’t an excellent month.

How was your November? If you participated in NaNoWriMo did you manage to cross the finish line? Did you get anything else accomplished? Are you excited for the holidays? Please share! ^_^

September 2015 Goals in Review

amonthinreviewAnother month has come and gone in the blink of an eye…oh man…where is 2015 going on me? It’s gonna be freakin’ Christmas before I know it. But before the holidays sneak up on me there are a few more months worth of goal reviews to get into, so let’s go ahead and get September over with.

Goal #1: Take care of myself more.

I didn’t really think about this goal at all until right at this moment as I’m typing these words. Taking care of myself just wasn’t that much of a concern this month. However, having said that, it actually wasn’t that bad a month for this goal. Some of you may have read a post I wrote a few weeks ago about discovering that the prescribed medicine I was taking for anxiety was actually rotting my guts out from the inside via screwing with my pancreas. Figuring that out (even though I did it illicitly, without actually, you know…talking to my doctor) has made a pretty big change in my health. My guts are still in the mess that they were a year ago (before I’d ever been given the meds), but my original issue was just irritability, whereas the meds were actually causing major digestive issues and possibly even a host of side effects such as fatigue. So yeah, deciding to drop that prescription was a pretty big turning point.

Another thing that has been helping a lot, even though it may sound silly to some people, is learning how to meditate. I’ve been doing this with the help of the “Headspace” app, for which I received a three month free trial with my Summer Fab Fit Fun box. I won’t be continuing the app once the free trial is up because it’s, quite honestly, horribly overpriced (approximately $12/month for the right to access the audio files), but I’ve learned a lot so far and it’s been helping me quite a bit to make it through the mornings at work, which are always the worst for me for some reason.

Aside from the meditation I can’t honestly say that I’ve done a whole lot of relaxing…even when my husband thinks I’m taking it easy on my computer I’m actually writing, blogging, planning, editing, and so on. Plus there’s been writing contests, work was actually quite busy this past shift, and during my last days off we had a number of trips to take involving the purchase of a new vehicle. So, yeah, through the month of September I didn’t really take too many moments to just sit down and relax or take a bath or whatever. Then again, the month went by so quickly that I hardly even noticed the lack of relaxation. So…win? I guess? Maybe?

Goal #2. Continue to build my readership/viewership.

This has become the kind of goal that actually has a mind of its own, although I suppose that’s giving myself a lot less credit than I deserve. What I’ve been really trying to focus on is just interaction: responding to comments on the blog and YouTube videos, commenting on blog posts and videos from others that I like, interacting with the Twitterverse and Instagram and all that. I can’t claim that I’ve been actively trying to build readership/viewership, but focusing my limited energy on the interaction side of things definitely helps. I’m rapidly approaching 500 followers on YouTube, and WordPress tells me that between blog followers, email followers, and Facebook followers I’m up to about 1000. My Facebook Author page is fairly quite (I can’t blame people, since that’s the platform I find most difficult to actually interact with), but even that has gotten up to 133 followers, meaning that if you combine all those platforms plus Twitter and Instagram I’m looking at something like 2000 followers. That might not sound like a lot to some people, but if I could convince those 2000 people to buy a book I’d be doing pretty good. Ha!

Goal #3: Write. Write a lot.

Last month I was a bit depressed because my word count had gone down significantly from the previous months…and this month it went down again. That in and of itself is fairly depressing, but I’m not letting myself get down about it because there were other important things to focus on this month. For instance, during one 48-hour period when I could have easily written a few thousand words for the book or the blog, I was actually focusing on my second story for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. And speaking of that challenge, as I blogged about before, I got ten points out of a possible fifteen for my first story in the challenge, which was a major boost to my confidence, so even if I don’t continue on after the end of this round I’ll be happy with what I accomplished in the contest. 🙂

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I didn’t get all that much written in September. Most of the words I did get down were for the blog, and they only totaled 13,663. Not a horrible number, but not one I’m happy with either, particularly since the only fictional words I wrote during the month were the ones for the challenge and the ones for “Flash Fiction Friday”. So, this coming month, my mini-goal is going to be to focus on finally finishing the current draft of “The Other World: Book One” so I can throw it at my beta-reader and get to work on Book Two during NaNoWriMo.

Oh god…NaNoWriMo…I’d almost forgotten about that this year. It starts in 26 days. Writing gods, help me now.

August 2015: Goals In Review


This post is a few days late because I wanted to finish up with the FODMAP Diet Experiment and then it was time for the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group post, then we had the little missy’s first day of school, followed by a Flash Fiction Friday post, and now I’m writing this instead of a Memoir Monday post because I’m not waiting any longer, dammit!. August is over and done with, we are firmly within the realm of September, and it’s time to get down with the goals in review before October sneaks up on me.

Goal #1: Take care of myself more.

This may shock you right out of your socks, but I had a lot of ups and downs with this goal during August. Astounding, right? I bet you can’t even believe it.

There are a number of factors to look at. For one thing, I did the low FODMAP experiment for two weeks while I was on shift out West. I was hoping that it might help resolve some specific digestive issues I’ve been having as of late, but in the end it made absolutely no change. I do admit that it’s a healthier way of eating (the four-pound weight loss just helps prove it), but I can honestly say that sticking to the diet mostly just made me depressed. Maybe that’s a sign that my body has become so used to copious amounts of sugar that it can’t adjust (which is definitely not a good thing), but all I can say is that I would rather be happy and a little unhealthy than a little healthier but depressed all the time.

Another aspect of this goal is that I spent a good deal of the month (the end of one work shift and the entirety of another) fighting with two warring aspects of my brain: one wanted copious amounts of sleep, the other wanted to actually enjoy a few moments of my evenings. The second part often won because even on the nights that I went to bed super-early I still woke up feeling pretty much like hell anyway. This further cements my belief that my body is somehow broken because it seems to need a minimum of nine hours of uninterrupted sleep in order for me to actually feel refreshed in the morning. Since this is literally impossible while I’m on shift (12-hour day, plus 1 hour travel, plus 1 hour for shower and dinner, plus 1 hour breakfast and getting ready in the morning means I’d have to fall immediately asleep directly off the bus in the evening) I find myself stuck with this pretty frustrating predicament that isn’t likely to be amended any time soon.

Finally, I have to admit that I did pretty much negative amounts of relaxation this month, unless you count those half-hours per night that I would crash on my camp bed and watch YouTube. My days off were surprisingly busy, considering that there were no major events going on, and then there’s the work days, which you’ve already heard plenty about. Long story short, I’m wound tighter than a drum and could really use a deep tissue massage.

Goal #2. Continue to build my readership/viewership.

I’ve been so bad at this for so long, and honestly I’ve been trying to be better. I’ve been trying to work myself into some kind of a groove wherein I actually think about tweeting or instagraming every now and then. It’s ridiculous because both of those things take literal seconds to do, but my brain just never goes there, or I only think about it when I’m working or otherwise indisposed.

The blog, unsurprisingly, has had pretty dismal stats for the past few months as a result. You really don’t realize what a help it is to share on your Facebook Author Page, or to regularly tweet something that leads back to a blog post, but it really does make a huge difference.

The good news is that my YouTube channel is still gaining steadily. At last check I’m up to about 350 followers, which amazes me considering the quality of my videos and the content involved. I wish I could somehow turn that into better stats for the blog as well, but despite mentioning the blog at the beginning of every video and linking it in the description boxes, it’s just not helping at all.

Finally, there’s the book, and I have to say that talking about it every month really makes me feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I’m not surprised that I have abysmal sales, considering the indie-ness that is my current situation, but it’s definitely no fun to talk about it every month. I haven’t had a review in quite a while either, which is also unsurprising, but the combination of no sales and no reviews really makes the world feel stagnant.

Goal #3: Write. Write a lot.

And finally we come to the writing, but unfortunately I don’t have good news like I had last month. It wasn’t an absolutely horrible month or anything, but I was hoping it would be a lot better. If you read my IWSG post you’ll know that I fell under the 20,000 mark this month with approximately 17119 words, and most of those words were just keeping the blog running. I actually wrote very little fiction, did very little revising/editing, and all in all just did a poor job of being a writer. I’d like to be able to say that I’m going to do better in September, but the truth is that I just feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels lately and maybe I just need to take a break.

So that’s how my month went, for better or for worse. What about yours? Did you accomplish anything? Go anywhere? Do anything fun? Please share in the comments!

July 2015 Goals in Review

amonthinreviewAnother month has come and gone, and frankly I’m a little shocked. Where did the time go? My summer (such as it is) is half gone! Well, some of the month went to parties and other celebrations, some to shopping trips and errands, and a large chunk of it to the day job that is slowly, slowly devouring my immortal soul. July disappeared on me in the blink of an eye – and a fair share of alcoholic beverages – but what about my goals? How did they fare?

Goal #1: Take care of myself more.

There are a lot of considerations to take into this month. First, the month started out in the second week of my last work shift, and it was a bit of a rough one. Between the smoke from the fires in Saskatchewan and a few days of rain that turned the Alberta dirt into a slippery mud deathtrap, I didn’t get out for any runs for the remainder of that shift. I was also eating pretty poorly because, dammit, I shouldn’t even have to defend myself when it comes to Wapasu camp food. Google “Wapasu” and you’ll probably find at least ALL OF THE PEOPLE complaining about the food.

[/mini rant]

Then I went home, and things didn’t really get any better because they were some of my busiest days home in ages. In twelve days I drove to my hometown for an all-night bachelorette party, drove home the next morning to celebrate our anniversary with my husband and some friends, spent almost three full days in Halifax shopping and visiting friends, and spent two more days back in the hometown to celebrate the mother-in-law’s fiftieth birthday. And that’s not taking into consideration that I was trying to spend time with my daughter, filming and editing YouTube videos, trying to squeeze in writing and blogging time, and doing all that good constant stuff like cooking and cleaning and errands. So, basically, my days off were a whirlwind of alcohol, fast food, and stress (albeit, most of it the good kind of stress).

It wasn’t until I got back to work that things started to work themselves out a little bit. The weather cooperated for my first week, so I managed to get several good runs in before the monsoons started up again, and according to my FitBit I was successful in averaging 10,000 steps per day throughout the shift. I can’t say much about eating well because there’s only so good you can eat at Wapasu (seriously…ask around), but I did manage to go the entire two weeks drinking only water and the occasional tea. That’s a pretty big deal for me since I usually drown myself in pop while I’m on shift.

So basically the month finished off strong, and now the key is to take those good habits home with me. Wish me luck!

Goal #2. Continue to build my readership/viewership.

July was not a good month for this goal because of the never-ending streaks of busy that I previously mentioned. It was difficult enough as it was to get my blog posts written and my YouTube videos shot without also worrying about tweeting and ‘graming and remembering to post stuff on my Facebook page. Basically the whole social media system just shut down on me this month: I’m even still catching up on replying to blog and video comments because they just piled up so high on me.

But despite my disorganization and inability to add extra hours to the day, my numbers are still rising. It’s a slow rise, but I regularly get notifications for new followers on all fronts. About the only numbers that have remained stagnant are book sales, which is admittedly depressing, but unsurprising.

Goal #3: Write. Write a lot.

With the previous two goals filled with “oh my god I was so busy”-ness, you’re probably expecting me to say that it was a bad month for this goal. Oh, my dear readers, you know me so well.

Except that I’m happy to prove you wrong with this bomb: July was actually my best month of 2015 so far!

I’m not entirely sure when or how it happened, but somewhere along the line I managed to write 24233 words, and over half of those words were fiction in the form of new and revised scenes for Book One of “The Other World”. Because of this truly spectacular (and unexpected) month, I am very close to finishing the second draft of my manuscript, which means that I can ship it off to my beta-reader and get to work on Book Two! That’s big progress for me, and I’m genuinely proud of myself, which doesn’t happen very often and this is totally awesome.

So all in all, thought it had its share of bumps and seemed to have gone by in a blink, I’m going to go ahead and call July a win! Here’s to extending that trend in August!

How was your July? Did you get anything accomplished? Do anything fun? Please share!