Coffee Share: My Little Adventures

With the Spring semester finally over, Summer break has arrived!

This means I have more free time than I’m accustomed to, but no worries. I know exactly what to spend them on: late night reading, intensive video gaming, more reading, binge watching, long writing sessions, more reading, new creative projects–oh, I’m getting chills just thinking about it!

Anyway, it’s been kinda quiet on my side of cyberspace. And, to be honest, I missed writing blog posts and connecting with the blogosphere (It’s been too long you guys!). I’m going to use this week’s coffee share to tell you about…lets call them my little “adventures.”

College Adventures

School eats up the majority of my time, so it only makes sense for it to be the first on the list. Ignoring the stressing over midterms and rushing through an assignment twenty minutes before class part, I did experience some pretty awesome things this semester.

One of the six classes I took, also the most challenging and fun, was astronomy. Studying the different properties of the planets within our solar system and analyzing the H-R diagram were two of my favorite topics in class. Not only that, but it was awesome to have classmates who struggled but encouraged each other not to give up.

We are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands.
Carl Sagan, Cosmos

However, the highlight of this class was the field trip at the beginning of May. It was at a beautiful park with a huge lake in the center of it. The local astronomical union set up telescopes right before sunset to view the stars. Sadly, it was too cloudy to see anything. I did, however, get to see the sun before sunset via a solar telescope.

Also, I observed and got harassed by the rude locals: geese.

While astronomy awakened an interest in me that I didn’t know I had, English will always hold a special place in my heart. I had to do a ton of reading during my British Literature class–which I loved! The best part was that my professor structured the class like a book club. We didn’t just read, we discussed (to which I met a few word nerds).

I also acquired a new role model: Doris Leasing. The woman had a lovable attitude, check her out.

Bookish Adventures

There was no shortage of fiction as British Literature kept me reading all semester long. I’m currently rereading Middlemarch as some chapters were skipped during the semester for the sake of time (yes, I’m a nerd like that).

I also picked up Cinder from my college’s library seconds after discovering that it actually had a fiction section hidden WAY in the back of the library. It’s now my new hiding spot.

Sometime in March, I stumbled on a book sale in the college library. The moment I saw the Book Sale sign I was like, “Oh, yeah. Definitely going in here.” Imagine my excitement when I learned everything was a dollar. I would’ve spent all day sifting through the piles of fiction and writing reference books, but my ride was waiting for me (sigh).

In my haste to choose the best books I could find before someone else snagged them from me, I picked up The Professor at the Breakfast Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes thinking it was a Sherlock Holmes novel (ugh!). Good thing I actually read the back flaps of the two thrillers: Ties that Bind by Phillip Margolin and The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver.

Later, my family and I stumbled on a small business in my neighborhood who sold used soft covers for $0.50 and hardcovers for $1.

Oh yeah, I took my time with this one.

None of the books were in order, so it was basically a scavenger hunt–but I did find some gems! I found The DaVinci Code (I barely remember the movie adaption to this book so I thought, “Why not?”), Lost Symbol, and Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. I noticed Brad Meltzer’s political thriller The President’s Shadow right before I dashed to the register. Score!

Birthday Adventures

May 2nd was my birthday and I spent two weeks doing extra work to free the three days after. They were supposed to be my lazy days, but it didn’t work out. Finals were just around the corner and I made the decision to sacrifice two of three for studying.

I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!
Yondu

Despite this little quibble, I had an awesome birthday week. My parents bought me Horizon: Zero Dawn (an awesome sci-fi game with a beautiful world and story) and my friend got me a gift card to Star Bucks. I also went to the astronomy field trip I talked about earlier and saw Guardians of the Galaxy (I love that movie *sniffle*).

Creative Adventures

In other news, I picked up a new handlettering hobby during December. It’s so much fun and oddly relaxing. Check out one of my pieces:

Be true to you.

And, of course, I’m still writing. I’m working on three projects at once, but Ruin has been making headway. I sent it to my Alpha readers back in March and am now going through their responses. At this point, it still needs a lot of work, but it has come a long way.

So, anyway that’s what I’ve been up to these last four (?) months. What have you been up to?

Life is Beyond Conventions (D.H. Lawrence)

Let us learn from the novel. In the novel, the characters can do nothing but live. If they keep on being good, according to pattern, or bad, according to pattern, or even volatile, according to pattern, they cease to live, and the novel falls dead. A character in a novel has got to live, or it is nothing.

We, likewise, in life have got to live, or we are nothing.

D.H. Lawrence, Why the Novel Matters

Gifts for Writers: Writing Reference Books

Festive trees, snow inspired holiday decorations, and presents. Yep, it’s the Christmas season! Christmas is my favorite holiday and not because of the presents (although that’s a close second). I love it because it brings friends and families together.

Assuming you can’t figure out what to buy that special writer in your life, I’m here to tell you about five books that make great gifts for word nerds.

On Writing by Stephen King

My journalism instructor urged me to the read this book when I told him I was creative writer. A few weeks before finals, he gave me a spare copy! It’s just something that writers must read. On Writing documents King’s time with the craft and gives writers helpful advice on developing their writing skills.

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh**t by Steven Pressfield

Okay, the title is a little rough, but there’s a deeper message to it. Pressfield stresses that writers must keep their readers in mind when they tell their stories. He takes us through his personal struggle with his own creativity sharing both motivation and advice on furthering one’s writing career. You can read my full review here.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

I recently picked up Lamott’s book from my college’s library and, so far, its been an insightful read. She urges writers to focus on the craft first and leave the drama (publishing, marketing, reviews, criticism, money, and etc.) for later.

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell

The first “how to” book on the list (and another book I snagged from my college’s library). In Plot and Structure, Bell introduces his plotting technique, the LOCK system, in keeping readers engaged from beginning to end. There’s also information on outlining techniques, developing ideas, fixing plot issues and more.

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

The Writer’s Journey is about the mythic structure or Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey (sometimes called monomyth) theory. Vogler also talks about character archetypes and gives plenty examples of the Hero’s Journey in use. This book also happens to be the only textbook I decided to keep in my college career.

Bonus! Gift Cards

In case your writer friend has already read the above books, an amazon (or some other book retailer) gift card is a safe bet. This takes the guess work out of the equation and allows your writer pal to buy books that they’re really interested in.

Books aren’t the only things you can gift a writer. You can also give them boardgames that caters to their skills. But, we’ll talk about that later.

Fall Quarter Goals

I have a nasty habit of setting a repeat goal only to not complete it. During the summer, I decided to break that habit by taking on an accountability challenge.

And it was an experience!

The objective was to make a list of goals for the summer quarter (June-August) and then complete half of them by September 1, 2016. Then, to keep myself motivated throughout the quarter, I have to publicly announce my successes and failures to you guys.

That’s what today’s post is about. So, lets see how I did.

 

Summer 2016 Goals

I set a total of ten goals, so I need to complete FIVE for the summer to be successful. They were…

1. Finish Editing Ruin

Oh I edited Ruin alright. Edited it, rewrote it, and edited it again, but am I done? No.

I still have a few continuity and structure errors that I’m working on, so I’m counting this one as a loss.

2. Outline the sequel to Ruin

Have I laid the sequel out scene-by-scene? No, but I do have a rough idea of the major events that’ll take place in the sequel. I just need to fill in the blanks.

3-4. Start Drafting/editing Retaliation

I didn’t get a chance to work on this project at all since I was waaay to busy with Ruin.

5. Read 2 (or 3) Books

A win, finally! I probably read more than I wrote (oops!), but that’s okay. I spent my entire spring semester reading critical texts and classics, so some modern fiction was a nice change of pace.

You can check out the reviews for two of the four books I read via these links: Joe Gollem and the Drowning City and Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t.

6. Write a (or 3) Short Stories

Yay, another win! I wrote a total of three shorts (1000+ words) and two flashes (100+ words). I’ve never completed a short story before, so this was an enlightening experience.

Lesson: writing a short story is just as difficult as writing a full length novel. Go figure!

7. Write a (or 3) Guest Posts

I wrote a piece on criticism that Luther M. Siler from Inifintefreetime was gracious enough to post on his blog. You can check it out here.

8. Post once a week

Nope. I fell apart at the beginning of August.  😦

9. Be more active on social media

I set out to be moderately active and I did. Woot!

10. Get Podcasting Equipment

I can start recording episodes at this very moment! I have the editing software, microphone, and a recording strategy all set. Alas, I’m going to set my podcasting ambitions aside for this quarter.

Yay, 5 out of 10! Not bad for my first time.

 

Fall Quarter Goals

The end of the year is almost here, and I don’t want my biggest 2016 goals to spill into 2017. With that said, my goals are…

1. Read 2 (or 3) books for fun

I love being an English major. I get to read tons of critical texts and write about them (yay!), but I also like modern fiction. Managing two books this semester should be enough to keep me from wanting to bang my head against a table.

That and I really wanted to beat my Goodreads challenge this year!

2. Write 12 blog posts

The idea is to post once a week (preferably on a Wednesday), but I doubt I’ll have a stellar record this quarter especially during midterms and finals. Writing a total of 12 posts should be enough to keep my blog alive while I stress over my GPA.

3. Write a blog post series

I got an idea and I can’t wait to do it! Be on the look out.

4. Completely finish editing Ruin

This is it. This quarter is when I finally finish editing Ruin—no excuses!

I can do it, I can do it, I can do it…

5. Outline Retaliation

Retaliation is a sci-fi novel that I’ve been working on since 2012 (yes, that long! One of my biggest flaws as a writer is that I’m constantly rewriting my work). I’m hoping that I can do this during October so that I can…

6. Compete in NaNoWriMo

I love NaNoWriMo! It’s like a holiday for writers.

I didn’t compete last year so I’m going to do it this time around with Retaliation.

 

I know, I know. I have a short list of goals this time around, but that’s only because I have to make room for my studies. Hopefully I can complete all six, but the goal is to finish three by December 1st.

Wish me luck. 🙂

Behind the Scenes Blogging Tag

I was scrolling through my WordPress reader one typical morning and found this blogging tag on Sophie Dishman’s The Journey Begins. I thought, “This would be an interesting post to do” but never did it because of…you know, procrastination.

Since I’m bogged down with my writing projects (hence why there wasn’t a post last week…oops), I figured writing a fun post wouldn’t hurt.

The way this tag works is that I have to answer the twelve questions below and then “tag” another blogger.

Alright, so here’s the questions:

 

1. Where do you blog?

On my laptop (sometimes on my kindle). I don’t have a place dedicated to blogging—or writing for that matter. Simply put, I write wherever I’m comfortable which may be at my computer desk, living room couch (or floor), garage, and etc.

 

2. Where do you find inspiration for your posts?

That’s a question that not even I know the answer to.

Sometimes I get ideas from other writers and writing communities that I follow via social networking sites (that’s how I got the idea for the post you’re reading and this Bookshelf Tag!).

If I see something online that I think is interesting, than I’ll dedicate a post to it (for example: Is YA Fiction Becoming Repetitive? or Basing Your Reading Habits off of Reviews is so…Grade School!).

Honestly, I think the biggest inspiration is my life. If I’m having troubles with something or have something to share, then I’ll write a blog post about it (for example: Backhanding Procrastination When Camp NaNo isn’t Motivational Enough and Fight the Monday Blahs!).

I don’t get blogging ideas as easily as I do fictional ones unfortunately :(.

 

3. How long does it take you to write a blog post?

It depends on how busy I am. Sometimes it can take me an hour to a week.

 

4. Do you plan your blog posts? How?

I use to! I stopped recently in favor of focusing on my fiction (which is why things have been a bit haphazard lately).

I use to plan out five posts for the month and outline what I wanted to write. Then, I’d spend each week getting one post ready (writing, editing, and formatting) for a set due date.

 

5. What kind of Camera do you use?

If I ever decided to take my own pictures, I’d probably use my kindle, laptop, or Nintendo DS camera. Nothing fancy.

 

6. What editing programs do you use?

Inkscape or Canva.

 

7. Do you use a notebook to track your ideas?

I put my ideas in a dedicated folder on Scrivener or OneNote. Sometimes I jot them down on whatever I can find. It’s not a pretty process and I can loose most of my ideas if I’m not careful.

 

8. Do you take your pictures?

I use royalty free stock photos for my blog.

 

9. What’s your favorite type of blog post to write?

Two types: motivational posts because I like to help people and personal updates because they don’t take a lot of research or preparation (you just write!).

 

10. Who knows about your blog?

My family knows. They may browse around every so often. Oh, and you guys!

 

11. Are you an organized or messy blogger?

Messy. Very very very very messy. I’m not organized and I don’t plan them.

But that’s the beauty of blogging! You get the real, imperfect, me.

 

12. Biggest blogging pet peeve?

I read my posts over multiple times before I publish them to make sure there’s no typos or silly errors. Problem is, I usually find some seconds after publishing a post! It’s so irritating.

Sometimes I edit them, but most of the time I get into the “screw it” mood.

 

And that’s my messy blogging life!

I don’t want to impose anything on anyone, so if you feel like doing this tag—go ahead. Don’t forget to link your post back to this one so I can check it out.

Small announcement: Inky Tavern is now on Bloglovin! Yay 🙂

*Picture Credit

If We Were Having Coffee On July 23, 2016

It’s Saturday?! When the heck did that happen? I thought for sure today was Thursday until Cortana kindly corrected me. Whoops! Anyway, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that…

 

I’ve spent a good chunk of the week working on Ruin.

Okay, maybe not “a good chunk of the week” since I lost track of time. I probably spent three or four (?) days filling in plot holes.

Ruin and I have an unhealthy love-hate relationship. One moment I’m smitten, thrity minutes later I’m pulling my hair out thinking, “this is the worst thing I’ve EVER written!” That’s why I decided to let it rest for a few days which somehow turned into two weeks.

A family member got wind of this and pointed out that I was slacking (it’s kinda hard to get upset over a piece of criticism that’s true). I went back to work and made a ton of progress because of them.

I guess you can say I needed rest, but I think I needed the encouragement more.

 

As expected, I didn’t win that flash fiction contest.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that I wasn’t a tad bit disappointed. At the same time, I felt an odd sense of triumph.

Writers, like you and I, work in a very subjective field and subjectivity isn’t all that bad. It means that at least one person is going to like what we do! We just have to find them. This is why I wasn’t too disappointed.

I’m thinking of editing (once I get the critique) and submitting my piece somewhere else. OR I’ll turn it into a short story and self publish it on Amazon.

Haven’t decided yet, but I’m gitty over the possibilities!

 

I’ve won two scholarships and the ceremony is in August.

I’m excited(!) and freaked out at the same time.

I mean…do I have to dress up for this? I hate dressing up.

 

I’m looking for guest posters for the fall quarter.

The Fall semester is starting back earlier than I thought (it’s in August). College and writing have always vied for my time and it’s an intense competition. I’ll attempt to blog once a week but don’t expect a stellar track record (especially during midterms and finals).

I don’t want Inky Tavern to be inactive for too long and I want to give back to those who have given to me (thanks for following and commenting 😇). With that said, I’m offering guest posting opportunities. You can talk about anything that enriches someone’s life so long as it follows these guidelines.

You can write your post in a blogging fashion (like you see here) or as a piece of creative non-fiction. Let me know if you’re interested or have questions!

 

That’s my life right now, how’s yours?

Also, if you want to participate in the “If we were having coffee…” community you can do so by simply writing one and tagging it #weekendcoffeeshare on twitter. Go to Part-Time Monster’s blog for more information.

If we were having coffee on July 8, 2016

Two weeks ago I wrote my first Coffee Share post and loved it! So I decided to do another. I don’t have much to say but If we were having coffee, I’d tell you…

 

I submitted my short story!

Maybe I should call it “flash fiction” since it’s 500 words?

Anyway, I finished my editing and then submitted it to the contest’s judges four days ago. Whoopie!

Writing a piece of flash fiction is challenging but fun. You have to make sure every word progresses the story because there’s little room for fluff. The story needs a point and you need to get to it in a quick, but satisfying, way.

I admire the writer who can do this in 100 words.

 

I expect to be rejected.

This isn’t depression or resignation, it’s fact. We writers have to face rejection from publishers, agents, readers, and so on. This isn’t an excuse to quit however. Even the most seasoned writer faces rejection on a daily basis.

“I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgment and to say in his heart of hearts, ‘To hell with you.’“ – Saul Bellow

I love this quote the most:

“I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.” – Sylvia Plath

You can find more quotes here.

Anyway, I have too many projects and am way too stubborn to give up so I’m not worried.

 

I’m reading Steven Pressfield’s Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t and you should be too!

The book is not as discouraging as the title sounds, I promise.

I received the book from Marie Forleo who asked Mr. Pressfield if her email list subscribers could get a free copy. I’m 63% through and that’s only because I had to pause a few times to get back to my writing.  The chapters are small (I think this is Pressfield’s writing style), but gems exist in each one. I plan on writing a review so keep an eye out.

 

That’s what’s going on in my neck of the woods. As always, I’m eager to hear (um…read) your comments below.

You can also participate in these “If we were having coffee…” posts by simply writing one and tagging it #weekendcoffeeshare on twitter. Go to Part Time Mosnter‘s blog for more information.

If We Were Having Coffee…

If you want to know more about these coffee share posts, you should visit here or here. I thought they were pretty neat and decided to try one!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that…

I redesigned my website/blog.

This will actually be my fourth time redesigning it and by “redesign” I mean “using a new theme.” I was using Suits but it was way too bland for my taste. I’m now using Goran and I’m loving it.

I’m still toying with the options so you may see a few changes every now and then.

I don’t like this summer heat but…

I’m a winter person. I like the snow, rain, and chilly air which is unfortunate because none of that exists where I live.

On the bright side, I’ve finally found the time to read Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan. I bought the book during the Christmas season so…it’s about time I’ve read it. So far, Sullivan hasn’t disappointed me and it’s a pretty good fantasy read in my opinion.

I’ve also “finished” reading Podcasting for Dummies by Tee Morris, Chuck Tomasi, and Evo Terra. I don’t think you can ever “finish” a book like this since it’s always something to have on reference, but I got what I needed out of it (I’m working on a review post so keep an eye out).

The summer heat also gives me a reason to eat a bunch of popsicles and spend more time outside. I guess it’s not all bad, huh?

I have “Writer’s Block,” but it ain’t stopping me.

When I say I have “writer’s block” it’s code for I’m stumped, lazy, confused, or discouraged. I’m suffering from the “stumped” kind right now but I’m working through it.

This week I wrote two short stories, outlined a third, penned a few poems, and edited Ruin. I submitted one of my poems into a competition and am editing one of the shorts for another competition. So I’d say I beat writer’s block this week.

Lesson:

Writer’s block isn’t an excuse to stop writing, it’s a call to action!

Tweet this!

Anyway, that’s my life right now. How’s yours?

Make Your Writing Goals S.M.A.R.T.E.R.!

I have this goal that plagues my to do list, but I NEVER get around to completing it. It’s my fault and not because of laziness, but because it wasn’t properly set. The SMART technique is a realistic goal setting system that can benefit writers or anyone. BUT there’s an awesome variant that you may not be aware of. It’s called SMARTER!

Let’s discuss.

All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.

– Orson Swett Marden

What does S.M.A.R.T.E.R mean?

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. stands for Specific Measurable, Achievable Realistic, Time-bound, Evaluate, and Re-do (whew!). It’s a variant of “S.M.A.R.T.” which is a criteria that helps make your goals accomplishable. The “E.R.” (Evaluate and Re-do) is what you do after putting your goals into action.

To make a goal S.M.A.R.T.E.R., you need a general goal.

General goals get a bad rep for putting too much focus on the result. They seem harder than they really are, and we feel like crap when we haven’t completed them. They’re just too darn broad.

But… you need a general goal before you can make it S.M.A.R.T.E.R.. Also, break your goal down into smaller steps so it’s not result focused.

My goal:

I want to be an author (too broad).

I want to write a short story (better).

Specific

A specifically stated goal mentions what you plan to do, how you’ll do it, and the due date. We can’t do much at this point since all we have is a general goal, so the first order of business is to make it S.M.A.R.T.. Then we’ll make it S.M.A.R.T.E.R..

I promise this will all make sense.

Measurable

How do you know when you’re done? How can you track your progress?

You can track the progress of your writing project by word count, page count, chapters, and so on. Just make sure you have a number in mind!

My goal: I want to write a 5,000 word short story.

Achievable

Do you have the resources necessary to achieve your goal?

A resource could be something tangible, like a USB flash drive, notebook, or organizer. It can also be something intangible, like a word processing software, commitment, or time.

Also, take into account every responsibility or distraction that could affect your goal (work, family obligations, school) and decide if it’s still achievable. If it’s not, you may need to adjust something.

My goal: I write in Scrivener (not affiliated), back up my work via a USB flash drive, and use a planner to track my progress. That’s pretty much all I need for writing. I always write in the morning when I’m not too busy, so time isn’t a problem. Writer’s block may wear down my commitment, but I can fight against it by outlining my short story ahead of time or relying on good ol’ fashioned grit and filling my creative well with reading.

Realistic

Why did you make this goal? Is it relevant to the life you have or want?

There needs to be a point to your goal or else it’s just valuable time wasted.

My goal: I want to be an author and writing something, like a short story, will help me get there.

Time-bound

When do you want to complete your goal?

Set a due date! This keeps you motivated and prevents procrastination (hopefully).

My goal: I want to write my novel during July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. That’s 161 words a day–easy! In case life is a jerk, I can stick to my original plan of getting it done by the end of the summer, but I’m aiming for July 31st.

Revisit Specific

Now you can specifically state your S.M.A.R.T. goal.

My General Goal: Write a short story.

My S.M.A.R.T. Goal: Write a 5,000 word rough draft during July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m going to do this by writing 161 words a day and keep track of my progress via Scrivener and my planner. The due date is July 31st (or September 1st) at midnight.

Do you see the difference? The reason I did the “Specific” step last is because I wanted to flesh out my original goal first.

Evaluate

This step only happens after you’ve tried your S.M.A.R.T. goal. Take some time to analyze what’s working and what’s not. Check your performance. What did you struggle with? Do you need to lower the stakes or increase them?

For example, you may want to decrease your word count goal or extend the due date if you’re having trouble keeping up. Or maybe the hours in your job have changed and you have to adjust something.

Re-do

Detect a problem? Go back through the S.M.A.R.T. criteria and make a new goal. Put it into action and then evaluate how things are working for you. Going bad? Re-do it. Going good? You’re golden.

WARNING! It may tempt you to use the Evaluate and Re-do steps as excuses for procrastination. DO NOT DO THIS EVER! I suggest limiting yourself to one (OK, two) re-tries.

The SMARTER system takes into account that we’re human. Sometimes we stretch ourselves thin or we discover that we’re capable of more than what we thought. Whatever the case, it’s an adaptable oopsie button that prevents us from throwing in the towel.

Good luck!

Additional Reading Material

My Summer Goals and (my sorta borrowed) Accountability Method

Have you ever set a goal but didn’t do it because of procrastination or discouragement? Did you feel like total crap, too? I know your pain.

I think that this behavior stems from a lack of accountability. So I decided to change all that by making some summer goals for myself. The whole point of this challenge is to make my goals public so that I feel more responsible in completing all or half of them by the deadline (September).

I got this idea from Jenna Moreci, a YouTuber and author, who’s productivity increased thanks to this method. According to her:

 

“The risk of public humiliation is a very effective motivator.”

Jenna Moreci

With that said, my goals are to…

 

1. Finish Editing Ruin

For those of you who don’t know, Ruin is a fantasy comic that I’m working on. I just finished the third draft four weeks ago and plan to spend the entire summer editing the crap out of it. Then I’ll let go of it for the sake of production.

2. Outline the sequel to Ruin

The idea is to be able to write five books in the series. I’ve already wrote a rough synopsis for the sequel—I just have to flesh it out.

3. Finish Editing Retaliation

Retaliation is a science fiction novel that I’m working on. I’m currently fixing some issues that I hope I can finish sometime this quarter.

4. Start Drafting Retaliation

After I’m done “editing” (see #3), I’ll implement my notes into another draft.

5. Read 2 (or 4) Books

I’ve only read critical texts, college anthologies, and pricey textbooks this past semester. I need some aliens, ray guns, magic, espionage, and whatever other fiction I can get my hands before I go NUTS.

Since I’m a slow reader, I’m making this one flexible. I’m looking forward to reading Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan and Strange Magic by James A. Hunter.

6. Write a (or 2) Short Stories

Another flexible one. I want more writing in my life, but I don’t want this to overshadow my other larger projects. I’ve already started writing a murder thriller that’s so dark and gruesome it scares me.

7. Write a (or 3) Guest Posts

After my blogging hiatus last year, I want to be more involved in the blogging community. The hope is that a blogger (or three) will be willing to allow me to post something on their sites.

I’m actually already ahead in this one (no…I’m not cheating!). Again, it’s flexible because I don’t want this to overshadow my larger projects.

8. Post Once a Week

If guest posting doesn’t satisfy my need to rejoin the blogosphere, posting once a week sure will. That’s 14 posts total!

9. Be more active on social media (Twitter/Facebook/Pintrist/etc).

I feel like my social media feeds are lacking something: Me. Don’t get me wrong! I retweet, like, and comment (sometimes). I just think I should be a little more active—not spammy active—just mellow active.

10. Get Podcasting Equipment

Yep, I’m planning on launching a podcast! I pretty much have all of the equipment save for the intro/outro music, media host, and editing software. You’ll hear more about this in the future so keep an eye out!

 

And there’s my ten goals for this summer quarter. Although I’m aiming to get all of these done, I need to complete a minimum of five goals to win the challenge. Should be fun.

You can use the same accountability method to help with your productivity too. Don’t forget to link back to this post!

I’ll let you guys know how I did in September!

Later! 🙂