2012: Year of the Zombie

Welcome to 2012, my fellow time-traveling friends. Yes, we’re all traveling in the mundane direction of our collective proper time, but it’s still time travel in a sense.

2012 means all kinds of great things over at Zombie Bedtime Stories and Sanity Vacuum central. Late 2011 was a difficult period in my life, and I expect early 2012 to follow suit. For those not in the know, I fell ill with pneumonia in late October. This caused my to tear a ligament in my chest, a painful and surprisingly debilitating injury. I have been in a state of near-bedrest and very low mobility ever since. It did, however, propel me into the realm of writing full-time, as there was precious little else I could do, and I’m not the type to feel sorry for myself in bed. In November, through the haze of painkillers and pneumonia-induced confusion, I wrote Sanity Vacuum, my first novel.

In December, I released Deadlocked, and I experienced a pleasing (and startling) spike in sales. As I am still not strong enough to return to work (a 15 minute walk outside laid me up for two days earlier this week), I am going to focus my energies in early 2012 to the following:

  1. I am going to do a lot more guest posts, and many more book reviews to increase my visibility.
  2. I am going to write at least 500 words/day towards new Zombie Bedtime Stories, as part of #WIP500. Conceivably, I could complete the entire series rough drafts during this year, assuming average length as under 15k.
  3. Complete my first draft edits of Sanity Vacuum. There’s a lot to do here (see: written on painkillers, kind of disjointed), and it’s vastly different from editing a Zombie Bedtime Story for reasons related to length and continuity. I absolutely love the story and concept of it, which is why I’m putting so much effort into saving it. Tough love style.

In essence, these goals closely mirror my plan for the rest of the year. Eventually, I won’t have a novel to edit and hopefully by that time I’ll be able to look at getting employment that’s more gainful than my Kindle sales. 500 words per day is easily attainable, I’ve had days where I can finely craft that much prose in 15 minutes.

I’m thinking of goals for Sanity Vacuum. I’m going by chapters/day for edits–I try to get 2/3 chapters per day inked up and inputted. After this draft, print-off editing is going away because of budget issues. Then, I see other people managing 15k/day in edits, and feel inadequate.

What do your editing goals look like?

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Setting Goals and Challenges

Having realistic goals is important. So is challenging yourself by pushing your limits. I decided that since I’ve never exceeded 900 words in a day, that I would do 1000 words per day this week. This is in addition to blogging and vlogging, and normal work obligations.

Here’s what I’ve learned about goals and challenges:

  • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. (Ripped from my high school agenda) This is so true. Not setting hard word counts for myself has done me no favors in terms of productivity. The same goes with any other measurable goal.
  • Set measurable goals. You can’t plan for abstracts, which winds you back to point #1.
  • Know your limits. Set some solid goals and figure out your own strengths and weaknesses. Then try again. It’s all perseverance and insight.
  • Aspirations are not goals. Go back to the drawing board and create a plan of attack, preferably in goal-oriented form.
  • Work hard, then work even harder. Everything is a function of the time and energy you put into it.
  • Learn some project management principles, and apply them to your goals. Even a simple task keeper/to-do list on your cellphone helps.

Some words of wisdom.

Now, go watch my vlog. I talk about writing, editing, my cats and cooking chili. You’ll love my chili.