Fiction Blog, Writing Updates

Month-End Update: January 2017


If you’ve followed my fiction blog for a while, you’ll know that I share updates at the end of each calendar month. In previous years, I have recapped my writing/editing progress, the books I have read or reviewed, and any notable business activities. In 2017, I’ll include all of that, but I will be structuring the posts a little differently to help me stay focused on my New Year’s Resolutions.

January started off as a difficult month. I won’t go into it here, but I had a family emergency at the end of December, which left me (to put it lightly) tired and uninspired. To ease myself back into a working mindset, I did a little reading and focused on nonfiction early in the month. About halfway through January, I switched back to the world of fiction, and I feel like I’ve finally hit my stride with the third Desertera novel. I’m hoping for smooth sailing from here on out!

Writing & Publishing

Main goals:
Create five days a week – on track
Write Desertera #3 – on track

As I said above, I’m pleased with the progress I’m making on the novel so far. Even though only 13 days of the month were dedicated to Desertera #3, I wrote 12,798 words. When you factor in the nonfiction work I did (see below), I kept to my creation goal of averaging five days per week. It’s not the super-charged start I was hoping for, but I’m pleased with my progress and ready to take on February!


Main goals:
Create freebie for Writing Newsletter – finished!
Make $2,000 from Boxthorn Press – slightly behind
Blog twice per week – on track
Maintain social media schedule – room to improve
Read 52 books this year – slightly behind

My biggest accomplishment in the business sector was writing and putting out 100 Blogging Ideas for Fiction Writers (the freebie for subscribers to my Writing Newsletter – see sidebar). I really enjoyed this task, because it helped get my creative gears spinning again, and I think it will be a useful booklet for other writers.

As for my financial target, I made enough in royalties to match my 2016 income, but not enough to reach my $2,000 goal for 2017. This is expected, as I’ve decided to concentrate my marketing budget around the launch of the third book, which I expect to make up the bulk of my revenue for the year.

My other business goals are also in decent shape. I published an average of two blog posts per week. My social media schedule slipped a bit, but I’ve gotten back on track now. Likewise, I’m not quite reading as much as I’d hoped (it’s tough to find time while in the first draft stage with a book), but I’m still making good progress.

Books Read:
Desecration (London Psychic #1) by J.F. Penn – 4 Stars
Delirium (London Psychic #2) by J.F. Penn – 5 Stars

Book in Progress: Deviance (London Psychic #3) by J.F. Penn

Next Up: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


Main Goals:
Work on positivity – hahaha
Exercise 3x per week – starting to make progress
Break a bad habit – doing surprisingly well!

I’ll keep this section brief, because as much as I enjoy sharing my life with you, there are certain things I must reserve for myself. Suffice to say, I need to refocus on my positivity and up my gym attendance from 1-2 days a week to my goal of three. However, I’ve made a lot of progress with the habit I need to break, so that’s positive!

Goals for February
Continue drafting Desertera #3 (reach 40,000 words)
Catch up on lapsing goals (especially reading and exercise)
Work on balancing writing with other responsibilities

How has 2017 treated you so far? What are your goals going into February? Share in the comments!

Fiction Blog, Writing Updates

Month-End Update: November 2016 (Come Vote!)

voteNovember really got away from me. After learning the much-needed (but still a little painful) lesson of obeying my own writing process, I got a little off track for the month. However, despite taking a few steps backward in my fiction efforts, I was able to complete my final nonfiction project for the year (more on that soon!), as well as tackle a couple of books on my review list.

My main takeaway for November is that I need to keep streamlining my author routine and reevaluate my priorities going into 2017. I’ll talk more about this when I do my reflection posts at the end of December, but suffice to say I’m already working on resolutions and setting up systems for the new year.

To that end, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this website to be. I started this blog in 2014, with the goal of chronicling my author journey and holding myself accountable to my writing. In 2015, it became my “author website,” with a strong focus on writing/publishing advice and book reviews. This year, it’s really started to feel like not just my website, but a part of a larger community. As such, in 2017, I want to make my author website work even harder smarter for you.

There’s a poll at the end of this post. Please tell me which kinds of articles would be most beneficial or entertaining to you going forward, and feel free to leave any other suggestions or requests in the comments. This is YOUR chance to tell me what you like, what you don’t, and what will help you most in your own journey.

But, before you vote, here’s what I accomplished in November:

Writing & Editing

  • Blog Posts Written 5 and one guest post
  • Fiction Words Written  11,228
  • # of Days I Wrote Fiction  13
  • Nonfiction Prompts Written None new
  • # of Days I Wrote Nonfiction N/A
  • Drafts Revised Proofread and formatted nonfiction book
  • # of Days I Revised  5
  • Outlines Written – 1 (restructuring Desertera #3)
  • Days Without Creation/Production  12


*Remember, I review every book I read on my Goodreads page.

Author Business Activities

  • Put together prompts anthology
  • Goal-setting and administrative tasks in preparation for 2017
  • Beta-reading and reviewing books for fellow authors
  • Hosted part of a Facebook takeover event

Goals for December

  • Get back on track with Desertera #3
  • Properly announce prompts anthology
  • Wrap up pending book reviews and guest post commitments
  • Finalize plans for 2017

What did you accomplish in November? If you participated in NaNoWriMo, how did it go? What can I do to help you reach your goals in 2017? Share it all below!