Author Journey (January 23, 2023)
Despite being really busy with the day job, adding some structure to my week was incredibly useful. So, did the new weekly goal process work or is it back to the drawing board… which ironically was one of my goals…
Author Journey (January 23, 2023)
This is almost as exciting as last week’s post where I set out a new weekly goal-setting process. To recap, I am setting my goals each week. I will be looking at my workload, family life, and any other elements that may impact my time and productivity. Obviously, I can’t predict everything, but being able to set new goals each week means that I’m not playing catch up. Basically, every week is a new start. Last Monday, I revealed my goals for the week. Let’s find out how I did.
The Weekly Recap!
It was my first week in while without any real incidents. However, the week started off busy with the year-end reporting taking over most of my time. Working from home has its downsides too, such as always being on, but the upsides far out way any inconveniences. So, by Wednesday, the reports were done and I entered the calm period, which may last another week if I’m lucky before the next reporting period begins. That’s definitely something to think about while setting this week’s goals.
Even with the day job stealing time from my evenings, I completed my goal to read four manga books. Those were volumes eight to eleven of Chainsaw Man as I said I would. It worked out really nicely as that took me to the end of the first arc so there wasn’t anything demanding that I keep reading. It would have been harder if there had been a big cliffhanger. This was the first point that I realised the new routine was working. Before I might have picked up another book and started reading something else, but I had achieved that goal. I needed to get on with the others.
The next goal I decided to tackle was to watch 9 episodes of anime. I have a number of shows that I’m planning on looking at and a couple that I’m part-way through. Of course, I decided to start one of the new shows and got through nine episodes by Friday morning. Boom! Another goal achieved. The problem was that I had just three episodes left to finish the season. Somehow I stayed strong and decided to start another goal. I spent a lot of time on Friday sketching and it felt great. I worked on a number of concepts for the RIP Tide cover and then had a breakthrough at lunch which took it in another direction. So, I didn’t technically complete a piece of art, but I did end up with a profile sketch of the main character, Kira.
|Anime Watched||9 Episodes||9 Episodes|
|Manga Read||4 Books||4 Books|
|Posts Scheduled||14 Posts||14 Posts|
|Chapters Written||5 Chapters||0 Chapters|
|Artwork Completed||1 Piece||1 Piece|
Of course, reading four manga and watching nine anime episodes also helped me to schedule fourteen posts (this one being the fourteenth), which was the fourth of my goals to be completed. That left just one – chapters written. Unfortunately, I have nothing to show for this one, however, I did have a bit of a breakthrough. Back in 2017, I spent the first six months writing a series of novellas. In all, I wrote twenty-six volumes I published eight of them in 2018 before I took time off to raise my youngest. I had always planned on coming back to the series but was never quite sure how to work it. Now, I know. As a result, I spent all my writing time reading through the old volumes and making notes. I am very excited to be able to get this one going again.
Aspirations for the Week!
The big breakthrough for my series was focused on merging the volumes into longer books, each consisting of four of my original drafts. The thing that had never occurred to me before was that this was the obvious thing to do, especially as I wrote them in blocks of four with each block defeating an obstacle that had been set out over the previous volumes. I almost feel ridiculous looking back at it now, but there you go.
I’m not expecting the day job to drift into the night any time this week, so that’s a load off. Surely, that means I can increase my goals and really go for it. Well, I’ve played that game before and it almost never goes as planned. I think I’ll keep the goals pretty similar to what I had this week, although the writing one will be focused on preparing.
Admittedly, I’d love to push this up to twelve episodes and complete a season a week, but I’m not there yet. I think I’ll stick to nine and if I have extra time then I’ll watch more. There are three more episodes in the current season I’m watching and six more in another season so that would give me nine. Maybe, next week, I’ll look at getting twelve in.
Goal: 9 Episodes
I currently have four volume ones from the library that all have a fairly large number of holds so I won’t be able to renew them. Best to get them out of the way first then. My current reading list on MAL is already at 56 series, so I might as well add a few more…
Goal: 4 Books
I think this week, I could end up having two season reviews to write. I will definitely have one as I need to finish those three episodes from the series I started last week. The other one is a maybe, so I’ll keep that as a bonus if I do it or not. I could end up starting another series entirely… So, four manga, nine episodes, one season, and an author journey post.
Goal: 15 Posts
As much as I’d like to dive straight into my series, I’m going to do this right. So, my goal here will be to read the first four volumes and create an outline that will become the first book in the series. I had already done an outline of a revamped volume one so I’ll be incorporating that too. If I start writing, great. If not, I want a full outline which will probably end up around two thousand words anyhow.
Goal: 1 Book Outline
Originally, I had planned on having the two main characters on the cover of RIP Tide and I still like the idea of that, but this new idea for the cover is too good to ignore. So, I’d like to get a full pencil version completed. If I have time, I’d love to ink it, but for now, I’ll stick to the sketch. I definitely need to add this to my daily routine as a form of meditation.
Goal: 1 Cover Sketch
I’ll take four out of five and a major breakthrough for my first week trying this new method. It definitely helped me to switch between roles, which has been something that I have struggled with. If left to my own devices, I would curl up in the corner of my room and work my way through a stack of manga or binge a season or two of anime. This has been a very effective trial and I hope it continues like this. I know I’ve already said it, but I am so excited to be back on my series from 2017. At some point, I’m going to go through the planning stage as I’ve had this story in my head for almost ten years now.
It’s a new week and a new set of goals. I like how this process is making me think more about the time available to me and how I want to use it. Most importantly, it’s made me attempt to balance my activities better. Do you have multiple projects that require different mindsets? How do you switch between roles? Anyhow, stay safe and thanks for reading.
Isn’t having a plot breakthrough inspiration the best feeling? I’d count that as worth 4 chapters!
Just FYI, I bought Kingdom of Z volume 1. It’s next on my manga queue — which is to say, it’s the only thing in my manga queue! I’m almost exclusively focused on anime. But your review made it sound worthwhile.
Mindset or context switching can be murder on my concentration. I used to be able to do it; or maybe I lied to myself and said I could. Now, I can’t just randomly switch. I need to get things to a good stopping point, then jump into the next. I don’t write a chapter one night and proof read another book’s chapter the next; I finish the novel’s draft, then proof another novel.
Tasks that aren’t as related, like novel writing versus Java programming, are different. I can alternate hours or even days on those without ill effect. They are so mentally separate that there’s no bleed.
The worst thing is I originally planned on bundling them in fours so combining four novellas to become one novel should have been obvious. That said, I’ll take that breakthrough. Now to get back to writing it.
Kingdom of Z is good and there are only 6 volumes in the series. I have the first five and the last one comes out later this year. I would also recommend Zom 100 and that one has an anime coming too.
I think my biggest issue was that without my smaller weekly goals, I would just look at the big picture and keep doing the one thing because there was more to do even if there was no hurry. Now, I feel better about stopping one task and picking up another because I achieved the week’s goal.
Yeah, is agree with that too. When I need to so work for the day job I can just switch it on. I don’t want to, but I can.