Archive | Reflections RSS feed for this section

Mid 2017 Goals Check-in: Where are we now?

19 Jun

So in January I outlined some pretty clear goals for the year. And the one thing I’m good at is looking at my goals ;). I figured its about time to check in on how far I’ve come this year.

Before I do that though I will say that I think the thing I need to do with my goals next year is to make them a little smarter and to dig a little deeper. I haven’t by any means finished all of my goals but I think I need to spend sometime getting underneath what I’m trying to achieve. So yes I want to get words down or words related to a project but why? What’s that for? What is that trying to serve? In other words I think I need to think about what my writing career goals are so that I can be in alignment on all my little goals rolling up to that and really serving that.

  1. Finish my re-write of Lycanthropy and dig in on editing the manuscript. I’m not where near done on this one and honestly unlikely to be finished. I decided to trunk this book. I was mid-rewrite and wondering where I was going. Considering that was my third re-write it was not a good sign. So I decided to give this one a rest and keep writing other things. Maybe as I improve my writing skills I’ll be able to come back and improve it but I’m also equally open to the idea that that was my first book and it will never get where it needs to be. That happens and it’s ok.
  2. Rewrite and Edit Through Time and Space. I still haven’t picked this one back up. Honestly I don’t think about it much. I should give it a look and see if there is anything there I think is worth salvaging. But there is definite lack of enthusiasm here.
  3. Write and submit three short stories. So far this year I have written (to completion) four short stories. I’ve also done a re-write of the Novella I worked on last year. I submitted one story so far and was rejected but have gotten some good feedback and will make some edits and send it out again. I’m still writing but I haven’t written anything I think it good enough to send off. I haven’t been doing the weekday novel, weekend short stories thing that I thought I would at the beginning of the year. When momentum was pushing me forward it made sense to keep that momentum going. I think the thing I need to do is read more short stories. I think that will help me to really figure out how to boil a story to it’s essence and keep it short.
  4. Participate in more local writing events. This year I took a class at Left Margin Lit which was an interesting experience. The class was interesting but some of the things said made biases clear. I also went to Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley. That was a good experience. Not all of the panels I attended were worth it (at least two were awful) but I did think a couple of them were worth it. To some degree doing this is about building my people skills, talking with other attendees and hopefully eventually talking to authors. If I think about it as an effort to do that then it was a good first step. I still plan to attend Litquake and I’m thinking about trying to Volunteer at least a little bit but I’m not sure :).
  5. Write a new novel. I did this one! Mark it as done :). For years a family of demon hunters has been swirling around my head trying to find purchase in the written word. The Harkeman’s are Buffy meets August: Osage County. I outlined this one quite a bit before I started writing and I think that helped a ton. It’s not exactly faithful to that outline but I think that helped a lot. Next step for this MS is to read it once without much critique (simple does this make sense as a story). Then to read it and outline it for whether each scene is about what each character wants. Then to read it for plot holes and continuity errors. I haven’t thought about about how I’m going to accomplish that goal yet but maybe I’ll try cutting my writing goal to 500 words in July or August and focus on the editing part of this project. Truly editing and thinking about it systematically is another thing on my list of things to learn. I’m not an amazing writer but if I an become an amazing editor and make my drafts way better than it won’t matter as much.
  6. Apply to at least one writing workshop, retreat or class. Mission accomplished. I applied and was rejected from Vona and Lambda Literary. I also took a class at Left Margin Lit. I’m thinking about taking another class but not sure what that would be.
  7. Be a part of the literary community consistently. I am… doing this. I have been beta-ing for folks and joined a critique group. I need to get better about building relationships (which to be honest is just my life) I tend to make friends by doing a lot for others and asking for nothing in return which just isn’t right. I’m working on it though. In a dream world I would find a couple of people I would feel comfortable consistently sharing my work with and getting critique from. I’m not sure if that will work for me but I do want to try.

So that’s where I am so far this year. Where are you at with your goals?

February Summary

2 Mar
  • Rewrite in process
  • Read 3 scripts
  • 1 Successful Writers group meeting

Fearless

4 Feb

Everywhere I turn the world is trying to tell me to get out of my shell and do something. Evidence as follows:

  • I went on a work retreat recently where one of the quotes I walked away with this quote: “Opportunities multiply as they are seized”–Sun Tzu
  • I just started listening to this awesome podcast Hilliard Guess’s The Screenwriting Rant Room (please check them out they are so cool) and I recently listened to their “Being Fearless Episode” (it’s from Dec. 14th 2014). You can tell from the title of the Episode what they were telling me.

So I decided to go out and do something. I submitted to the OutFest Screenwriting Lab.

 

Let me tell you that this was the hardest thing I have done in a while. I found out about the late deadline last Monday afternoon and the deadline was Saturday the 31st. Needless to say I was on an emotional roller coaster trying to get the thing done and not talk myself out of submitting all together. I realized a few things.

 

My people are the literal best: I sent a few of my friends (writers and not) two writing samples on Tuesday afternoon and I begged for feedback about which one I should submit. Not only did they respond and give me a recommendation on which one I should submit but lots of folks gave me feedback about ways to improve the submissions. I love you guys. You’re amazing and I’m so lucky to have people that I don’t connect with everyday who will lovingly read my stuff and give me feedback.

 

I don’t have enough faith in myself: My people are the best because they gave me so much love and encouragement but the truth is I should have been giving myself that love. I had no faith in my words and as a person who wants to take her writing to another level this year that isn’t ok. How many opportunities have I missed/will I miss because I don’t have enough faith in myself? If I don’t have faith why should anyone else?

 

I still have room to grow but I never will if I never let go. I have a very bad habit of editing myself into a corner. Why is that? Because instead of doing two or three edit rounds and then handing the work to someone else I hold it close. I don’t want anyone to see my imperfect work. The problem with that of course is that work is never perfect. It simply never is. It doesn’t get perfect. Nothing is perfect. This is a lesson I have a hard time learning but it is one of the most important ones. Sometimes you have to let go to learn and grow and get better and closer to “perfect” . Sad but true 🙂

 

If you pay attention you don’t have to rush. If I had been paying attention to my calendar and really doing a good job of looking for opportunities and keeping track of them I wouldn’t have had to rush to get this done and I could have avoided a lot of stress. I have to make the time to look for the things I want/need to do to allow myself the opportunity to be fearless.

 

Ultimately I submitted and that’s the best outcome there possibly can be.

 

But now I do have to rewrite my WHOLE Gales script because I realized the drama was some place I hadn’t yet explored. Mixed feelings on that one 🙂

 

Are you fearless when it comes to your goals, writing otherwise? What would happen if you got crazy and did something that scares you in a short time line?

January 2015 Summary

2 Feb
  • Finished 1 Script
  • Wrote 750 Words Everyday
  • Submitted to the Outfest Screenwriting Lab

2015 Writing Goals (Or the year I tried to do something for myself without attacking it)

14 Jan

It’s a new year and that means new goals. This year I have given myself the challenge of stepping my game up with my writing while still showing myself some love. What does that mean? It means pushing myself to do new things knowing I might fail and telling myself it’s ok if that happens. 🙂

So here are my goals for the new year:

  • Write 4 Scripts
  • Write 3 New Ideas per week
  • Read 26 scripts and analyze them
  • Read 30 books
  • Run my new writing group for at least 3 months
  • Submit to at least 3 competitions. Couple candidates:
    • Nicholl Fellowship
    • Austin Film Festival
    • Blue Cat
    • Scriptopalooza
  • Blog 2x per month

I think all of these are doable as long as I get into good habits and keeping moving. It’s amazing how much of this feels paralyzing at times but you know what they say: if it’s not scaring you you’re not pushing hard enough.

What are your goals for the year?

Words Wednesday: 2014 Goals

1 Jan

Let’s keep it simple. It’s the first day of the year and these are the things I plan to work on this year:

  • Read/Listen to 15 books (Fiction or Non-fiction)
  • Read/Watch the news everyday
  • Read 2 Higher Education articles a week
  • Write at least 30 min a day
  • Keep the blog running smoothly
  • Communicate more (not  exactly a SMART goal but working on it)

Monday Musings: 2013 Goals

30 Dec

It’s that time of year! Let’s talk about 2013 Goals and what I accomplished. Later this week I’ll be giving you my 2014 goals. Feel free to share some of yours as well!

So here were my goals for 2013:

  • Read 10 books for pleasure–I did this one! I actual read and listened to quite a few books this year!
  • Read 5 Academic/Educational books–Did not do this one. Something to think about for next year.
  • Read and respond to 1 article a month (subject of my choice but preferably current events)–I didn’t do this either! Another good idea for next year.
  • Rejuvenate Limited Edition Love. Blogging can be so much fun and it can also be such a headache. This year I want to find the perfect balance and stick with it.–Well, yeah. You guys know how this went. Definitely want to work on it for next year!
  • Write 2 scripts and solicit feedback– I wrote several scripts this year and got feedback on one of them. So pretty good!
  • Edit 2012 Script–Didn’t do this!
  • Take 2 online courses (free preferably)–I also didn’t do this….Want to for this year though!
  • Meditate/yoga at least once a month–Yeah…didn’t happen.

So of the eight goals that I had for this year I achieved 2. Are we sending a pattern here? Lol. Last year I also achieved 2 goals. Hopefully in 2014 we can get to 3!

What were your goals in 2013? How many did you achieve?

 

Monday Musings: Fun with Resumes

3 Nov

So something I’ve been thinking about of late is resumes. The thing about resumes is that they are most critical outdated pieces of paper. We need them to get jobs but the “conventional wisdom” on resumes seems old to most technophiles. Yet, we continue to use the resume with a few caveats. Obviously some companies accept LinkedIn or visual resume sites for their applications but those are still few and far between.

Then we also have the issue of what a writer includes on a resume. Do I include things I’ve written? Where I’ve been published if I’ve been published? Resumes to me are just a crazy hotbed of rules and regulations that are clear but out of focus.

What do you think of resumes? How would you display your history if you had a choice?

Uh What?

19 Mar

What I love about this video is the people who are justifying his statements in the comments. When is slavery ever ok? Absolutely and intrinsically never. How do you know when the emotional, spiritual and intellectual pain of an entire people is over? You don’t. You can never say to someone you have no relationship to this thing that happened to your ancestors and therefore you can’t talk about it. The truth is we should all–black, white, green, purple–feel pain that slavery is a part of our collective history. I’m sure I will garner some trolls for saying it but that’s what I think. That would be the same as telling Jewish people to stop talking about the Holocaust because they weren’t there. To be clear, that is NOT my position at all.

I had considered

15 Jul

I had considered writing a long post about the struggles of finding time to write but i am constantly writing that. So then the question comes… Do you keep writing?

Im going to talk some more about it later this week but i want to put the question in the air. Give up or keep fighting with words for words.