The year so far: Mid-2020 goal check

We’ve made it to the second half of the year! Given everything that’s happened to date, I thought it a great opportunity to assess the progress I’ve made on my goals, and whether they need to be amended. Come and find out what has and hasn’t been working for me!!

When I published my first blog post for 2020, where I established my goals for the year and scheduled a review for the halfway mark, I can’t say I ever anticipated what a year 2020 would be! Sure, I knew I was starting my first Real Job, and didn’t know how being a Proper Adult would affect my productivity, but the Australian bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic certainly weren’t things I’d planned for!

All the more reason to review my progress on the goals I set several months ago, right? But before I do, I thought I’d also summarise some of the things that have been working well in my creative routine…and some of the areas I’d like to improve in. These are by no means an exhaustive list, but just a few key observations from this year’s journey so far.

Motivation is high… This is a great thing! Though I’ve had my ups and downs like anyone else, on the whole, my motivation to work on my writing projects has been sky high. It can be frustrating when I then have to deal with Real Life, but it is what it is!!

…but fatigue is setting in. I have noticed my motivation and my productivity dipping over the last few weeks, and no doubt that’s the fatigue setting in after months of pushing forwards, even in the midst of the pandemic. More down-time needs to be a priority.

Setting monthly and weekly goals is effective… For the first time, I’ve broken down my yearly goals into monthly goals, weekly goals, and even daily tasks and targets. It’s worked a dream on my productivity, and helped me keep on track and hold myself accountable!

…but not enough space for spontaneity. Unfortunately, in attempting to reach the goals I’ve set, I “work” most weeknights and all-day most weekends. I know this isn’t healthy, and it leaves no time or space for spontaneous activities or opportunities that may come up.

What these observations tell me is that I’ve found some really effective and productive strategies this year, but that I need to “schedule in” more time to relax and make space for spontaneity. This evidently means that I will need to reconsider some of the goals I’ve set myself, and perhaps amend them to be less ambitious. Let’s have a look!

My goals for 2020 fell into three key categories: (1) blogging, (2) writing, and (3) reading. Below, I have gone through each of these goals, summarised the progress I’ve made, and determined whether or not the goal needs to be amended based on what I’ve been able to achieve to date.

Publish 2 content posts + 1 update post per month

ON TRACK?

PROGRESS: So far I have managed to stick to this goal for all months except January, which was accounted for at the start of the year. Some months have been more of a challenge than others, but I’m proud of the content I’ve been able to produce.

NEW GOAL: Not required

Share at least 3 blog posts per month

ON TRACK?

PROGRESS: I have been sharing a selection of my favourite blog posts during each of my monthly updates, and so far I have averaged 5.6 posts shared per update. This goal has definitely encouraged me to read others’ content more regularly!

NEW GOAL: Not required

Create a comprehensive guide to self-publishing

ON TRACK?

PROGRESS: It’s hard to say where I’m at with this goal since some parts of my research are more comprehensive than others. This “guide” will therefore not be as detailed as originally planned, but will still be a good starting point for the future!

NEW GOAL: Create a summary guide to self-publishing

Determine publishing pathway for Holding Up the Sky

ON TRACK?

PROGRESS: I now know that I’m not going to have finished exploring traditional publishing options for my contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky by the end of 2020. This year, I will finish up querying before moving towards direct submissions in Australia.

NEW GOAL: Finish querying Holding Up the Sky

Write the first draft of First the Song

ON TRACK?

PROGRESS: For a while, I was on track with drafting First the Song, book 2 in my epic fantasy series Graceborn, but now the stress of 2020 is catching up to me. I might still get there by the end of the year, but I’ve decided that I need to adjust my expectations.

NEW GOAL: Write ~85% of the first draft of First the Song

Conduct beta reading of Blood of Old

ON TRACK?

PROGRESS: This goal is a little unclear. I had planned to conduct round 1 of beta reading for Graceborn book 1, revise, then start round 2 this year, but 2020 has been hell on us all! I don’t want to be another source of stress to my generous readers, or to myself, so this one’s going to change.

NEW GOAL: Conduct round 1 beta reading of Blood of Old

Write 50k words of a new standalone WIP

ON TRACK?

PROGRESS: I’m getting super excited about this one! I’ve given myself all the way up to October to plan, plot and outline this new contemporary YA novel so that I can spend November participating in NaNoWriMo 2020. More details will be coming over the next few months!

NEW GOAL: Not required

Read 40 books

ON TRACK?

PROGRESS: You can see on my Goodreads challenge that I am way ahead on this goal, having already read 29/40 books this year! I’ve considered amending this goal, but ultimately decided to leave it alone, because who knows what else 2020 has in store?!

NEW GOAL: Not required

Read at least 5 books by writers I follow online

ON TRACK?

PROGRESS: Of the books I’ve read so far this year, 3 are by other writers I communicate with online. That means I’m 60% of the way to my target, but I’m definitely keen to check out more of my fellow writers’ books over the next six months. Looking forward to it!

NEW GOAL: Not required

Are you on-track to achieve your 2020 goals? Have you considered amending them? What strategies have and haven’t been working for you this year?

  One thought on “The year so far: Mid-2020 goal check

  1. 07/07/2020 at 4:12 PM

    You’ve been doing a great job, Rebecca! I’m on track for goals this year too, but now we’re in lockdown again, will definitely have to take some more self care time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 07/07/2020 at 4:43 PM

      Thanks, and I 100% agree! I’d planned to do some writing tonight, but after watching the press conference and commiserating with my work colleagues I just feel like sitting on the couch, eating chocolate brownies, and cuddling my puppy. So that’s what I’ll do! Take care of yourself. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 07/07/2020 at 4:47 PM

    Wow you look pretty on point with your goals. And 40 books a year is pretty awesome. Hope you surpass that, even. And epic fantasies? You really are a great inspiration. Thanks for sharing, and wishing you all the best on your authorly pursuits!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 07/07/2020 at 6:44 PM

      Thanks so much for your words of encouragement! After so much bad news in my city today, your comments made me smile. Take care, and all the best!! 😊

      Like

  3. 07/07/2020 at 8:59 PM

    Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 07/07/2020 at 11:45 PM

    Seeing the pace you’ve managed for your goals, I can only salute you – and it’s no surprise that fatigue comes. That happens. I hope you’ll find some good way to relax and come back full of energy and ideas.

    I don’t know how exactly will my journey go but when I get to it, I’ll be willing to share my experience with self-publishing (and I’ll likely post about the different parts anyway) so feel free to ask me or use what I post in your research. David Gaughran also just released a new version of his ‘Let’s get Digital’ e-book that gives a good insight in self-publishing – and it’s free! I’d recommend giving it a look.

    And, out of curiosity, do you count the beta swap into the ‘books I’ve read by people I follow’? If not, you should 🙂 Sure, you can’t add beta reads to your Goodreads shelf before they’re out but they’ll count retroactively. And I hope to have my book out by the end of 2020 anyway – and I believe I’m on track with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 08/07/2020 at 9:07 AM

      Thanks Tomas! I’ve tried to make the best of this lockdown situation, but now that we’re going back in I know I need to do things differently!! 😁

      You make a very good point about the beta reads. I didn’t count them in my tally, but if I did then this goal would be achieved for the year. I wish you all the best with your publishing journey, and I look forward to watching it unfold!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • 09/07/2020 at 12:28 AM

        Well, in that case you have fulfilled that goal AND helped others, which is something to count and be proud of.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 09/07/2020 at 3:54 PM

        That’s a nice way to look at it! Thanks Tomas 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 20/07/2020 at 10:15 PM

    You’re flying ahead with these goals, I’m amazed. 💜👏💜

    I’m just behind you on the reading front, I’ve already read 25 books this year. I’ve finished a new novel, completely rewrote Mischief and Mayhem and next month I’ll start editing Crown of Lies using your fantastic feedback.

    I hope you’re proud of your accomplishments, Rebecca… you should be! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • 21/07/2020 at 7:46 AM

      Thanks Lorraine 😊 I’ve found it helpful to list out where I’m at and what I’ve managed to achieve so far. Sounds like you’ve made some excellent progress yourself! All the best with the Crown of Lies edits!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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