Monthly Review: August 2017

I’m doing my second monthly review a week early because I’m headed on vacation and won’t have wifi access. So this is for August 1 through August 26. Here’s July’s review, and my thinking behind trying a monthly review.

Creatively Productive

Proof of writing, aka coffee shops I have known

what did I make last month?

  • Total New Novel Words Written: 4,105 (39% fewer than last month)
  • Total Hours Novel Writing (Scrivener): 16 hours 45 minutes (22% less than last month)
  • Total Hours Novel Editing (estimate): 4 hours 45 minutes (same as last month)
  • Wrote a blog post about how much it cost to replace my lawn with a garden
  • Sketched front and profile character designs for the main character in my Little Mermaid comic retelling (last year’s NaNoWriMo project)
  • Sketched a rough mockup for a T-shirt design

I completed novel progress reports for Weeks 1 & 2 and Week 3.

creative work to make in September

I’ll be on vacation for a good portion of September so I’ll get a nice break from writing. I might bring along printed chapters to mark up, but there’s a good chance that I won’t do anything related to my book while I’m away, and that’s fine. It would also be a good opportunity for me to do some outlining for upcoming chapters. Earlier in the year, I was using a chapter worksheet to drill down on each chapter, so I might dig that back out too.

I need to start putting a little more thought into my NaNoWriMo project for this fall. I’m continuing the fairy tale trend and plan to do a retelling of Beauty and the Beast in space.

The next issue of Liminal Stories comes out in October, so I’ll need to illustrate my assigned short story in September.

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Monthly Review: July 2017

I’m trying out a monthly review for the first time.

Creatively Productive

what did I make last month?

  • Total Words Written: 6,676
  • Total Hours Writing (Scrivener): 21 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Hours Editing (estimate): 4 hours 40 minutes

I reached an exciting milestone in my novel revision, wrapping up the first part of the novel.

How I stayed productive on creative goals

I completed weekly novel progress reports for the first three weeks of July: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

Gaps and Challenges in My Creative Practice

  • The closing of my favorite coffee shop has put a little damper in my writing practice. I’m looking for a replacement that I like. My after-work replacement seems good, but I’m not sold on my new weekly meetup location. 
  • After reaching my milestone, my progress dried up, and I took a full week off from writing. I think I need a better system for setting milestones and creating a workplan with deadlines that I’m accountable to – right now I have the weekly workplan I put together each Sunday for what I hope to accomplish that week, but I don’t have mid-term deadlines for myself.

What to try to produce creative work in august

  • Keep going to my regular writing sessions
  • Try to make a timeline for the entire next part of the book, and a goal for the overall completion
  • Reinstate my daily Pomodoro requirement (at least one 25-minute writing session) Continue reading

Staying on Track with a Monthly Review

I’ve appreciated other people’s monthly reviews, and am going to try out my own to help me stay accountable with my goals other than writing (as well as writing). In the past, I’ve tried to do mid-year or quarterly check-ins on my annual goals, but that feels a bit too intermittent, and easy to forget.

Structuring My Monthly Review

To start, I’m structuring my monthly review based on the priorities I identified for myself in my annual review process:

  • Creatively productive
  • Healthy habits & routines
  • Active lifestyle
  • Comfortable, sustainable home
  • Strategic spending & saving

For each priority area, I’ll assess how I did the previous month with a combination of tracked statistics and narrative evaluation. I’ll discuss my tracking tools and processes, then identify gaps and challenges that are holding me back from meeting my goals. Last, I’ll evaluate what I can do the next month to improve, whether it’s a new tracking method, a new technique to try, or a new habit to develop.

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