Building a Solid Foundation: January 2017 Goals and Update

Hey there!

We’re a week into ROW80 Round One (learn more by clicking the image above, or the link at the end of the post). I’ve been mostly focused on my revision goal, as I’m taking Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel, and it’s rather intensive. It’s going to change nearly everything about the way I handle revision, and for the better.

Other goals aren’t moving forward as quickly, but that’s fairly typical at the beginning of things – and revision is something I need to learn to do efficiently and much more quickly than I have so far, if I want a professional writing career. It’s part of my foundation. And I do….so, other things may take a backseat for a while. Some goals may adjust in the next week or two, or I may find a level of equilibrium.

How about you?

Have you set goals or resolutions for this coming year?

How are you doing, at this very early stage of the year?

How often do you assess your goals?

Have you shared them with others?


  • Kifo Island: Write 5,000 words/week The Far Shore (KIC #6), until complete: Currently Scene 12/24 in progress. 1,343/5000 weekly words; 39,230/~65,000 total. Secondary goal. Since I’m focused on revision, I may reduce this goal.


  • Rose and Jeremy novella: Plan/plot “Tuesday Afternoon Tea” using The Story Toolkit  and existing notes. Develop one-paragraph sketches for remaining 3-5 stories. Primary goal. Downloaded Toolkit worksheets; read through all 66 pages.

  • Kifo Island: Select April and July novels. Create rough AeonTimeline for first six novels/ select and place April and July novels. Secondary goal. Finalized selections for Camp novels.


  • Short Stories: “Miss Spider and Mister Fly”; Complete edits. Primary goal. I’ve made needed changes to 13/15 pages; simmering an idea for the POV transition.

  • Work through Holly Lisle’s Revision Course (using “FC,WJ,”) first 3 lessons. Side goal. Worksheet 1B; 82 pages of manuscript notations in progress (through Scene Twelve). Revision notebook now current; updating as I go.


  • Blog Hops: Just Jot It January  Write 333 word stream of consciousness vignette for each day’s topic; complete guest posting duties as assigned. #atozchallenge: Complete any loose ends and unfinished business, move all posts to blog interface. Primary goal. #JusJoJan: 7/31 complete; drafted. I’ve been assigned a midmonth guest slot; awaiting further instructions.


  • Dark and Bitter anthology: “Miss Spider and Mister Fly”: Return edited mss to editors; follow up as needed. Primary goal. Completed revision pass; simmering for a day or two before I finalize and submit.


  • Resets/reorganizations: study, family room, and kitchen. Complete three 27 thing flings each room, each week. Bedroom, living room, and bathroom: one 27 thing fling each room each week. 27 General Hometending rounds weekly. Secondary goal. Study: 2/3; bedroom 1/1. General: 22/27. This goal has gone more by the wayside than I wanted, so far.


  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Primary goal. Time with Lise; canoodling; movies; sharing photos; lunch.

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Secondary goal. Workout/lunch with my Accomplice. Schuyler Mansion and Crailo (Catherine Van Rennselaer Schuyler’s family home) Twelfth Night and local author event on Saturday, all by myself. Miah attending out-of-state escape room party on the 14th.

  • NNWM local group: Interact regularly, in person and online; participate actively in critique group. Tertiary goal. Comments progressing on current piece; page 10/21 in progress. Downloaded, filed, and read the second piece; simmering until first piece completed.

  • Paying it Forward: Offer beta reading, reviews, and promotional posts for other writers. Side goal. Offers are out; I’m not doing so well at fulfilling – that’s going to happen this week.


  • Journal six mornings and three evenings each week. Meditate five mornings and two evenings weekly. Primary goal. Morning journal/meditation: 6/6; Evening: 1/3. New meditation video.

  • Get a cumulative total of at least 90 minutes moderate physical activity 6 days weekly, and 6 hours of more strenuous activities (tai chi, swimming, hiking, cardio, weights, etc.) monthly by end of round. Secondary goal. Moderate: 6/6. Strenuous: 2.5/6 hours (tai chi/moving firewood).

Leaps of Faith:

Kait Nolan’s ROW80

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!
We’re on Facebook!

Open fire cooking at Crailo - best pea soup I've ever had in my life - and then there was fresh buttered bread, Dutch doughnuts, and mulled cider...perfect for a very cold upstate New York night.
Open fire cooking at Crailo – best pea soup I’ve ever had in my life – and then there was fresh buttered bread, Dutch doughnuts, and mulled cider…perfect for a very cold upstate New York night.


    • Thank you. I’m satisfied with where I am, and, during and after last night’s write-in, I got a little over 2K new words for The Far Shore. This morning, after I meditated, I got an inspiration on my Kifo Island series timeline, along with other installments to be written in 2018 and a possible prequel series.

      So things are happening, and, all in all, it’s been a solid beginning to the month.

  1. You’re doing so well. I have also taken Holly Lisle’s Revision class, and it is extensive but very helpful. 🙂 I am considering running another ms through it this year, probably after EvT is published, maybe. It’s been awhile. 🙂

    • Hi, Erin!

      I meant to respond to your last comment about the class, but life kind of got away from me for a bit. I’m sure it’s going to fundamentally change the way I see and approach revisions, while building on skills I already have. It was a big choice to invest in this now, when our income is anything but certain, but I think it’s going to more than pay for itself in the not-far distant future.

      I’m using it first on a TnT story, because fan fiction is a great sandbox and learning lab for me, and I’ve been wrestling with this revision for at least three years. But, as soon as I finish this, or maybe even during, once I get a balance, I’ll be putting my two completed and already published short stories through the process (should be a lot faster with shorter, more finished works, right?), and, from there, I’ll work through my substantial backlist of Kifo novels, then my epic fantasy, and everything else….

      Until and unless it all starts to feel natural and I can see what I need to do without going through all the worksheets each and every time, or I find other ways to do things…

      Best of luck with the publication process. I will be taking that leap myself, this year….gulp! =)

      • Sounds like you have a good plan! I think the process will go quicker once you’ve internalized everything — Holly herself doesn’t go through the paperwork anymore b/c she’s been doing it for so long. There were things I learned in that class that I never even thought about, and to this day I have used bits and pieces of it with my own process. It’s definitely worth the money and the work. 🙂

        You will be fine with publishing. It gets easier, I promise! 😉

        • Thank you. I’m going to dip my toes into publishing slowly, little by little, letting it grow organically.

          I can already see what you mean about the class. There are more than a few things I hadn’t thought about, and that’s why I’m sure this was a step I needed to take to get my revision feet under me. I was floundering, and this is changing my perceptions.

  2. Once again, a lovely overall plan, so well organized, balanced, and full of accomplishment and promise. Thank you for hosting ROW80 on FB and keeping the rest of us motivated in so many ways! And now I shall get caught up with posting 2day.

    • Thank you. Being an admin really isn’t a big job.I post and pin the linky prompt when I happen to be up. I usually am, so that’s easy as writing a quick post.

      I have deleted a couple of spammy posts, but that’s it. Easy-peasy.

      I think I’ve gotten better about how to set and engage my goals every round since I started in 2012. With my kids growing up fast, I’ve got a lot more time to play with my own passions, and I can see that, in a few years, rhey’ll both be adults, and I want to have my writing career on stable footing and earning a bit of measurable income by then, so…now is the time to take the steps I need to accomplish to get there.

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