April Goals and Patreon Launch!

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Happy April, everyone!

Let me preface this with a quick note that this is NOT an April Fool’s Joke. I don’t do those and you’ll only get sincere queerness with a chance of explosions from me, so there’s that.

Anyway, a few things to start off this month, which happens to be my Birthday Month (my birthday is April 5), so double yay for that!

First off, I want to make sure to regularly check in with you all in from of monthly goal posts again. This is something I used to do, mainly to keep myself accountable, but also because I feel like it helps making these things public, both for my own accountability and to share more about the writing process and its accompanying struggles. So gear up for monthly goals and recaps on the first of each month.

That said, March has been terribly unproductive for me. I blame putting my all into releasing EMPIRE OF LIGHT in late February, so a lot of my time and energy (both physical and emotional) went into that for the past few months. Which for me basically meant three months of constant Deadline Panic and “Go, go, GO!”, followed by the inevitable crash. March was that crash, which resulted in pretty much zero writing. And yes, figuring out ways to maintain consistent and healthy productivity is definitely one of my priority goals fo the next quarter of 2019. (I’ll talk more about my quarter goals and how I set those up in a post later this week. Be prepared for all the calendaring and BuJo spreads, because this is how I roll.)

Anyway, for APRIL, here are my GOALS:

#1: Draft and edit Weaver of Ink and Stars, my Nonbinary Fullmetal Alchemist in Space story for BEHIND THE SUN, ABOVE THE MOON (early 2020) — Goal: 10,000 words by April 10

This is my priority this month, because I need this story to be on my editor’s desk by June 1st and have spent the past months extensively outlining and researching things, so it’s time to whip this into readable shape. April, and by extension, CampNaNoWriMo, is for that. My goal is to have a first draft done between April 10 and 15 and to have the first round of content edits done by April 30.

#2: Start drafting REPUBLIC OF SHADOWS, Book 2 in the Voyance series — Goal: 30,000 - 40,000 words by April 30

Yes, this is the sequel to EMPIRE OF LIGHT, and yes, this story has been living in my brain for YEARS and I’m beyond stoked to get it all out, so April is when it starts. My goal is to start officially writing this by April 15 or as soon as I finish rough drafting Weaver of Ink and Stars because I want to be in a space where I can draft one project while editing the other. Prepare for 4 a.m. mornings and lots of writing sprints on my part. Connect with me on Twitter or Google Hangouts if you need a sprint or accountability buddy!

#3: Write more flash and short fiction in the EMPIRE OF LIGHT universe and LAUNCH A PATREON to better support my writing habits by April 1

Okay, maybe this is cheating, but the first step in this goal JUST happened last night: you can now support me and my writing via Patreon here. I am going to use this platform to release monthly short stories and flash fiction in the Empire of Light universe, but also to share more targeted and in-depth essays on craft, gender, and all things queer speculative fiction. I’ve been planning to do this for a while now and my birthday month seemed as good as any to finally get that off the ground, so if you want more queerness with a chance of explosions, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Bonus: all new patrons who sign up during the month of April will get a swag packet with a signed bookmark, postcard, and a character art sticker of either Damian, Raeyn, or Aris (your choice).

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I’ve already posted the first part of an all-new prequel short story featuring your favorite crotchety space pirate, Iltis, called “All In.” Check out a snippet here and head over to Patreon to read the rest!

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Also, if you financially can’t support me right now, please still consider voting on what flash fiction prompt you want me to write for April. This is usually for patrons only, but because I’m just starting out, this post is available to vote for everyone, so get your vote in now.

Okay, one month, thirty days, three goals. LET’S DO THIS. I’m ready for April. Are you? What are your goals and projects you have in the works? Tell me about them in the comments!

Cheers and happy reading!

Alex

February Accountability Roundup, or: Bring it, March!

February, oh, February, where did you go? While I definitely got quite a bit of editing in, overall I only added about 10,000 words to this draft. This is what happens when all the conferences and writing events happen in a month. castle-you-should-be-writing

On a happier note, I also had some major break-throughs, which should make work in March much more streamlined and effective. Either way, I have some serious deadlines to crack in March, including:

  • Finishing these revisions by 3/31
  • Finishing my master's coursework for this semester by 3/20
  • Help planning a writing conference (and giving two workshops for said conference)

So, basically, this will be me in March: cat-deadline-is-coming-animated-gif

I may be a bit of a masochist, but I actually work better under pressure, mainly because I'll be utterly out of excuses to dither or to become wholly absorbed in the crush of self-doubt. Here are some other things that work for me when things get crazy:

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  • Coffee. Lots of it. Obviously.

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  • Obsessive planning. To-do lists are my friend and my bullet journal my trusty side-kick. Checking off things is incredibly satisfying.

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  • Scrivener word count targets. Also, I'm going to start using this spreadsheet to tally up my daily work.

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  • Noise-canceling headphones. It also serves as my signal that I'm working, so my wife, whom I'm sharing an office with, will let me be (fortunately, she's great about that.)

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  • Getting up early. Yeah, 5 a.m. is cruel, but I feel so energized when writing is the first thing I do in the morning. So, instead of giving up something for Lent, I'll instead commit to those early morning hours and deal.

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Bonus: Spring break! I'll actually be off for 10 days at the end of March. This will be my "dead week" of edits. So, yeah, March. Bring it!

Anyway, that's my list, what's yours? Tell me all your secrets to getting stuff done, because I definitely need them.

On that note, cheers and happy writing!