• S.M. Ryan

Plan With Me: October Goals

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

“Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other.”
— Mary Caroline Richards

March lasted so long it’s finally October. Also known as #Preptober if you’re a writer. If you don’t know, #preptober takes place every October, right before NaNoWriMo takes over for November and is a thirty day opportunity for writers to prepare themselves to write 50k worth of a novel throughout November.

For most writers, they're preparing outlines and novel related things.

I’m not really feeling the vibe for it this year as far as novel planning but Preptober is one of my favorite months in the year — regardless if I’m looking to get in on NaNoWriMo or not.

If you follow my instagram then you already know about my revelation and what I’m about to do.

I'm writing and publishing a blog post everyday this month.

All of this months post will be following the #Preptober2020 prompt list created by RachelBatemanbooks on Instagram. As someone who usually finds the prompt list for Preptober two weeks late, I'm so happy to have found is and thankful to Rachel for creating it and inspiring this entire situation. (You're going to have to hit up her Instagram to check it out for yourself.)

Daily blogging is the big goal and personal challenge for the month but there's a few reason I'm fine with having set it last minute.

I’m Participating in MILWORDY

If you're moving around the writing community then you've probably heard of it bouncing around lately. Milwordy is a year long word count challenge started by Kate Cavanaugh where the goal is to write 1million words in a year. As with all challenges, you make it work for you. Write more, write less. Whatever works.

I admit that I ditched the idea the first time I heard about it. I mean who the hell is writing that many words!? Then I thought about it.

  • how many words does the average writer write in a year?

  • how many words am I writing in a year?

  • how many blog posts to one milly?

  • If I'm going to spend a year writing anyway, why not keep track and make it fun with an added challenge?

  • we about to write a million words? Okay

Oh, September

September 1st marked the start of my Writing New Year and on September 3rd I (quietly) launched this blog.

If you did the math, then you know I should be writing about 83,333 words a month to hit the 1 million mark by next September. Suffice to say I missed the mark by large and instead landed a smooth (but tiny) 16,948 words for the month. Mostly counted on blog posts you see here, drafts of upcoming post, all of the writing on this website, and some words toward my story project.

I may have landed 70 odd miles from the target but I'm fine the warm up because I learned a lot of what i wasnt keeping track of and that my system needs work

I missed a lot of my words for the month because I didn't think to count them toward this goal and because I just didn't write nearly as much as I'd have liked to, or as much as I felt like I did.

Though in hindsight I did spend last month getting this blog launched so maybe I didn't do so bad.

For October

I'll be making some adjustments that I hope will close the gap in my work flow and in my numbers and give me some more momentum in my race to one million words.

Keeping Track

While I have my spreadsheet set up for the year, I realize I limited myself in what words I was keeping track of. I was only keeping track of published things, things to be published later, or anything pertaining to my story project.

There's no right or wrong way to keep track but my system needs improvement and I wouldn't be doing myself any justice if I didn't check and correct myself. While I plan to keep tracking everything in my spreadsheet as I already am:

Project, stage, word count, & category.

There are other things I want to include :

  • Instagram Post: Not only because I'm going to be posting on Instagram everyday, but in general, I tend to write pretty lengthy captions and spend a lot of time on them, I'd like to see how much of that writing time is going to my social media.

  • Handwritten Notes: I'm a notebook hoarder and for many reasons writing by hand is just helpful but I didn't do the best job of keeping track of the handwritten portion of my writing process. I could say I'll just write in my notebooks less this month but because I know that won't happen I'll just have to get better at keeping count. Wish me luck on this one.

The Target

To be real, I don't want to give myself a number goal for the month because a) I know it should be 83k and b) these next thirty days will help me learn what that 83k has to or will look like in the future.

I'm publishing one new blog post everyday and I'll be on Instagram, too.

That's about to be a lot of writing and I'd like to surprise myself with how much I'm about to produce. I also don’t want to fall into the numbers game with my writing.

I’ll write now and do the math later.

It's not lost on me that this might be more of an undertaking than just planning my story and prepping for all the 50k writing next month but I have no interest in playing by Preptober traditions this year and I have yet to decide how or If I'm approaching November at all.

With that said, I also don't think this is much different than Vlogging everyday.

My hope in setting a ridiculous goal for myself of writing so much at all, is that I'll learn a few more things about myself as a writer, and more than just increasing my word output for the month and getting closer to my Milwordy goal, I'll be strengthening my writing discipline.

Daily Planners and My Blog Freewriting Notebook

The Method for the Madness

Planning, Planning, Sticking to the damn plan.

It goes without saying that writing everyday for thirty days requires a bit of a plan but if you watched my video on my Instagram from earlier today, then you got a glimpse at me planning out my month at a glance in my Author Platform Planner and a few days ahead in my Write Words Get Paid Planner.

You probably wondered why I didn't just plan it all out at once because I clearly know what needs to be done but .. despite having multiple planners that guide my day to day (really it’s just these two) I'm not the planner that can go ahead and set up a whole week or more than two or three days in advance.

Life taught me not to plan like that but also, I like reaching into my to-do list everyday to check in with myself and what needs doing, it's part of my getting in the groove process. (Also my favorite planning pens (color coded) were running out of ink so we can pick up the rest of the planning in a few days in my Instastories...maybe...if anyone cares.)

I also know myself well enough to know that I stick to the plan better if I know what needs to be done and don't set too many hard lines. If I plan next week, right now, I'm not going to want to do any of it next week, simply because I told myself to do it

I plan what piece moves next in the plan as I go but I hold the bigger picture in constant view, or rather overview.

Maybe that makes sense. Maybe it doesn't. Either way I guess we're about to see how much my way works.

How are you taking things this Preptober? Let me know in the comments below what you're up to and you're favorite (or least favorite) thing about spooky season.

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links which allows me to make a small percentage of money for purchases done through these links at no additional cost to you.

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