My Q1 2022 review tells me I haven’t stuck to my plan. Though, to be honest, we all knew that already.
In the Dean Wesley Smith universe, the first quarter is The Time of Great Excitement. The when you’re so full of optimism you make expansive plans for what you hope to accomplish during the year.
The book suggests you need a strong and compelling vision to pull you through the “year.” I decided to call my vision “Stephen King Famous” because he’s:
- a bestselling author
- has won bunches of awards
- TV and movie adaptations of books
- is included in shedloads of anthologies
- has been married to the same person for more than 50.
Q1 2022 Plan
I picked three goals to work on:
Goal #1: Stay Married to DB
And my three keystone actions (the ones I thought would have the most impact) were:
- Cook his favourite meals
- Do the chores that annoy him the most when they don’t get done
- Never move anything he puts down
I got off to a good start, but ran into problems with the major drama of the minor back surgery.
However, we ate some good food, and the dishes got done, though the vacuuming didn’t always.
I did not achieve my goal, but under the circumstances, I’m going to give myself a pass.
Goal #2: lose 5.6 kg by April 3, 2022
My three keystone actions were:
- Eat smaller portions
- Don’t eat snacks
- Don’t eat after 7 pm.
I did lose some weight, though I confess to comfort eating during the day and after 7pm. The smaller portion sizes were not enough to make up for that.
I do weigh less than last year, but while I lost some weight, I put some of that back on. So not exactly a fail, but not exactly a win either.
Goal #3: Stephen King Famous
The three keystone actions:
- Write every day
- Submit 5 stories to high-quality magazines, competitions, awards and anthologies every week
- Self-publish 3 books (of existing stories)
Again, got off to a good start…
- Didn’t hit my writing chops until March.
- Submitted 16 stories before I hit the new year lull when magazines close to catch up.
- Published 3 stories, which are technically books.
But as I noted in January, these aren’t the right activities for this goal. Though they were a good start.
The first thing to note, is that I need something in front of my face to track my progress. Tracking in my diary seemed like a good way, and you see it on any number of bullet journal posts on instagram and YouTube, but it didn’t work for me because I didn’t remembered to flip back and update the tracking.
What does work for me, is a calendar – I think the last one I publicly shared was September 2021. So I bought one for the next quarter.
Another thing to note, is the need for more planning:
- What exactly am I going to cook?
- What times will I serve meals?
- How many words do I need to write?
- What day will I lodge my stories? How much time will I need for the submissions.
I recently read The 12 Week Year for Writers, which goes into more detail on visions, planning and monitoring. So tune in for the amended Q2 planning.
Lastly, I thought about how much the deadlines in The Great Challenge (to write 52 short stories in 52 weeks) helped keep me writing, so I signed up for The Great Novella Challenge; to write 12 novellas in 12 months.
How was your Q1 2022?
For more, see the Project Life Worth Living page.