End of the Round and 2020 Goals – ROW80 2019 R4-21

I can’t believe the year is up already! As usual, I found my motivation late. I’m going to keep going with my writing over the break as I’m trying to establish good habits and a schedule that works for me.

I’m also a little relieved that it is the final check in for 2019. It has been a hectic year and I could use a breather on a lot of things.

I’ve been preparing for this goals post for a couple of weeks now. I got some things done in 2019, but I don’t feel like I have enough to show for it in terms of my writing progress. Next year, I’m doing things a little differently to hopefully meet more of my targets. I have sections in my planner where I can log my progress. Many of my goals are actually habit tracking exercises.

FINANCES

2019: Target – I will get a new job after this contract finishes.

2019: Actual – I secured a full-time permanent job in the department I previously temped in. My car was paid off. One credit card was paid off. The other credit card is close to paid off. I have been making regular payments on my student loan. This is all a drastic improvement!

2020: I have created a savings plan and a payments tracker. I am creating a budget. I have to figure out what I’m doing with my investments as switching to a different financial planner didn’t work out.

FRENCH

2019: Target – I will learn all the most common words and phrases this year.

2019: Actual – I had to abandon this as life got too hectic with a new job and other pressures.

2020: Target – 15 minutes a day and 320 new words or phrases. Part of my savings will go to learning more French.

HEALTH & FITNESS

2019: Target – I will regularly practice and challenge Sandan.

2019: I hardly went to martial arts this year between life and a broken toe. I have a new doctor now and am getting back on track.

2020: I have created a Jodo & Iaido tracker as well as a workout log. I don’t typically go to martial arts on Tuesday nights because it has me out too late, which makes me tired for work all the rest of the week. That being said, I can still put time aside at home for self study to learn the names of the katas, footwork, theory, draws and notos, and things I haven’t thought of yet. I’ve done most kata, but I can’t remember the names or orders of many of the koryu for iaido. I barely know any kata for jodo. There’s a lot I can learn without even having a weapon in my hands. I can use a ruler or something to get a large amount of the rest down pat. I have an exercise schedule that I plan to get into. There is already space in my planner devoted for it. I am also on the hunt for a new dentist that direct bills.

HOME

2019: Target – I will finish decluttering and fix up my bathroom. I will work on developing more close friendships and make time for my relationship.

2019: Actual – I made huge strides in the declutter efforts and on some other home projects. While there is still quite a lot to do, I feel pretty good about where I’ve gotten. I had to end the relationship for my own happiness and health. I do feel like I have become closer with several of my friends though.

2020: I want to do more cooking this year, so I will be tracking how much I eat in vs out each week. This will likely save me money too. I will also be continuing the declutter and efforts to make my home nicer. Also built into my schedule is fun time like gaming. I joined a D&D group and also want to spend a little more time playing video games because they really help me unwind from the stresses of the week.

PIANO

2019: Target – Trumpet: I will get my embouchure back. (Oops!)

2019: Actual – I didn’t do much with trumpet, but got into piano instead. I took lessons for awhile until I found they really weren’t working for me. I really enjoy the piano though and decided to self study.

2020: Target – I have a log to track how regular my playing is. There is a section with room for 80 songs, which may be a bit ambitious, but some songs are small or rudimentary like Mary Had a Little Lamb. I’ll be studying the chord method, which is supposed to allow one to learn songs quickly. I’m continuing with the 3 days per week that I’ve already established.

READING

2019: Target – I will read 8 books or more.

2019: Actual – I have read 13 books.

2020: Target – 16 books.

SPIRITUALITY

2019: I never set out to figure this out in 2019, but it happened and I feel like it was important for catharthis in some areas of my life.

2020: I’m going to continue down the path through books, events, meeting other people, and see where it leads me.

WRITING

2019: Targets | The Blood Waitress Club – I will complete a first draft. | Puppy Chow – I will search for a producer. | Crisis – I will revise this and enter it into contests. | The Page & The Magician (a.k.a. Sparks) – I will query agents.

2019: Actual – I feel like I made progress, but not as much as I would have liked. I did go through a lot of learning with my book and changed the country it’s set in and its genre, which were pretty major changes that have set me on a path that I think has improved the story and the level of my writing though. Version 5 of the novel was at 67,417 words and Version 6 is at 74,512, so I think I can definitely say progress has been made.

2020: Target – Get one novel (Sparks) and one screenplay (The Mockumentary) submitted. Once I finish Sparks, I will next work on The Blood Waitress Club in terms of novels.

R~

ROW80 Round 4 – Goals Post

This round I will be reducing even further. This is because I expect this quarter at work to be extra demanding. I’ll have some definite goals and some if-I-can-fit-them-in goals.

DEFINITE GOALS

The Spark

If I can manage 205 words three days per week, I will get to 80000. With editing, that is difficult as sometimes I’m cutting words. My actual session target in Scrivener is 250.

Piano

Downtown Abbey is going well. I will be continuing to practice at least 3 days per week on whatever I’m supposed to be learning. The next song we’ve agreed on is Lean on Me.

Fitness

  1. Cardio: Instead of just watching TV, I’ll be using my new glider to fit cardio in while watching.
  2. OYO 10 Week Challenge: This is only 15 minutes a day.
  3. Martial Arts: 1 day per week.

Reading

One book per month. This shouldn’t be taxing as I usually read on the train to and from work.

Home

Declutter: Continue the declutter. I’ve been making leaps and bounds since discovery Dana K. White. If I do about 15-minutes per day at a minimum, I think I can truly make the progress I’m wanting here now.

IF-I-CAN-FIT-THEM-IN GOALS

Home

Bathroom reno: I’m hoping to cut my vanity in half, remove it, then get a plumber to do the rest.

NaNoWriMo

I haven’t decided if I’m going to try and do it yet at all. I would really like to get back to The Blood Waitress Club, but I also really want to finish The Spark. A break from editing could help me feel refreshed though.

As far as the other goals from last round go, I’ll be continuing to improve my finances, but not reporting it here. I will not be working on French until next year as it will be too demanding.

R~

Petite Progress

It was time to dust off my laptop after one too many times having my Microsoft Surface separate itself from its keyboard. The Surface is good for some things, but I don’t generally have to worry about my laptop’s screen taking a hike suddenly. It took awhile for it to fully synchronize with Dropbox and even longer to Update Windows, but it’s back up and running.

It has been a bit of a nostalgia trip. Some of the recent blog posts on this laptop were from 2017 around the time I heard back from a publisher that they liked my book, but felt it needed a little more work. Also on the laptop was the confirmation from when I applied to college.

It’s easy to lose site of how much has happened in a short while when in the midst of it. I was restructured out of my job only 3 years ago, but I went through a lot in that short period. I spent so much time worrying I’d end up homeless and skipped a lot of meals to save money for bills in that time.

I regularly feel impatient that my home isn’t clean yet, but I only started really making an effort a couple of months ago and I was spending much of my free time job hunting, so I wasn’t 100% devoted to it. I guess I’m hard on myself sometimes. There’s just me cleaning it up and I’m working full time plus writing. I should focus more on that I’m making huge strides and not just on the end goal.

It seems a lot like writing a novel really. I often just want the thing to be done and out there for people to read, but the journey is important and may even be more than the result. I find myself getting caught up in the hoped end result all the time though. It seems someone I know always has their next book coming out and I haven’t gotten my first out yet. I know it’s not a race. The only thing I should be focused on is making my work better than what it was the day before.

I’ve started this new bin method I got from The Spruce. So far, I like it. It’s helpful to gather the smallish items that get everywhere easily like pens or tape. It gives them a place to be while I figure out if they should be in my home at all too. And I have a handy bin to carry multiple items back into the room they belong in. I’m using dish bins from the dollar store as they aren’t too big or too small. And I added a small one with compartments for the little things like screws, nails, and paperclips. The ‘Put Away’ bin fills up quickly though!

WRITING

I haven’t done anything here this weekend. It’s a long weekend in Canada for most and I’ve been using my extra time to clean.

  • The Page & The Magician: 72,189/80,000

FINANCES

Status quo for now.

  • R. Card: 73.22%
  • S. Card: 4.7%
  • OSAP Loan: 6.86%
  • Savings: TBD

FITNESS

It turns out that postponing the gym has been a great decision. It’s freed up my mind for writing. The cleaner my home gets, the more the ideas flow. And I feel happy more often.

HOME

It has been an exhausting weekend filled with cleaning. I took a big box to donation on Saturday, bought a cabinet that was on sale for my bedroom, and cleaned up a new spot for my microwave. I’m seeing more floor all the time, but I feel like I’m playing Tetris with my furniture! I also swept my balcony and put an old table out there that I saved from the garbage room last year. Ideally, I’d like a nice folding set like I saw on someone else’s balcony as it would be easier to store come winter. Someday. Next year more likely.

This week I intend to:

  • Clean up my desk as I’m working from home on Monday.
  • Catch up on laundry.
  • Catch up on dishes.

FRENCH

  • Read: 9/30
  • Class: I have heard back and need to take the next step.

MUSIC

I’ve been playing a little more piano because it’s easy to get to. Not enough though. I did realize I could practice my fingering in the early morning without turning it on. I definitely need to do a lot more left hand work.

R~

Feeling A Little Broken

My plans change frequently lately. But with good reason. I’ve been coming across a number of intriguing opportunities that are more time sensitive than others. Some are too good not to attempt. There are some contests in there and several job applications.

I recently gave an interview, which is also very exciting. An old high school friend had questions about being a writer. Mostly my advice was that having a day job is something many of us need for a long time because it takes a while to get established. I also recommended getting to conferences like Ad Astra to meet other people and learn. There were a few other things specific to the questions he asked, but those couple of things are an excellent place for anyone to start.

I woke up with a sore neck and seasonal allergies. Fun stuff! As such, I’ve been moving really slowly on my home goals. I could do some light things like dishes and move cardboard out of my unit, but not much else.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes
  • Artos Red Script: 2/120 minutes
  • P.A.N. Pilot: 9/44*

*I’m now working on this because the opportunity is too good to pass up. I swear I will finish something soon!

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 90%
  • Laundry: 70%
  • Entrance: 75%
  • Recycling: 90%
  • Mirrors: 2/7*

*There are 3 floor to ceiling mirrors and two sets of closet door mirrors. Remember when I said I would leave the dining room for now? Well, I couldn’t. I figured out what to do with it and reorganized it. This meant washing mirrors before putting things in their new places. I would have done the third one, but I’ve been fighting with my neck. A sign it’s time to change pillows.

French

  • Online: 11.5/30 hours*
  • Class: 15/30 hours**

*Making some progress here now.
**Half-way!

Finances

  • Job: Revised CV*
  • Car Loan: 98.2% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 1.47% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

*And revised again as a recruiter called me about an interesting position. The job fair went well and I was able to give out several resumes. I also had a really good conversation that helped me understand some things. I know I’m being vague. Eventually, maybe I won’t be 😉 I also met with a new job coach. Time will tell on how that is going to be.

Fitness

  • Iaido: 0/2
  • Walking: 0/7
  • HIIT: 0/3

I have been sucking bad on the fitness front, but I’m also feeling broken. My back hurts today. Hopefully, it will be better in time for the May Iaido Seminar coming up soon.

R~

Leaping Forward

The beginning of this week was about tackling the clutter. There was a pile in the middle of my living room floor on Monday, which has since been taken care of. Also on Monday, I made huge progress on my desk area. After rearranging the room, I basically have a little writing nook in my living room now and I love it!

It felt really Canadian to use “sorry” to obscure the picture of my friend’s son otherwise known as my young buddy.

I also dusted off an old desk top I had under my bed and was able to repurpose it under my TV to hold some cards, CDs, and my turntable care items. My home is definitely getting cleaned up, though I have so much more I want to get to. Much has gravitated into my dining room, but I am fixing the rest first. There are also some network cabling issues to work out, but it’s almost there. And I have a little stand for my tablet, which makes my desk more ergonomic.

I even rearranged my CV and was able to reduce it by 3 pages. There might be further work to do here, but at least I tackled it. Today, I made a number of copies at my job coach’s office in prep for the job fair this weekend. I’ve also been chasing other film related job leads.

Another thing I started was digitizing the mountain of writing notes I have. There’s a large, half full, Rubbermaid tub in my bedroom. I have a smaller bin in the living room I’m using to chunk it up. My cables also have a new home where my video games were living and my games are now with my movies. My consoles and other electronics are also more together now. My music stand has a new home too where it is out of the way, but always accessible.

One of the things I found while decluttering on Monday was a planner I had gotten a while ago, but didn’t make much use of. It’s meant to be a family planner, but I’m using it to track my goals in their own streams. I like that it has a meal lane as that is something I want to improve on. It has a lovely space now opposite my calendar.

I found a number of interesting low cost courses that I signed up for. They are all on-demand and fit with my goals.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes
  • Artos Red Script: 2/120 minutes*

*One of my groups started another month of writing and I decided to start a new project for it because it is the one that is talking to me most though I’ll likely work on my others as well. The aim is 3 pages a day, but other things like reading, researching, etc, count.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 90%
  • Laundry: 70%
  • Entrance: 70%
  • Recycling: 33%*

*I tackled the cardboard.

French

  • Online: 6.25/30 hours*
  • Class: 9/30 hours

*I’m now in the second section of level 1. It’s weird though. Some spots were supposed to take much longer. One lesson said an hour, but it said I took 20 minutes… This is why the hour count is rather crappy. I’m likely going to do far more than the level one work to get the 30 hours. On the upside, it may help me to advance faster?

Finances

  • Job: Revised CV*
  • Car Loan: 98.2% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 1.47% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

*Got resumes printed and have a few other things going on.

Fitness*

  • Iaido: 0/2
  • Walking: 2/7
  • HIIT: 0/3

*I’ve partly been struggling in this section because of when reporting happens vs when I do these things. I usually think of weeks as starting on Sunday like the calendar, but ROW80 has them end on Sunday lol! I’m going to try and resync this area accordingly.

Tonight, I’m taking a break from the house stuff and seeing Avengers Endgame with a friend. I expect tomorrow I’ll likely be back at tackling the clutter and job stuff.

R~

Good Things Really Do Come Eventually

I’m having difficulty believing it, but things are really finally improving around here. I finally made a huge dent in my debt. I can’t explain how much that means to me. I’ve been trying to get back to a certain level for many years now. Life has felt more like a struggle in recent years than it has felt enjoyable. That’s not to say I haven’t had fun, but it has often felt like I was constantly putting out fires in between the fun. Or endlessly renovating for a decade with little to no time left to spend on recovering and relaxing. My to-do lists have been so large I have had little time to breathe or stop and appreciate the sunshine.

Something I’ve noticed about myself as a writer is that I struggle to write when I’m worried about my finances. And there’s a level of home mess I can ignore, but after a certain point it becomes too distracting to focus on my projects.

My home is steadily getting better too, though it feels like the declutter effort is moving at a glacial pace some days. Still, I continue to chunk away at it. When I started writing this post, I was feeling pretty stuck. Until I ended up rearranging my living room. The flow feels better despite the stuff I still have to deal with in the middle of the floor. I have a decent spot to practice sword work where no light-bulbs are in danger. My desk kind of has a nook now and I can see my television from nearly everywhere. I was also able to remove my old bathroom door from the space it was taking up in my bedroom. I also got rid of a bookshelf and took some smaller things to donation.

So I went from stuck to figuring out what part of the problem was and taking a giant leap forward. A couple more leaps and hopefully I’ll be done for a good long while.

Now I have a giant pile of paper to sort through in my living room. That will be a big improvement once removed, but I’m not excited about it in the slightest. Maybe I’ll feel better about it tomorrow, but I need to do some serious resume work this week. If I do just a little at a time though, it might not be so dreadful…

I attended a Shinto Ryu seminar yesterday where I got to swing about a 9 foot long “spear.” I’m just under 5 feet tall, so it was a fun challenge. It was also a new experience because I’m not used to having to worry about hitting a ceiling. I’m mulling things over from the seminar. Perhaps there will be a related post sometime this week or next. It was nice to see my friends and to get away from the piles of stuff in my living room.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words*
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started**
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes

*Right now, I’m averaging about 100 additional words per chapter, which will not make me reach my goal. I’m also reading a book, Scene and Structure, to help me improve in the area of pacing to see if that helps me squeeze out the extra words I need.
**I think this film is too expensive for my first, so I’ll probably have to write several lower budget ones first, but who knows what may happen with the right contacts.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: ?
  • Laundry: ?
  • Entrance: ?
  • Recycling: ?

I bought some garbage bags to help with the declutter effort. Once I get my living room a little more under control, I can deal with the cardboard I need to cut, bind, and take down. I also have some items for donation to take to the car.

French

  • Online: 5/30 hours*
  • Class: 12/30 hours

*Yeah, I didn’t find time for this during Easter, so it hasn’t improved. Resume first as I need to apply for jobs and be ready for a job fair on the weekend.

Finances

  • Job: Researching jobs.*
  • Car Loan: 98.2% paid off.
  • CC1 Debt: 100% paid off!**
  • CC2 Debt: 100% paid off!**
  • OSAP Debt: 1.47% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

*I have a lead that I’m following up on, but it seems to involve phone tag right now.
**YAY!!! I’m ridiculously happy about this one.

Fitness

  • Iaido: 0/2
  • Walking: 0/7
  • HIIT: 0/3

I did an entire day of martial arts plus all the decluttering activity, so I feel like I’m doing okay here this week.

R~

Mixed Feelings Abound

It’s Holy Week for anyone of the Christian faith. Such an awful time for Notre Dame to suffer through flames, not that any time would be acceptable, but it’s extra sad this week. I was happy to learn that much of the art and the organ can be saved. It was simultaneously heart warming and heart breaking to see people gather together to pray through song.

I once owned the Puzz-3D of Notre Dame. I hope one day I can visit the real thing. Notre Dame is an international treasure that millions of people enjoy each year. I hope no more accidents befall it while it undergoes restoration.

I made a bigger mess of my home temporarily. How? I got my TARVA dresser from IKEA. I managed to get the bulk of it finished. Anyway, this is helping clean my place up. Though I’m taking my time on my drawer fronts as I’m making them look like bookshelves for fun. I am not writing the names of books though or I’ll never be done. Besides, what if I put a book on there and later on I decide I no longer like it? The drawers are bigger than I thought, which was a pleasant surprise. This proper dresser thing has put a smile on my face despite all the hard work, of which my body feels the effects.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: First draft submitted.
  • Digi60 Script: Project cancelled*
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,165/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes

*While it’s a little disappointing, it’s not as if I don’t have a pile of other things on the go, so it’s partly a blessing.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 30%
  • Laundry: 66%
  • Entrance: 65%
  • Recycling: ?

My dresser has already helped a ton! It has come with a bunch of cardboard, however, which means my recycling progress has been basically undone.

French

  • Online: 5/30 hours*
  • Class: 9/30 hours

*Need to put in 4 hours to catch up. I’m aiming to get some done on the weekend.

Finances

  • Job: Researching for an upcoming job fair.
  • Taxes: Waiting for my return.
  • Car Loan: 95.2% paid off.
  • CC1 Debt: 23.6% paid off.
  • CC2 Debt: 88.7% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 1.47% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

Fitness

  • Iaido: */2
  • Walking: */7
  • HIIT: */3

*I’ve been doing so much hammering, painting, screw-driving, and lifting with the dresser that I think I’m staying fit regardless. I’ve also been walking up and down the stairs and halls all day catching up on laundry.

It’s early, but I think I’m off to sleep as I’ve worked hard for the last three days and I’m utterly spent.

R~