Bimonthly Goals: Jan-Feb 2018

So…how was your New Year’s celebration? I took the whole New Year’s Weekend off for a much-needed weekend of rest and recreation. There were also a few things that happened over the week (more on that later) but for the most part I had a great start to the new year.

Because of this, I’ve decided to level up on my goals for the next two months. Here’s what I’m looking at for January and February…

  • Finish edits for Nine Years AwayNot only is this way overdue, but this is what Stephen Covey would call “important and urgent”: something that will need to take precedence over all if it can’t be put off any longer. My goal is to finish the post-critique self-edits in January and then put it through developmental editing in February if I want to see this published within the first six months of 2018, so might as well do as much as I can with this.
  • Map out a promotional strategy. The last time I tried to promote my book, it was all frantic and rushed, and I didn’t have time to build up momentum. The cover (which I will reveal in due time) is being finalized as we speak, and now all I need is to plan out a release date, as well as sign-ups for blog tours and ARCs. But all of this isn’t going to happen until I start re-drafting this book again, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.
  • Decide on a production schedule. My original plan was to use these next two months to work on the outline and story bible for my sixth book, but seeing as there are significant delays to the production schedule of 9YA I may have to postpone the new book to Camp NaNoWriMo in July and edit another book in April. I have mentally committed myself to writing another book in November, so that’s one non-negotiable for me.
  • Read 4 books. This is the hardest goal on the list because of all the writing that I have to do, especially since I failed this one in November and December for mental health reasons. But I will do my best to get myself back on track, so I’m keeping this on the list.
  • Post blog entries once a week. Again, easier said than done considering the work load that I now have for this year. That said, I have a lot of ideas swimming in my head right now, so I thought, why not dive into it in more detail?
  • Maintain planner routine. This year, I have a bullet journal and a Moleskine to keep track of all the events in my life. I’ve decided that I’m going to concentrate more on the “jo” in BuJo, since I will be using it to keep track of my moods and habits instead of brain-dumping my feelings in detail.
  • Exercise 3x/week. Like I said in last week’s entry, I’ve been doing yoga fairly regularly, and the benefits so far have been tremendous both physically and mentally. And because of this, I’ve started reconsidering my lifestyle. Which leads us to the next entry…
  • Cut down on processed food. This January I’ve decided to challenge myself by giving up foods with added sugar. Sadly, this means that I have to say goodbye (for now) to my stockpile of sugary 3-in-1 instant coffee and tea, not to mention minimizing my consumption of cakes, pastries, cookies, and soda. The point is that if I could endure at least 20 days without any extra sugar in my life, I may be able to transition myself to healthier eating choices…like, say, cutting down on carbs and eating more fruits and vegetables. (That last one is a big, big challenge because I’m notoriously picky with veggies in this house.)
  • Rest regularly. After grinding away for days on end on every draft, it’s time for me to set my personal Pomodoro and give myself regular breaks to recover from non-stop writing. Since I won’t be writing every day this January, I will relish those small breaks to put my brain in non-burnout mode. Even heroines need self-care once in a while, too!

Let’s make this a good 2018, everyone! Here’s to better beginnings ahead.

Love, Stella

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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