Bimonthly Goals: May to June

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Hey guys, I was supposed to post this last week, but my sister and brother were here for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary and we’d spent two weeks hanging out together so I wasn’t able to sit down and write a detailed update. Now that they’ve flown out, I’m getting used to the thought of having time to myself again, so things should be settling down soon.

Quite frankly, however, I didn’t do too hot on my goals this month, partly because I had such a hard time emotionally during the month of April, and if it weren’t for the two weeks that I’d spent with my family I would probably still be in the middle of my dark night of the soul. Here’s how I did with my last batch of bimonthly goals:

– Stick to a time-management routine. This was easy in March, because I had a lot of things going on with school during the first three weeks. After that, however, my planning skills fell by the wayside because, to be honest, I wasn’t doing much of anything other than decompressing from everything that had happened in March. But this vacation has taught me that I need to strive for a sense of balance, so I’m going to put in more effort in managing my time.

– Read 3-4 books. I achieved this, but not with the enthusiasm that I did last time. Madly (Ruthie Knox) was pretty good (though, to be honest, not as life-changing as Truly), but I had a Tara Frejas mini-marathon because I read Waiting in The Wings and Summer Crush (the anthology that she did with Jay E. Tria and Six De Los Reyes) and loved them both. I like how she pours a lot of love and affection for the things that she writes, so I’d definitely recommend her work. The fourth book that I read was Letters to A Young Poet (Rainier Maria Rilke)–I might go back and re-read it.

– Recruit beta readers for my unpublished New Adult story. First of all, the book is called LDR, so there’s no need to keep hiding it under a bushel. I eventually got five betas for this, and most of their comments have been so useful and life-changing that I plan on implementing them when I do the rewrites in the next few weeks.

– Revise my NaNoWriMo story. Check! By the time you read this I may have already gotten the preliminary beta read notes for this one, so I’ll be polishing this up for my critique partners.

– Conceptualize the sixth book. You got a sneak peek of this when I posted the short story with Vanessa on my blog last month. I’m currently taking a break from this to work on my other projects, but I do plan on posting more short stories from that universe while I’m working the kinks out.

– Post at least six blog entries. Check! I ended up pre-scheduling my shorter posts, so I was able to put something up every week. Special thanks to Canva for the Easter graphics as well as the mini-ad for the Crushingly Close sale.


Now that I’ve achieved all of that, it’s time for me to go into my plans for May and June. Note, however, that this might change because news about the #romanceclass2017 project have started trickling in and I can’t talk about what happened with my story until there’s official confirmation about the publishing details. (And let’s not even talk about school; I’m hoping that I won’t be in a state of suspended animation like I was in last semester.) Until then, let’s look at the more concrete goals on the schedule.

1. Stick to a time-management routine. I’m actually expanding my routine to include Google Calendars for managing family stuff (thanks, Ate) which should lessen some of my worries during the times when I’m away from everyone else. But most of my writing and personal scheduling will continue to be tracked in my regular planner, which means that I still need to sit down every weekend to plan things that need to be taken care of for the week. That said, I can’t overschedule myself in case things go crazy with school or #romanceclass2017, so I’ll have to make things work.

2. Read more about the craft of writing. Part of the angst that I’d suffered last month had to do with the fact that I wasn’t consciously working on my writing; I was always thinking about it, but I wasn’t consciously–and constantly–getting any words on paper. To that end, I’ve already downloaded some inexpensive books about the craft on my Kindle, so I’ll be reading and consulting them while I work my way through the projects that I have on my docket for the next few months.

3. Read 3-4 books. I have a fun TBR pile this month on my Kindle: short story anthologies, romantic comedies, even some YA. This will be separate from the craft books that I’ll be reading, though I’m really looking forward to being inspired.

4. Prepare LDR for professional editing. My initial and personal deadline to submit this to my editor is on the second week of June, so I’ll have to take this day by day.

5. Continue revising my NaNoWriMo story. I already have two critique partners in mind for this one, and my goal for this is to get the revisions done by the end of June so that I can submit this for professional editing. The deadline to get this to my editor is some time in July–schedule to be recorded depending on how well the beta read/critique process works out in between my other projects.

6. Post at least one short story on the blog. I had so much fun working on the short story I posted last month that I’ve decided that I should dabble in short fiction again. There won’t be a schedule–and again, this may depend on the other things that I’m working on during the next few months–but there will be new stories from both familiar and new characters.

7. Post at least five nonfiction blog entries. As much as I liked putting together the Canva graphics for my placeholder entries, I really miss putting out original content on this blog. I’m giving myself a lot of leeway here in case I have to put up another placeholder when things get too hectic.

Will I meet my goals by the end of June? Will I get the time I need to get all of this done and still find some balance in my life? Or will I…on second thought, I’ll give myself a chance here and say that I can do this, and I’ll give it my best to get things done. We’ll get there.

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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