End-of-The-Year Goals, December 2017

If you’ve been following this blog in its last few days on Blogger, you may have noticed that I didn’t do a Bimonthly Goals post for November and December. And it’s easy to see why: between revising my novel for NaNoWriMo and setting up the new website, my November slate was pretty much full. No reading (except for Miren Flores’ delightful Prep and Prejudice), no blogging, barely any exercise. The only thing that I kept constant was my planner routine, but that was because I had to be on top of our household matters apart from my own writing.

Speaking of November, here’s how I fared during NaNoWriMo:

To be fair, I had to do some creative math to get to the 50K mark (ask me about my special Excel spreadsheet tracker sometime soon) but I made it on November 29th, and haven’t looked back since.

Still, NaNo is over now, and my manuscript is undergoing some major edits before I submit it to a professional editor. This means that the rest of the goals related to Nine Years Away would have to be kept secret, from the cover reveal to the marketing plans. I can’t even guarantee a release date at this point, seeing that there’s so much work to be done with this book.

That doesn’t mean I have other goals, though!

Here are the ones that I intend to fulfill before the end of the year. There will be a year-in-review post before the month ends, so the list isn’t going to be too long. Here goes…

  • Read 4 books.  I plan to read Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan, since the movie version of the book came out on the 6th. And since this is the darkest book on the list, I’m going to need a light(er) read from my selection of #romanceclass books for the month as well. That said, I’m saving the non-romances for next year (Wrinkle in Time!) so let’s hope I can get a lot done in this area.
  • Set up planners for next year. Yes, you read it right: not one, but two planners for the year! I got started with a Bullet Journal (using a mock-Muji dotted-grid notebook that I’d bought from a local stationery store) but wasn’t satisfied with the limitations–knowing me, I could probably fit only six months in a notebook, considering that I’m going to be doing list after list of tasks. So I did the illogical thing and splurged on a Moleskine week-on-2-pages planner, which I’m going to use for more long-term planning. No word yet on whether or not I’m going to use my washi tape collection to pretty up these planners, but I’m considering both as significant investments in keeping myself a little more organized in the long run.
  • Work out 3x/week. I’ve upped this from 2x/week because I’ve gotten hooked on working out at home, especially considering the heinous weather that we had in November. (Not to mention that I almost busted my knee doing a HIIT circuit at the gym, which scared the hell out of me.) I get most of my workouts on YouTube; my favorites are Blogilates, Yoga with Adriene, Pop Sugar Fitness, and (when I’m really feeling it) The Fitness Marshall.
  • Post 1 blog entry/week. Easy peasy, considering all the things that are going on this month. The next few entries are going to be a lot of fun, I promise you!
  • Set up a publication schedule for next year. I’d hinted on Twitter that I’m writing a trilogy based on the Nine Years Away universe, but there’s also LDR and Book 6 (also under wraps), plus possibly a short story or two. And somewhere down the road, I might revive some dead manuscripts, but that would have to wait until I’m done with writing the other books.
  • Take a break! After a month of nonstop work and stress (seriously, I started drinking coffee again because of NaNoWriMo) I think I deserve a poolside cocktail and a full-body massage. And ice cream. And cake. (Maybe an entire heart-shaped MerNel’s chocolate cake.) But mostly days off so I can read more books.

So yeah, that’s pretty much what you’ll expect from me this month. Let’s hope we can get things rolling for the holidays! 🙂

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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