This summer will probably be unlike any we’ve ever had, but I really want to get back on track and at least try to get my life as normal as I can possibly make it. Creatively speaking, I’ve been in a bit of a weird space since the middle of March, and I’m determined to pull myself out of this funk.
This was partly inspired by the NaNoWriMo bingo boards that I generate almost every November, and pretty much always fail, but I love the concept, and I thought I’d give it a try with some of the things I hope to accomplish this summer.
Sort of a fun, low-key way of trying to reach my goals without putting too much pressure on myself. I’d like to complete everything, but the goal is to get a bingo, not to fill in every slot on the board. I want to make some progress, but not overwhelm myself.
Thus, the Summer Goals Bingo Board!
Here is the one I’ve come up with for 2020:
Taking a closer look, you’ll notice that some of them are more ‘things to do’ than actual goals, but I wanted to infuse a few fun things into my board, especially since we’re still pretty restricted due to quarantine and I won’t be going to the beach or to local coffee shops for writing sessions. And that sucks, but that’s the world we’re living in right now.
- Read 1 book
- Read 3 books
- Read 5 books
My Twelve Books challenge is still going on, so I should, at minimum, finish three books this summer, but of course, I’d like to read more. I’d especially like to read more sci-fi and fantasy from non-white authors, and I recently made a post about 24 SFF books by Black authors because I want to make more of an effort to read diversely.
- Write 1 short story
- Write 2 short stories
- Write 3 short stories
- Finish 1 draft
- Finish 2 drafts
- Win Camp NaNoWriMo in July
- Attempt a 10k Day
It’s not clear on the board, but by drafts, I don’t mean short stories. I’m talking about full novels. I will be doing a typical 50k NaNo in July, and even though you can set your own goals, I’m more interested in upping my output. Because let’s be honest, 2020 has not been a great year for me where my writing is concerned.
- Publish 10 Blog Posts
- Publish 20 Blog Posts
- Publish 30 Blog Posts
- Release Authorship Episode 01
- Release Authorship Episode 02
- Release Authorship Episode 03
I try to post around 10 times a month, with some months a little easier than others, so the goal over the next couple of months is to post more regularly. If I publish 5 to 10 posts a month, I should be able to hit some of these. I’ve also been working on another project that I haven’t really announced yet, but I hope to publish a new episode every month.
Build a Community
- Publish a thing. Literally anything at this point.
- Stream on Twitch
- Send out my first newsletter
I remember back in January, I was bright-eyed and optimistic and filled with energy for the new year. Twenty-twenty. Big stuff was going to happen and I planned on publishing something every quarter, starting with a couple of short stories.
Well, the second quarter is coming to a close and I have yet to publish anything. And I can’t blame myself for that. While I was editing my first short story back in March, the world kind of went to hell and we’ve been picking ourselves up off the ground since. I haven’t been able to gain any sort of momentum, but the sentiment behind that goal remains unchanged – if I want to be a published author I have to get used to putting my work out there regularly.
I’d also really like to start streaming – I’m something of a gamer, but I’d love to try writing streams as well. Twitch has not historically been a good platform for writers, but we’ll see if I can come up with some sort of strategy.
- Beat 1 video game
- Beat 2 video games
- Beat 3 video games
- Watch Westworld Season 3
- Start a crafty new project
- Open an online store
These are not really goals as much as they are things I’d like to do over the next couple of months. I’d really like to clear off more games from my backlog, get through the new season of Westworld so I don’t have to keep paying for HBO every month, and I’d love to try a new craft. Maybe something with polymer clay or embroidery.
I’d also really like to get moving on one of my overall goals for the year and start some sort of side hustle as a secondary income stream. As much as I’d like that to be my blog or my writing, I’m not sure that will be in the cards and I love to make jewellery and play around with graphic design, so I thought it might be fun to open an Etsy or Redbubble store.
2020 Goals Check-In
I had three major goals for 2020, and they were:
- Publish something every quarter
- Grow my email list
- Start a secondary income stream
Nothing too extreme, but the first goal, in particular, might look to be a resounding failure. But then, who could have predicted that the year would turn out as it did?
I’m trying really hard not to get down on myself for not being able to achieve something, because that has been a problem I’ve had in the past, and that was why I restricted myself to three simple goals. So I’m not going to beat myself up over the fact that I won’t be able to ‘succeed’ at 33% of what I hoped to achieve this year. I need to learn from it and move forward. We still have two quarters left, and I plan to publish something in each of them.
With regards to growing my email list, that is also related to the first goal – whenever I published something, I wanted to have a sign-up form at the bottom, and anyone who enjoyed my short story could get another one free if they signed up and could look forward to more in the future. I still plan on doing that, but for now, I’ve been working on my author website, my landing page and fine-tuning those other things that go along with starting an email list.
The last one was a little vague. In the spring of 2019, I had hoped to publish my first novel in April 2020, but things have kind of gone topsy-turvey ever since. I still hope to publish something this year, but I also want to do it right. I don’t want to deliver a half-assed product and I don’t want to push something that isn’t ready. And when it comes to editors and cover designers, I’ll be working within the parameters of someone else’s schedule. I will be working towards publishing in 2020, because it’s important to me and I want to earn a living off of my writing, but with the caveat that some things will be out of my control. Especially this year.
I’ve mentioned opening an Etsy store or something similar, and it’s definitely something I’ve considered for a while, but that is the goal I am probably the least prepared to achieve. Maybe I should have been more firm with what my ‘secondary income stream’ would actually be. Again, something to learn from.
All in all, not great. But not something I can’t bounce back from. What’s important is that I remain positive and keep pushing forward. Also, I’m kind of excited about getting Bingo on my board now, so I’ll take that as a good sign.
Try it yourself!
I’ve got some blank bingo boards for you if you want to download or print it out and give it a try! If you do decide to do it, I’d love to see your bingo boards!
Anyway, here’s hoping the second half of 2020 is a lot better than the first. I hope you all are staying safe! Don’t forget that the #blacklivesmatter movement is still going on, and we need to keep doing our part. Check out https://blacklivesmatter.carrd.co/ for more information on how to donate, where to sign petitions, and how you can offer your support.
How has the first half of 2020 gone for you? Has self-isolation helped or hindered your productivity? What are your goals for the rest of the year? Let me know in the comments!