Posts Tagged ‘2020’

How Goes the Education?

If you guys remember, my word for the year is education.

We’re three months in, now, so how’s it going?

Ha. Haha.

No, actually, it’s going decently. It may be the only thing making any real progress, thanks to the medical issues with my husband and other issues going on around these parts.

Except the programming. I have more or less given up on the programming. I don’t have time, it frustrates me, and the more I poke at it, the more I think that it’s not a good fit. (Which isn’t a huge surprise–it’s never really been my forte. In college, I’d write a program, it wouldn’t work, I’d borrow a classmate’s program, compare, and they would be identical, except theirs would work and mine wouldn’t.) I am good at adjusting programs–I can make changes in a test environment, or modify Fortran to do what’s necessary–but writing code from scratch sucks.

And to be honest, I don’t want to program so much as it feels like I should know how to program, if that makes sense. I need to take a closer look at the jobs I’m considering and see if that’s actually a necessary skill or not.

(Also, part of it is that programming classes are very open-ended. This skill here, this skill there, with no clear indication how some of it would be used in a practical manner. I’m quite good at picking up specifics for a particular task, but the open-endedness here is throwing me off.)

I may look more at other types of classes–software test, or UX/UI–later in the year, when/if things stabilize a bit.

The writing books…go. I was a little afraid this would happen when I set the goal of one of month. They’re hard to get through quickly, since I’m trying to focus and absorb. I’m still working on February’s. To off-set that, I’ve watched one of the tutorial videos I purchased from Writer’s Digest whenever they had that big sale. It was a good course, about the foundations of a good plot. It was short, so I’ve watched it twice to try and absorb the information as much as possible.

Not sure that worked, but eeeehhh.

The art classes are going great. I’ve really enjoyed the three classes I’ve done so far (art journaling, figure drawing, and I’m working on faces this month) though I don’t know if I’m actually getting any better. But practice makes perfect, right?

(I’m certainly accumulating art supplies, whoops.)

The prompts are going well too. It’s freeing, to write without trying to do anything with it (which is probably good, because I suspect none of them thus far are any good). I don’t think I actually explained the concept to you guys.

I’ve been accumulating pins on Pinterest for years: characters, scenery, prompts, etc. But I hardly ever do anything with them (especially these boards, since I tend to draw off my Inspiration board or my separate Writing Prompts board when looking for story ideas). So each month I’m taking the oldest pin from each board (character, scenery, prompt) and writing a short story on them. There have been some…odd combinations.

This month’s are:
Character: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331718328795863331/
Setting: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331718328796303296/
Prompt: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331718328795821985/

The cozy mystery idea isn’t going anywhere, since I’d like to finish up some drafts before I start new ones.

Those were my main areas of focus, so yay, I guess? Things are going, I’m enjoying myself mostly (except for programming), and there’s still plenty of year to go.

How are you doing on your goals?

WriYe and 2020

Morning, squiders! (Now evening cuz our Internet crapped out all day.) If you were around last year, you’ll know I kept pretty active in an online community known as WriYe (Writing Year, formally NaNoWriYe when I joined waaaaay back in 2006). Each year, you pick a word count goal for the entire year, and the community provides companionship, challenges, and a host of other motivators to help you get there.

It worked so well last year (I wrote 110K with a goal of 75K) that I’m doing it again this year. So you’ll continue to see a blog post a month dedicated to whatever the topic of the month is.

What’s your WriYe Word Count goal for 2020? Why did you chose it?

I chose 100K for this year, for a couple of different reasons. One, I breezed through 75K last year (though, admittedly, that included Nano, and I don’t know if I’ll be participating this year yet). Two, I have four unfinished drafts that need finishing, and I hate having unfinished drafts sitting around. We’re probably looking at close to 200K to finish said drafts, so I hope I’m actually aiming a little low.

Three, part of my education-themed year is writing to try out new stuff and new techniques (as well as just practicing), so I wanted to have room for that as well.

What are your plans for the year? What do you want to accomplish with your writing?

We’ve talked about this already this month, but I would like to take time this year to learn and grow, and focus more on craft than publishing and marketing (though no doubt some of that will still leak in).

Bonus:

What are you most looking forward to in 2020?

Uhhhh? Hm. Writing-wise? Hard to say. I’m, in general, looking forward to my projects for the year (except that Changeling story needs a major overhaul of some sort so I’m more interested in it. Dragons, maybe.) and am tentatively optimistic about everything.

Non-writing wise, we’ve got a couple of cool trips planned out (well, one is unplanned, but I’m working on it. It is approximately the same amount of time to drive from my house to Oregon, Minnesota, or Tennessee, which has helped the decision-making part of this not at all). The small, mobile ones will both be in school full-time come the fall, as well. That is both exciting and terrifying.

But who knows what’s to come? It could literally be anything. But fingers crossed for good things.

How about you, squider? What are your plans/things you’re looking forward to in 2020?

Picking a Theme Going Forward

It’s that time of year when everyone gives up on the current year and starts looking at the next one. (Which I totally get. I’ve got four days til Winter Break and then all Hell breaks loose.) So, of course, there’s been emails and blog posts and whatnot, all about how best to select your goals and make 2020 your best year, and all sorts of niceties.

But I did read one that I found interesting. It was over at Writer Unboxed, and the idea was that, instead of making resolutions and whatnot, you choose a one-word theme for the year, and have your goals stem off of that.

It’s an interesting idea, certainly. And while I hesitate to start doing my year-end wrap-up and move onto 2020 (though I will admit that I have made my active project list for 2020 already), I found that a theme popped into my head almost immediately.

Education.

Admittedly, I am often taking classes and trying to expand my skills, but there’s a lot I want to focus on in that direction in the near future.

  • I plan to read the writing books I’ve been accumulating and take a few online courses in areas I feel less confident in.
  • There’s the programming and, if it feels like that’s not going to work in the long run, UX/UI classes. (Or both, I suppose, to see which is a better fit.)
  • I’d like to focus on improving my art skills, especially if the picture book thing gets rolling for real. I’ve been accumulating new supplies that I need to learn how to and practice using.
  • I would really love to write some cozy mysteries. Outside of scifi/fantasy, they’re my favorite thing to read. Mysteries have always felt so…out of reach, but I would like to give them a try.

There’s probably other things that I’m not remembering right now. But those are the main ones, anyway.

I guess, now that I’ve identified my theme, the idea is that goals will kind of automatically flow from it, once I get there. (I am not there yet. I feel like, if I make my goals for January or 2020 as a whole now, I’m going to mentally write off the rest of December, which I’m not prepared to do yet. We’ll see how we feel come Friday and Winter Break.)

What do you think about identifying a yearly theme, squiders? Do you have one you’ve selected for 2020?