My goals this year haven’t changed much from previous years: family, fitness, and finishing the dang book.
We’ll start with writing, since it’s the first Wednesday of the month making it Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. I’d hoped to finish book 2 of the big book series by the end of last year. That didn’t happen. First there was the pandemic, then the words weren’t flowing because I didn’t have a clear image in my head. Once I swapped a couple of characters, things rolled along until I realized I had a plot hole. The book is about monsters attacking these people groups, and my main character fits into both groups. In the previous version, he was protected from one of the monsters based on his location. But he’s not in that location anymore, therefore, logically, he should be attacked by the monster.
I’ve got the plot hole fixed, but it had a ripple effect through the rest of the story, widening my ring of changes I have to make. I didn’t get them done before the year ended. My daily word count during my break between Christmas and New Year’s ranged from 304 to 903, but the cool thing about that was I got to write while I was at home (usually not the case), and I wrote every day. It required I get up at 5:30 AM instead of sleeping in and enjoying the luxuries of vacation time, but it’s been worth it.
There’s 9 chapters left I need to rewrite. *crosses fingers* Hopefully it won’t take the whole year to finish.
The annual Colonel’s Challenge started on the 1st at my work. It’s a fitness challenge that lasts 10 weeks with a goal to get 30 hours of aerobic activity, do 3,500 sit-ups/push-ups, and lift weights. Women’s goals are 1,000 x starting body weight, men is 1,500. Since I slacked off on my diet and exercise starting the week of Thanksgiving, my weight lifting goal is 148,500lbs. I’m off to a good start with 12,875lbs.
Geez Louise, am I SORE! It’s been a year since I’ve seriously lifted weights, and I’m paying the price for it. But my fitness goal for 2021 is to stick with my diet and exercise for the full 10 weeks, limiting my Red Bull intake to only Fridays, avoiding alcohol, and sticking with 11-7 time restricted feeding.
The last of my goals, but by far my most important, is family. I signed up with Positive Parenting Solutions in April 2019 and implemented changes around the house in an effort to better help my son who has a history of outbursts and violent reactions. It’s worked for the most part, and life around the house is now routine and mostly incident free. But he still faces bouts of frustration that result in screaming, wailing, hitting, and other unpleasant behavior. This year, I’m looking at the work of Dr. Ross Greene whose focus is Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS). He’s got web resources and books, and from the description, it sounds like what my family is dealing with. It’s been 4 years of trouble, and hopefully the last.
IWSG Question of the Month – Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?
My answer: irrational, unreasonable female protagonists who are supposed to be sympathetic characters. They trigger me so much that I usually resort to swearing and often want to chuck the book across the room.
There’s other stuff that will stall me out, such as confusing content, unbelievable characters, and lack of tension, but those are usually when beta-reading and critiquing, so I’ll press on with notes back to the writer. Plus I struggle with the same in my own writing, so I know how tough it can be.
What are your goals for 2021? What makes you stop reading? Have any experience with CPS?