• Dakota Rebel

1st Quarter Bust

So, Q1 was a bust. Like...for real. I got a couple of re-release books out, so that was fantastic, but I didn't accomplish anything new.

There are lots of ways to set goals, and to be honest I still struggle with what works best for me. Annual goals are great, and they give you something to strive for, but it's easy to get discouraged when you're three months in and your needles haven't moved.

Quarterly feels right. I sit down at the start of each three month period and plan out the things I want to accomplish in the 12-13 weeks that follow. My problem tends to be breaking the goals down into action steps. I know I want to write at least one book per quarter. So it should be easy to break that down into a certain number of words per day, plus editing time. But I stall out.

Here's the thing about me. I don't write every day. I don't even write every week. And this last quarter, I didn't write for the first two months at all. I write in fast and furious bursts that result in churning out a book in about 2-3 weeks. It drives my author friends nuts. But it's just my process.

It sucks. I can't schedule releases, because I never know when those bursts will come. And they are fleeting. I'm sure I've shared with you before all of the things I contend with on a daily basis, but if you're new let me share my schedule with you.

3.15am - Wake up

3.30am - Convince myself to actually get out of bed

3.45am - Drive to the gym

4.00am - Run for 1.5-2 hours

6.00am - Shower/leave gym

6.15am - Starbucks

7am-5pm - Work at day job as Director of Operations for a tier-one automotive company

5.30pm - Get home, start dinner

6.30pm - Tidy up house

7.00pm - Boy child's homework

8.00pm - Boy child's bedtime routine

9.00pm - Read to Boy child

9.30pm - Spend time with husband

10.30pm - Go to bed

11.00pm - Think about everything I didn't get done today

11.30pm - Finally fall into a fitful sleep

And, that's a typical day. Some days, I have CEO stuff to do for the publishing company I run with my bestie. Some days I have to grocery shop. On the weekends I meal prep, set up calendars and run errands. I have to find minutes in there to do marketing, read books, spend actual quality time with my kids, and rarely...write books.

Everything I do needs to be done in those fast, furious bursts, because my life is a whirlwind that sometimes feels like it's passing me by. I'm in a very busy season in my life right now. And I need to slow down when I can and enjoy my family. So, I don't always get to write. Or I'll do it on paper in my car at lunch, I'll knock out a few thousand words on short run days or rest days. I have to carve out time to do what sets my heart on fire.

This is part of why Listen Up, Buttercup, my next personal development book, is so damn important to me. I'm not the only one who's schedule looks like this. And women are drowning in their hours. Your life is not a serious of To-Do lists. I'm learning right along with you the best way to manage it all.

Because Buttercup, we can do it all. I am. It may not look like I'd imagined it would, but I still manage to get it all done.

Q1 was a bust. And that's okay. There will always be hard months, hard quarters, and hard years. This is where that grace comes in to play. No one can look at my schedule and tell me I'm a slackass. I bust my ass literally 20 hours a day. I am running on coffee and fumes. But I'm still running.

Today is the end of Q1. I'm 4,000 words from finishing Fever Dream, the 8th book in my Touch of Gray series. For me, that's two really good hours of solid writing time. It's Sunday, I already ran 6 miles this morning, took my son out to breakfast, got my husband coffee, iced my shin and have written this blog post. It's 9.30am. I am going to ignore everything else in this house and get this done.

Because that's what we do. We figure it out. And next quarter, I plan to write 2 books, run a marathon, create a marketing plan that blows my sales out of the water and play approximately 794 games of Clue with my son.

So, there's that.

Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to keep up with everything I'm doing...or not doing, next quarter.



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