Month-End Update: September 2017

Have you ever had an experience that fundamentally changed your view of a subject? Maybe you read a transformative novel or attended a mind-blowing lecture or traveled to a new country. This month, I had one of these experiences, right here at my desk.

bootcamp notesDuring the last week of September, I attended the Smarter Artist Bootcamp hosted by Sterling & Stone (which I’m sure you’ve seen me mention a time or twelve). This free event featured five two-hour workshops, in which Johnny, Sean, and Dave shared their process on planning, writing, editing, publishing, and marketing a novel. I attended Bootcamp last year, and it was really helpful, so I was extremely excited for the 2017 edition.

What I didn’t expect was a major revelation. I won’t go into details here — partly to avoid boring you and partly because I still have a lot of soul-searching to do. However, the main point is that I finally realized how much I’ve grown over the last three years and how my desire to be super human (aka do ALL THE THINGS) has held me back. So, while I start my next novel and finish out 2017, I’m going to allow myself to rethink everything I’m doing and only keep the essentials that bring you the best stories I can write.

Now, let’s take a quick look at the goals, so I can get on with October!

Writing & Publishing

Main goals:
Create five days a week – still a little behind
Write a second novel – hoping to start this month

While I didn’t complete as much writing as I would have liked in September, I accomplished strong pre-production work (e.g. outlines, worldbuilding, character sheets, etc.). Though I want to count this as a win, I also know I’m suffering from a little analysis-paralysis. Too many ideas! Too many characters! Too many series! In October, it’ll be back to drafting.

Business

Main goals:
Make $2,000 from Boxthorn Press – catching up
Create short story for my Reader List – in progress
Blog once per week – fun plans for October
Read 52 books this year – catching up!

After attending Bootcamp, I am sorely tempted to re-evaluate my business goals. Instead, I’m going to save that for 2018 and focus on finishing 2017 as strong as I can. I’m really excited about the blog posts I have planned for October (all Halloween related!), and I’ve found more reading time, which has done wonders for my creativity and stress levels.

Books Read:
A Time to Die (The Legend of Carter Gabel #3) by Jonas Lee
Revived (Foreverers #1) by Nina del Arce
Risen Gods by J.F. Penn and J. Thorn (audiobook)
Angel & Faith: Season 10 Vol. 2 by Victor Gischler, Will Conrad, & Joss Whedon
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 10 Vol. 2 by Christos Gage & Rebekah Issacs

Book in Progress:
Selkie Cove (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #5) by Kara Jorgensen
Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee

Personal

Main Goals:
Work on positivity – still going great
Break a bad habit – a little setback
Exercise 3x week – actually doing it!

At risk of sounding like a cliché, moving from the East Coast to the West Coast has dramatically improved my quality of life. My new work-from-home schedule gives me the afternoons to focus on myself, and I’ve started a meditation practice that has done wonders for my positive outlook. Daniel and I have also recommitted ourselves to exercise, and I’ve worked out at least three times per week since we moved here. We’re eating healthier too. It’s been so refreshing!

Goals for October
Finish Desertera short story for my Reader List
Start drafting my next novel
Begin thinking ahead to NaNoWriMo
Track author/business activities to decide what should stay/go in 2018


How was your September? What goals do you have for the last quarter of 2017? Share your successes (or failures — no judgment here!) in the comments.

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15 thoughts on “Month-End Update: September 2017

  1. leathehatless says:

    I think at this point I’m feeling the September drought. Since barely had vacations on Summer, I am feeling extremely tired from the rest of the year. But hopefully, I will recover soon.

    Good luck for October. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Margarita Morris says:

    I also attended the Bootcamp but I had to watch the replays because the live sessions were too late in the day for me over here in the UK. I enjoyed it very much. It made me think about how you have to get everything right at each step, particularly starting with understanding your genre. I agree that one of the big takeaways was focusing on what matters and cutting out distractions. Good luck with implementing it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate M. Colby says:

      Thank you, Margarita! I agree. The part of genre foundations and pre-planning was so helpful. I intend to put much of their advice into action as I continue to plan my next (hopefully much more marketable!) series. I’m glad you enjoyed the sessions too. 🙂

      Like

  3. Whitney says:

    I feel like I’ve heard multiple times that perfectionism will be my undoing but man, nothing like a bootcamp to really let that sink in! It’s a lesson that I continue to learn and keep rediscovering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate M. Colby says:

      Haha indeed! I’ve always felt the need to do everything AND do it perfectly, and it’s just finally too much. Instead, I’m going to try to satisfy my inner perfectionist by giving her fewer and more important tasks. Hopefully, she doesn’t get in my way too much!

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  4. velociraptor256 says:

    I know what you mean about analysis paralysis and wanting to do too much – I hope your revelation brings good things. September has been a good month for me: I finally got to do the triathlon I’ve spent three months training for, and even though I was one of the slowest, I still finished (and in absolutely horrible weather!) I went to Rome for the first time, and I have an idea ready for NaNoWriMo – October will be spent researching and preparing. As for longer-term goals, there are things I will almost definitely finish, and others I can at least make significant progress on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate M. Colby says:

      Wow! It sounds like you had an amazing month. Congratulations on finishing your triathlon — that’s way more than most people (myself included!) could ever do. Best of luck with your research and NaNoWriMo ahead. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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