May 2024 Goals

I’ve decided to start planning out my month and share how I accomplish certain goals. It’s as much for myself as it is for anyone interested in setting a good rhythm for being productive. Mostly, it’s to help me remember considering how much I have going on.

When I say “being productive,” I’m not talking about grinding yourself into a thick gooey paste. Contrary to the belief of some, I don’t believe you need to jump on the grind bandwagon.

I’m not a fan of hustle culture and don’t play into the non-stop content creation ideology.

However, I believe in pushing yourself with goals and challenges to find just what you’re truly are capable of handling. That is as long as those goals and challenges are realistic.

It’s OK to reach for the stars, but make sure you keep at least one foot firmly planted on the ground lest you fall.

The Goals for May 2024

These monthly goal and update posts are mostly a form of an online journal. Although the primary goal is to keep me focused on what matters to me, perhaps I can share something that helps someone in their own journey.

I mean, technically, that’s how WriterSanctuary.com started. It was a documentation of my journey to become a freelance writer. Now, it’s my flagship for writing of all kinds.

This post will be updated at the end of May to go over whether I was successful or not in keeping with the plan. Then, I’ll share the good as well as the bad while working on a positive rhythm for the rest of the year.

Books: Finishing Shadows of Atlantic City – Completed

Primarily, I want to finish writing Shadows of Atlantic City by May 10th. Then, I will make a few minor changes that I’ve noted and hand it off to my beta readers.

Once the beta readers are going over the story, I’ll take a four-week break from Shadows and start working on finishing Fury, the sequel to Kingmaker.

While I might be cutting it close, It’s still within my reach considering I only need 2,057 words per day. That’s because I schedule writing time Monday through Friday as I like having weekends for doing absolutely nothing.

Steps for Finishing Shadows

  • Continue the live writing sprints on YouTube.
    The writing sprints have been quite helpful and very fun. I’m debating on doing them five times a week.
  • Prioritize writing the book.
    As I am so close to completion, I’m going to prioritize the book over the blogs. That means I want the 2,057 words written before I start working on blog posts.
  • Potentially writing during the weekend.
    I would like to write during the weekend, but it depends on how I feel. I’m focusing on mental health this month and find I really enjoy not doing anything on Saturdays and Sundays.

Update

Thanks to sticking with the live writing sprints, I was able to finish up Shadows and sent it off to the beta readers. Now, I’ll take a 4-week vacation from the book before diving into edits. In the meantime, I’ll work on writing Fury, the sequel to Kingmaker.

Blogs: WriterSanctuary’s Routine – Failed

I’ve been trying to get WriterSanctuary.com back on a regular publishing routine. Part of the problem is that I am often frustrated because Google keeps moving the goalposts.

It’s a long story, but trust me, it’s a massive pain in the ass.

Anyway, I don’t just want to get the site on a regular routine because it’ll be good for the algorithm and potentially making money from ad revenue. I find blogging relaxing and therapeutic depending on the topic.

Not to mention the fact that I find it fun and love to share everything I learn about writing in general.

Steps for the Blogging Routine

  • Share what current subs and followers need and want to know.
    Yes, adhering to the almighty Google helps find more readers. But don’t forget those who are already following your blog. Sometimes, a good and effective blog post has nothing to do with high-value keywords.
  • Don’t fret the longer posts.
    I would love to publish three posts per week. However, there are some topics that are simply going to take longer to write because of the volume of information that goes into them. Don’t stress it.
  • Focus on time utilization.
    I’ve been changing my focus on blogging goals recently. Instead of a specific word count, I’ve been keeping track of time spent working on the blogs. That simple change has made a huge impact on fixing a lot of issues on the sites.

Update

I just couldn’t get the flow going for updating the blogs. Part of it might have to do with Google sucking some of the wind out of my sails. It gets frustrating when you try to do everything right only for Google to move the goalposts further down the field.

And no with the AI-Overview, views have decreased even further.

Videos: 3 Vods and 2 Sprints per Week – Inconclusive

I am so close to joining the YouTube Partner Program. While it won’t bring in Mr. Beast levels of money, the ad revenue can still help offset a lot of expenses I have.

For example, three months of revenue can pay for a graphic designer for the cover of Shadows of Atlantic City.

Like the blog, I would love to have three vidoes-on-demand and two live writing sprints every week. And like the blog, I realize that some videos are just going to take longer than others to produce.

Steps for the Video Content

  • Focus on time rather than uploads.
    While three uploads a week is ideal, sometimes a longer video needs more love. So, I am working on time management for video production instead.
  • Realize not every video is going to land.
    I often record and trash a video because I think it’ll do poorly in the YouTube algorithm. Instead, I’m going to worry more about those who watch everything I upload and give them what they want.
  • Potentially remakes of older videos.
    There are a lot of older videos that have obsolete information. A lot has changed in the past five years. So, I am going to make a list of videos that could use a fresh perspective and privatize the older ones.

Update

I wasn’t able to get the channel on a regular 3-per-week schedule, but I moved from two to five sprints per week. This is because I found that I actually site down and write my book while I’m live. I don’t get a lot of views, but it’s still a method of accountability that has been quite successful.

Marketing: Get Into a Social Habit – ish – Failed

Social media is among one of the most cost-effective methods for marketing. That’s because, for the most part, it’s free to use while building an audience who may be interested in your work.

I’ve just never been a big fan of spending time on social platforms. It’s probably a generational thing, but I’d rather interact with people in person.

I do a piss poor job of marketing myself as an author. Hell, I rarely do it as a professional freelance writer. I really need to change that, especially if I would like to see my book in a library or on the shelves at a Barnes & Noble.

None of those awesome things are going to happen if you don’t put in the legwork.

Perhaps my biggest issue is going to be that of time. If I stick to my daily routines, I don’t have a lot of time to do some of the extra things I’d like to have in place.

I can see why companies hire social media experts to run their accounts. However, not everyone has the bankroll to toss extra cash at people to maintain Twitter or Instagram.

Steps for a Social Habit

  • Set up automatic posts through Buffer each week.
    Buffer is an incredibly useful tool for scheduling posts. I’ve been using it for quite some time, but the free version is quite limited. Still, I need to spend an hour to write social updates throughout the week.
  • Continue interaction.
    I try to be as interactive as time permits. Some of my most-liked posts on social media are responses to other users. As I said, though, it all comes down to time. I don’t have a lot of it to spend scrolling through social platforms.
  • More mentions of my books.
    I’m not very salesy on social media. But as I’ve said to my audience, “No one is going to buy the book if they don’t know it even exists.” So, I need to link to my work a bit more often.

Update

It’s exceptionally difficult for me to really get into social media. I’m just not someone who gives a shit about likes and attention. However, I do know that I need to be active if I want to sell more books.

Let’s See What May Has in Store

Well, at least I was able to finish writing Shadows of Atlantic City. Everything else was a bit of a disappointment. May wasn’t the awesome, record-breaking month I was hoping for, but I got some of the groundwork laid for the other projects I’ve been working on.

Perhaps June will be better.

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