Tag Archives: setting goals

Goals: Increase Writing Productivity

Moonday Mania

a blog where I set the bar high—and then try to clamber over it

the winter queen's dragon a fantasy romance by jessica aspen

Publishing Update:

I’ve finished my rough draft of THE WINTER QUEEN’S DRAGON. Yay! It won’t be ready for publication for a while, but it’s finally finished and I’m happy dancing. Meanwhile, I have a few other projects sitting on the back burner that I’ll move to the front.

If you’re a member of my mailing list and have read your free book, ROGUE ENFORCER, I’m writing more wolf shifter romances that have that paranormal suspense feel. And at the end of September, I’ll be attending a Romance Reader Convention—Rom Con—in Denver, Colorado. Other than that I’m going to be editing, editing, editing, so that THE WINTER QUEEN’S DRAGON is ready for publishing in January 2017.

Now on to the blog…

Well, it’s that time again. I’ve finished a rough draft and it needs to sit for a little while before I dive into editing it. So, it’s time to start writing another one. And this time I’m trying something different. I’ve been using something called, The Chunky Writing Method originated by Allie Pleiter, to keep track of how many words I write in a sitting, and how long my optimal sitting is.

It turns out, I’m a large chunk writer. In other words, I like to write for a very long time (with short breaks) and write a lot of words. Now, I’ve known this about myself for a while, but I hadn’t really thought about how it affected my writing organization until I read Allie’s series of articles in the Romance Writer’s Report this year. My life doesn’t have very many large chunk moments in it, but I need those large chunks to write effectively.

I like sitting down for three hours in the morning and writing a total of 3,000 words. So, I’m goaling a new rough draft at 50k. That means I need seventeen large chunks of time. If I want to write this book in about a month, and I do, I need to organize my life so I have seventeen large chunks. Allie recommends that as a large chunk writer I try to write in some small chunks too, and I understand why, but I won’t be able to finish this draft by the end of the month if I plan to do smaller chunks, so for this one, I’m aiming for the big chunks.

And, if I’m able to squeeze in a few smaller chunks of say…1k per hour, than that’s great!

So…how does this thing play out?

Step One: Figure 17 3-hour days, if everything goes well. And we’ll add in a couple of extra to give me some wiggle room.

Step Two: Plan the days.

Oh, this is the tough part! but I’ve gone to my calendar (Click here to see the calendar) and put my writing days down for the month of September. And I have a progress meter there too, so I’ll be tracking my word count as well.

I’ve got myself writing every day with this plan, except for the weekends. And Labor Day. Oh, and the long weekend at the end of September when I’ll be partying it up with the romance readers at Rom Con.

Step Three:

The thing that will really make this work is having a fabulous outline with detailed scenes and chapters. So I’ll be working on that for the end of August and then, watch out September, words are going to be flying onto the page! 🙂

Check back and see how this goes.

I’ll update how this went at the end of September. Or actually, more likely the beginning of October since I’ll be at Rom Con the last weekend in September. If I stay on track, I’ll have a brand spanking new book at the end of the process. If I get derailed, I’ll still have a great plot outlined and lots of words done. And then I’ll start planning October.

How do you plan? Do you figure out how long it takes you to do a job, and then how many days you need to schedule to do it? Or do you do what I used to: schedule the days and then see what kind of work you get done in those days? What method works best for you?


Check out the five top things I’ve learned writing romance on these blog posts:

  1. As soon as I think I’m on a writing roll, life will intervene.
  2. The plot can be thought out in advance, but the characters are bound to have issues with whatever you’ve decided. So be flexible and roll with it.
  3. There is no such thing as the muse.
  4. There is such a thing as resistance.
  5. Writing is a muscle. Use it, or lose it.


Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

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Filed under Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing organization

Writing Romance Goals 2015

Moonday Mania

it’s all about the goals, baby!

Hellooo! And Happy 2015!

It’s a new year, finally, and that means I get to start over. WOOT! I love starting over with new romance writing goals for the new year and 2015 is going to be simplified, clarified, and amplified.

Okay, I just threw in that last one because I liked the way it sounded.

Seriously though. My life has gotten super busy with increase responsibilities. Between helping out my parents, the kids, the husband, the day job and my new post as treasurer for my local RWA group, I’m going to be working hard to find the time to do what I love to do, and that’s WRITE ROMANCE.

But I’m determined to set my goals high, so here goes.

Here are my new goals for 2015!

  1. Publish book 2.5, Cassie’s backstory from just before Broken Mirror.
  2. Publish Broken Mirror, book three in the Tales of the Black Court.
  3. Re-brand and publish the three novellas in the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series
  4. Write three more novellas for Twisted Tales Series and publish.
  5. Write fourth book in the Tales of the Black Court. (Would love to have this out and published by end of 2015, but realistically it’s looking like 2016. But I’m going to try!)
  6. Put all 6 Twisted Tales into an anthology. (This is also a bonus goal, but I think it’s doable!)

See? My theme this year is KISS (Keep It Simple Silly!)

Previous years I’ve had huge lists of goals. Romance writer and reader conferences I wanted to attend and writing classes I wanted to take. But I’ve had to really re-focus and streamline and this year I’m really focused on what I’m writing and getting my words out to you, the readers. This year it’s all about the romance, baby!

Twisted Tales is a huge focus for me because I have the rights back from my publisher and I want to get them back out into the world, but they need new covers and frankly new titles. While I love Little Red Riding Wolf, it ends up in the children’s section of the search engine, and that is not a good thing for a spicy romance novella!

I know that readers really enjoy those sexy shifter stories, so I’m planning on writing three more and putting them all into an anthology as well as make them available for sale individually.

If all goes as planned I’ll have NINE books out by the end of 2015. AMAZING!

The Tales of the Black Court are another huge focus and I can’t wait until the next one is out. Broken Mirror my biggest priority for 2015 and it is getting closer to publication every day!

That’s it!

KISS! That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. Get the goals done one at a time and when that one’s done, move on to the next!

What are your goals for 2015? Are you using the KISS method of goal setting? Leave a comment and let me know. 🙂

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.



Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Jessica Aspen's Books, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Goals Past and Present

Today I’m being interviewed on Cynthia Woolf’s blog HERE and giving away an e-copy of Little Red Riding Wolf. Hop on over and say hi!

Goals: Moonday Mania Style

a blog for the goal setter in all of us

Last year I took a fantastic course taught by Bob Mayer called Write it Forward. I looked over my writing goals and dreams and decided what I wanted in life and how to get it. I set goals. Tough goals that I thought I could do but would be a challenge. While I was in the class my life became, let’s just say, a more of a challenge then I expected. My mother went into the hospital for a week. The same week my edits began coming in from my editor. I struggled.

I kept up with class, did my edits, drove back and forth to the hospital. But I didn’t write much of anything new, nor did I get my editing goals done for the work I already had written. And I kind of felt like my whole year went like that, dissolved in a sea of demands. Family demands, working out demands, working a day job demands.


Here are last years goals. Considering some of the ups and downs in my life during 2012, I actually feel pretty good about what I accomplished.

Jessica Aspen Goals for 2012

  1. Polish and submit TQH , (January) continue to submit as needed Done, this took months, but I have re-edited this book and it is in submission currently. YAY!
  2. Polish and submit BW This year, for sure!
  3. Outline and write  DW second novel in BW series-possible #BIAY See above.
  4. Add BIAY page to my website and update monthly Done, then I re-vamped my website and took it down.
  5. Polish and submit DW If I didn’t write it I sure didn’t polish and submit it!
  6. Re-vamp novella-Rogue Enforcer, and publish On my list for this year! WOOT!
  7. Outline and write GB (new novella) (February) Changed this to Snow and the Seventh Wolf at Editors reguest. Done
  8. Polish and submit GB Done (Snow & 7th Wolf)
  9. Start thinking about 3rd book in Enforcer series Not even close.
  10. Outline and write sequal to TQH book (If TQH is accepted, this becomes a priority) Outline done!
  11. Attend Rom con 2012 (already purchased ticket) Done, and it was a blast!
  12. Go to RWA Nationals in July Done! Loved it!
  13. Market all books (Little Red Riding Wolf focus for Jan and Feb) Done
  14. Keep up with personal site and improve it, blog 3 days a week Done, I love my new look, and I love blogging only 2 days a week.
  15. Finish business plan Nope, but I set some business goals. 
  16. Outline a YA and write for NANO (if not working at MP) I didn’t do a YA, but I did outline and write the first draft of my 3rd novella in the Twisted Tales:  Come Into the Woods series, and it will be edited soon. Very soon. Like maybe next week soon? Or this week? Or any day now???
  17. Keep up with PNRF and improve site, blog once per month Done, but PNRF is no more. And I love having the free time!
  18. Take Bob Mayer class and keep up with it (Jan and Feb) Done, great class, see link above. Or buy the book HERE.
  19. Work at applying analytics and website knowledge to sites Yeah… no.
  20. Write five days per week, 3 hours per day (actually I want to have butt in chair for 6 hours per day) This one is complicated. I did sit in the chair and write or edit on the days I wasn’t working. And I got a lot done, but check in next week to see how I want to change this goal and change my overall goals for this year.
  21. Goal is 2k/day, expanding to 3k/day Done, when I am writing, I am WRITING. Love it!
  22. Or edit 15-20 pages per day done
  23. Market 1-2 hours per day done
  24. Increase presence on Goodreads and Google plus done
  25. Think about possibly 2 other classes this year I tried to take an intense Margie Lawson class this year, while working full time and balancing the sandwich generation sit-com that my life has become. I dropped out. I’m sure Margie wonders to this day what happened.
  26. Figure out how to increase presence on reader sites/loops If you figure this on out, let me know.
  27. Work at improving plotting with the intent of speeding up actual writing by an extra 1,000k per day from current speed of 2k per day using Rachel Aaron‘s techniques done
  28. Continue to set and review monthly goals, set daily goals based on monthly goals done
  29. Explore self-publishing a short story I’m taking a self-publishing class in January from Amy Atwell and Kelly finger on Author EMS. Check it out HERE

Flowers for over volunteering!

Whew. It was a big list! And I did get most of it done. TA DA! What is not included on that list is running the last half of our Award of Excellence Contest. Running a Go-Pro group for our local chapter. And being PAL and (somehow at the same time?) Pro Liasion for my local chapter.  Those weren’t really my goals, but they sure did suck up a lot of time. And I won an award for over volunteering! You don’t have to hit me on  the head twice!.

What I didn’t get done was write a full length novel. I did write two 30+ novellas. Snow and the Seventh Wolf, coming out next month, and my Goldilocks story, that I’m still editing. I expect it to be completely finished during the first part of January.

And I wrestled with TQH and really edited the heck out of it!

So it was a productive year. But I’m sad about not writing more. Disappointed.

And that leads to what my post next week will be about. Check back to discover what I loved about 2012, what I learned about myself, and how I want to change my days and goals to fit my overall goals.

How did you do on your goals this year? Did you set goals? Did you make them work?


Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Getting Ready for NANORIMO 2012! (Because it’s now too late for 2011)

Sensational Saturdays

a crazy blog where you get to read whatever is going on in my head

Another year is setting and again I missed out on NaNoRiMo. I don’t know why I want to participate. Maybe it’s the camaraderie, maybe it’s the glory, maybe it’s the cool t-shirts. Whatever it is, I want it bad.

But apparently not bad enough. Every year I plan to participate. This year I planned on it from the beginning of January. I plotted and planned and didn’t make it. Another year where my life got in the way of my writing. Actually, this year I did get a tremendous amount of writing done.  I finished a 20+ novella and am finishing edits on a novel. And I even tried my own NaNo in August. (I did not make 50k and just ended up depressed.)

But, there is always next year! I am hoping to not be at the day job next November. (Okay, stop laughing.) I have it in my goals that next year is the year I can quit the day job and just focus on the writing, so obviously, it must happen. I wrote it down!

I’m nearly there. With Little Red Riding Wolf set to release in February I have a good start on quitting. The day job doesn’t actually pay me very much and it’s only for part of the year, so it’s not impossible!

And guess what? I have two YA novels plotting in my head, competing for that coveted NaNoRiMo spot. I’m not sharing the plots just yet (I’ll let you know if and when I actually get to writing), but I definitely want to write them for next November. (At least one of them.)

So, it’s not even 2012 and I’m getting ready for next year. How about you? Have you ever managed NaNo? Even a few thousand words? How did it go? Has anyone ever completed the fifty thousand? Whose with me for next year? (Don’t forget, I’ve bailed on this every year because of the actual need for cash in the drawer instead of a massive amount of words, but I’m game today!)


Filed under Goal Setting, Optimisim, Sensational Saturday's