Google+

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Back-on-Track Challenge Wrap-Up


Way back in August, I started the Back-on-Track Challenge whose sole aim was to be back on track with my publishing and writing by the end of the year. Along the way, I learned a lot, about the time I had, the time it took to do things, and the demands of the things I had committed to, the priorities of what I’d committed to, and the challenge checkpoints changed—as they were always bound to do.

Did I fail? If you look at the checkpoints I didn’t hit, then, yes, I failed, but, if you look at the overall goal, then, no, I didn’t fail. And I succeeded in ways I didn’t know existed.

Successes:


  • Discovering the real demands of my activities: in other words, I had no idea of the real time and effort my studies would require, or what my family would need, or even the real time it would take for me to design covers or write the poems, short stories, flash fiction and other things I was writing. I also discovered exactly how tricky some of those short-piece collections can be to accurately format. I had to reassess what could and couldn’t be done, based on all those things, because my estimates were way off;
  • Discovering my limits and capabilities: I had no idea what I was really capable of doing, or what I wasn’t. I didn’t realise I was still recovering emotionally from what had happened the previous year, or that those events had taken a physical toll, as well, or that the stress was still affecting my ability to study—yes, up to twelve months later. Once I did, I realised I had to be a lot nicer to myself, and give myself a break. I prioritised this thing called sleep, and this other thing called exercise. Both took away writing and publishing time, and both were more than worth the time they took.
  • Revamping my goals and expectations to fit my lifestyle: I am a mother and wife studying full-time, and I haven’t been well. The first bit I already knew; the second came as a bit of a shock. I had to build in time to heal. I cut my publishing expectations back to one item every two months for 2016. I’ll try for more (I always do), but, while I’m pulling a full-time study load, I’ll be happy with one release a month from any one of my writing heads.
  • Revamping my goals and expectations to address stuff I found I wasn’t getting right: I’d been writing and releasing. I didn’t want to hold anything back from the market, any longer than I needed. This led to a tendency to rush, and a complete lack of ability to create a regular publishing schedule. Regular releases are important. Being able to tell when something will come out is just as important. Building in time to edit and format accurately is vital. I decided I needed to build a publishing schedule, and give myself more time at the production end of things. You’ll notice that in the altered release schedules listed in the original challenge. These are a result of wanting to establish a regular publishing schedule.
  • Submission of short stories: I decided I wanted to submit my short fiction to professional markets. I’ve wanted to get back into this for a while, and, with a longer lead-in time on the publishing schedule, I could. This is the reason behind the altered release dates for the short stories below.


What were the original goals? I’ve listed them below, and what results were achieved, not achieved, or altered.

Back-on-Track Challenge—Original Goals:

Design covers for, edit, format, and upload the following:

Completed:

  • YANovel26—Pyrie: This novel was finished and ready for release by its scheduled August 2015 release date, but it deals with a very sensitive topic, and I’m not sure if I can release it.
  • ShortStory474—Hammer and the Trolls: was released on August 14, 2015—on schedule.


Rescheduled:
  • SciFanNovel1A—Freeman’s Choice: was rescheduled for release in July 2016 as part of establishing a regular publishing schedule. Its original release date was September 2015.
  • ShortStory479—Miss Delight’s Mistake: was sent out to a variety of markets, but has been rescheduled for release in August 2016 as part of establishing a regular publishing schedule. Its original release date was September 2015.
  • Annual25A—C.M. Simpson: Short Stories and Poems from 2014, Vol. 1: has been rescheduled for release in January 2016 as part of establishing a regular publishing schedule. Its original release date was October 2015.
  • ShortStory480—Tischa’s Rescue: was sent out to a variety of markets, but has been rescheduled for release in June 2016 as part of establishing a regular publishing schedule. Its original release date was October 2015.
  • Annual25B—C.M. Simpson: Short Stories and Poems from 2014, Vol. 2: has been rescheduled for release in March 2016 as part of establishing a regular publishing schedule. Its original release date was November 2015.
  • ShortStory481—Melerom Joins the Dance: is currently under submission. It will be rescheduled for release in 2016, if it is rejected. Its original release date was November 2015.
  • Annual25C—C.M. Simpson: Short Stories and Poems from 2014, Vol. 3: has been rescheduled for release in May 2016 as part of establishing a regular publishing schedule. Its original release date was December 2015.
  • ShortStory488—In Service to the Pinnacle: has been rescheduled for release in March 2016 as part of establishing a regular publishing schedule. Its original release date was February 2016.
  • ShortStory493—A Legacy of Elves: has been rescheduled for release in February 2016 as part of establishing a regular publishing schedule. Its original release date was April 2016.

Under Submission:
  • ShortStory487—Autumnal Threat: is currently under submission. It will be rescheduled for release in 2016, if it is rejected. Its original release date was December 2015.
  • ShortStory489—Earth and Lunar Dreaming: is currently under submission. It will be rescheduled for release in 2016, if it is rejected. Its original release date was February 2016.
  • ShortStory492—The Taleteller’s Slumber: is currently under submission. It will be rescheduled for release in 2016, if it is rejected. Its original release date was March 2016.
  • ShortStory501—The Heights of Winter: is currently under submission. It will be rescheduled for release in 2016, if it is rejected. Its original release date was May 2016.

Finish

Incomplete:
  • Annual27—366 Days of Poetry: has been rescheduled for release in September 2016 as part of establishing a regular publishing schedule. Its original release date was December 2015. This relieved the pressure to finish and it is currently complete up to July, with poems being added daily.
  • Annual28—366 Days of Flash Fiction has been rescheduled for release in May 2016 as part of establishing a regular publishing schedule. Its original release date was December 2015, and then January 2016. This relieved the pressure to finish and it is currently complete up to February, with flash fiction being added daily.
  • Annual1—365 Days of Zombies: was originally scheduled for release in April 2016, but will be rescheduled for 2017.
  • ShortStory495—The Plain Magician: was originally scheduled for release in May 2016, but will be rescheduled for 2017.
  • Annual26A—C.M. Simpson: Short Stories and Poems from 2015, Vol.1: has been retitled to C.M. Simpson: Short Stories and Poems from 2015 and 2016, Vol.1 due to an upcoming change in the way content will be selected. It is now scheduled for release in October 2017, and was originally scheduled for release in June 2016.
  • Annual26B—C.M. Simpson: Short Stories and Poems from 2015, Vol. 2: has been retitled to C.M. Simpson: Short Stories and Poems from 2015 and 2016, Vol.2 due to an upcoming change in the way content will be selected. It is now scheduled for release in November 2017, and was originally scheduled for release in June 2016.
  • Annual26C—C.M. Simpson: Short Stories and Poems from 2015, Vol. 3: has been retitled to C.M. Simpson: Short Stories and Poems from 2015 and 2016, Vol.2 due to an upcoming change in the way content will be selected. It is now scheduled for release in December 2017, and was originally scheduled for release in June 2016.
  • ShortStory61—Seppelitus: will be submitted to magazine markets prior to being scheduled. It was originally scheduled for June 2016.

New Writing

Complete:
  • Chapbook5E—Rocky and the Spacefarer’s Christmas: was released on December 4, 2015—on schedule.
  • Chapbook5B—Rocky and the Great Teddybear Rescue: is complete and undergoing the editing and formatting process. It is on schedule for its original release date in January 2016.

Incomplete:
  • DarkFantasy2B—The Priestess, the Prince and the Dragon’s Children: will be rescheduled for 2017. It was originally scheduled for January 2016.
  • RomanceNovel1B—Nadine’s Story: will be rescheduled for 2017. It was originally scheduled for January 2016)
  • YANovel9A—Andromeda’s Pledge: will be rescheduled for 2017. It was originally scheduled for February 2016)
  • RomanceNovel14B—Sonia’s Story: will be rescheduled for 2017. It was originally scheduled for February 2016)
  • YANovel1A—Trollbridge Summer: will be rescheduled for 2017. It was originally scheduled for March 2016)

On target but not complete:
  • Chapbook5C—Rocky Rides the Space Range (February 2016)
  • Chapbook5D—Rocky Touches Down (March 2016)
  • Chapbook14I—Legacy of Hope (April 2016)
  • Chapbook14J—Legacy of Hearts (May 2016)
  • Chapbook3B—The Ribbondrake Mountains (June 2016)
  • Chapbook3C—The Ribbondrake Riders (July 2016)

Did I fail? That depends on how you look at it. Checkpoint wise: yes. Getting my publishing and writing back on track? No. I’m now in a better position to move forward, and at a pace I can maintain without neglecting my other responsibilities. After all, if I don’t apply what I learned, I will never grow as a writer, and I will never improve. I can’t afford to not do either.

I’m starting a new challenge tomorrow. It will continue to move me forward, and reflects the focus on one writing head at a time. It’s slower than I want to go, but it’s achievable, with a little work. Wish me luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment