The year is now half over.
At the time of writing this, I’m also half-vaccinated.
When it comes to goal-setting—and more importantly, goal-achieving—I consider the second quarter the most important one of the year.
This is because if Q1 got off to a false start, it allows for a course-correction with still three more quarters in which to attain ultimate success.
Meanwhile, if things had all along been going well, by the end of Q2, the momentum is already built up for a strong run clear to the end of the year.
For 2021, my Q1 went really well, so I was keen to keep on keeping on. How did I do? Let’s find out.
My goals for 2021 and progress over Q2 are as follows:
1) Writing life goals
- Query my completed novel – In progress (Q1: In progress)
- Read four key reference books in support of my next novel – 50% (25%)
- Draft my next novel – Approaching 20% (~5%)
- Start researching my next-next novel – Started yet paused (0%)
- Read the first draft of my WIP’s sequel and make general/overall revision notes – 100% (completed in Q1)
- New for Q2: Make a beat sheet for the next draft of my WIP’s sequel – 0%
Summary of progress: Querying is still in progress. I’m not planning to discuss my querying stats until such time that I either land an agent or choose to stop querying this project, so that is the extent of the update for now.
I finished reading another reference book this quarter, which puts me at 50%.
I’m quite pleased with my progress on my WIP. I’m not the fastest writer to begin with. Plus, despite the very lengthy outline/zero draft I produced for this story, it covered very little of the first 10% of the plot other than the actual inciting incident.
So I had to pants this part. And I’m an even slower writer when I’m trying to pants.
So I’m very happy to have gotten through that murky patch and to now be nearing the start of Act 2 at 20% (these percentages come from Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, which I LOVE). Beyond 20%, I’ve got all sorts of story mayhem pre-planned.
In terms of my next-next novel, I did start researching for it at the beginning of this quarter, doing so in the morning at 5:00am (the hour I awaken, whether I want to or not).
But I didn’t get too far into it before I decided to stop. It was all a bit too much all at once for me: pantsing through the start of my new WIP, considering varying angles from which to pitch my old WIP to agents, and contemplating ways to revise my old WIP’s sequel (even though I’ve yet to commence its beat sheet).
Trying to turn my brain toward a fourth story, even just its background research, was more than my brain could keep straight at the time. So I’ve taken a pause on that goal for now.
2) Real life goals
- Get more exercise (closer to my pre-pandemic amount) – Maintaining current level (Q1: In progress)
- Make a will – 0% (0%)
- Miscellaneous career goals – 100% completed (In progress)
- Finish de-cluttering my apartment (continued from 2020) – 0% (0%)
- Living room
[ ] Bookshelf
[ ] Desk
[X] Magazine box
[ ] Couch
- Dining room
[ ] Side chair
[X] On top of cupboards
[X] Behind the oven
[X] Behind the fridge
[X] Coat closet
[X] Shoe trays
[ ] Storage closet
[X] Shower caddy
[X] Medicine cabinet
[X] Cupboard under the sink
[ ] Top of dresser/ornament shelf
[ ] Dresser drawers
[ ] Smallclothes drawers
[ ] Nightstand
[ ] Under the bed
Summary of progress: The best thing I can say about my quantity of exercise right now is that I’m still doing it.
In Q1, I discovered that I am anemic (my iron is “shockingly low” according to a specialist of internal medicine).
Q2 was thus my first three months of a projected year or more on iron supplements, and while I’m feeling noticeably better than I was—I now breathe at a normal rate while at rest and no longer have dizzy spells, a racing heart, and heart palpitations—it’s very much not been a linear recovery, especially when it comes to physical exertion.
This tweet explains it best:
The way every morning is a new round of anemia roulette:
😫 A sluggish body with alert mind?
😩 An alert body with sluggish mind?
😖 A sluggish body *and* mind?
😮 Oh wow, I feel good! How long can I make this last?
Iron pills are helping but it’s going to be quite a while yet. pic.twitter.com/qqUTr7JYxo
— Janna G. Noelle (@jgnoelle) June 10, 2021
All this to say that just maintaining my current level of exercise has at times felt downright Herculean, and increasing it is not something I’m physically capable of as yet.
But I will keep trying because I believe in the long run that pushing myself in whatever way I can will aid my overall recovery. Plus I used to truly love working out, and am hopeful I someday will again.
Otherwise, the only other progress I managed in my real life goals in Q2 was work-related. My “miscellaneous career goals” was basically to find a new job, which I did. But it happened in the complete opposite manner to what I was expecting.
I won’t bother going into details. But I’m truly floored at how the universe did, technically, give me exactly what I asked for. And yet.
I’ve learned to be very careful about how I phrase my wishes and requests moving forward.
In any case, not only is this goal now complete, this quarter has felt doubly devoted to my job since I spent the remainder of my free time serving as volunteer coordinator for the Historical Novel Society’s 2021 virtual conference.
Volunteer coordination is the exact sort of work I did in my previous job.
I don’t plan to repeat this pattern of double-work/overwork for the rest of the year.