December 29, 2019

Week 0 Update: Welcome to the New Year

by Ryan

Holiday weeks are hard. Or maybe all weeks are hard and this one just stood out more for me. My main focus for the week was consistency, writing every day, and I managed to pull that off. I didn't write as much as I'd like, but I did get in at least a page each day on the book. 

Other than that, the main focus of the week was family. That was nice, but exhausting. I took a couple days off around the holiday so I had six days off from the library and it didn't feel like I even had two days off by the time it was done.


Writing Successes

I made a few notes as the week went on so I'd remember what I wanted to celebrate (about my writing) from the week.

  • Sunday. I put in 311 words on Synthetic Pain in addition to my blog post.
  • Monday. Best word count all week with 1,006 words on Synthetic Pain. I went with my son to see Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. We loved it and had a lot of fun. I've been happy with the new Star Wars movies, The Mandalorian, and I'm looking forward to what they come up with next.
  • Tuesday. Christmas Eve. I wrote 311 words on Synthetic Pain and that was it because I spent most of the rest of the time setting up a new computer for my son while he was at the grandparents. We wrapped his door so he came home to his bedroom door looking like a present—and the new computer was inside on his desk. I also released The Murders in the Reed Moore Library on Patreon.
  • Wednesday. Christmas, stockings opened, we had my mother-in-law over for breakfast. Later we went to my parents for dinner with them and my brother's family. Lots of fun. Somewhere in there I managed 352 words on Synthetic Pain.
  • Thursday. My last day off before going back to work. I added 465 words to Synthetic Pain. Errands took up a lot of my energy for the rest of the day.
  • Friday. Ironically for a day back to work, I did better than some of the other days. I added 757 words to Synthetic Pain and found a bit of time to spend journaling. My total word count was the highest all week, but the journaling doesn't count.
  • Saturday. I did not feel good at all when I woke up. I considered calling in sick but decided to go to work instead and see if I felt better. Mostly exhausted. I think it was the week catching up to me. I visited one library. I didn't take time to write until in bed, added 465 words to Synthetic Pain (weird that it's the same word count as Thursday).

Is it what I wanted? No, but that's okay. I wrote every day and I'm celebrating that fact since I haven't been successful at that lately. Whether I feel like it or not, I want to write at least 250 words of new fiction each day. If possible, I want to write 1,500 words (or more) daily on my novel, and at least 500 words (or more) daily on short stories. But if I can't manage 2,000-3,000 words, I want to get that page in, even if it's the last thing I do before going to sleep.

OKR Confidence Ratings

I've changed my confidence ratings slightly, recognizing that this wasn't a typical week.

Write fantastic novels

Key Results

  • Write 1,500 words (minimum) per day.
  • 40,000 words (minimum) each month on the current novel.
  • Complete 6 novels in 2020.

I kept the streak going. That's a win. I also fought with my energy levels all week. Writing this much will take a lot of focus and energy. Can I do it consistently?

Write Amazing Short STories

Key Results

  • Write 500 words (minimum) per day.
  • Complete a finished short story bi-weekly (26 stories).
  • Submit or publish each finished story within one week.

I'm a bit less confident in this objective after this last week since I didn't even touch short stories. It was all I could do to keep working on my book. I still want to meet this objective.

Achieve success with my novels

Key Results

  • 12 novels released on my store and retail stores.
  • Average 10 sales per day, per title.
  • Match my income from my full-time librarian job.

My confidence hasn't really changed with this OKR, despite not making progress this past week. I think I'll make more progress. Still not feeling super confident about the income results, something has to change, that's for sure.

Build a Community of Engaged Readers

Key Results

  • Readinary newsletter subscribers increase by 25%.
  • Broadcast open rate averages 60%.
  • Click rate averages 10%.
  • Reach 250 Patreon subscribers.

I struggle with this one, of all of the OKRs because it feels the most out of my control. I need to figure out what I can do, and monitor the results.

This Week's Priorities

This isn't exactly a normal week. I have library work to do this weekend (too much on my plate right now). The library is closed on the 1st, so that gives me an extra day to work on my projects. It's getting back into a normal routine, though, which will likely help me move forward on my goals.

My priorities this week remain pretty much the same:

  • Keep the writing streak going on Synthetic Pain.
  • Finish getting Past Dark ready for release.
  • Practice write a short story (using a story I like, to study).

Those are my main priorities. I could add one more, taking care of myself, but it's something I have to do all the time. 


Ryan M. Williams lives a double life as a full-time career librarian and a multi-genre writer with over twenty books. He writes across a range of genres including science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, mystery, horror, and romance. He earned a Master of Arts degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose University. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies from Pocket Books, WMG Publishing, and in On Spec Magazine.

Ryan M. Williams

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