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January 19, 2020

Week 3: Writing While Sick

by Ryan

This week turned out to be hit and miss. I didn't write several days—yet ended up writing more this week than last. I added 7,397 words to Synthetic Pain. I'm pretty happy with that.

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Writing Successes

Last week I set priorities to write early, adding words to my novel before work, spend time in the evenings on publishing and marketing, write a new short story, submit stories to magazines, and publish a new story on Patreon. I even created a print version of my priorities to post where I could see them.

How'd I do?

  • Sunday. Published weekly update. Added 513 words to Synthetic Pain. I created a printed version and posted that above the computer and on the wall as I head out so I see it and am reminded of my priorities.
  • Monday. A bit of snow fell last night, maybe a half-inch. Temperatures stayed above freezing so it's all gone now. It'll get cold tonight so there might be some ice and more snow tomorrow morning. We've been fighting this bug so we weren't going anywhere. It ended up being a more productive writing day with 1,588 words added to Synthetic Pain, stories sent out to magazines, 597 words written on a new short story, and some progress on my other priorities.
  • Tuesday. We woke to more snow this morning, which meant late starts for local schools and some libraries. I added some words to Synthetic Pain before work, more at lunch, and still more words in the evening after dinner for a total of 1,672 words before calling it a day. With low energy levels I left it at that and went to bed early.
  • Wednesday. My fatigue continued on into the morning as I had difficulty even getting up. I only had time to get ready and leave for work. The day involved visiting a library out on the coast which meant hours of driving, no real breaks, and no opportunity to write. By the time I made it home I was exhausted and again went to bed early.
  • Thursday. I woke up with more energy this morning and decided to stop at Starbucks for a iced guava green tea and a writing session before work. I was in my office today which made it easier to schedule breaks and I added 2,109 words to Synthetic Pain! I also added 417 words to the short story I'm writing.
  • Friday. Early start to the day though I didn't feel as energetic, but I needed to take our dog to the vet. He suffers from skin irritation/allergies and needs regular medication to try and manage it. Then off to work! I found a little time to write before I left this morning and again at lunch, and once more in the evening. I added 1,515 words to Synthetic Pain in those three sessions.
  • Saturday. The fatigue I've been feeling was back this morning. I was teleworking, which saved driving in to the office. Before starting work, I set up Printful with my site so I could offer t-shirts and other items directly. It's a quick setup. I didn't really take breaks during the day and by the time I finished I was mentally and physically exhausted. I never did sit down to write.

I took two days off this week, Wednesday and Saturday. Both days when my energy levels waned. Still a more productive week than the previous week, so that's progress. Plus, I added the ability to sell t-shirts and other items directly through my store, so that was another unplanned win. I also sent out stories, started a new short story, and worked on publishing tasks. Mostly a good week.

OKR Confidence Ratings

I'm feeling pretty good this week. I've faced some of my limitations and managed to do fairly well.

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.

My average word count for the week increased, which I think justifies keeping confidence levels high for this OKR.

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 started a new story this week. It isn't finished yet, but it's a step in that direction. I also sent out several stories that had been languishing in my outbox to magazine markets. I'm keeping my confidence levels the same.

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.

I don't feel like my confidence levels have changed much. There hasn't been any changes to improve my confidence. 

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 didn't really take any actions this week to make progress on this OKR. Still, I don't feel like I've lost confidence with these results. 

This Week's Priorities

I thought the priorities last week worked. I'll tweak them a bit, print out the new ones and post them. And add the dates. I think it'll be interesting to see how it changes from week to week.

  • Priority 1. Hit my word count goals for Synthetic Pain, writing 1,500+ words per day.
  • Priority 2. Complete writing my first short story of 2020.
  • Priority 3. Submit any stories in the outbox to magazines and publish a new story to Patreon.
  • Priority 4. Complete edits on Past Dark and post final e-book files for store pre-orders.

Reworded, but still focusing on the same four areas. I tried to get more specific this week. I'll put those on my priority template and print it out.

Ryan


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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