Tag Archives: goals

May it last.

Resolutions I intend to stick to:

*Wherever possible eat healthy, home- cooked food.

*Avoid additives and preservatives, especially artificial sweeteners such as those containing aspartame. This includes choosing organic, wherever practical.

*Avoid caffeine. Choose decaffeinated and herbal options.

*Increase activity and tonal exercises with the aim of reaching a healthy target weight by summer. Goal: 2 pounds a week.

*Be more sensible with money – reduce small outgoings, monitor spending, save for larger purchases, etc. Generally be more organised and less impulsive financially.

*Plan solo travelling to see more of the world. 2013′ s planned trip: Italy. (Any advice, suggestions, recommended viewing, etc welcomed!)

*15 minutes a day on self taught Italian book and audio.

*Ensure put maximum effort into obtaining good grades on first year my English degree (going well so far) via Open University.

*Thoroughly revise and have pro- edited at least one novel, with the view of publishing this year.

*Complete at least one screenplay and research markets, with the view of being accepted somewhere.

*Continue to attend writer’ s group set up with few of the 2012 NaNo- ers, meeting once a week.

*Personal facebook page has already been deactivated. Ensure contact is maintained with close friends, and author and twitter page is restricted in terms of times accessed and used appropriately


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The key to success: flexibility.

This feels like a check-point where I feel I need to reflect on my progress, re-evaluate what is important, and adjust my plans accordingly.

Since starting ROW80, I have been adding new challenges and targets to encourage improvement and to see how much I can accomplish.

Overall, I’ve been fairly successful. My main challenge hasn’t been work, like I feared, but myself. My own drive, my own motivation, and my own confidence in my abilities. I have repeatedly been heard mentioning terms like “a positive attitude” which I believe is any writer’s downfall if they don’t have it. Even when you’re super busy, if you don’t believe that you can fit something in, if you don’t believe you can achieve whatever you want to despite the demands on your time, you won’t then work out a way to fit everything in. You won’t organise your time, your priorities or reshuffle your commitments to enable everything to work out. Because you won’t believe that there is a reason to.

My first post for ROW80 was here

When looking at my first goals, many of them I have been able to stick to or go above if I re-worked when I did them. For example, I set 750 word goal a day which was achievable. But I found it was more productive to use my days off and plan to do 5,000 words every day I was off (2-3 days) and achieve more than the 750 words a day. That then meant I could use my breaks to continue reading a book for the BCC challenge (100 books in a year). Since making this change, I’ve managed to reach the ‘two books in a week’ minimum for the first week since starting the challenge. However, this sometimes means that my days working run over some of the check-ins and it appears that I haven’t done anything for the week

I started The Rising on the 2 January 2012 with very little idea of where it was going to go. I’m now at 24,000 words (I still have another 10,000 minimum to add by Friday) and I’m feeling incredibly positive about it. I know it’s not perfect, but it’s as close as I’ve ever come to a complete idea taking shape in a draft that I feel I can actually work with.

I have set up and post regular updates on https://www.facebook.com/KellyCautillo page to promote myself as an author.

Blogging has become much more regular and I’ve even set up another blog here: http://cakemixeater.wordpress.com/ to share research, opinions and recipes on improving the quality of the food I eat and making more home cooked things.

I’ve learned so much in the last two years about what doesn’t work for me that it’s so nice to finally know that I’ve found a method that does. I’ve been using a combination of Scrivener and Write or die to achieve my word counts in the quickest time possible, to organise my ideas, to create templates and fill out work sheets, and make the chapters easier to edit or add to later on.

I have found that very detailed plans don’t work for me. I need a rough idea, a few chapters briefly planned and then, as I write, the story and characters take shape. I can then jump into the separate folders and add details, chapter synopses, research folders etc.

In this time, I have proved to myself that I can do this work, I could (if writing was all I had to do) be a full time writer, I can fit networking, work, reading, writing etc in around each other. It’s just a shame I’m not getting paid to write. Yet. (Mark my words, it will! Ha!)

Though, within this last week, I have submitted a piece of flash fiction to an online site that pay $3 for published work on their site – it’ll be a good start!

Continuing to look through my initial goals, the sleep thing is something I’m struggling with as it’s not something I can force. Some days I have the time to sleep for hours but then I get woken or I can’t settle. Other days I could sleep until next year but I have only four hours until I have to get ready for work. I’ll keep trying though. I’ve been spending more time at my mum’s to try to encourage more of a regular sleep patter whilst I’m working. But, again, this is hit and miss as to what my body will allow. I’m getting on alright though as I don’t feel I’m suffering in any way.

I have finished The Tudors: season 3 and a friend at work has supplied me with the fourth and final season to get through. Yey!

In terms of making more home cooked food – it has really only happened in the last week with chicken stew, fresh curry and, as I write, potato cakes are just starting as boiled potatoes.

I didn’t get chance to continue with a food, fluid and exercise diary as I don’t seem to be consistent with when and where I am and what food is available. If I’m at home then I can eat more fruit and veg, fresh food etc. But my mum doesn’t really eat those things which makes it difficult to keep up elsewhere as travelling for over 2 hours can really affect the quality of some food choices I want if I want to take them to Mum’s. Plus it’s the actual lugging them about 3 miles – hardcore! I will have to look at putting in some orders for their next food shop to accommodate a better diet for me. 😀

So, whilst I may feel at times that I haven’t achieved anything, when I look at what I have accomplished in less than a month it really makes me very proud.

Thank you ROW80 for teaching me the value of flexible plans that can work with and not against having a life.


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Forward, ho!

For those of you participating in ROW80, I previously entered under a different blog http://www.blog.co.uk/user/koldham/ but have moved to WordPress since so many of you are here, and it seems so much more appropriate for the purpose. I’m also operating under the name I wish to be known for amongst fellow writers. Also, sorry for the spelling error on the linky from ROW80 – please forgive me!

Well, a thoroughly productive night that has seen me wander around the community of WordPress, essentially meeting and greeting. I have also viewed so many helpful blogs, articles and external sites that I hope to come back to again.

What’s even more thrilling though is hitting targets or, more specifically, smashing them. For http://aroundofwordsin80days.wordpress.com/blog/ I set myself a daily goal of 750 words which, for the most part, I found achievable. It just became more difficult if my breaks were shorter at work but I always managed to make that up on my day off.

The last couple of days though, I have wanted to push myself a bit harder to try to get a feel for what it would be like if I was writing full time. Whilst I have still been quite lax, as in I haven’t been writing solidly, I have had regular breaks and I have been browsing various networks, I have still achieved 5135 words today which brings my WIP total to 17625!

I am ecstatic! And, in total, it’s only about 2.5 hours work – how amazing is that? If I continue to do this on my days off then I should have the novel’s draft complete approximately within a month.

I’m obviously going to need to do some more planning and brainstorming as I’ve sped my way through several chapters, many of which will need more adding to it later on down the line, but I have the bare bones there to work with which is thrilling to me.

In other news…

In my wanderings I have spotted a few things I would like to look into further such as http://www.write1sub1.com/ that encourages you to work towards getting more of your work ‘out there’.

I am ensuring I have at least 2 or 3 days off work to get stuck into the novel. I really want to write seriously and, as much as I’d love to have the extra cash, I’ve given myself a bit of a head start with the two weeks of working 6 shifts each week. Once I sell the car I can then pay for the two day courses I want to do in February with http://www.stephenlloydtraining.co.uk/index.htm

From Friday I will be making more of an effort to make more home cooked foods (if you have any simple and cheap recipes for meals or baked goods you’d recommend, please do let me know).

This week I have also decided to take a more active interest in promoting myself as a writer. I’ve been ‘getting out there’, I have set up the WordPress account under my pseudonym and set up a facebook fanpage https://www.facebook.com/KellyCautillo

This following week I aim to:

  • x1 blog post a week provisionally set for Friday re: social issues etc as per the ideas outlined in my post yesterday about philanthropy and humanitarianism.
  • 5,000 words (WIP) on each day off.
  • Read x2 books a week for http://www.bookchickcity.com/2011/12/sign-up-100-books-in-year-reading.html  (may use my breaks for this, rather than writing).
  • Try x1 new recipe a week.
  • Bake x1 batch of biscuits/loaf etc a week or as needed.
  • Take some of baked goods/meal for Mum and Ian whenever I make.
  • Walk to the train station (2 miles) – do not cheat – when going to work.
  • Drink more juice/water – not to count coffee/tea.
  • Continue to network and post relevant material through my fb author page https://www.facebook.com/KellyCautillo
  • Compile a list of ideas for short stories and blog posts.

Quite a hefty plan I dare say. But I quite like pushing and testing myself. I actually don’t feel tired from this kind of work, but to push myself at work… that’s a different story. lol.

I hope everyone’s have a great time going through their work and I look forward to hearing from you!



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Planning crazy.

I have been completely obsessed with planning. I absolutely love planning my days off so that I’m productive, and I feel this is good practice for if I get to a point where I can actually become a full time writer.

I find that, when I put in print what I aim to do, I actually stick to it. It’s as if I’m tricking my brain into thinking of it as something it can’t get out of – it’s work. You have a deadline.

The Plan

0000-0100: write or die >1,000 words 1,033 words in 30 minutes
0100-0115: Break
0115-0200: Deadwood (I finished The Tudors!) episode (Brainstorm & Plan during this time)
0200-0215: Break
0215-0300: Write or die >1,000 words 1,020 words in 25 minutes.
0300-0315: Break
0315-0400: Articles/Blog posts (Art&craft of writing)





Just for fun:


0400-0415: Break
0415-0500: write or die >1,000 words 1,044 in 20 minutes.
0500-0515: Break
0515-0600: Write or die >1,000 words 1,025 in 25 minutes
0600-0615: Break
0615-0700: write or die >1,000 words 1,013 in 30 minutes.
For those of you who don’t know, I work nights now so I remain in the same pattern by setting my schedules accordingly. I actually find it so much easier at night too as there are fewer distractions – it’s so calm. I love nights!

I’ll keep bobbing in to edit the post as I work my way through and update totals at the end.



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