Goals check for the week of October 7

By Katharine Swan On Tuesday, October 15, 2013 At 9:21 AM

Last week was an odd mix of productive and unproductive.  I participated in the Muse Online Writers Conference, and I knew going into the week that the conference would replace any work on my novel.  (In some ways, I have to admit, I was glad of it -- I've been very frustrated with feeling "stuck" on my novel, so I was glad to be taking a break from it for a week, but I was also hoping the writers conference would inspire me to get back to work.  Too early to tell yet if it's had that effect.)

Because the conference was intended to replace working on my novel for the week, I'm going to replace it in my goals list too:

1. Conference: The week started out great.  I was able to devote most of Monday to the conference, and spent a lot of time browsing the workshops and visiting the chats (real-time presentations and question/answer format).  Tuesday I had a little less time for it, due to my riding lesson in the morning, but I managed to get back on in the evening for another chat.  Unfortunately, my week fell apart from there.  Wednesday I went for a trail ride -- my first since the kids went back to school -- which was heavenly, but cut into my conference time.  Thursday I worked longer hours due to the kids having a half day, and Friday they had off so I worked a very long day that day.

The end result is that while I caught a few chats and dropped in on a few workshops here and there throughout the last part of the week, I missed a lot more than I'd intended, and I'm now -- after the conference has ended -- going through the forum to catch up on what I missed.  Still, I was able to make time to enjoy the conference and feel inspired by it, and I'm hoping that the writerly feeling will return to me as I finish catching up on what I missed at the end of the week.

2. Blogs and websites: No progress here.

3. Other writing projects: No progress here.

4. Books: I've been reading a very dry but also rather interesting academic book on President Harding, as research for my novel series -- it is a library book with a due date (yes, I am actually reading a physical book!), so I've been trying to get through it before it's due back.  As a result, everything else I was reading -- Les Miz as well as the fantasy novel I was partway through -- is on hold for the time being.

5. Horses: The horses got plenty of attention last week.  On Tuesday I rode both: I had a lesson on Rondo, after which I took him out with a fellow boarder on a very short trail ride (he needs more exposure to the trail), and afterward I hopped on Panama bareback briefly since he was having a little fit that I had ridden Rondo and not him.  On Wednesday I took Panama on a trail ride with a group of fellow boarders, and on Thursday I rode Panama during V.'s lesson on Rondo.  On Friday, the kids had the day off school, so V. had another lesson on Rondo while her little brother rode Panama.  As a result, Panama was ridden 4 days last week and Rondo was ridden 3, which is slightly better than my goal at the beginning of the year of riding both horses 3 times a week.

With October half over, the end of the year is fast approaching, and I am realizing how far behind I am on some of my goals.  The weekly goals of working on my novel and riding my horses have seen fair progress throughout the year -- not always meeting my goals, mind you, but at least making progress on them.  The other three goals, on the other hand -- overhauling my blogs and websites, working on other writing projects, and reading the seven classics I'd listed at the beginning of the year -- are failing spectacularly.  Even if I get through Les Miz by the end of the year, I still have six other books I intended to read -- and I've done absolutely nothing on either my websites or my other writing projects.  The latter I can excuse because my novels have taken a lot of my focus, but I really do need to take some time and work on my websites (and catch up on my reading) before year's end!

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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