Writing it forward and setting goals

writing it forward

Hello all! Welcome back to this blog… Let’s talk about writing and goals for 2024.

Does anyone knows how to set proper writing goals? I, sure as hell, never feel like I do.

To make it just numbers-as-achievements doesn’t work for me, because I’m a too slow writer for it. There’s no way I can find my flow in the constant run of writing whatever to accomplish a quota.

To make it project-related, always feel like I’m letting things fly away from me. Again, as I am a slow writer, I get myself into struggling with stuff, and then I pause the project until I figure it out.

So about my writing goals… I just know that I have these projects that I have been working on, and I need to get back to them.

Moving forward is always so hard, specially when I know I need to have some sense of a finish line. But I don’t know how to make that commitment. I’m certain it will come to me whenever it’s time.

Also, for me at this point, to plan some writing routine seems quite impossible. Life is happening here and it’s not warm and fuzzy. So, I know I’ll be writing. I know in which projects I’ll be writing. But I don’t know how I’ll manage the time to do it.

Still, pushing forward it is.

First, I know I need some new habits. Or, at least a return to my most productive habits. Things have been getting complicated on the domestic front, and my writing time has been absorbed by a lack of sleep discipline and tantrums. Not mine, though… Not that I don’t feel like throwing some… at this point.

I’m hoping 2024 will bring some new habits and, with them, nights made for actual sleep. And, with more sleep, I’ll finally be able to insert my morning writing routine on a proper hour… right around 6AM. But maybe this is just some wishful thinking.

So, about setting writing goals…


SPECIFIC: What do I want to achieve?

There are three Writing Projects, on different stages of production and I want to get each to its next step.

MEASURABLE: How do I know I have achieved it?

To get to the end of the current stage of production on each project: To write the zero draft. To finalize the final read. To edit the 40 poems.

ACHIEVABLE: How to make it true?

There are no impossibles to achieve on my three ongoing writing projects. Everything’s achievable about these.

RELEVANT: Is it worth it? Is it relevant?

To write, in a writing life, is relevant. To get these ready to be read is very worth it.

TIME BOUND: When will I achieve it?

In 2024?! No. Being more specific about this. I’m setting the first trimestre of 2024 to have the #2 project zero draft done. Then, I’ll reread the final version of the #1 project. On the first six months #3 project will come to the forefront in specific times. Second half-of 2024, will see the needed update on these goals.


These three projects have been in the oven for a while now. Each have their particularities and personal involvement issues. 2024 will see them tackled and accomplished.

Still, I’ll be scarce on the actual numbers. After all, I’m not too good in keeping numbers running smooth, and I don’t want to discourage myself.

On the other(s) writing projects…

In the writing forward departmentbecause they are the most immediate way to reach out to readers — I’m keeping focused on the blogs.

Writing forward is important to me just because I feel more connected to the people that visit my blogs.

These are the virtual places where I might make more difference. Where I get to motivate, and try to inspire others, to see their life as pure creativity, and to pursue their arts and crafts, specially the writing craft. This has become a big part of my efforts on the writing it forward front.

When I struggle, I’ll take you with me to learn from my mistakes… like I’m doing now, with the setting up goals from which I’m scared of. And when I accomplish some milestone, you are right there with me.

So you can watch the view and jump in your own pursues as soon as you are ready… or just, jump in now. Subscribe to this blog and never miss a beat on this Writing Life Log: WLOG?! 😀 I know! Enough with the weird acronyms.

Focusing on…

This has been what I have been focusing on: to write about things I love.

Might it be in my fiction, in my writerly blogs, and even in my poetry, and in my Vlook YouTube videos.

I just want to write about things I love. Books, trips, stories, challenges, love… things that speak closely to my heart.

New endeavours…

In 2024, and you are reading this here first!, I would like to come back to the short story format, but I do not have a settled plan for it. Still, I have been entertaining the idea for a while. We will see if it goes somewhere.

Above all, I plan to find some satisfaction in the ongoing projects. Because this is more important than to bound myself to some metrics in a plan.

Not that I don’t find numbers important, because I do. But, sometimes I get a weird feeling that, if I put up too many boundaries, to myself and to the completion of my work, I end up unable to create anything.

It’s like I get bound by the lack of willpower to comply to the set numbers on the goal page. I get overwhelmed by all of it and shut down.

So, I don’t do that anymore. No strict numbers for me. Not in this.

I am no child, I can carry my own projects to good term. — and this is my Emma Woodhouse talking.

I need to feel that I’m open to change and magical creation, not under a whip, pressed into forced labor. Which, not being the most desirable discipline, it’s the one I need, to keep myself working on my creative plans and goals.

I hope you’ve been working on your creative projects. Hope the first days of this new year have been kind to you. Hope you are positive into the upcoming year and your creative contribution to the world.

See you next week! And, meanwhile you may checkout my social media and subscribe to this blog.

Please subscribe to the blog (and other social media channels) for more writings about Writing. Help me grow this blog and keep on sharing the writerly talk.

Would you like to know anything about me? Please leave a question below and I’ll reply asap.

Bye and Keep Writing! ✍🏼


I tried writing in NaNoWriMo for 12 years

12 years experience

Hello all! Welcome back to my blog.

Have you seen any of the videos “I tried writing like (famous author) for (whatever) days or months”?

It’s kind of a trend on YouTube and I always find them inspiring, educational and fun!

This is kind of a “I tried writing in NaNoWriMo for 12 years”

Today’s article is kind of an overview about the 12 years I have been registered in NaNoWriMo website and all the times I decided to write a book in November.

First, let’s go over some stats:

✍️ I have been registered on https://nanowrimo.org/ since Oct.29, 2010.

✍️ I have entered the November’s challenge for 7 times.

✍️ I have completed the 50K, and then some, for 5 times.

✍️ The website says that I have wrote 343,660 words for NaNo projects.

Is this an impressive count? Nop. I don’t think so. But it’s good to know all of these things.

Let’s go on this memory lane, shall we?

I recall finding this challenge online and starting to mull over it. Back in the day, I had so much fear of being tricked that anything new gave me tons of food for thought.

Contrary to my later developed tendencies, which are to see something fun online, subscribe it immediately, and then ask the questions.

For NaNoWriMo contemplations, I really took my time deciding if I wanted to make an account on https://nanowrimo.org/ and enter the challenge. Back in those days we had to put all our written text on a word counting window, only available on the website. So it was a bit strange to reveal the text like that.

I decided to enter the 2010 challenge, only after I had all my stuff worked out in my head, and was willing to try the 50K in one month.

I registered at the Oct.29 and started writing at the Nov.01.

📣 I would like to mention that I already had one book in the midst of being self-published, which happened in Nov. 2011. And it wasn’t any of my NaNo writing projects.

I remember talking to a few people about this challenge and being quite freaked out about it. But I pulled through and wrote ‘Amria’ a fantasy novel about angels and demons and really bad (and good) people in between.

Amria, with a word count of 63,472, was my debut novel in NaNoWriMo and I quite liked it… so I stuck it in the drawer.

In 2011, I didn’t managed to enter NaNo. Fast-forward to some conclusions, I find that it takes me a good two year period to develop an idea into a book and make it come alive.

But, in 2012, I was back with ‘O Pária’ (‘The Pariah’). I had a full sketch book reeling with characters, and plot twists, and big ideas for a greater universe of… shapeshifters (does this ring a bell?!?)

Then it came 2013. It was a truly shitty year! My life changed so much during that year, and the ones that followed, and I felt so badly that I really tried to write my NaNo novel but just couldn’t do it. 2013 saw the beginning of ‘Road to Nowhere’ but it fell through the cracks of poor planning and not enough mental space to create this story.

Next NaNo novel came in 2018. ‘At risk’ was also a failed experience. Why I thought I could change day jobs, have a toddler in my hands, and be overwhelmed about it all, and still write a book, I do not know.

‘At Risk’ was my first try at writing a sequel for my self-published book… which didn’t happen.

Moving on to 2020, I was back with the proper drafting in place, plans and projects and all the twists and turns of a new fantasy novel. ‘Fire and Ice’ word count was 54,933 in a universe full of vampires and monsters ready to strike back. I loved writing this book, and I still feel it has so much I can expand upon… so it went straight to the drawer.

2021 saw ‘Os Metamorfos’ aka ‘The Shapeshifters’ come to life. In November of 2021 I wrote my second draft during NaNoWriMo. It was a book imagined, planned, and executed in Portuguese. Word count? 50,412.

2022 saw the biggest change of all. During my first Camp NaNo, in July 2022, I started rewriting ‘The Shapeshifters’ but in English. I went with it and after a not so successful Camp NaNo, due to some health issues, I got all in this project, planned and plotted, and managed to write 77,420 words for this book in this year’s NaNoWriMo.

What did this 12 years writing experience taught me?

🪄I have so much to learn it pains me to think about it. This seems the appropriate lesson to put here first. I need to get my bearings on my schedule, and to define better goals, and to devote myself more to this writerly life.

🪄Fear of showing up trumps all efforts. I have the best intentions in regard to my writing but if I am afraid to show up for my writing practice, there are no efforts that can subsist and produce good outcomes.

🪄Go all in. I have been doing this thing, this dance with my writing, for more than two decades (I am almost too good at waiting!). Deciding to write a book and leaving it unfinished isn’t going all in. Deciding to write as a life choice, path, career, and then refuse to do the work isn’t going all in. Go all in.

🪄Work in small increments every day. Have specific goals, and a major goal, and work myself towards every day completion. This challenge is very good to help us set a writing pace.

🪄I need a lot of prep time. I take, at least, two years until I am ready to write a story. There are a few steps, a few long steps I need to work on before I can write a book (or any story). There’s no jumping ahead or ignoring some parts of this process. Not if I want it to be valid for my learning purposes.

🪄I can work in more than a project at a time. I have been doing it for a long time now. And if I don’t count the time (a few years) when I got my life turned upside down, I am able to see that these ideas kind of lived in a parallel form inside my head. It’s just the physical effort of putting them in paper that has to be separated from each other. I can work in more than a project at a time, I just have to be more organised.

🪄These 12 years helped me see that I am here for the long haul. There was no way I would get back to writing, after some of the sh** I have been through, if stoping entirely was remotely possible.

🪄It has help me define my writing goals, setting boundaries for my writing time, focus on my writing projects, and create a space through which I share my writing journey online (I share a lot in Instagram and Facebook).

I tried writing novels with NaNoWriMo for 12 years and it taught me to feel less alone in pursuing my writing goals.

What doesn’t work for me?

💭A sustainable rhythm is imperative if we intent to keep writing. This daily quote requires that I spend some hours devoted to writing… and then life gets in the way, and I am unable to do all the other stuff that helps me stay creative. And this isn’t positive for me.

💭I am a slow writer… reader… whatever. I am. If I speed things too much I end up making stupid mistakes and feeling depressed about it. Having to maintain a great window of time to devote to actual writing doesn’t work for me in other phases of the writing projects. So this isn’t a good thing to adopt out of NaNoWriMo month.

I can’t work out anything more as a downside… Maybe just being nagged by people when I’m unable to attend to their stuff in November. Hey! Sorry (not sorry). It’s called priorities.

I don’t intend to stop entering NaNoWriMo, as long as life permits me to, and I do recommend it. 

Have you entered this year’s NaNoWriMo? Can you share your experience with us?

Please leave a comment and subscribe for more content.

Bye and Keep writing! ✍🏼




Using writing challenges to achieve my goals


Why is it easier to do something like NaNoWriMo in order to define my writing goals?

It might seem stupid, or not too professional to use these kinds of challenges to get one motivated to write. But the truth is, we lack structure for this dream we have, and that we want to see accomplished.

And the writing craft isn’t just throwing things on a page. 

Using someone else’s structure for our writing time, which is what these challenges provide us with, help us discover our own way of doing things. And pushes us to show up, every day, for the work we want to see done.

Let’s be honest, if you are anything like me, you’re mostly alone in the pursue of this dream.

Talking from personal experience, I have been doing regular writing efforts for more than fifteen years and the truth is, I can count from the fingers of one hand how many people were truly there, even if just to talk about all of this writing business… Maybe having someone to talk to about writing is the hardest part.

They keep looking at me as if I’m delusional…

And doing stuff all alone is hard, specially if we don’t know what we are doing, and need to find our own bearings first. I had had a messy direction in life, and only started to listen to my heart’s calling not so long ago. And I’m still trying to figure things out.

How to understand our Goals?

To know in our hearts what we want to do, and to put in the work we need to put in, when we don’t know how to do it, and where to turn to, and how to shut up all those little inside voices… and not just the inside one’s… It’s confusing.

And this is how I started to search the web looking for knowledge, and buying books that could serve as my mentors, and writing about this journey, and how all of these resources can help others like myself.

Finding my working processes, and defining my goals, are things in constant appreciation.

Hey! I have just started this blog for my english writing output, and I know I had been stalling for years.

I always had the goal of writing in English, but it took me too much time to show up for it. Why? I guess I was young and dumb… and scared shitless.

How can NaNoWriMo help?

First, it helps because it’s a fast drafting mode that doesn’t allow us to spend too much time doubting ourselves.

Second, because the goal is already set for us. We have a daily word count and to succeed at achieving it we have to produce the 1667 daily words. And no way we will able to skip a few days and accumulate. No. We have to show up everyday or it will go the wrong way.

Third, because it involves one of two things:

  • or you have already prepared your materials, you have a plan, a story, characters and scenes, and whatever more you need to plan this story, and you just show up to write it (which has been my case this current year);
  • or you have an idea and want to produce a fast draft for it, allowing it to contain all the usual mistakes that a first draft requires. Kind of like a very long session of brainstorming, where you have to produce 50K in order to be successful.

Everything else, is setting us up to fail.

Having an outward challenge can gives us commitment and serve as an accountability strategy. 

We know we have to schedule our time in order to fit our two, three, four hours of writing. Without that commitment we just keep pushing it forward until our days run out of that space to write.

Not just NaNoWriMo…

A few years ago I came across a challenge called The 100 Day Project. It was a version of a teaching strategy used by Michael Bierut in his Graphic Design classes on the Yale School of Art.

When a student, Bierut challenged himself to draw one image per day, every day, during 100 days, based on a photograph from the New York Times. This was his own particular strategy to show up everyday to his creative work… and just draw.

When he started teaching, he brought that particular strategy to his classes with major success. 


You can read more about this on the article Five Years of 100 Days on the Design Observer.

Then Elle Luna brought this exercise to the web and it got huge.

I have been aware of this challenge for almost six years and had entered it on three of those years.

First, I started testing it for my arts and crafts projects. On my first try, it didn’t go so well and I didn’t manage to do more than a few days of it. Second time around, I still was trying it out for arts and crafts, and this time I managed to do 100 tag adaptations.

On the third go (started on January of 2021) I decided to do a writing challenge. It went beyond the 100 days and I managed to write everyday, one hour a day, based on a quote that served as a writing prompt. 

This got me my first rough draft of my currently work in progress, which I called ‘The Shapeshifters’.

On the following months, it got me working on all the characters, and plot, and subplots, and twists, and turns. Getting to November, I had a rough draft ready for a second draft.

And now I’m working on the third draft, on 2022 NaNoWriMo. I find that these challenges give me structure for my writing efforts.

And now?

In November, I now know I’ll be writing, which means that the months before I am plotting and structuring. Which means that at the beginning of each year I plan to be creating and imagining some new story… if all goes according to plan.

Is it easier?

It is easier to do something like NaNoWriMo, or The 100 Day Project, in order to define my writing goals. We are powered by a sense of community, while doing our work. And even if we stand alone in all of this writing business, we can lean on a well tested strategy to get us working on our goals.

Hope you’re doing well and participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. If so, how’s your project going?

Please leave a comment and subscribe for more content.

Bye and Keep writing! ✍🏼


References ✍🏼

Setting up my NaNo Project and Prepping all the must have’s

nano prep

This week’s post is something a bit strange.

I have been in an all consuming mood regarding ‘The Shapeshifters‘, NaNoWriMo, and a few of other ongoing projects…

Like the upcoming 48 hours read-a-ton (you can know it all on VLook) and register to participate here…

While planning to write a draft during next month’s NaNoWriMo, I figured I should have things better planned out. Yes, I mean it like this. I should have planned the plan! Or maybe I’m just nervous with the whole thing.

It’s my first big English writing project; I’m kind of contemplating the thought of making it a trilogy; and wanting to put this story into paper, after so many years in my head. I guess I am a tad nervous about it!

At the same time, there’s a lot of ideas regarding NaNoWriMo, and things I want to do, before the first day of November arrives.

Things I want to do, in order to feel more at ease with working on this project, uninterruptedly for a month… and then some.

Let’s start by listing some thoughts and try to get my grip on what’s going on.


I want to start by confessing that I think I botched my NaNo projects page. It looks like this… [minus the ‘let’s be buddies!’ part]

nanowrimo projects

I had a Portuguese project, from last year. Then, I created the English project for Camp NaNoWriMo this July. And then I created a new project for upcoming November’s NaNoWriMo.

Maybe I should have created a new goal… but wouldn’t it be Camp NaNo, instead of November’s NaNo? I don’t know!

Question: Do you have some thoughts on the matter?


I have written, and added some scenes, contemplating the major plots, transversal to the three books in the trilogy. [Seeds are evolving here and turning into sprouts.]

Organising these scenes has been my main prep activity for some time. All of my nights for the last three weeks, minus a day, due to a medical appointment.

I wanted it to be easy and perfect, and to be able to fix all the things I had messed up in the Portuguese drafts. Instead it just feels like a big mess.

More of a mess than before because, now I also have my english to contend with.

I am planning for a three act structure more openly now. For this book and the trilogy. [Just got myself into a big, three parted mess, didn’t I?]

While trying to visualize it all I got a bit confused… I am a visual planner, and I need to have some sense to where I am going… even if it’s a three year’s long project. I need to plan!!!


I am planning to make a billboard out of my 3 act structure. There is no way I can see the story just with my cards. Even if I’m using A5 cards! I need to have a sense to where all of these bits and pieces fit in.

[Thank you, Universe! for I am a crafter, and have plenty of supplies, including a children’s roll of paper from IKEA!]

With a huge billboard in toe, I expect it will be a long, crowded November, in all of my writing corners of this small house. 


I am still hesitant in my working hours for this project.

I have been using during/after dinner time to write my scenes, but I don’t know if it’s the best fit for me. I prefer to write in the mornings. Usually I am more tired in the afternoon and in the beginning of the night, and less aware of idiotic writing (not exclusively) decisions.

But if I choose to block two hours, first thing in the morning, I’ll have to get up at 6… again. This means that by 9:30 pm I’ll be praying for rest and not getting any. I have a child. She doesn’t abide to my sleeping needs.

Scheduling two hours on a middle of the day would be complicated. Conflicting activities will always be a given.

And who says I can write 2000 in two hours? Every day? For a month? I write kind of slowly and usually cut too much of the fluffily prose that would serve a word count, but doesn’t make a decent writing product.

I am still mulling over this one… but it probably will affect my blogging consistency, and I’ll just end up writing during small increments of time, all day long.


I wanted to make a reminder for myself… but, this time, put it in front of me.

camp nano
Shouldn’t the reminder be in front of me?!

I thought maybe a banner. Why? You may ask…

To help me focus, and get in mood for this project, and to remind me of my most immediate goal, and to just feel some support of the objects-displayed variety.

At the same time, I hope it would serve as a reminder for other people, in the apartment, to accommodate my November’s writing needs. But that’s just wishful thinking.


Deciding on my writing spot.

I now have four possibilities… five, if I count the living room couch. I’ll be alternating between them, I guess.

These are: 1. The kitchen table. 2. My desk in my(shared) office. 3. My bedroom desk. 4. My child’s desk, in her bedroom.

Choosing a spot to write will be intimately connected with the day of the week, and at what time I’ll be working on this project. But I have choices and this is kind of a novelty for me. 

I have written entire books on my couch. I have revised books from my bed. I have layered story cards on the spare bedroom floor (before my child’s arrival).

And there were times I didn’t had a proper desk to write on, nor one suitable office chair to sit comfortably. Proofs are pains all over my back and legs. But, even though it wasn’t healthy, I still miss sitting cross legged, writing on my lap.


Now I have this list, and my thoughts a bit more organised. I have been taking notes, parallel to writing this article, because putting stuff into paper, even if virtual paper, always helps me make sense of my to-do’s.

Have you been planning for NaNoWriMo? Are you planning to write a novel soon? How is your prepping activities going?

Please leave a comment and subscribe for more content.

Bye and Keep writing! ✍🏼

Writing Scenes in Preparation for NaNo

writing scenes

This is the month before NaNoWriMo. As some people call it it’s Prep October… and I am starting to feel the pressure. 

I have been working on a manuscript, for a couple of years now, and in this year’s Camp Nano I saw myself setting its first two drafts in a limbo on uncertainty (more than usual) and started to test writing an english version instead.

I can tell you, it has been a wild emotional ride.

But first, some backstory. I’m writing a novel named ‘The Shapeshifters’ since 2021. You can read more about it the article: Drafts, writing plans and mind the gap

I have been imagining, and reimagining, and trying to create a story that has been with me for a long time. Mainly because I choose some difficult themes to work with… but this is personal, and it’s not for full disclosure at this point.

I was so happy when, in the beginning of 2021, I was able to put pen into paper and craft the major parts of this story.

Then I started working on a second draft, adding to the story, and getting my sub-plots aligned. Second draft completed and then…

I started writing the third draft in English.

It just came out that way!

This change gave me a pretty good amount of difficult feelings. I was supposed to continue this project, as planned, just trying to get it written in Portuguese, and polished to the best of my abilities.

But there I was… writing a new first scene, in another language.

It’s not that I want to translate what I have written. No, I want to write it anew, as if the first two drafts were totally exploratory.

And this added to the complexity of the writing process.

Very well, then!

What now?

One of my main goals/tasks for this Autumn was to finish my third-or-first draft of ‘The Shapeshifters’. Third draft because it’s the third time I’m rewriting this story. Or-First because it suddenly got rewritten in English.

It was reiterated in July’s Camp NaNo but I am still struggling with it.

As I wrote before… 

I need to go back to the drawing board and write a new plan for this story. There are some changes, that I want to make, regarding characters and story line. I’ve noticed that I designed a lot of backstory but failed to put it to good use. 

Characters backstory, connections and past traumas are important and need to be carefully embedded in the story. How could I write a story with 79341 words and not put enough density is beyond me.

I’m always careful about not overdoing on what might be considered the boring stuff, an excess of whatever isn’t required. But it seems I trimmed it too much, leaving out even the important story details.

As much as I see the need for all of this, the overthinking about the details, the decision making process, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the subject. I needed to get my real bearings and find a way to get back to ‘The Shapeshifters’.

And the Muse has to find me working, so…

Five days ago, in a fit of “I am really fed up with all of these thoughts that lead to nowhere, and mind as well stick with the program!

I took a seat in the most improbable place of my apartment, (not the toilet, it must be the only place where I don’t find myself inspired to write) at the kitchen table. Accompanied by somme draft papers (basically A4 sheets, half used my my daughter’s scribbles, cut in A5 format) and a pen, and started chipping away at the work of putting all the scenes I had in those.

Oh, and it was after dinner, a writing schedule I usually don’t think very well of, since I’m more of an early bird, than a night owl.

It took me 4 blocks of about two hours to finish that work.

Looking ahead

Now, I’m on a crossroads… again. I need to have a visual of the whole project and need to make a better effort.

So on the fifth day I went back to the drawing table and started rereading and adding and adjusting. 

I do not know how this will turn out. I know I’m prepping this project to be properly written during this year’s NaNoWriMo, next month.

But let’s see how all of this goes.

So this is the situation at this point… and you? Are you doing the NaNo challenge? How’s your writing process going?

Please leave a comment and subscribe for more content.

Bye and Keep writing! ✍🏼

October’s Plans and Writing Goals


I was rereading the blog post of September’s kick-off, reliving a bit of the post-summer-vacations feelings, and figuring out if I had sticked to my plans.

I did eased myself back into writing, but not to all of my writing projects. Now I feel it’s time to prioritise my fiction writing.

But, first let’s look at September.

September’s Writing Efforts

I’ve started September with a dread. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with ‘The Shapeshifters’ project.

Why? I have two drafts in Portuguese and, suddenly, as I’m starting a third draft, I caught myself writing a new opening scene in English. Was it wise? I don’t think so. But it felt natural, so I went with it.

Sometimes I feel I keep putting stones in my way, just to see if I can destroy or go around them. But there I was, attempting to write my first full fiction book in English.

Quick reminder that I am Portuguese and even though I have been learning English since I was a kid, and have taught English to adults, and write quite a bit in this other language, I wasn’t prepared to make a full change to this project.

But I did. And here we are: a bit overwhelmed with the process…

September also brought me a few difficult days. I suffer from migraines since I was a teenager and they are back with vengeance. To make things worse, now my daughter has them too. She’s still a child, fresh out of pre-school… I am still torn apart with this. Talking about family painful inheritances!

September’s Goals

1. Get back to writing

I did. With happiness even if not effortlessly.

2. Find a new work rhythm

Also something that I manage to do, after a few different approaches.

3. Jumpstart my creative practices

Writing requires calmness and inspiration. I had to search for both using strategies that I try to keep at hand… like meditation, music, reading, series, walks and other activities.

4. Tending to my blogs

I have been putting in the work to get this done. I have changed the quantity of articles I expected to publish each week. And I feel it’s better to manage my expectations with some reality instead of wishful thinking.

5. Managing my YouTube Channel

Yes, I mentioned it in the article but I purposely left this one out of September’s Goals. I wasn’t feeling at ease with it… but VLook has made a big part of my efforts, and I hope you go and take a look at my videos. I know! I have a lot to learn.

6. Other goals

I have mentioned other goals on September’s post. Goals like Reading and productivity measurements. I failed to set a proper goal to Reading efforts but managed to read 9 books, and got 2 ongoing.

My Goodreads Challenge is looking good. Read 53 books of the 60 I planned to read in 2022(88%).

I found out that I mainly read in three categories: Classics, Chic Lit (I hate this designation) and Non Fiction. I like it!

As for the Book Club I kind of have fallen behind and am a bit unmotivated to keep going. Also, the book list released for next year envolves 12 books that aren’t a priority right now and that require a great investment… in books that won’t serve my bigger purposes.

I am kind of contemplating reverting back to my own book list… or find another Book Club more in sync with my wants and needs.

October’s Goals

They will not differ much from September’s, I guess. I will shift my attention a bit from writing poetry and revising short-stories to constructing “The Shapeshifters”. I have a list of scenes to work on and am, reluctantly, taking it seriously.

But, above all, I have a goal to keep working on my writings. Whatever the form or genre.

Keep writing! ✍🏼

Share with us your goals for October. Please comment in the section below.

Please leave a comment and subscribe for more content.

Bye and see you soon.

How to convince myself to get back to my writing projects?

back to writing

I started September thinking about all the things that I had to include in my To Do’s List (lists)… and I got a tiny bit upset with the activity.

Last week, I mentioned the need to get back with my writing program and how I was getting along with SMART Goals (read all about it here…).

This week, was the moment to deepen the knowledge of my perceivable tasks. So it was time for:

To Do List

I am quite self-conscious about what I put on my To Do List. Mostly because I feel there is a connection between the making of a To Do List and how I manage my feelings, and general willingness, to do those mentioned tasks.

I always feel I refrain from getting too specific on each item because I am afraid I will back out of doing them if I contemplate the general volume of them all. So I simplify and cut them to the most achievable parts.

I have been using these lists for quite some time, and occasionally, I have perceived myself to be quite overwhelmed by them.

When I am in a turning point for starting something, lists usually get too intense. Even if not at the moment I am working on the list itself, but afterwards, when it’s time to walk the talk.

By now, I assure you, I have handled my list issues, and already tackled my Goals Revision, Tasks Update, and have started to include all my ongoing creative projects onto my daily routines. 

But it has been a few hard days because…


And this was a wretched beginning indeed! 

Reminding me of the following quote from (a most beloved) “Pride and Prejudice”:

‘This is a wretched beginning indeed! My sole dependence was on you; and I am sure nobody else will believe me, if you do not. – p.312 of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, Wordsworth Classics Edition

I kept wondering about…

  • I had a list of ongoing writing (and creative) projects.
  • I knew what each one entailed.
  • What tasks should be added in a day’s work.
  • I believed I had diversity enough on my creative endeavours.
  • That my engagement with each project was healthy enough and that I could assure my output flow.
  • They were sufficient in quantity, and different in quality.
  • And were complementary to one another in most cases…

So… why couldn’t I just get on with it?!?!

Figuring some things out

Mulling over all of this, I crossed paths with the definition of procrastination, on Daily Calm (meditation on the app).

Why was I procrastinating? What is a coping mechanism? Which strong emotions? Why couldn’t I just (re)start?!?!

I kept trying to give some answers to these questions and got to the conclusion that the avoidance mode was ON.

I may know what I have to do but… what if it’s worthless? what if it’s not? what if it’s just tolerable (another ‘P&P’ reference – p.17)enough?

What if I go back to them and perceive they are terrible? And I will spend the rest of my days in a poor, sad, alone, and in the verge of a ‘not fit to be seen‘ state? (okay, I’ll give it a rest with the ‘P&P’ quotes)

Worse yet, what if I (somehow) can perform a (nothing short of a) miracle, and write something that may succeed? How will I deal with THAT?!

Or, the most hard of them all, what if I put all the efforts and then, it will never amount to nothing more than okay. Not too bad, not too good, just existing in a kind of perpetual state of nothing special? (UAU! This hurts!)

How to cope with this?

coping mechanisms

We all have our coping mechanisms. Something we think, or do, in order to deal with a cause of stress.

What occurs to me, as best known examples of coping mechanisms, are unhealthy or addictive behaviours. But that’s just me being narrow-minded.

I am sure there are lot’s of healthy coping mechanisms… like walking, exercising, talking to a friend… what else? Add to healthy coping mechanisms in the comment section below, please.

Avoiding a task as a coping mechanism

Can we cope if we avoid? I don’t think so, and yet… it’s just standard operation mode kicking in.

Adding up to my To Do List is a coping mechanism? If I just keep adding but never get to do something, I believe it is.

Delaying the starting point of a project is a coping mechanism? If I never start, it is.

Avoid committing to a plan, schedule, output is a coping mechanism? Ohhh, yes.

As for strong emotions… aka stressors

By delaying restarting my projects, what am I avoiding here? And doesn’t this avoidance mode gives me more strong emotions?

I decided to include this phrase here about stressors:


We are all different and must care for ourselves the best way we can. 

So, what strong emotions? What am I avoiding here? Grief? Shame? Impostor Syndrome? Uncertainty? Fear?

Of what? The outcomes? The efforts? The lost opportunities? The ‘I should be doing something else‘ plague?

Avoiding strong emotions with strong emotions? Substituting the uncertainty of it all, with the certainty of quitting my writing projects? Because strong emotions cannot be avoided, they are interchangeable. Today I worry about THIS and tomorrow about THAT.

Identifying the most important tasks and breaking them down

Can I identify my most important tasks? Can I distinguish among them all, which are those that really matter? And why they are the most important?

And, in the lack of external rewards, am I devoted enough to these projects?

Am I really interested in doing these specific projects? And if so, why?

And this reminded me of the following quote…


Going back to the drawing board, aka my journal, I started to remind myself of the basic of setting smart goals.

And, let me remind you and me both that, Journaling always helps when a troubled mind keeps struggling to sort things out. Writing about our conundrums give us a safe space to think about them and disperse false notions.

I took all my Goals and tested them out.

smart goals

Smart Goals imply that they are:

Specific – what I want exactly to achieve?

Measurable – how do I know I have achieve it?

Achievable – am I genuinely able to achieve it?

Realistic – will this goal be worthwhile?

Timely – when will it be achieved?

A more visual approach to these, which I printed out and sticked right in front of my nose.

smart goals


I kind of concluded that it doesn’t matter to set big, unattainable goals. What I can do is set my goal for each project and keep my wheels turning towards a much bigger dream.

And it was important to remind myself of this, because:

  • I started lists,
  • decided on ongoing projects,
  • defined completion times,
  • content
  • and my commitment to the bigger picture and… 

finally, got myself some writing time in almost all of my projects.

So I just pulled up a google sheet and started typing away at my goals for each on going project and, this time around (yes, I periodically do this exercise) tried to juggle my schedule to fit all the demands that each project ensue.

From writing a fiction book, to manage my three blogs, to creating YouTube content… I am trying to be specific on this, while still feeling like it’s all a big mess.

But if you want to know more about setting smart goals and achieve them, please let me know in the comment section. I’ll be glad to give a more in-depth perspective on this.

Please leave a comment and subscribe for more content.

Bye and see you soon.