January Retrospective, February Prospective

2018 is (almost) one month down! Good job everyone, we’ve made it this far.

(Or, I mean, I’ve done my best to muddle through. This has been a month of a lot of ups and downs, though at least nothing on a dramatic or troubling scale.)

And because we’ve hit the end of the month, I’m going to try and use this time to assess how well I’ve been doing with my resolutions thus far, as well as look ahead to what my February plans are. It’s almost like housekeeping, though honestly I have an easier time with this sort than the actual act of trying to keep my home tidy. That’s also something we’re trying to work on as a household, but I’ll get to that.

I’m more of an organizer than a cleaner, so if allowed, I’ll let myself categorize and compartmentalize things to ridiculous degrees. In order to cut down on that for the sake of these posts, I’m sticking to four major categories: personal (my own health and mundane everyday), financial (whether or not I’m keeping to my budget), writing, and my journey to an Etsy shop.

So with that in mind! The January retrospective and February prospective!

Personal

Seattle implemented a sugar tax starting this month, and honestly I’m glad for that. I like soda, but I’m trying really hard to keep off the wagon for that, and make it more of an occasional thing — something that I can have sometimes when I go out with friends, but not to the point of drinking it regularly, like I have been doing. I was getting better for a while, then kind of slipped back into very easily. But with the extra cost now (even if it’s not THAT much) as well as my finance goals, I’ve been getting back on the iced tea horse. And I like it a lot, it just ends up being extra work. But I can overcome! And I have been.

Other than that, my roommates and I have instituted a weekday “productivity time,” where we pick a few necessary daily tasks and spend the time doing that. Everyone does it, so it’s a sort of peer pressure thing. But honestly, I do need that push, so it’s been helpful for me.

Other than that, I’ve mostly focused on trying to get to bed at a reasonable point, so that I don’t drag myself around so much trying to get out of bed in the morning. That one’s still more of a work in progress.

So January has been mostly hits, and in February I will hope to continue on that same path. Not bad, overall!

Financial

Due to various reasons, my income was cut a bit this month — nothing bad, and not anything I can’t handle. My account is fine, and there’s no danger of me overdrawing or anything like that. It does mean that I am technically “over” budget, because I spent more than I earned… but given that this was an off month and I don’t actually foresee there being an issue with my income in following months, I’d say that I’d count this as a success. More than anything, I want to be more mindful of what I’m spending, with less frivolously buying things on a whim. It’s been an adjustment! But I’m in a comfortable position, and I want to be more grateful for that than trying to outlive my means.

February will be more of the same for that! In these first two categories, I’m not pushing terribly hard for dramatic changes. I’m satisfied where they are.

Writing

Oh boy. So, I have continued my habit of writing a short 1000-word story a week, and I actually compiled all of them into a post on this blog. I’m trying to utilize both my tubmlr and this blog more frequently, so my hope is that as 2018 goes on, I will be able to crosspost more, and actually keep up with maintaining posting these shorts here in their fully compiled form. You can find those here!

I also have submitted a new story to my publisher, Less Than Three Press. It’s one I’ve been sitting on since about June last year, one victim among many of my general downswing during that year. It’s a fairytale, naturally, though a bit more literally than before: the story of a girl whose prince is kidnapped on their wedding day, and her challenges versus the fairy that took him. I think it’s a fairly cute story, so fingers crossed that Less Than Three will think so as well!

Also in very exciting news, I have a new story coming out in February! I’ll be talking about that some next week. I’ve mentioned it here before, but we’re sliding in closer to release time and I am super excited.

I’ve also been looking into the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Fuck Them open call from Circlet. That one is… finished, but needs a read over from my usual beta before I send it out. I have until January 31st, so hopefully I’ll get that done in time! …But even if I don’t, I am hoping to tidy it up so I can post it here and to my tumblr. Even if I can’t manage it as a professionally submitted thing, I’d like to share it. I hope that either way, it’ll be a fun read for people!

January-wise, I managed to knock out a little bit of my yearly goals with the submission piece, so that’s pretty exciting! If I can get the Circlet submission done by Wednesday, that’s two out of six done! Which is incredibly promising to me, but even if I don’t get the Circlet piece down, that’s still one done. And I’m proud of that. A+ for myself.

For February, since it’s a shorter month, I’m a bit more at odds. I will obviously be continuing my weekly stories. Less Than Three currently has an open call for nonerotic stories of poly families which I would really like to take a shot at, though that deadline isn’t until the end of April. But if I want to do it and get it betaed and tidied up by then, I really should spend February working on that, outline and writing, so I’ll start working on that once the Circlet deadline passes.

Other than that, I have my finished-but-in-dire-need-of-reread stories to work on. My hope is to make some good progress on the one I’ve started; 10K words of reread at least, though who knows how much rewriting. It’ll be a bit of a crunch, but I do have some confidence that as long as I don’t goof off, I can easily hit that goal.

The Journey to Etsy

In the best news, after hearing about what I wanted to do, my mom offered to buy a camera for me! If I did the research and found a decent one in a reasonable price range. That was one of the things that I was waiting on, since I wanted to take better photos of what I’m making, and not just rely on my camera phone. (Not that it’s a bad camera by far, but I want something a little more professional than just those phone snaps.)

Other than that, I’ve got several bracelets ready to go, and am hoping to finish up a couple more by the end of the month. They’re all easy, but they do take time and concentration to keep up with their particular patterns. It’s been a very soothing way to spend my evenings.

And then yesterday, I spent some time experimenting with making paper flowers. I’ve honestly been very happy with the results, and the preliminary responses have been very positive. I do need to find a way to make these flowers waterproof (given that I live in Seattle — which is not as rainy as advertised, but still pretty damp — this feels like a must), though I’ve got a few ideas for that. That’ll also have to wait until February, though, when my budget refreshes.

To be honest, I’m really excited about all of this. I’m also incredibly nervous — the Etsy market is just as (if not more) competetive than the writing market, and I’m starting from scratch here. I’ve got a whole lot of imposter syndrome going on, but I’m also enjoying myself. So far I’m still determined to power through this, just maybe a little more shyly than usual. In February, I hope to get a couple more bracelets done as well as get my camera, so I can hopefully start an Instagram to share more of my work.

Overall, I feel pretty good about what I’ve gotten to do this month. With luck, February can be more of the same. Good luck myself! And good luck everyone else!

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