Response Crafting

The First (Formal) Month Review // I wrote my first novel

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This is my first formal month review.

Now, the idea of a month review seems pretty basic. You think about your month. Many of us do this already… but this month, I tried a different approach. I wanted to measure my actions against my big long-term goals, and I wanted to gage the progress (and the value of that progress) in a more systematic way. I was inspired with the idea by blogger/writer/designer Sarah Kathleen Peck who wrote a blog post on November 1st of this year detailing her own monthly review. “A monthly check-in is a good rhythm to gauge whether or not I’m making significant progress on my larger goals, what I moved forward on, and whether or not I’m happy with the balance in my health, lifestyle, ambitions, physicality and writing dreams.”

She even has a Google doc to share.
And although I chose not to use the document (sorry, Sarah), I did like the idea.
I, too, wrote stuff down.

I am focusing on three “primary” areas (travel, writing and work) and three “secondary” areas (health, relationships and spirituality.) I designed a layout that worked for me (shown, left) and, at month end, I marked down my progress. I allowed myself to focus on one or two areas rather than trying to pursue all of them.

This month, it was writing.

I wrote 130,000 words in November. This started out as my spontaneous participation in nanowrimo, which involves writing 50,000 words in a month… I wrote about love. I wrote what I know about love – a piece that is part true story, part philosophical essay.  I finished in two weeks. And rather than stopping there,  I just kept going,  and ended up witha total 130,000 words in 30 days (this was made up of two “novels” with 50,000 words each, plus about 30,000 words of longhand writing, predominantly done first thing each morning.)

I am calling the first novel, simply, “about love.” Here is a summary of the words I wrote:

infographic: the words of my first nanowrimo novel “about love”

And here is the second novel (with the equally creative name of “a rather cliche story.”)

infographic: the words of my second nanowrimo novel: “a rather cliche story”

So, November was predominantly a month for writing.
December? Looks to be travel…

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