October 2020: Reading & Writing Goals

September was a little all over the place, but I’m feeling a bit more focused and grounded in October. I’m excited about the books I get to read, and I approaching my writing goals with a different perspective.

But first!

Fella and I are celebrating our Anniversary today! It’s been four years of Happily Ever After together with my best friend. I’m the luckiest gal in the world.

Awesome Romance Clutch mug can be found at Fugly Barbie on Etsy

Unsolicited Marriage Advice: find someone who enables your hobbies and passion projects. More specifically, find the one who buys you romance clutch mugs.

Now onto some goals!

Reading Goals

After August and September I said I was going to allow myself to be a free range reader. I’m going to follow my mood. Read whatever I’d like in the moment.

Well, it turns out that two of my MUST READ books dropped in the last week. And I’ve been specifically saving a small collection of books for spooky season. AND I signed up for a buddy read that I’ve been loving.

So it looks like I have a reading list for October.

Classic Emily.

Anyway, here’s my October TBR:

Famine by Laura Thalassa

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher

Wolf Gone Wild by Juliette Cross

Don’t Hex and Drive by Juliette Cross

The Knickerbocker Club Series by Joanna Shupe

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert

Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole

The joy and the curse of this reading list is that I want to read all of these books immediately if not sooner, so I’m going to have to pace myself.

In September I was experiencing some drift; where as right now I know exactly what I want and I want all of it NOW. So it’ll be interesting to see where I land at the end of the month.

Writing Reflection for September

My goal for September was to write 1,000 words a day and have 30,000 words at the end of the month. That didn’t happen.

I drafted for the first week, and noted that I easily hit my daily word count goal, which was an encouraging sign. However, I discovered I needed to clarify character goals and motivations in order to make better, more specific choices. I knew this needed to be done because my scenes weren’t scenes, they were exploration. Which isn’t bad, but it means I needed to do more work.

I felt stuck between what I knew I needed for the story, my lofty word count goal, and the commitment I made to an accountability group. I wasted time fussing over this issue instead of making a choice and moving forward. That’s my main regret for the month. But it’s a lesson learned.

I did find my way back to prewriting and it was a fruitful endeavor. I also discovered a valuable resource: Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes. This is a game changing resource and has helped me find some of the clarity and specificity I was searching for. This is a must have resource for any romance writer.

As a wild detour towards the end of the month I had a crazy idea for an additional series of Fantasy Romance Novels. But that’s a story for another time.

We’re keeping our focus!

October Writing Goals

  1. Make a scene list using Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes as a guide. My push goal is to have it done by this weekend. But I have until October 8 as a hard deadline because I will be writing a blog about it.
  2. Write a short “back of book” summary of my novel and post it on the blog on October 15.
  3. Draft at least three scenes by the end of the month, pausing to adjust and tweak as necessary. I will blog my progress and establish more specific goals as I need to while in progress.

Look at those concrete goals that are in no way related to word count! Yess.

Feeling great about October. Tell me about your goals!

4 thoughts on “October 2020: Reading & Writing Goals

  1. I love the graphic you’re using for this. So cute! It sounds like you’ve got a busy month of writing and reading ahead of you. The Haunting of Hill House is on my TBR pile, too, and I’m really hoping I get around to it before the end of the month. It really is the perfect time of year for it. And of course, happy anniversary to you and yours!


      1. Well, it looks great. I wish I had the patience for Canva. I start tinkering with it every few months and never stick with it.

        And this will be my first time reading it! I’ve loved a lot of Shirley Jackson’s other work, but never made it around to reading this for some reason. Is this your first time too?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It takes time finding the tools that work for us. No worries.
        It will be my first time reading and finishing it. I started reading it on vacation a couple of years ago. I was in a big, spooky, bed & breakfast and it was not the correct reading location for a sensitive reader.
        Looking forward to making it through in the comfort of home during sunshine hours.

        Liked by 1 person

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