Does anyone else out there keep a To Do List?

I know I can’t be alone!

Though I will be the first to admit that my lists have gotten inherently smaller since … COVID. I just can’t bring myself to make a big list of the things I want to do for myself, my author-ship, my work, just to have it fall to the side and never get looked at, never mind completed.

Today, I thought I’d share a few things off of my To Do List with you. They’re mostly writing-related, because I’ve really turned the pressure up to get a few things done by the end of the month. But that’s okay because not only do I truly believe I can do it, but I want to!

1. Romi

First and foremost, I am picking away at the next draft of Romilegal Downtown. My number one reader, Ashley, who has been helping me out since the first drafts of Letters to the Mountain, is expecting to receive the next version for review by the end of the month. I have happily added two more trusted test-readers, who will be seeing my book for the first time.

Talk about nerve-wracking!

Though very exciting.

I wrote about the writing-related doubts I was having last week, and while they still linger in the back of my mind, I am mostly excited for Romi to see some new eyes. I willingly open myself up for criticism, though obviously just to a chosen few for now. There are definitely areas that need a little work and I’ve learned from experience that you really can’t have too many sets of eyes look at things like grammar and the story as a whole. I had seven test-readers and a professional editor review my first book and there were still mistakes!

My goal for completing this version of Romi and sending it out was set for many different reasons. One is that I’d like to start querying my book—that means sending out letters to publishers and agents to see if they’re interested in my book—in the new year, if not sooner. I’m giving the test-readers loads of time to read and review Romi, but the biggest reason why I want to get that off of my plate by the end of the month is …

Floral Notebook, Agenda and Preview of Romilegal Downtown

2. My Next Project

I am preparing to tackle the National Novel Writing Month challenge starting November 1!

That’s right! I’m gearing up to write 50,000 words next month, and I’m planning to do it on an entirely new project. No hints yet, it’s still too fresh. I haven’t even started an outline! Which is why it falls on my current To Do List. I have some very good ideas and I cannot stop thinking about the book since the idea popped into my head, so I know I have it in me to get that writing done next month. But I still want to feel prepared and will feel much better if I can jot my ideas down into at least a loose outline before November 1 hits and writing time is a go!

There are a lot of fun things that come with the start of a new project. Character names, occupations, relationship and world-building. I had a great time doing all that planning for Romi, but I want to get a head-start for my next project before my focus becomes a daily word count goal (of around 1,700 words per day, if you break it down that way).

You can read about my first attempt at NaNoWriMo (ugh, I hate acronyms) here if you weren’t following this time last year.

3. A Website Contribution

I am working on a piece of writing to contribute to a fun website that I’ve talked about here in the past. It’s not a big secret—at least I don’t think it is—but the piece is still being finessed, and I want to keep that and the topic to myself for now. As the days of October slowly dwindle, I really have to kick it into high gear! Not to mention, I have my writer’s group readings and reviews to provide to my fellow writers. There really aren’t enough hours in the day!

This has been a fun little project for me, with a self-imposed “end of the month” deadline, too, because why not. I like deadlines, they help keep me motivated, but I also know that since this one was my idea, there is some flexibility there if something has to give.

4. The Pumpkin Patch

This is the last big item on my current To Do List … and something we do every year, usually well in advance of Halloween.

Well, it turns out that Halloween is next weekend and we haven’t gone yet! Our favourite pumpkin patch—the only one we’ve been to, shh—is limiting the number of people that visit at a time, so we plan to head out to Maple Ridge’s Laity Farm sometime this weekend. Hopefully on this Friday’s pro-D Day.


Kid and Dog Playing in Mossy Forest with Tall Trees

Not listed, weekend adventures with the family, like this one.
Can you spot two of my loves in this picture?

I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed with my To Do List lately, since obviously it includes a lot more than what I’ve included for you here. But the feelings are not taking over in the same way that they have in the past. There is a lot to do and so many things to manage all while making time for writing as much as I can. It’s been tough.

But I’m managing. And I’m really proud of myself.

Things have fallen to the wayside, like trying to manage the kids’ screen time, or cooking dinner every night (we had leftovers twice already this week for dinner, which I consider winning because I didn’t have to cook!). But it’s either getting done, or it’s not. And at the end of the day, we’re all healthy and (relatively) happy.

And I call that a win.

Stay tuned to see how my writing challenge goes, and to find out whether I’m able to accomplish everything on my To Do List above … part of my sharing it was selfish. I want the accountability that comes with sharing what I have on my plate!

Are you a To Do List keeper? Or hater? Tell me all about it below or on my social media pages! I want to hear all about it!

Nerd at heart,


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