Captain’s Quarters and Captain’s Log: August 26, 2015


Hi, guys! Glad you could join me on this week’s edition of “Captain’s Quarters.” This being the first of its kind (as in, regularly-posted-on-Wednesdays-with-a-focus), I just wanted to give a little bit of an introduction as to how these posts will be structured throughout the month—and then we’ll dive into some of the things I’ve learned, failed at, and accomplished this month.

What Captain’s Quarters is All About

Captain's Quarters-Weekly Writing Updates and Focus Sharing from AlyCatAuthor.comThese posts, as a rule, will be much more casual and give some fun insights into my writing life. The first post of every month will feature the things I’m focusing on each month, including music, books, spiritual reading, gadgets, software, food, and writing goals. I’ll invite you, dear reader, to share your own focus in the comments on each post. I love learning about the lives of other authors, and this will be a great way to encourage one another in the writing and spiritual life.

Throughout the month, I’ll post fun things like book and music recommendations and reviews, including those sent to me via email or posted in the comments. I’ll also periodically post updates on any new books coming out and share my experiences with the publishing process (due to start very soon…wink-wink!).

At the end of the month, I’ll give a brief reflection on how my focuses helped me meet my goals—or how I failed at my goals anyway. I’m all about being real with you guys, and I invite you, as you come on board this ship more and more, to be real as well. We’re not going to help each other unless we’re being authentic, and my goal is to use this end-of-the-month to be real with myself and you, dear reader, about the ups and downs of writing life, in all of their agonizing, elating, and often somewhere-in-between hilarity.

The Captain’s Log

The Captain’s Log  will be where you’ll find my end-of-the-month reflections. This being the last Captain’s Quarters post for the month, I’ll share some of those reflections with you now.

Writing Goals

  • Blog: The new schedule for the blog was a big accomplishment for me, though not originally part of my “goals”, per se. I knew I needed to set a consistent schedule and be disciplined with my posts, and though it’s more of a time commitment, I’ve had so much fun over the past week planning and designing my blog to better express its purpose and focus. WIN-so far.
  • Books: My tacit goal was to get as far along with the draft of my work-in-progress, “Kingdom of the New Moon”  as I possibly could. What actually happened was that I wrote “The End” and started re-working the First Act. A big win for me (thanks be to God!), and we’ll see how things continue to progress as changes continue to happen in my writing life. WIN.

Writing Life Goals

  • Lifestyle: Many of you may not know this, but I’m not a full-time writer. Not yet, at least. My goal for this month was to talk to my boss at my current part-time job and see about getting two weeks off for an experiment. This experiment is going to help me see if working from home is a feasible option for me. If it is, that will open up so many new options for my writing schedule and help me be more self-motivated in my work.

I accomplished this goal and now have two weeks in September to put this experiment to action. I’m excited to blog about what I find from this experiment and how it helps or hinders my writing life, as well as what it could mean for my future. WIN.

  • Schedule: This goal was one that was more tacit in nature; I wanted to set aside time each day specifically to work on my WIP without any other obligations or distractions. I found a schedule that works quite well for that, even with my varied part-time schedule at work, and this contributed to my success in my writing goals. However, with the introduction of blog posts multiple times a week, that schedule may have to change (which is okay). I’m not sure if you could call this a win or a fail, but I think with some tweaking and some prayer, I can make everything fit together the way it needs to. WIN/FAIL/BIRTH OF NEW GOAL (Yes, I made up a new category).

Lesson Learned

  • You are not stuck where you are. The only person who can change where you are is you.

Invitation from the Captain

Now it’s your turn. I invite you to share your stories, wins, failures, and lessons learned from the month in the comments below. Remember, we’re on this ship together! Let’s make the writing life as positive and uplifting as possible!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you on the next ship in.


The Captain's Log-Sharing Goals, Triumphs and Failures at


  1. This month, I learned that it’s fine to have goals, but if you pursue your goals and ignore your health, you’ll get absolutely no where.

    Still, I think having posts like these is awesome (and is a perfect fit for the blog link up I suggested :P) because since you put it in words and publish it for the world to see, you’d accomplish them. You know, if you’re up to it you can always host the blog link up. Just lemme know – I’m open to anything.

  2. Haley

    I love how you’ve organized your posts, and that you’re giving us an insiders perspective on your writing life in your captains quarters posts. I also like the idea of sharing our goals publicly to stay accountable.
    I’m working on organizing my writing schedule now too. It is no easy task to find time to write and engage with other writers while working a demanding full-time job, a personal commitment to exercise regularly, a husband and other life stuff. But it must be done! I’m glad we can encourage each other. Good luck with your experiment working from home next month! Let us know how it goes!

    • Aly

      The schedule isn’t even the hard part. It’s sticking to it. haha. You’ve got a LOT on your plate, but it is possible AND important to try to make it work if writing is part of your calling. I know you can do it. 😉 Thanks for the encouragement, and I’ll definitely keep you guys posted. 🙂

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