Now What—>Writing Goals


You know you’re a WRITER when you can’t leave the house without a notebook.
You know you’re a BLOGGER when you must take a photo to prove it.

I’ve neglected my writing, pushing my dreams and ambitions aside as I dealt with my paralyzing fear of failing and the messiness of my everyday life. So many (imaginary) roadblocks kept going up before me: back to school, conferences, surgeries, illness. I’ll get back to it after . . . it’s after. Now what?

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I will rebuild my optimism muscle. I finished my $hitty first draft TEN months ago, yet I’m still floundering. Because I allow myself to flounder, I don’t hold myself accountable, I give in to my doubts.  As Carleen Brice wrote on Writer Unboxed, “The stronger my optimism muscle gets, the more I write, and the stronger I become as a writer.” Rehab can strengthen even the most weakened parts of us. While my hubby rehabs his knee, I will rehab my optimism. I can do this.

I will still the voices in my head and burst the unsaid speech bubbles hovering over my doubting friends and family. I will banish the “You’re STILL not done?” The “but you don’t have a real job—what do you do all day?” The “if you were any good you would be finished/agented/published/rich and famous already”. 

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“Find what it is you are meant to do and what you are deeply passionate about, and allow that to flow through you. Don’t resist or fight it. You know you are in your sweet spot when whatever you’re doing gives you energy instead of depleting it.”

~Oprah Winfrey

I will hit that sweet spot more frequently. I’m at my best after I’ve completed a scene that flows like a Class VI rapid. The story pulls me along in its current, makes my heart race, my stomach lurch with anticipation, and joyful laughter break free. I spend hours smiling afterwards—hours!—and I laugh, gasp, or shed a tear each time I reread that piece of work. I’ve brought words to life, and I feel blissfully alive. That’s my sweet spot.

I will learn to live more in the moment, but make most of the moments I dedicate to my craft. Far too often I waste time worrying, planning, overcompensating for my doubts instead of appreciating the joys, the LIFE going on around me. I must dive in and play the water, savor the glass of wine, tickle my son until he bursts, LIVE. And when it’s time to work GET IT DONE.

I will organize and find balance between writing, blogging, and social media.  My recent experience at my first blogging conference flooded me with almost too much information, too many ideas. I can’t do it all. I must prioritize, organize, and be efficient. The notion of “be everywhere, do everything” doesn’t work for all of us, especially when we should be buried deep in our writing cave. Set times for social media and blogging (with a timer if necessary).  Block it during writing time. Schedule tweets, blog posts, and Facebook updates.  Write a blog post in an hour, not half a day. Be efficient.

I will make use of every moment. Too often I make excuses: I only have an hour until my son comes home, until dinner, until an appointment—not enough time to immerse myself into my manuscript. Books are written in these stolen moments. Just do it. I will learn to make better use of my early morning and evening time.

 I will make time for creativity and daydreams (as they are the things books are made of) but I will put my fingers to the keyboard and type.

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I will finish my edits and rewrites. I will have my manuscript ready for querying by the New Year. Just over a year ago I wrote my November Manifesto proclaiming I would finish my first draft by the end of the month. I finished ten days later. It’s all about the goals. I will get this shit done.

**Sorry WOE: I totally forgot about my 300 word limit until I went to link up. The first 300 can be JustBeEough’s. The second half is all yours.

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