Friday, January 11, 2013

Goal Setting is sort of Like New Year's Resolution for me: Easy Come, Easy Go by Roz Denny Fox

Two or three years in a row someone in one of my writing groups handed out blank paper at our January meeting and said we should list our writing goals for the whole year.
My paper always remained blank.  First, I'm just not good at writing on demand.  I say it takes me time to contemplate the position of the sun, moon and stars before the ideas start to flow.
And thinking about what I want to do long term is brain-numbing to me.  Yet I'm never late on a deadline of any kind, and that includes writing my books.  Once I get a project, any project, I sit down and try to figure out how long it will take me to get it done.  I build in extra days for goofing off, for illness, or unexpected visitors, etc.  But if I tried to sort out a schedule in advance of know what the project is would never work for me.  However, I don't like doing anything at the last minute either.
My family will tell you I'm compulsive obsessive.  One time after a move to a new state I decided to take some time off before looking for a job.  By the end of three weeks my kids were begging me to find someplace to interview, because I was color coding everything in my kitchen cabinets.  Which isn't to say I don't envy planners, I do.  I have friends who will tell you in January what general plans they have month-by-month for the entire year.  I can tell you they're definitely more relaxed than I am.  I fall back on saying: "isn't it wonderful that it takes all kinds to make up our lovely, diverse world?"
I had to laugh, because I didn't steal this from Karen, but I'd already typed in this spot: "That's my story and I'm sticking to it."  This being Friday--for all of you who have detailed weekend plans, I hope they all work out beautifully.  As for me, I'll wake up tomorrow morning and see what pops up in my life that urgently needs my undivided attention.  Curling up with a good book sounds really appealing, though.

10 comments:

  1. I envy you, Roz. I am the kind of person who color codes; however, every minute of my life seems to already be slated for doing something besides color coding.

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  2. Thank you Pam for being the kind of person who went in to check on my post and found I hadn't asked it to release at 3:30 like I thought I had. It also doesn't have my name on the post where I thought I put it under the heading. So it looks sort of anonymous. Roz

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  3. Curling up with a good book EVERY day sounds like a wonderful plan to me!

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  4. Roz - you certainly can't fault a good plan - or non-plan. Your career is a testament to that. I wrote for an editor at American who had to have almost every detail spelled out in the synopsis before buying, and that taught me to make sure all t's were crossed and all i's dotted. But I discovered along the way that you can miss some fun twists and turns along the way if everthing is already decided. Of course, that's plotting and not goal-setting, so maybe doesn't apply. But, maybe it does. Stay loose, let the good stuff in.

    I love it. You're the same techno-silly I am.

    Have a great day everybody!

    Muriel

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  5. Roz, I enjoyed your post and you're right--it takes all kinds to make the world go around! I'm a daily planner--make out a writing "to-do" before bed every night sometimes it works, sometimes not but I feel better knowing I have a game plan everyday. Now if I could just figure out how not to feel guilty when I don't accomplish all my goals, I'd be the happiest person in the world :-)

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  6. Marin and Muriel, I read both of your comment posts with interest. In a way detailed plotting is like goal setting for our characters. And guilt is part of the life of every woman I know,writer or non-writer. I wonder if it's part of our DNA. Thanks everyone for checking in. I invited a lot of people, but I think Friday is a day a lot of people have preplanned.

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  7. Waking up to an unplanned day is such a gift, Roz! When I have those opportunities, I treasure them- especially if it's curling up with a good book (or my TiVo episodes from BRAVO network). I love that we both stick to our excuses- which means that they're not excuses, they're logical explanations... right?

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  8. Oh- and just tweeted about this great post!

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  9. Roz, I'm a mixture of planner and non-planner. I have a general idea of how this weekend will go, but there's enough flexibility that if something comes up, we're good to go :)

    I write the same way LOL

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  10. I need a plan... i hate spontaneity.. i hate surprises.. i need things SPELLED OUT... in my knitting class, my teacher knows how my brain is wired (her son is also ADHD)... i need THE BIG PICTURE... I cannot blindly follow a pattern as many can... i ask questions "where is this leading me" and "why" always WHY!! (charlie said he notices my dad asks a lot of questions too... )...

    I LOVE to have goals and details on things to be done.. lists are part of my life.. do i follow them? not always, maybe usually not... But this year, I actually typed up a detailed list... a project list.. One is a full year's worth of goals (for my knitting and crocheting)... then on a separate sheet i started outlining specifics for January.. EVERY month I have to have certain things done (One charity item, one amineko, one scarf, one etc etc) and in between I am to fulfill one of the many goals on the yearly list... I give myself permission to do things as they come.. so that's where my lack of planning comes in, and my therapist told me THIS DOES NOT WORK...

    so in addition to this list (I already have a google task list which I have been using for the past year or two), I added a new google calendar (separate from my regular google calendar) and it details my day to day "todo"... so maybe at 11am I have to exercise for an hour, so that is detailed on the calendar...... however, I give myself person to change things... like today.. I am not feeling well... fighting a cold again... so i am deleting EVERYTHING on the calendar... on these days I do as I feel... I just do not have the energy...

    so... I kind of waver between planning and non-planning.. I don't beat myself up for not getting things done as I had wanted... but I do try to get things that are more important... is cleaning on my priority list? No... for me, my priorities are making sure i get in some "me time"... make sure the kitties are seen to... make sure charlie has food in the frig.. ukulele time is priority... i try to balance my life..

    My goal of writing a novel... not sure that will ever happen... but maybe it will.. but when I am ready to tackle that, I know I will PLAN it...

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