Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The journey starts with one step



We're a week into the new year, and some of those resolutions we made on January 1st have already been forgotten or broken. Others are in full swing. For now. The sad fact is that most New Year's resolutions only last the first six to eight weeks. What is it about some resolutions that last? The first thing to do is to call them goals. Whether it's to finally write that book or lose 25 pounds, these are goals. And to achieve those goals, you need a couple of things to make them happen.

Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. I can say that I'm going to write 2 books this year, but without giving myself a deadline with a specific number of words or pages then I'm setting myself up to be disappointed.

Goals also need plans. To write those two books, I'll have to carve out writing time in my schedule. I'll have to actually sit in front of my computer with my fingers on the keyboard. I need to line up critique partners to read my chapters and give me feedback. I can't keep saying I'm going to write a book without actually... gasp ... writing.

Those who achieve goals often have accountability partners. I have a husband who asks how the book is coming. He knows if I haven't been putting in the time writing because he lives with me and knows if I've been using my writing time watching TV instead (though I often try to tell him it's for research LOL). Accountability partners keep you on track and support you when you're struggling. They are someone who checks up on you and encourages you. They can be the kick in the behind you need when you're failing too.

Most of all, reaching your goals means taking that first step. Writing that first word, paragraph, chapter. You won't reach the end if you don't take a risk and put your heart out there.

So what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish this year? As a community, we can help you be accountable. Feel free to post them in the comments.

8 comments:

  1. I see what you mean about making smaller goals than one big one.
    Goal - write my current story in 4 months. Which is what I've averaged in 2012. Then after a brief break, repeat the process.
    Small goal - write 1k a day.
    Small goal - write at work during breaks (I write longhand and then transcribe to computer and edit as I go which is why it takes me 4 months!)

    But to reach those I must meet this goal - somehow get my heroine to talk to me since I'm trying to write her intro scene. Right now she's being a brat and won't let me know how she steps onto to the page or what she's thinking.

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    1. Hi Marci! I've had a heroine like that... maybe if you tell her everyone is replaceable she'll fall in line? lol

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  2. Goals are so important! Thanks for that all important reminder, Syndi... especially when there is so much TV (ahem- research aka The Bachelor) on I like to get things done ahead of time so I trick myself into believing that my deadlines are about two weeks sooner than they really are- kind of that thing some of us gals do when we set our clocks ten minutes ahead of time to make it out the door on schedule... My husband is never quite sure what time it is- lol. But whatever strategies work for each of us, it's important, as you said, to set those goals and stick to them!

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  3. I try to write three pages a day, but alas, this past year the three pages laughed at me before I completed them.

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  4. My schedule when I wrote in my 'previous life' was 10 pages a day, six days a week. I was very serious about being productive and needed little prodding because a signed contract guilted me into keeping my promise.

    Today, my life is considerably different, and six pages a day is all I want to do. I've never had critique partners because I'm a considerable distance from active groups. I do talk to Cathy Gillen Thacker, who writes for American, and Liz Flaherty, whom a few of you know. We encourage each other to keep going, but don't really critique.

    You're right that goals are important. In the process, I have difficulty telling whether what I'm doing is any good or not, so I just keep my head down and keep writing, trying to reach the word count I've set for myself. Seems to work. I always end up with a lengthy revision letter, but that's okay - I have something I can fix.

    CASTLE inspires me! Anyone else love Nathan Fillion?

    Muriel

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  5. My goal is to write 2 books in 2013. I am in the plotting stages of my Heartwarming manuscript. I extensively plot to make the writing easier later.

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  6. Wow,these are great goals! And we can hold each other accountable, checking in to see where we're at in a few days, weeks, etc.

    And as for Nathan Fillion, yummy! I based my hero Rick on him :)

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  7. Tina, I'm so glad you stopped by. I missed you last night at the meeting. How's Pat?
    You'd be perfect for Heartwarming. Send Desperate Homeowners. That's still my favorite.

    And, sigh, I never get to watch TV unless it's Scooby Doo or How to Fix It. The mean in my life have control, that's the remote control.

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