Monday, January 22, 2007

Goal, the other four-letter word

It's the first month of a new year and like a lot of you I have set myself a goal. Yep, it is only one this year because it is such a big one. And if you read this blog at all you know my one goal for 2007 is to do my best to get a book under contract.

While I sit here and type out this entry I now realize why people don't set goals--it sucks to have this thing hanging over your head that you're accountable for. At my last job in the corporate world we had to list a short-term and long-term goal as part of our annual performance reviews. I always set goals for myself, so it didn't seem that unusual of a request. I mean, how can you know what to work towards if you have no idea where you want to be? Imagine my surprise when my boss told me I was the 1 person on his team of 15 people who actually filled that part out. I have to admit I never understood it back then, but boy I sure do now.

As a writer I have more control over my destiny than I did when I worked for someone else. I can do everything in my power to succeed or I can procrastinate and complain about all the stuff going on in my personal life that is keeping me from writing every day. But having that goal hanging over my head doesn't allow me to piss and moan easily. My goal is out here for you to see; it's posted on my writers forum for over a hundred other people to remind me of; I even went so far as to post it at my Dean's Divas Yahoo Group in the hopes that my Divas will kick my behind into gear when I get lazy.

Yet, here I sit typing this blog entry instead of reading through my NaNo project which I promised myself I would work on this week. I feel the pressure to get that reading done even as I stare at my laptop screen. My goal is nagging me, telling me I won't succeed if I don't stop wasting time. January is almost gone and February is following close behind. And before I know it, the first quarter of 2007 will be over.

I've decided goal really is one of those four-letter words like work--you know it's there and it just won't go away until you give it some attention. So, I guess I am going to stop procrastinating, pick up my manuscript and read it over. I can't stand the nagging and if I don't get moving on it I'll have no butt left from all the kicking I'll be getting.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

When real life gets in the way of your writing

My New Year's Resolution was to do my best to get my book published (or at least under contract) in 2007. As a result, I put together monthly writing goals, which I break down into weekly goals for the current month.

Last week went well. I completed edits to The Sisterhood and scheduled a meeting with the co-author for two Sundays from now. I finished the revisions to an article I am going to submit to Writer2Writer for review and planned on beginning more research for A Shepherd's Journey.

But on Saturday real life began to unravel in annoying kinds of ways--like it sometimes does--and five days into this week the only thing I've accomplished is catching up on critiques on my writer's forum. No research, no writing, nothing of substance. And why? Because when I get so frustrated I want to scream, my muse goes running for the hills. I have no desire to write--not even this blog entry.

I've heard real writers are disciplined enough to sit their butts in their chairs and write every day, no matter what. That's where I want to be. I don't want real life to get in the way of me reaching my goals and finding my dream.

I refuse to give in to these feelings of frustration and anxiety as real life throws me for a loop. So I sat my butt down in my chair today and forced myself to write this entry in the hopes it will be the start of something new. I can learn to write every day, no matter what else is going on in my life. And I am going to prove it...even if it's just to me.

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