WriteMotivation: Setting Lofty Goals or Setting Yourself Up to Fail?

 

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This is part of a series on WriteMotivation.

If you’re anything like me, you like setting lofty goals. You like having something outrageous to aspire to because when you manage it, you feel all bad-ass, like you’ve not only climbed Everest, but got back down, brought all your trash with you, and maybe saved a stranded climber or twelve on the way.

But when you fail to achieve those goals? Disaster.

Evils thoughts start to creep in, like maybe you’re not serious about writing, like maybe you’ve wasted a lot of time on a stupid hobby, and you don’t even have a ship in a bottle to set on the mantel, like maybe if you smash your laptop into a thousand pieces and cram them all into one of those giant pickle jars, you’ll at least have a conversation piece that doesn’t make people roll their eyes like the print out of your 1000 page novel perched strategically on the coffee table.

Not that you would leave your manuscript just lying around like that…

But back to those lofty goals. They can be tricky things. So, if you want to make progress on your work-in-progress, do you change your goals or change your attitude?

Maybe a little bit of both.

Goals that aren’t achievable when life throws you a little ol’ curveball aren’t good goals, and scaling back a bit is not an admission of failure, it’s just being realistic (hard for fiction writers, I know, but it’s kind of like postponing your Everest expedition until the snowstorm stops because setting out in a blizzard is just stupid). Hanging out in base camp for a bit doesn’t mean you’re not going to make it up the mountain, it just means it’s going to take longer.

As far as attitude goes, until you’re Stephen King, you’re your own number one fan, maybe your only fan, and you can’t afford to beat yourself up just because you haven’t yet made it to the top of the mountain.

So, strap on your oxygen tank, start climbing, and keep your eyes on the summit, but don’t be afraid to take baby steps when you need to. You’ll plant that flag before you know it.

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WriteMotivation: June Wrap Up and Goals for July

June was rough as far as #WriteMotivation went (hell, it was rough as far as just about everything went), and I didn’t plan for disaster when I set my goals for the month. Here’s what I thought I could do:

1)     Write 30,000 words on current W-I-P.

2)     Blog once a week.

3)     Visit every other WriteMotivation blogger at least once.

And here’s what I did:

1)     Wrote 10,000 words on current W-I-P

2)     3 out of 5 blog posts

3)     I even visited some folks twice!

4)     Submitted a manuscript to several publishers

5)     Queried a few agents

Picture me waving a very tiny flag.

Here are my goals for July:

1)     Write at lunch M-F and at least two hours Sat. and Sun.

2)     Blog twice.

3)     Visit every other WriteMotivation blogger at least once and Tweet encouraging things on occasion.

I’m scaling back a bit, as you can see, and I can’t wait to see how my word count progresses with this writing schedule.

Good luck to all the other WriteMotivation folks this month. Here’s to achievable goals!

#WriteMotivation: Why I’m Behind on My Word Count

It’s been an interesting 48 hours, folks.

My husband had his salary scaled back in a rather dramatic and unexpected fashion. Deep breath…not going there…moving on.

That news, quite naturally, sent me into a panic and forced me to work on my resumé rather than my new novel. Grrrrr… another deep breath…

And then in complete freakout mode, I did something else, something crazy and desperate (cuz that’s pretty much who I am), and possibly annoying and whiney as well (don’t say it).

I sent an email to the editorial director who has A Duchess is Always Right. I only sent the manuscript to her at the end of April. Hadn’t thought to bother her about it for months, but couldn’t help myself. I told her I was panicking and why. Honestly, I didn’t think I would hear from her.

But less than 24 hours later, I got a reply. She thinks my manuscript looks intriguing and she’s sending it along to one of her colleagues.

This may not sound like much to you, but to a writer, this is good. Seriously good. It’s not yes, but it’s not no, either. It’s maybe, and maybe is freakin’ awesome.

It may be months before I hear anything else, and when I do, it may be another rejection, but even if it is, I will forever think good thoughts for that editorial director (and her assistant who sent the reply). I mean, yay, she sees some potential there, which is awesome, but the fact that some folks took a few minutes out of their day to give me a little piece of good news at a really scary time is amazing, and I am grateful.

Deep breath…

My resumé is finished. I’ll send it out soon, but for now, I’m off to do what needs to be done; I’m off to work on my novel.

Time to check in with my #WriteMotivation peeps.

I’ve visited everyone’s blog, commented where I could. Yay, me. But I’m falling behind on my word count. I should be at 7,000 words today. I’m about 2,000 short. Yep, those two days of panic cost me. But I’m determined to make it up. 8,000 words by the time I go to bed Sunday.

Deep breath…

I’m Baaaack: Why I Need WriteMotivation

Without it, I tend to wander, tend to slow down, drift, and find other things to do besides write.

I signed up in February, and again in March, and what I got done (what WriteMotivation helped me to do) was amazing. I finished my first novel (after 7 years of trying), learned how to plot and plantz, stuck to a regular blogging schedule, and met some very interesting writers online.

Since then? April was BUSY! I kept up the awesome momentum, submitted my novel to two editors who expressed an interest, and plotted my next novel.

That’s right, plotted. Me, a pantser. This article from Writer Unboxed helped a lot in that regard.

http://writerunboxed.com/2011/06/29/kicking-out-a-fast-first-draft-2/

In May I actually started the first draft. Everything was going great, but then things started to slow down, and suddenly, without realizing it, I wasn’t writing very much.

Guess what? I need to be held accountable in order to get anything done. I do so love a deadline! So, here I am, and these are my goals for the month:

1)   Write 30,000 words on current W-I-P (it’s about Jane, Violet’s sister from A Duchess is Always Right).

2)   Blog once a week.

3)   Visit every other WriteMotivation blogger at least once.

Today I wrote 1,000 words. Only 29,000 more to go. Wish me luck, and good luck to all the other WriteMotivation folks out there.

Nobody Says it Like Georgette Heyer

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I’m on a Georgette Heyer kick these days (Cotillion, Cousin Kate, and now The Grand Sophy). I just ran across this sentence in The Grand Sophy, which I’m pretty sure will end up on my fav books of all time list.

Bear Alley, which led eastward from the Fleet Market, was a narrow and malodorous lane, where filth of every description lay mouldering between the uneven cobbles.

A beautiful sentence about dirt.

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It’s Time for the International Digital Awards Contest!

The International Digital Awards contest opens May 1st!

The IDA is a contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America, but is open to all works of fiction in digital format and print-on-demand, regardless of their romantic content.

Let’s say that again: you don’t have to be a romance writer to enter this contest.

Self-pubbed, indie-pubbed, or traditionally pubbed, so long as your book is only available digital first/print-on-demand, and has an original copyright of 2013/2014, you are eligible.

And now some IDA fun facts:

  • 7 categories, 2 winners per category–1 for novel-length and 1 for shorter length work. That’s 14 winners!
  • Winners receive an engraved paperweight plus 3 REVIEWS plus TWEETS plus FACEBOOK POSTS about their winning title, and who doesn’t need publicity?
  • BONUS FOR ALL ENTRANTS: Each entry (whether or not it places) will be entered in a drawing for a free book trailer.

The deadline for entries is June 15, 2014. We’ll announce winners on or around October 1, 2014.

Questions? Check the Rules and FAQs at http://okrwa.com/contests/international-digital-awards/rules-faqs/

GroggSpot Quote of the Week: Jill Jepson, Write to Done

“All you need is the will to work hard, develop your skill, and keep submitting your work, even when the going is tough.

Do that, and you already have what it takes. The decision is yours.”

After my latest rejection last week, that’s just what I needed to hear. Thanks, Jill!

Here’s the link to that article if you need more.