Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Do you set writing goals?

I came home from my first writer's conference inspired to make some changes. Up first, goal setting.

Of the three different workshops I took from agent, Kelly Mortimer, my favorite was a motivational speech about positive thinking and speaking. She's a very engaging presenter.

Kelly shared techniques for overcoming the discouragement writers face on the road to publication. She encouraged us to set goals which we shared with the class.

Setting the goals is the easy part. Next we've got to do something about them.

Here's what Kelly suggests (I'm paraphrasing):

1. See your goals. Write them down and post them somewhere. I've put mine on the bathroom mirror.

2. Say your goals. Kelly suggests saying them seven times, seven times a day, for seven straight days. This is harder to do than it sounds. I've been doing it for three days and I know I've missed a few rounds.

3. Pursue your goals. Kelly's example was to tell yourself you're a fantastic writer then edit your work until it shines and submit it. This is the most important part, in my opinion. We could speak our writing goals eighty times a day but if we never pick up a pen, we won't be any closer to achieving them.

I've condensed her hour long presentation into three small quips- it was definitely more extensive than this. But the point, in my opinion, was to have courage, have faith, and believe in yourself. And it was the right message at the right time for this conference newbie.

Here are my goals:

Short Term:
I will research, plan and plot my second novel by October 31, 2010 so I am ready to knock out a first draft for NaNoWriMo in November.
I am not a one trick pony. I have another novel in me, I know it. Between now and the fall I will firm up my idea and do my background work ahead of time. Hero/Heroine interview sheets, GMC charts, plot board, the whole character and caboodle. One thing my first novel taught me is if I write without prep work, garbage ensues. By planning ahead, I won't have to rework the entire plot in future drafts like I did with the first book.

Long Term:
I will sell a novel to a mid size or large print publisher by the time I'm 40 (July, 2012).
I've wanted to be an author since high school. But my family, my education, and my career all came first, decisions I don't regret. Now I find I'm a middle aged, graying mother of three with one unfulfilled dream left, and three big reasons to pursue it. I want to show my sons you are never too old to chase your dreams. The best way I know to teach that lesson is to live it.

July, 2012 will be just shy of four years since I started writing seriously. It's a realistic goal- definitely not easy, but not impossible either.

So there you go, I've launched my goals into the blogosphere. Keep me accountable friends! Do you have goals, writing related or otherwise? What are they?

Coming Attractions:
Friday edgy inspirational author Shawna K. Williams stops by to chat about her book, No Other.
Wednesday our very first guest blogger, author Amanda Forester, pops in.
And look for my review of The Manual by Sherryle Kiser Jackson next week.



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