Monday, August 15, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

I may be back in the saddle, but what it really means is that life is back to normal.  I spent ten days dealing with a pulled muscle in my lower back and practically wearing a heating pad 24/7, while revising two proposals that eventually involved some major replotting.  (It happens, folks, to all of us, even the best of us which I am not.)  By Friday I was more or less pain free.  Well, except the pain of plotting and revising and rewriting and...  After all the blood, sweat and tears, both proposals were emailed this morning just after 1:30.

That done, it's time to turn my attention to doing what had to wait while making that deadline.  That involves setting goals.  I'm good at setting goals.  What I'm not good at is reaching those goals.  With that in mind, here are my thoughts on goals--the writing kind.

I'm perfectly aware that the key to reaching goals is to set ones that are doable. If it isn't within your control, find a goal that is.

Big goals are fine, but if you don't have a plan to reach them, you've set yourself up for failure.  Break your large goals down into bite-size pieces.  Is your goal to be published?  Study your craft, read the works of others, discover what your strengths and weakness are so you can use and improve.  Network with other authors, both published and not yet published.  Research the market, who's buying and what they're buying, what agents and publishing houses are a good fit for your work.

And write.  Even if it's half a page a day because your life is full of family, work, responsibilities.  And I'll be the first to admit that I need to take my own advice.

Set a reachable goal as to when you want to have your project finished, and when it is, don't sit on it.  For one thing, markets change.  For another, fear must eventually be faced if you want to succeed.  That means it's time to SUBMIT.  And when you've done that, instead of sitting around, while waiting probably months and months for a response on that book of your heart, start the writing process all over again and create a new book of your heart.

And good luck!  Because luck has a lot to do with it.  Even the most talented are overlooked because the story doesn't fit the market or the publisher has just bought five books with the same general theme.  Don't let it get you down.  Pull up your big girl panties (or your big boy briefs) and keep going.  Your goal--your dream--is still there, ready to be reached if you keep working at it.

Happy Monday, and have a terrific week!

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