Wednesday, March 24, 2010

U.R.A. Writer, M.D. : Time for Your 1st Quarter Checkup!

The clock is ticking ...! Unbelievably, we’re almost one-quarter of the way through 2010. Are you where you planned to be when you optimistically set those goals on January 1? Have you finished those chapters? A synopsis? Entered a contest? Sent off a query letter? Brainstormed your next book? Are you anywhere close to where you wanted to be three months into the new year?
If you’re right on target--congrats! But this post isn’t for you, so you’re free to wander off and do whatever it is people do who’ve pushed it to the limits, crossed the finish line, and are ahead of the game. If you do decide to hang around, though, pop over to the comments section and introduce yourself--and tell us how you did it. I promise everyone will treat you nicely. Maybe a little booing. But no rotten egg throwing.
Now, for the rest of us ... Before we get whiny, beat ourselves up, and toss in the proverbial towel only one quarter into this still-promising new year, let’s step back and take a look at where we wanted to be at this point, how we intended to get there, and what tripped us up. No, I’m not a degreed psychologist, but over the years I’ve read volumes on goal setting and attainment by some of the best in the business. And most of all, I’m slowly but surely learning what works for me and what doesn’t via a good old-fashioned combo: prayer, research, and trial & error.
So keeping in mind that research proves that to be effective a goal must be clear, attainable, and measurable, let’s ask ourselves a few questions.
1) Was my writing goal for this quarter sharp and clear? You can’t hit a fuzzy target or one that’s changing constantly because you haven’t clarified it in your own mind. Maybe you’ve even set too many goals and your energy and focus have been diluted. Or perhaps you didn’t establish a regular writing routine and stick with it. As Zig Ziglar says, by clarifying your goals “you move from being a wandering generality to becoming a meaningful specific.”
2) Was my writing goal for this quarter attainable? Or was it too ambitious? Be honest here. Looking back over the past three months, was the goal you set even remotely doable? Positive thinking can pack a powerful punch, but sometimes we set ourselves up for failure with unrealistic expectations. Then we get down and discouraged because we didn’t reach a goal that sane people would have told us was way off the realism charts and into the realm of wishful thinking. Setting unrealistic goals is demotivating and may subconsciously slow us down or cause us to quit making effort at all. Management consultant Brian Tracy says you must be able to believe your goal is attainable in order to achieve it.
3) Was my writing goal for this quarter measurable? Like unattainable goals, unmeasurable ones sabotage us. Successful goal setters know that quantifiable goals for which we can monitor our progress are a driving force that keeps us moving forward.
I once read that the difference between successful people and those who aren’t so successful is that successful people are solution oriented. All of us face challenges, obstacles and even opposition to reaching our goals. Few receive a ticket for a free-sailing ride to the attainment of a dream. So still thinking about your answers to the above questions, let’s dig a bit deeper and talk possible solutions. Bible teacher Joyce Meyer says “You can be pitiful or you can be powerful. Your choice.”
1) Are my goals God’s goals? Once you and God together have established your goals, present yourself and your goals to him on a regular basis. Be flexible as he molds and modifies them (and you!) as time goes on. Ask for and expect his guidance, his wisdom, his encouragement and support. Thank Him for it.
2) What’s my self-talk sound like? We mentally chatter to ourselves constantly. What are you feeding into yourself twenty-four hours a day? Could it be: “I’ll never be published.” “I’m not a fast writer--I’ll never get this book done.” “I can’t plot my way out of a paper bag.” “My dialogue stinks.” “My ideas are no good.” “Nobody will like this.” “I’m scared ...” “No way will I ever--” “I’m just fooling myself.” “I can’t--” I can’t--” I can’t--”
Don’t let fear and doubt overwhelm you. Prayerfully begin to reprogram your mind. This won’t happen overnight, but start today. Talk back to those negative voices. “With God’s help I can do this.” “More than anything I want God’s will for my life, and if it’s his will that I be published, nothing can stop me--except me.” “God gave me a talent and a dream, and I will be faithful to it.” Pray that you’ll immediately recognize the old negative self-talk when it whispers in your ear, then don’t indulge in it. Slam shut the mental door. Stomp your foot and say “STOP” if that’s what it takes. Then refill your mind with truth, not lies.
3) Did I do my homework? Sometimes our goals aren’t met because we’re lacking certain knowledge or skills. We slow down or even come to a screeching halt because we haven’t yet grasped some basics of crafting a story. Things like point of view; episodic writing; premise; plotting; dialogue; scene and sequel; or maybe goal, motivation and conflict. But guess what? You can LEARN these things and add them to your repertoire. Check out the Seeker archives, on-line classes, or recommended books on an area in which you wish to improve.
4) Did I take the time to write down my clear, attainable, measurable goals and regularly review them? Goal gurus know that writing--and rewriting--your goals, thinking about them in a positive, solution-oriented manner on a regular basis, is a primary key to achievement. Research shows it highly increases the likelihood of goal attainment. And bringing your goals to God daily for his input and direction honors both Him and the dream he’s given you. So write down your goals. Post them at your computer, on your bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of your car. Review them. Pray about them.
5) Did I set too many goals? This can be a form of vagueness that leads to procrastination because you’re overwhelmed. Too many targets and not enough time and energy to hit them all, so you’re mentally scattered, unfocused, unproductive, stressed. Review your goals again. Which one is your immediate priority? Which one, when achieved, will be the most likely to open the door to achieving the next?
6) Did I create a checklist of deadlines and bite-sized mini-goals that I can achieve on a daily or weekly basis? A short-term goal is the fuel that keeps you moving toward the BIG goal. Instead of thinking “I’ve got to write a book,” tell yourself “Today I’ll write a paragraph, a page, X number of words.” It may sound noble to say “I’ll write a chapter every day,” but is that feasible? It may be an entirely viable plan for some, but is it a reachable goal for you? Will it stress you out, cause you to neglect other responsibilities or commitments, or make you feel like a failure when day after day you can’t hit that target? Set a goal that is within reach, one that having successfully been met will energize you to return to your writing the next day with anticipation. This builds a pattern of success. Do TODAY something that will bring you even one step closer to your biggie goal.
Monitor your progress. (I keep a spreadsheet with a daily word count--then record the reason if I don’t achieve my goal for a given day.) When you’ve consistently and successfully met that goal for a reasonable length of time THEN--if you want to--bump up your word count a notch. See if you can write a few more words today than you did yesterday. If it doesn’t work, don’t call yourself demeaning names and crawl off into a closet for a pity party. Merely return to what is achievable for you and be faithful to it.
7) Did I take the time to consider the obstacles and challenges I’d be facing when I established this goal? Did I build “margin” into my projected timetable to accommodate them? Did I have a back-up plan? I’ve often heard it said that failing to plan is planning to fail. There are only so many hours in a day. Life happens. We can’t see into the future. But we can do some “risk management.” We can anticipate likelihoods and possibilities that may throw up road blocks to achieving our goals and take steps to head them off at the pass before they become an in-your-face reality. Without dwelling on the negative, take a few minutes to evaluate the things you hadn’t prepared for this quarter and possibly could have with a little foresight.
I’m currently researching a not-too-expensive back-up “mini” computer because my computer fell on its face in a major way TWICE during the writing of my most recent book (SECOND CHANCE COURTSHIP – Steeple Hill Love Inspired – February 2011!). Any "mini" recommendations?
8) Did I reward myself for meeting a goal? I don't do this as often as I should, but I think it’s healthy. It doesn’t have to cost money to celebrate a milestone. Maybe when you’ve finished that chapter you’ve struggled with for so long you could take fifteen minutes to relax with a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Take a walk around the block. Spend a little time in the garden. Read a magazine article that has nothing to do with writing. Play with the kids. Chat with your spouse without thinking about that next plotline or bit of dialogue.
It also never hurts to look forward to commemorating the biggie goals. Sort of a dangling carrot. Maybe finishing a book calls for taking the family to dinner or the amusement park. A romantic weekend at a B&B with your spouse. Or maybe even a special treat just for yourself. (I saved pennies, dimes & nickels for years--then when I finished my first book and entered it in the Golden Heart, I rewarded myself with a Navajo-made silver & turquoise ring. It’s a daily reminder that God brought me through a devastating illness to reach a long-dreamed-of goal.)
9) Did I compare my accomplishments--or lack thereof--to others? Did I allow other people’s achievements to be the yardstick of measuring my own success and sense of self-worth? Okay, let’s be honest. Here we all are in Seekerville, Seekers and Seeker Friends alike, in various stages of the writing journey. A bunch of amazingly talented people coming together to support one another on what could otherwise be a very long and lonely expedition.
But as members of this community we hear our friends celebrating the completion of a book, winning a major contest, making a sale. (Maybe making THREE sales in one year--Ruthy!!) It’s easy to become dissatisfied with our own “puny” accomplishments. Maybe we managed to write a full page today. Or a whole chapter this week. Or met a contest deadline in spite of overtime at the day job, sick kids, a runaway dog, and a spouse away on a business trip. But in comparison to someone’s chapter a day or three contest wins, the glow of our own achievements dims. Even the thrill of selling “only” one book can become a disappointment that takes away the sparkle of a long-anticipated triumph if we look around at what others are doing.
It’s important that we not compare our accomplishments and thus devalue where God has placed us on our writing journey. Don’t belittle yourself and your own achievements, no matter how “small” in comparison they may seem. Don’t despise the steps you’re taking to reach your goal. Give it to God, cheer for your friends, and celebrate your own successes.
Although there’s only one January 1 for 2010, don’t forget that old saying “tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.” So TODAY give your goals a quarterly checkup, then wake up tomorrow knowing you can start fresh. Renew your commitment. Three-quarters of the year still await!!
So how’d YOU do this quarter? What are your plans for the next three months? Share your thoughts with us today and, if you also wish to enter the drawing for a copy of Camenson & Cook’s Writer’s Digest book “Give ‘em What They Want: The Right Way to Pitch Your Novel to Editors & Agents,” leave your email address, too. (Use “at” and “dot” so auto-phishers can’t easily pick it up.)
Always remember: Writers write.
An ACFW "Genesis" and RWA Faith, Hope & Love "Touched by Love" award winner, GLYNNA KAYE'S 2009 Steeple Hill Love Inspired DREAMING OF HOME will be followed by another story set in the same Arizona mountain community of Canyon Springs. SECOND CHANCE COURTSHIP releases February 2011!


Keli Gwyn said...

Great post, Glynna, filled with helpful tips. I really like your idea of writing down your daily word count and why you didn't make it, when that's the case. I'm going to start adding the why portion to my record.

I loved your first book and look forward to reading your second.

Debra E Marvin said...

Good morning. Hey Keli!

Coffee's on. I hope I didn't mess up that fancy new hardware you got there. I'm no barista.

I think I did pretty well though I'm no where near where I wanted to be. Rewrites are taking much longer that I expected and it's not like I'm not giving them as many hours a day as I can. I didn't count on it being 'like pulling teeth' (Cliche' alert!) and I hadn't planned on taking a month off for contest fever.

Glynna, thanks for the prod now. Better than waiting till year end!

Lisa Jordan said...

Wonderful post, Glynna!! Great suggestions to help writers stay on track with their goals.

Last year at ACFW, Debbie Macomber encouraged us to write down 5 achievable writing goals, and then pray over them.

This year, I've achieved two of those goals with God's help--I finished my manuscript, sent it to the agent who requested the full at the conference, and then received an offer from her a week later!!!

She plans to submit my novel to the editor who requested the same full at the conference. My next goal is to get busy on the next book, making it better than the first.

Janet Dean said...

Glynna, great post!!! You've given writers everything we need to evaluate our progress and keep us in the game. I'm printing this off and plan to use your questions three months from now to help me take stock of where I am compared to where I want to be. I'm close to attaining my word count goal for the end of March. Will have to stretch a bit to make it but it's doable.

I especially appreciate your reminder not to compare our success or lack of it to other writers. Nothing can be more discouraging. Or rob us of joy.

I brought eggs benedict this morning. Crunchy muffins, Canadian bacon with dippy eggs and fabulous hollandaise sauce. Dig in!


Patty said...

Great post, Glynna!

Yesterday, I sent my finished manuscript to my agent! So today, I'm celebrating a little bit by spending the day with my mom.

One thing I found that has helped me is to set a schedule to write. My husband once told me that if you do something for 21 days straight, it becomes a habit. So every day since October, I pack up my stuff and head to the library for my four hours of writing.

This new 'habit' has helped in other ways too. My family finally gets that mom wants to write and took over household chores to free up time for me to write.

So today, I've feeling very blessing!

Rose said...

Good Morning, Glynna!

I'm a very goal orientated writer. I really believe it helps forward movement and keeps a writer focused.

So with that said, I am on track. My biggest goal accomplishment is quering an agent and having her request the full. Now, I know that doesn't mean representation but it is forward movement!

Today's post is a great reminder.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Keli! So glad you enjoyed "Dreaming of Home!"

My "word count tracker" spreadsheet has 4 columns. The first is for the date, the second is for the day's word count, the third is for an auto-calculated total count, and the fourth is for comments. I mark Saturdays & Sundays in the comments column -- to explain why I wrote so much more on one day versus the next! (Don't often write on Sundays.) And it also explains when it APPEARS I didn't gain any word count at all on a day or even went "in the hole" due to the fact I deleted an entire scene that day even though my actual word count was good. It also marks the infamous days when the computer guru carted my computer off for a week (TWICE), when I was gone to ACFW or out-of-town appts or business travel, etc. Keeping track of it helps me look back and see where I lost writing time/word count and WHY so I can say "I'll do better next round" or "there was nothing I could have done about that."

Glynna Kaye said...

Oh, and I apologize for such a L-O-N-G post. I'm doing revisions now on my second book and ran out of time to keep messing with the blog post! So no nice trim, tighten & polish work! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi Debra! I totally understand the "taking longer than I thought" thing. I'm learning, now that my scheduled is even more structured than ever before to make time for all that writing for publication requires, that EVERYTHING takes longer than I thought it would! I'm notorious for being too ambitious on my daily "To Do List" so am learning to build in some "margin" around the "to do's" to allow for that to keep from dicouraging myself.

Glynna Kaye said...

Congrats on meeting those written-down and prayed-for goals, Lisa! That's great on finishing the manuscript AND finding an agent! Sounds like you're well on your way to meeting somthe others on your Debbie Macomber ACFW goal list!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Great post Glynna and one I am in so need of. I'm afraid I'm in the "not yet" category of my goals.

I do have goals. smile but love the spreadsheet idea to track my progress and see what the glitches are.

You might want to consider a laptop computer to give you flexibility to go somewhere else to work--like your back yard, the porch, the park, the library. Somewhere to perk up the routine. And it wouldn't take as much space.

Patty, good for you. Great idea and its like going off to work. So you keep that time sacred. And the visual move does help your family and friends to understand you really are working.

Janet, the Canadian bacon is yummy. I brought some sprouted wheat bread that makes the best crunchy toast and blue agave to dribble on it.

Glynna Kaye said...

Mornin' Janet! I try at least twice a year to do a major evaluation of where I've been and what I've accomplished and what I need to do to get back on track. I do lots of "mini" evaluations, too---weekly reviews & planing for the following week. The cool thing is that you can "start fresh" ANY day. You don't have to wait until January 1.

Glynna Kaye said...

Congrats on finishing the book, Patty, and getting to spend time with your Mom. That's a "reward" for both of you!

It sound as if your structured writing habit is paying off -- compartmentalizinng your writing off-site so that when you're at home you're REALLY at home. How wonderful that your family is supporting you in this!

Glynna Kaye said...

Rose -- congratulations for being goal-oriented and getting that agent query out! There are some things we can't control, but we can determine the steps that we'll take to move us closer and closer to it and it sounds like you're moving ahead!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Sandra! Don't be so modest. I happen to know you do have some goals you've met. Submitting a full. Completing another proposal. With all you have on your plate, I'm amazed at all you accomplish!

I don't want the expense of a full-blown laptop, but I've heard some good reports of "minis" -- lightweight & portable and don't have all the bells & whistles of the regular laptops. All I need is a step-up from the Alphasmart so I can actually see a full screen, move stuff around, revise, etc., so I'm chained to my desk. As much as I love the Alphasmart for brainstorming & drafting, I reach a point where I have to abandon it.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, remember me?
I'm runnign around this week and not checking in. Sorry.
Great post, Glynna.

Glynna Kaye said...

It's 9 a.m. East Coat Time and so far I don't think anyone has left their email addy for today's book drawing. Look it up on "Give 'Em What They Want: The Right Way to Pitch Your Novel to Editors & Agents" by Blythe Cameron and Marshall Cook. It's a Writer's Digest book with great chapters on researching agents & editors, writing query letters, synopses and cover letters.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey, Mary! Thanks for popping in while on your publisher visit & book tour! We've missed you. :)

Julie Lessman said...

Boy oh boy, Glynna, I really needed this today, girl because I am a "loose" goal setter, meaning I don't write anything down or record anything either, which I realize from your post (and my writing life) can be fatal to achieving goals.

Unfortunately, I was set up for the fall when I wrote my 2nd book (almost 500 pages) in two months, working part time, so in my head, I know I can do it and thereby set my goals accordingly. WRONG!! The three subsequent books have been MURDER to try and get completed in nine months much lest two. So, realistic goal setting is something I am learning to deal with ... that and writing shorter books. Yeah, like that's gonna ever happen ... can you write a blog on that for us verbose types, please???

Congrats, Lisa, on signing with your agent -- that is AWESOME!!!

AND, Janet ... what the heck are "dippy" eggs????


Julie Lessman said...

Boy oh boy, Glynna, I really needed this today, girl because I am a "loose" goal setter, meaning I don't write anything down or record anything either, which I realize from your post (and my writing life) can be fatal to achieving goals.

Unfortunately, I was set up for the fall when I wrote my 2nd book (almost 500 pages) in two months, working part time, so in my head, I know I can do it and thereby set my goals accordingly. WRONG!! The three subsequent books have been MURDER to try and get completed in nine months much lest two. So, realistic goal setting is something I am learning to deal with ... that and writing shorter books. Yeah, like that's gonna ever happen ... can you write a blog on that for us verbose types, please???

Congrats, Lisa, on signing with your agent -- that is AWESOME!!!

AND, Janet ... what the heck are "dippy" eggs????


Glynna Kaye said...

Julie -- You want someone who just posted this MEGA BLOG to write one on curbing verbose-ness??? Surely you jest!? :)

Missy Tippens said...

What a fantastic post, Glynna!!!

And don't throw rotten fruit, but I'm right on target right now! I have a book due May 1, and I'm about to finish the first draft. Will finish this week. Then I have to go back and layer and layer so it's not just talking heads!! :)

Of course, one other goal is to get more organized on the paper-work end of things so tax time will be easier next year. I've taken one step in that direction. I bought a new container to file and categorize receipts. But I still want to investigate programs for the computer so I can sync with my bank, etc. and print up reports.

Melanie Dickerson said...

I have been shocked at hard it's been to get anything accomplished this year. Stuff just seemed to constantly pop up and steal my time and energy and concentration. I did start a new book, but didn't get very far. I've had trouble figuring it out.

But right now I'm getting tons done, working every possible minute, on the edits for my first pubbed novel. YAY! It's really fun, but hard work too. I only have a few days to finish it.

Speaking of which, I really shouldn't be here! I should be working on it! BYE!

Glynna Kaye said...

Way to go on meeting your finish-the-book goal, Missy! I'm still working on getting-the-paperwork-organized stuff, too. Currently just have a file folder I drop receipts into and a really rough spreadsheet. I like your "printing reports" idea! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Thanks for popping in during the middle of your edits, Melanie! I know it's hard to get started on another book when you're in the middle of revisions, edits, art fact sheets, etc., on another one. Only so many hours in the day and all of those "to do's" take your undivided attention. But you're almost there and we're rooting for you!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Great post, Glynna.

I won't touch most of it. Setting goals is my ocd component, and meeting them is the other ocd component, exactly why I didn't try to write while raising children.


Wonderful ideas for helping people stay on track. Assess where they're going and where they've been.

I'm a big, huge fan of that.


Work harder.

Then work some more.

And eat chocolate. ;)

Pamela Mason said...

These were just the words I needed today. I won't give you the excuses for not meeting my writing goals, but there's still 8 days before the 31st, with 3 contest deadlines on that date. Family & friends don't understand when I try to hide away, so I'll just have to stop answering the phone!
I will say that I am on target on my own 'learning curve'. This site has given me tons of practical lessons. I do have a bad habit of beating myself up, but you're right, it's a waste of time, and a slap in God's face for the talents & dreams He's given me, as well as the resources.
One goal I set for myself this year: being clear in communicating what I want or need. So...
I would like to win the book you're offering: tappitytaptap at gmail dot com.
There, check!
Thanks for the motivation & the kick in the pants! (Okay, it's not an unwanted cliche if it's dialogue, right?)

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Ruthy! I'm all for the "eat chocolate" thing. :) And although you may not FORMALLY set goals, my dear, you are a mega goal setter and goal meeter!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, Pamela! You're right -- beating ourselves up is a waste of time, and I'm trying my best to break myself of that! Good luck on meeting those 3 contest deadlines!

Glynna Kaye said...

Well, I have to step out for awhile and take care of business that pays the bills! Will check in later as I can. :)

Myra Johnson said...

Good morning, Glynna! Wow, you kept me guessing for a while there. When I know it's a Seeker posting, I try to guess the author by voice and content.

Your serious "lecture mode" had me thinking Tina. But then the spreadsheet stuff came up and I thought Pam maybe? But you can usually "hear" the Southern sweetness in her prose.

Anyway, when I finally figured out it was you, I was majorly impressed with your goal-setting ethic. Like Julie, I'm not too good at writing down my goals and checking off the steps each day or week or month.

In fact, several years ago I read a book that said you can divide most people into one of two types: goal setters and problem solvers. I seemed to fall into the problem solver category. Give me an interesting challenge, and I'll chew on it until I figure it out. Probably why I LOVE the revision stage of writing so much.

Super, super post, Glynna-girl! Great advice no matter which side of the goal-setting fence a writer falls on!

Erica Vetsch said...

Such a good post!

I'm okay on some of my goals, nowhere near where I want to be on some others...sigh...some things never change. :)

Pamela Mason said...

On the 'mini' computer...many of my friends have the tiny notebooks & they love them. Fit in their purses, connect to the net...I don't think anybody has a standout on manufacturer.
We had a laptop die its last death. I thought I wanted an AlphaSmart, but I don't like the running script screen. So we bought a new hard drive for the dead laptop to resurrect it for Word, & Excel internet access.
Not small, but just the fact that it's not loaded down with all the programs & apps available seems to make it lighter somehow.
Probably just my imagination.

Dianna Shuford said...

Glynna, you've hit the nail on the head! And you've certainly given me lots to think about. I have many habits I need to work on changing. I have set goals, and though I'm slow in meeting them, I am pushing forward. I keep remembering the Tortoise and the Hare story. Slow and steady wins the race.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Excellent, Glynna! I love GMC.


Vince said...

Hi Glynna:

Great post! It’s like taking a complete workshop in goal setting.

But you know, to be honest, the more I know about goal setting, the less likely I am to do it. It is almost like someone giving you a one-hundred-step set of directions for disarming a bomb. Does that make you feel more comfortable than a one sentence instruction which simply says: “Cut the red wire.”

As good as goals are, they are just tools. They may detail every step of your thousand mile journey, but they won’t .take a single step for you.

At my very first motivation seminar, taken about forty years ago, the speaker said that all motivation techniques can be boilled down to just three words:

You gotta wanna.

I saw Zig Ziglar here in Tulsa years ago and I remember one statement he made that really made an impact:

“The successful person does by habit what the unsuccessful person does not want to do.”

Develop success habits.


Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Oh wow, what a wonderful and timely post!

I did not have "clearly defined" goals for my writing although I do have a list of things I'd LIKE to accomplish.

My main goal this year is to have time to heal and refocus, spend more time with God and find His new plan for my life - With this one I'm doing pretty well - most of the time.

As for my writing list - I DID scratch on item off the list and found out yesterday that the story I finished and submitted is ACCEPTED by White Rose for publication!

This has given me a much needed boost and I'm anxious to start working on another project on the list but I still get overwhelmed at times so need to take things slowly.

Wonderful advice - I'm going to refer back to it regularly as the year expands before me.

God bless you ALL here at Seekerville.


Pepper Basham said...

Thanks for the post, Glynna. I've set goals, but there more yearly goals instead of quarterly. I find that works much better for me and my lifestyle. And I'm on track with those, despite the chaos that makes up ME :-)

One of the things that I have to keep telling myself is 'just write'.

That can take all shapes and forms - and on all sorts of surfaces ;-) and at all times of day/night, and in any emotional state.

But the point is - to write :-)
And eat chocolate, as Ruthy reminded.

It's tough though, isn't it. I can sympathize with Melanie's statement - it's been hard this year.
But - I'm comforted by the fact that...ahem....slow and steady wins the race ;-) I'm terribly slow and minimally steady, but I'm going forward instead of backward :-)

Thanks again for the reminders - I needed that little nudge (or kick) in the writing pants. And encouragement

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Oh and PLEASE enter me in the drawing


Ruth Logan Herne said...


I love you.

Tell your wife.

Zig Ziglar.


Develop good habits, success habits.

In a nutshell.

This is me..... hand raised.... high-fiving you, big guy.

Develop success habits.

Totally in sync with that, Dude.


And I'm sharing chocolate cream and lemon cream pie today. Practice recipes for Easter. Tell me what you think. The lemon cream is blended with whipped cream. So yummy, isn't it????


Glynna Kaye said...

Myra -- it was a test to see how quickly you could figure out who the blogger was. :) But "the southern sweetness of your prose?" Hmmm. I'm half Texan, but Iowa born. Grew up mostly in Missouri and have been in Arizona for 20 years! I'm a goal setter AND a problem solver. I can't solve a problem, though, until I've identified it or I risk spending too much time trying to "solve" something that doesn't need solving to get me where I want to be. Did that make sense? :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Erica -- we'll NEVER be where we want to be on everything. That's life! A constant juggling act. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi Cheryl! thanks for popping in!

Glynna Kaye said...

Vince -- I agree. Goal setting isn't something you do just to do it. It's something to clarify where you're going and make a plan -- like a destination on the map, but then you have to chooes the best route for you personally to take to get there. People can "want it" and never get one step closer to where they want to be if they don't have a clue as how to get there or how to get back on track. Some people can do that subconsciously, but considering how many people in the world talk at great length about dreams, but never take the first step because it's too "big" for them to wrap their head around, learning the step-by-step route of successful goal setting is a big eye opener.

Glynna Kaye said...

Pamela -- I'm wanting something like what you're talking about -- like a "notebook" -- just something to get me away from being chained to a desk and to have an inexpensive back-up in case something goes wrong in the middle of a book again.

Glynna Kaye said...

Diana -- there's a lot of truth to that Tortoise & the Hare story. I think that's why sometimes we hear of overnight success stories--but the person who is that "success" knows it really happened over the long haul of blood, sweat and tears. That they paid their dues behind the scenes.

Glynna Kaye said...

Pamela T! Congratulations on the sale to White Rose!! Isn't it a wonderful feeling??!! When will it come out and what's the title? Tell us a bit about it!

Glynna Kaye said...

Pepper -- Congrats on being on track with your yearly goals! You deserve a BIG box of chocolates!!

Debra E Marvin said...

Email address? okay.
debraemarvin (at)the big yahoo in the sky.
I'm also feeling good vibes about Sandra's proposal (or maybe it's just the fact I'm ready for another first sale party)

Myra Johnson said...

LOL, Glynna, I was talking about the Southern sweetness of PAM's prose that makes her blog posts recognizable!

But YOU are very sweet, too. ;>D

Pepper Basham said...

Thanks Glynna,
and chocolate is ALWAYS a good idea ;-) 'Lots of chocolate' - oh dear, I'm sighing.

Glynna, I had to stick with your rule "ATTAINABLE" ;-) Broad Goals. We'll see where I am come Sept or October

Btw, Ruthy, the pies (I had a taste of each) are DElicious!!

Audra Harders said...

Oh Glynna, I think I've nailed every one of your goal derailers at least a time or two. The thought of setting goals makes me break out in a sweat.

Ack, write things down?

Check them off?

Too much?
Too little?

My poor head hurts from all the mental gymnastics needed to plan ones life.

Of all the points you've touched on, number 7 hits closest to home:

7) Did I take the time to consider the obstacles and challenges I’d be facing when I established this goal? Did I build “margin” into my projected timetable to accommodate them? Did I have a back-up plan?

Often, time slips away from me and I have to cram a task that had weeks to be completed into a time frame of a weekend. Been like this since elementary school. I've had to teach myself that even though time has no physical restrictions, you can't plan a 30 hour day into 24.

I'm learning. It's hard to write down everything I need to do or commit to doing. Funny how it can put time into perspective.

Thanks, G!!

Vince said...

Hi Glynna:

I agree 100% with what you wrote: “People can ‘want it‘ and never get one step closer to where they want to be if they don't have a clue as how to get there or how to get back on track.”

“You gatta wanna”, however, does not simply mean you ‘want it’ or that it is something you dream about doing.

“You gotta wanna” means you want ‘it’ so strongly that you will do what it takes to get it. This includes finding out all the ways that will help you get it until you actually reach your goal. It means not giving up. It means sacrifice. It means denial of pleasures today for the hope of reaching your goal in the future. Of course this includes learning how to set effective goals. It also means taking classes and reading books and doing assignments.

The problem with reducing a philosophy down to just 'three words' is that those words become so embedded with meaning that they don’t make much sense unless you already understand what they mean. Kind of circular.

In short, you still have to know everything else, anyway. "You gatta wanna" is just a faster way of reminding yourself of it -- once you know it. : )


Camy Tang said...

Great post, Glynna! I always forget to evaluate my goals mid year. I think I didn't give myself enough buffer for my goals. I didn't take into account that sometimes you just can't rush brainstorming and if the idea won't come, it won't come, and so I was late in meeting my personal goal for finishing a proposal. I'll need to remember to add in some buffer time!

Tina Pinson said...

Coming in late, but a very timely post Glynna. Can you see me juggling. Feels like I've got chainsaws rotating over my head. And a couple fire sticks.

Did I meet my goals? Thank heavens I didn't really set any humungous ones. I've been editting and trying to finish a story.

Sometimes I feel like if I set too many goals or lofty ones, it scares me enough I most certainly fail. So I try to stick with ease. When a mountain looms the best thing I can do is pray, take my steps one at a time and get there.

I used to be able to sit down and finish a story fairly quickly and easily, but that's not my world anymore. Well not all the time,

Cindy W. said...

Terrific post. Self talk...yeah I hear that voice. It haunts me and usually chases me back behind the door.

Would love to win your book. Thank you for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


A J Hawke said...

Thou speaks the truth!

Loong Sigh,
I'm so behind

Hey, at least I'm still in here swinging at the ball.

A J Hawke

Debby Giusti said...

Great post!! Love the self-talk term.

Julia Cameron, in her book, THE ARTIST'S WAY, writes about the negative voice. If I'm tired or behind schedule or if the weather has been overcast and rainy for too long, that negative voice becomes a chatter box!!! As we all know, changing the negative voice to positive affirmation can be tough.

Today, the sun was shining and my inner voice is saying nice things.

Glynna Kaye said...

Myra -- DUH. Totally misread that. That's what I get for logging on during a 10-minute lunch break. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

audra -- I wonder if we can petition anyone to get 24 hour days changed to 30? :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Ah! I got it, Vince! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Camy -- you're right, story ideas come when they want to and they often do take more time than you anticipated with all that must go into them to create a cohesive whole. An "idea" alone does not a story make.

Glynna Kaye said...

Tina P -- I think we have seasons in our lives. Sometimes things that were at one time relatively easy become like pushing a boulder up hill and at other times things we previously struggled with seem so simple and we wonder why it was so hard before.

Glynna Kaye said...

Cindy W -- just keep talking back to that negative self-talk so you can come out from behind the door!

Glynna Kaye said...

Keep swinging, A.J. Eventually you'll hit it right out of the ballpark!

Glynna Kaye said...

Debby -- thanks for reminding me about "The Artist's Way." I haven't read that in ages and probably should. Yeah, when I'm tired is when that chatter really starts up, too.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

This is so timely. Excellent advise GK.

KC Frantzen said...

We must write goals TOO?

Oh my.

I'm working on finishing the revisions of many, many words for the WIP. :)

Definitely enter me please ksf895 at (or about) citlink dottie net

Congratulations to all of you who are right on track.

Does being prompted by you Seekers to enter a contest count? I didn't know I needed to but y'all sold me on The Sandy so I did. I don't think about it much but it will be fun to receive the feedback.

Also received some feedback on the first "paragraph" and very much appreciate it. Still crafting. Does it ever stop?!!!!

Mary - I've been absent too. I've missed everyone.


Glynna Kaye said...

KC -- congrats on entering a contest! The beauty of being a writer is you can just keep getting better and better and better. I have a little framed quote on at my desk that says "Strive for progress, not for perfection."

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi Tina! Good to see you this evening. And, as you reminded us off-loop a bit ago, tomorrow will be the Golden Heart & RITA calls. Wishing all the Seekers & Friends of Seekerville the very best in those contests!!