Wednesday, November 24, 2010

U.R.A. Writer, M.D.: Time for Your 4TH Quarter Checkup!

The clock is still ticking ...we’re in the fourth quarter of 2010 and already sailing into the holiday season. Then it won’t be long and we’ll find ourselves plopped into 2011!

During the first quarter of this year, we talked about goal setting for the upcoming months. So, as the year winds down, when we can carve out a quiet moment, let’s step back and celebrate what we’ve accomplished, review what we’d have liked to have accomplished, and plan what we need to do to prepare ourselves for the coming year--a fresh start!

To have a more complete understanding of today’s blog, be sure to check out the earlier post for more detail on realistic goal setting.

1) Looking back over the past year, did I set CLEAR writing goals? “I want to write a book” is, for most people, nothing more than fuzzy, wishful thinking.

2) Was my writing goal for this year attainable? Did I set myself up for disappointment because it was too ambitious given the circumstance/situations in my life? Spend a little time reviewing and whittling down the unattainables and replacing them with realistic objectives.

3) Was my writing goal for this year measurable? Or did I sabotage myself by not setting deadlines, not establishing short-term goals that could be celebrated along the way? How might I now be able to break down my big overall goal into manageable, measureable pieces so that I have a regular sense of accomplishment in the future?

1) Were my goals God’s goals? Did I faithfully and expectantly seek God’s input? Do I need to renew my commitment to prayerfully seek his guidance? To thank him for the challenges I’ve overcome and each mini-goal met along the way?

2) What’s my self-talk been like? Cup half full or half empty? This week I heard someone say “We’re designed for success--but program ourselves for failure with our words.” Am I my own worst enemy? How can I make a concerted effort to renew my mind the Biblical way? (Check out Joyce Meyers’ “Power Thoughts” for practical help in this area).

3) Did I do my homework? Did I take concrete steps to increase my knowledge of the writing craft and the publishing industry? Think about what you can do in the coming days--editor and agent research? An on-line class? Reading a book on understanding goal, motivation and conflict? Attending a workshop or conference?

4) Did I regularly review my goals? Did I keep them posted at my desk or on the bathroom mirror where I’d see them daily? If I wrote them down, but have no idea what I did with them, it’s time to rewrite them and commit to prayerfully reviewing them on a regular basis, keeping them at the forefront of my mind.

5) Did I set TOO MANY goals? Did that scatter my efforts as I tried to hit too many targets? Did a feeling of being overwhelmed lead to procrastination? Spend a little time trimming that goal list. Remember, if I accomplish all I’ve put on there, I can always add to it!

6) Did my checklist of deadlines and bite-sized mini-goals help me to meet them on a daily or weekly basis? Remember, a daily/weekly short-term goal is the fuel that keeps me moving toward the BIG goal. It’s important that I monitor my progress so I can see how far I’ve come. It keeps me motivated!

7) Looking back, when setting this year’s goals did I realistically consider the obstacles and challenges I’d be facing in the coming months? Did I build “margin” into my projected timetable to accommodate them? What did I learn this year through these real-life experiences? How can I apply what I’ve learned when setting future goals?

8) Throughout the year did I reward myself for meeting a goal? This is important and all too often neglected. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a big, expensive reward or even a material thing at all. Just a token “special something” to celebrate--an hour at the park with the kids or allowing yourself to sit down and read a good book for an uninterrupted hour. Just some RECOGNITION of the hard-earned accomplishment.

9) Did I compare my accomplishments--or lack thereof--to others? Did I devalue my accomplishments and where God has placed me on the writing journey? I recently read where too often we “compare up”--seeing what others have that we wish we could have, too--but that we too seldom “compare down” and focus on what we’ve been given that others would love to have.

Today, take a little time to reflect on your past year. Share with us what you’ve accomplished, what you’re looking forward to accomplishing next year, and what steps you intend to take to meet your goals in the future. What about this writing year are you THANKFUL for?

If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a copy of my February 2011 release, SECOND CHANCE COURTSHIP, please leave your e-mail addy in the comment section (remembering to use “at” and “dot.”)

May all of you--our friends here in Seekerville--have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!


Glynna Kaye’s Steeple Hill Love Inspired “Dreaming of Home” is a 2010 “Carol Award” and “Maggie Award” finalist, as well as a first place winner of the “Booksellers Best” and “Beacon” awards. Her next books(also set in Canyon Springs, Arizona)are “Second Chance Courtship” releasing February 2011, and “At Home In His Heart” debuting August 2011!


  1. /sets up Mary Poppins' Practically Perfect in Every Way Percolator on one side of the beach and an IV drip station on the other/

    Yesteray was fun =D. Ozarkers unite!

    I didn't make concrete goals and I didn't really meet the vague ones I'd set [finish the MS and query agents mainly] but I've learned SO MUCH and have realized that I needed to do more before it was ready to send out. I think I'm about there now :p. Wish I'd been here earlier this year.

    Oh - and turns out my sister loaned me Petticoat Ranch earlier this summer but wanted it back before I got to it ;). I read it recently and am looking forward to getting my copy of Lassoed in Texas =D.

    I also got A Hope Undaunted today so my holidays will be filled with Julieness! For that she's no longer evil. Once I finish AHU and the next one isn't waiting for me? I could change my mind then ;).

    I'm up to 20120 for NaNo and still hope to pull it out ;). I did a few years ago when my DS now 3 had surgery the day before Thanksgiving [after spending 8 days in the hospital to figure out what was wrong]. I wrote 23K in the last two days that year [with shameless cheating by doing things like uncontracting contractions and the world's longest author's note]. I don't want to be quite that desperate next week but I may be =D.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  2. ...still plugging along here.
    slow and steady wins the race is my plan.

    congratulations Carol and all the NaNoWriMos for diligence! I tip my hat to you all.

    Happy Bake Your Pies Day, today and Eat Too Much Day tomorrow. May the kitchen draw all your loved ones together! Do any two days SMELL better?

  3. Hi Glynna

    OUCH! but thanks (I think)!

    I've NOT written my goals, but I have accomplished much I set out to accomplish this year.

    My WIP is almost done. (If anyone wants to comment on Ch 1 - I'd really appreciate it! Go to, click through to the 2nd page and click on "Read Chapter 1". And you can hear my weird accent - mix of Texan, Tenneseean and Minnesotan) :)

    The website quasi-functional: definitely one of my goals achieved!

    With the help of Seekerville's ladies and many Friends of S, the WIP has come a long, long way.

    My final goal for the year is to complete the rewrite and resubmit to my writing coach by mid-December. Okay Okay December 17.

    Funny you should mention about being realistic with goals - I was too ambitious on several of them and paid the price mentally. Will not do that again.

    Seriously, every time I come up against something, y'all are here for me. Find me forever grateful!!!

    yes please may at maythek9spy dot com

    CarolM - that Mary Poppins quote is FUNNY. Yay on NaNo!

    Debra - you are so correct. YUM! Since my hubby will be working, I'm heading with friends to one of their daughter's house, about 2 hours away. Should be fun! Taking jalapeno dip! YUM

    I started the Lassoed in Texas trilogy last night... That Mary... She takes us from bad to worse to WORSER (!) and it's sure a fun ride.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  4. Oh, you Ozarkers! I want to come see Laura Wilder's home and all o' youse sometime. I'm a BIG FAN!!!

    IV drip coffee: a Thanksgiving pre-emptive strike! Good girl, CAROL!

    Goals... I love goals. Love 'em. They keep me on track, and I always pack a little flexibility in with them because ya' gotta keep it real.

    And then I work ahead of my goals whenever possible, because with a big family, something is always going to come up and mess with your schedule. (I did a post on working ahead of the curve, it's in the archives under my name...)

    Glynna, I love this checklist, I'm printing it out and hanging it alongside my work area because even "Plantsers" need goals. Targets.

    Okay, I'm coming back later with pie. And Cannolis. Be prepared to eat!

  5. Oh, and Carol, I forgot to give you huge hugs and congrats on that word count! Oh my stars, girlfriend, that rocks!

  6. Good morning, Seekerville! Having grown up in Missouri, I enjoyed the Ozark chattin' yesterday. :)

    CAROL M -- I'd say learning a lot during the year is meeting a goal! I know love it when I look back and see where I've absorbed new ideas and strategies and learned how to apply them. And there's nothing much better than a holiday where you can sneak in reading time on a Seeker book! Congratulations on your word count! I don't think I've EVER in my life written 23K in two days!

  7. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraNovember 24, 2010 at 7:31 AM

    I didn't make any goals for this year but I am definitely going to for next year. Thank you for being here and sharing with us!

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

    fantum2004 AT sbcglobal DOT net

  8. MORNIN' DEBRA! Slow & steady is a great strategy--the tortoise and the hare thing is a proven way to reach the finish line!

    KC -- Congrats on the almost having your WIP completed! That's a BIGGIE!

    HEY THERE, RUTHY! I love it when I can work ahead of my goals--found it often pays off. Such as putting together the art fact sheet and gathering images as I work on the proposal. When I sold on proposal in August, they immediately asked for the AFS 'stuff' and it was ready to go with just minor tweaking. I love it when I'm one step ahead!

  9. Fabulous post. I like the way you approach goal setting.

  10. Morning Glynna,

    You always hit me with your posts. I am so goal oriented and it was good to look back and see I actually did accomplish some this year. hooray

    So you're a member of the Ozark bunch. I'm with you Ruthy. I want to be there when they have a party. They're a fun bunch.

    Glynna you're my heroine for real when it comes to goals. You have accomplished so much in spite of a killer day job schedule. Hats off to you girlfriend.

    Whenever I start thinking I can't do this, I say to myself. Glynna does it. Gets me going every time. smile

    Wow 23K in two days. I'm humbled.

    And the smells of thanksgiving. I can hardly wait.
    Have a great one all of you.

  11. Glynna,

    A post after my own heart. I a HUGE proponent of goal setting and keeping in mind that you have to set goals that YOU can control. For example you can't have a goal that says: See two romance novels this year because you really have no control over that.

    I am flexible with my goals and re-adjust them during the course of the year if I need too and this year I did need to! Instead of writing a book that would be first in a (hopefully) series, I'm working on what I hope my publisher will want as a second book in the series I proposed.

    Either way, I will have a book finished.

    Thanks for the good reminders.

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. Congratulations to Carol on her word count! I'm really impressed. I've wanted to do NaNoWriMo for the last several years, but I've been revising for the last two Novembers. I'm not sure I could push through to the end.

    Glynna, I love your list of goals! I stick to my big goals and my small ones when I'm on a deadline, but otherwise I coast along. Time to change!

  13. Sandra -- I totally agree that it's really imporant to look back and see how far we've come. I know I'm the worst culprit at hitting a deadline/goal, checking it off my list, and pouncing on the next thing rather than taking time to reflect and celebrate.

    That's what's so special about Thanksgiving--taking time to look back over the year's blessings received and challenges met. Thanking God, friends, family--and taking a minute to pat ourselves on the back and savor our accomplishments.

  14. ROSE - great point! Flexibility is a must as sometimes goals, by necessity, must be modified. And rather than get frustrated,it's best to acknowledge the necessity, adjust, and move forward again.

  15. GOOD MORNING, CARA! With my limited writing time, I find that setting daily goals is a necessity. And with each book, I learn something new I can apply to the next one. Such as, I need to get that 1st draft done more quickly because I need weeks' more time at the end than I've been allowing to get it cleaned and polished up to my satisfaction. So with each new book, I adjust my timetable goals.

  16. Thanks for the timely reminder, Glynna. I'm a big one for setting a goal and then forgetting it.

    Or overcommitting myself because I think *it's just a little project. I"ll get it done in no time.*

    I think my biggest goal is to remember to write down my goals and post it right by my computer where I can't miss it. Review them every day and make adjustments accordingly rather than feel beat down because I've scooped too much on my plate.

    Great reminders.

    AND great rejoicing when we cross off completions -- one little project at a time!

    Whew, I feel better now. I think I'll grab a Mocha Latte on my way to work and celebrate, LOL!

  17. Guilty. I didn't make enough bite-sized goals to make achieving the long-term goals more realistic.

    However, I am still thankful for two contest finals. I recently sold an article that will appear in RWR next July. I also got a request for my nonfiction manauscript. (Yes sent).

    My goals for the remainder of the year are to try and finish a rewrite on one of my WIPs and put more words into a new project. (Yes, I know. Bite-sized goals.)


  18. And, sadly, I never established my goal of getting up as early as Ruthy does.

  19. Oh-oh, Glynna, I'm afraid my checkup isn't so good ... but I am hopeful for the new year, especially since I am rearmed with all this wonderful advice -- THANK YOU!!

    And, Carol, 23K in two days???? Talk about "evil"!!! Our friendship is officially over, lady, because I refuse to be friends with someone who leaves me in the dust with their writing speed!! Oh, wait ... I'm already in the dust with Mary, Ruthy and Cheryl and 3/4 of the Seekers anyway, so ... never mind!

    And, no, DEBRA ... no two days smell better unless you're talking Christmas cookie baking time ... which no longer exists in the Lessman household ... :)


  20. I made concrete, measurable goals - that I looked at for the second time earlier this month. And I made too many of them (NINE!). I WILL do better for 2011 - even gonna start thinking about them BEFORE 11pm on December 31! And no more than, say, 3.

    And, of COURSE, enter me in the drawing for the book! joanne(at)joannesher(dot)com

  21. Hi,Audra! I know ALL about those little projects that take quadruple the time you'd thought they would. SIGH. I'm home today to try to get some of those items off my checklist, but at times it feels like I'm slogging through waist-deep quicksand.

    HOWEVER, I'm rewarding myself occasionally with a cup of hot cocoa made from a yummy mix a friend brought me from Minnesota--topped with fluffy fat-free whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Looks like a snow sky today, so a great day to cuddle in. :)

  22. Good idea, Glynna! Well, this past year I did my first edits for a real live publisher, did a lot of marketing, and writing ... basically none. I intend to remedy that in the coming year. I did manage to not go insane. I even feel closer to God this year than last year, so I think that makes it a success!!! Woohoo! Who else feels like celebrating!??? I think I will cook a turkey tomorrow and some real Southern dressing to go with it, maybe a chocolate silk pie and some veggies, just so we feel like we're eating healthy, and just talk about what I'm thankful for! Sounds like a plan to me!!!

  23. GOOD MORNING, WALT! Give it up. NOBODY gets up as early as Ruthy. :)

    I'd say 2 contest finals, an upcoming RWA article and a request are BIG reasons to celebrate! Major goals met!

  24. HI JULIE! If you didn't meet all your intended goals, I'd say from everything I know you've taken on this year that it's because those goals got adjusted! You totally amaze me with all the stuff in your life that you juggle (including major promotional efforts) and STILL write books!

  25. GOOD MORNING, JOANNE! NINE!? Wow! That's pretty intimidating. I bet if you whittle those down and set up daily/weekly mini-goals to reach them you'll be amazed at what you'll have accomplished in the coming year.

  26. I did nothing but write those two days [that was 3 years ago] and believe me when I say that much of it was very deleteable [and was later]. Over 2200 words came from uncontracting contractions in the entire WIP and over 1000 was in the author's note alone [which counts for NaNo but not for real life]. The rest was drivel but words on the page which was all I cared about at that point ;). There was a wedding involved and I found every variation on vows I could, combined them into the longest possible wedding ever and then pasted them four times [one for the preacher, one for the groom; one for the preacher, one for the bride]. That part of the wedding was PAGES long [which is better than the no weddings Julie's given me so far but she promises to rectify that so...]

    I am planning on deserting my family on Saturday, sitting in a corner at Panera and not leaving until I've hit 10-15K for the day or 50K total.

    "Learning" wasn't one of my goals, but should have been. Making new friends wasn't either [well it was but not like you gals]. Of course, Julie isn't my friend anymore so I guess I'm down one on the friend list.

    But Ruthy can come visit and I'll go with her to see Laura Ingells Wilder's house. It's not too far and my students get extra credit for going - I probably should go sometime too and I've got some girls who would love it.

    Today at my house is baking day. MIL is making pumpkin pies [if you like them nearly burnt, she's your gal]. All of us are making sugar cookies after the half day of school is over. Sis making two kinds of apple pie [regular, olde recipe from the... 16th? century - from that plagiarized gal who was all over the net a few weeks ago]. She's also making homemade frosted brownies and Gooey Butter Cake.

    All of you can come over and help us eat it all /eyes boggle/. With 16+ lbs of turkey breast, we'll have plenty of dinner to share with you tomorrow too.

    Hit 205xx last night for NaNo. I'm ready for sis/mil to get here though so I'm off to type like the wind for a couple hours.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  27. Hi, Melanie! Congrats on that latest book sale, getting through all the promotion in one piece, and stickin' close to God. As we both know, the latter is the key.

    I have so much to be thankful for in the writing realm, too! My very first book garnered award recognition, I signed with a great agent, finished another book, and signed a two-book contract! A mere two years ago at this time, ALL of this would have truly been "in my dreams."

  28. Uh-oh.

    Slinking back into obsurity now.

  29. CAROL M - I never got to go to the home of Laura Ingals Wilder. The TV program never excited me that much, but I LOVED the books. Had the entire set for a lot of years until I gave them away to a friend who had 2 little girls. Kinda wish I still had them as they are so heartwarming, but it would probably cost a fortune to re-buy at today's prices!

    Love your strategy for a marathon wedding--and uncontracting contractions!!! :)

    And those pies you're describing would go great with Melanie's chocolate silk pie! I'm not making pies this year--instead I picked up decorative glasses at the Dollar Store and am making individual "pumpkin parfaits."

  30. HEY, PAM! Get yourself back here! :) You've hit a lot of your targeted goals this year and don't pretend you haven't!

  31. Glynna -

    I bought the whole set of Little House on the Prairie a few years ago for about $20 - reprints, of course. Looks like Amazon has the boxed set for $30-36 these days. DH liked the TV series much more than me ;).

    Oh - and in all that, I forgot to leave my email for drawingness =D.

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  32. Glynna Kaye, Kaye with an "E"
    My middle name is Kay,
    Your name is like Ann with an "E" in Anne of Green Gables!
    I would love to be Kay with an "E"
    It has more flair!
    Oh, well, I hope this thought makes you smile!
    Please enter me in the giveawaway!
    Many Blessings!

  33. I had an amazing year. On December 23, 2009, my Dream Agent, Rachelle Gardner, offered to represent me, which was one of the best Christmas presents ever.

    And then my feet hit the ground with a resounding thud as reality returned. In February, I learned that I had to ditch 86K of my story and rewrite 75K--a full 3/4. I spent seven months doing that, finishing just before the ACFW conference.

    I met my awesome agent in Indianapolis and learned that she thought the new version of the story was ready to shop. It went out on submission five weeks ago, which was a first for me.

    I was able to attend the RWA conference in Orlando where I met several of the Seekers in person. (Who knew Ruthy was so nice?) And I won a jar of sand from Unpubbed Island, which I have on my writing desk as a reminder to keep on keeping on.

  34. HI, CHARLOTTE! Yes, you made me smile. :) And reminded me of those Anne of Green Gables books---I'd love to read them again. My favorite books of hers, though, were those in her lesser known "Emily of New Moon" series. A little girl who loved to write!

  35. CAROL M -- That's not a bad price for the whole Little House set at all! I may have to check it out--though goodness knows where I'm going to find one more inch to put a book! Shelves and closets were already overflowing--then when you add 14 Seeker pals with multiple books releasing each year it REALLY gets scary! :)

  36. GREETINGS KELI! Uh, Ruthy's NICE? Are you SURE it was Ruthy you met? :)

    You have indeed had an amazing year! Jam-packed in fact! I can't imagine cutting that many words and rewriting 75% of a manuscript! Now THAT'S dedication. I'm so happy you have your dream agent and the book has been submitted. We'll be praying--so be sure to keep us posted!

  37. Walt, send me your phone # off-loop, my friend.

    I will call you each morning for one month to get you started.

    Merry Christmas.


  38. This is me totally bummed that I missed most of the Ozarks party yesterday. :(


    My grandmother lives outside of Miller Mo. Sounds like you're in her neighborhood. My email addy is at the end of this post. Email me. Ozarkers Unite! I like that. :)


    I can't wait to read more of your books, if they're as good as the last one. Also, if you ever do make it to Laura Ingalls Wilder's home, let me know ahead of time. I live about 25 minutes from there, and I'd hate for you to be that close and not get to meet you. That would be a travesty.

    Now to today's topic: Writing Goals. This year, I haven't had any real goals besides "Start writing!!" which I did, in the last two months.

    I'm not even going to discuss NaNoWriMo right now. It's too embarrassing. But congrats to all you who are going so well.

    I think my next year's big goal will be to finish my first draft of my first novel. So many chapters a week or something like that. Also, work on my discipline so that I learn to manage all my Wife/Mom duties and still fit in writing (I think this will include getting up earlier).

    Now that I'm actually calling myself a writer, I figure I should actually write, so I'm not a liar. :)

    I'd love to be in for the book.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  39. I've been really bad at concrete goals -- at least in breaking them down to achievable ones. That would just make it all too real, you know? LOL

    What did I accomplish this year? Um...I guess having the nerve to try for a critque though I had a bit of a nosedive when I won and it took me a couple of days to actually send it!!!! Thank you, Seekerville for patience!

    What do I want to accomplish next year? Um...if I write it down, does that mean I have to do it?! I want to finish my wip...though I hope it will be done by the end of this year. Then I guess I need to make some goals about what to do with it. ack!

    I'm thankful for my writing buddies, my blogging buddies, Seekerville obviously, and the open, kind-hearted willingness of so many inspirational fiction authors to share their knowledge with newbies. And I'm extremely grateful for my first year of reading Christian fiction.

  40. Andrea - Miller's not too far from me. My hubby plays poker in Mt. Vernon about once a month. I'm actually in Republic, just SW of Springfield.

    I guess Mansfield/Wilder House is about an hour from my house. We should drag Ruthy, Julie, and all of the other Ozarks/MO/AR/Midwesty folks out here and make a S/FoS day of it.

    Okay - now I have written about 164 words this morning but have to go run a couple errands before the baking EXTRAVAGANZA begins! [Posting here was my way of procrastinating on the writing bit ;)].

    I'm out for a while... =D

    Captcha - hascru - I has a cru who wants to go to Laura Ingells Wilder's house... ;)

  41. Hi Glynna:

    You gave a very good system for goal setting. I just wish goals were the problem. : (

    Goals are like the horse that you can lead to water but who will not drink. The problem is not knowledge and it never was. The problem is making the horse thirsty. Make the horse thirsty and he will find his own water.


    Goals are like tadpoles.
    They swim all around
    every which way
    inspiring dreams
    with their random play
    so much potential
    with so much to say
    but in the end
    they all

    Have you kissed a prince today?

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  42. I did set goals and God swooped in and changed them for me. LOLOL!

    Of course He knows best and I do not, so I'm glad for his intervention when I want to run ahead...

    And miss what's right in front of me today.

    Great post and wonderful advice on goal-setting, Glynna! I love how you've broken it down to practical steps.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


  43. ANDREA -- To start writing was a great goal, and sounds like you're taking solid steps to meet it.

    If you DO plan to try to get up earlier, start in small increments. Maybe 5-10 minutes earlier for one week, an additional 5-10 minutes the next week, etc., until you reach the time you ideally want to get up -- gradual gives your body an adjustment period.

  44. Hi, slow getting here this morning.
    Goals, huh?

    I think I wrote four books this year. No, three maybe. Hmmmmm

    I know I'm doing a revision right now rather than start something new. An older book I'm hoping to sell. I'm having so much fun with it. And as always when I do it, I just realize i've gotten BETTER. which is so encouraging.

    The book is just loaded with -ly words.
    He said sullenly.
    He replied belligerantly
    She asked shyly.

    enough already.

    so I'm fixing that and with some pleasure because it's fun to know what you're doing, set a better mood.

    Other goals. I signed a new contract that will keep me busy for the next three years.

    I remodeled my bathroom...without fire bombing my house.

    I swore off remodeling, with is so wise of me. (you had to be'd all agree it must never been done again) I could weep from that growth in character.

  45. Hi KAV! Naughty girl--you know that setting a goal without taking steps to achieve it is nothing more than wishful thinking! :)

    But sounds to me like you've taken some solid steps--keep them small and achievable to begin with. Finishing a book is a great overall goal to shoot for, but try setting bite-sized ones like 500 words or a double-spaced page each day so you can get used to to working your writing muscles regularly and can enjoy a sense of achievement all along the journey. I can't sit down each day and say to myself "write a book" -- I have to tell myself "1,000 words" or "500 in the a.m. and 500 in the p.m." And I keep a running wordcount total in an Excel spreadsheet so I can see them add up and know I'm making progress.

  46. As for bite-sized goals, I'm really pretty dependable at the 1000 words a day goal.

    I get sidetracked from it occasionally with revisions, which have to come first and those don't add up to words.

    But I do what needs to be done and plunge right back into new work and new words.

  47. Glynna, Wonderful post on setting goals and checking them twice to see if we writers are naughty or nice. Wait that's my Christmas list. :-) Seriously thanks for the great advice for all of us! A daily word count enables me to turn in my books on time. I may come up short, but with that specific goal I know exactly what I need to do to get back on track.

    Off to make overnight lasagna--an easy entree to pop in the oven after a day of shopping on Black Friday. Yep, my daughters and I head out with lists and coupons and have a blast. Do I hear moans? LOL

    Happy Thanksgiving Seekerville! You're on my list of blessings!

    Hugs, Janet

  48. GOOD MORNING, VINCE!! Good to see you, our philosopher friend!

    Not quite sure I got all that. LOL. But I guess I don't see goals being like tadpoles swimming all around in random play. (I see wishful thinking like that.) Just like in football, an overall goal gives you direction. Each play has a purpose--a mini-goal--to keep you moving, incrementally, yard by yard, closer and closer to where you want to be. If there was no goal post on the field, then I could see all the players down there on the field being like tadpoles. But having been a kid who "raised" tadpoles to frogs, I know that the "tads" who don't keep moving don't always make it to froghood. :)

  49. CHERYL -- I think this past year in your experience has been a prime example of how important it is to cooperate with God in goal setting. You did and I firmly believe you'll see future blessings come from the choices you made.

  50. GOOD MORNING, MARY! (Or maybe it's afternoon where you are by now.) Congrats on all the books you wrote this year!

    That's great that you're having fun revisiting something you'd written earlier and bringing it up to your "now" skill level.

    It's kind of shocking to go back and look at my stuff of a number of years ago and see how far I've come. I just hope I can continue to grow as a writer at a similar pace in the years to come. So much yet to learn!

  51. Hi Janet! So you're one of those brave souls who ventures out on Black Friday? You may laugh, but I've NEVER done that. I steer as far clear of stores as I can that day. Of course, I've never derived much fun from shopping because it seems I can never find what I'm looking for! Sounds like you'll be having a fun day with your daughter!

  52. Mary-- I'm the same way. I do my best to hit 1,000 words a day. Doesn't always happen due to life's uncontrollables, but setting a daily word count keeps me moving in the right direction. Sometimes I'll be at 750 and think I'll call it a day, but then I think "just a little bit farther, you can do it" and push it to 1K. Such a feeling of satisfaction.

  53. Hey Ozark gals! We did have fun and if we do get together for a hoe-down, we'll be sure to invite the Seekers as our special guests!

    And Ruthie, it's actually "yunz" rather than "youse." ;-) At least the part of the country I came from. Of course, an Arkansas pastor's wife taught me to say "ya'll" so now I have the south covered. :D

    Sorry I'm late. Feeling rather poorly, so I took my time getting up. At this point I just pray I feel well enough to cook my pre-made food for my family of six. I had all these illusions of getting the house cleaned up so we could relax together and enjoy the day. Ha!

    My Goals: Yes, I met the main goal of the year - to finish my wip before the end of the year! Woo-hoo! I was beginning to think it would never get done. Especially with the unexpected move and, well, my health. But, God is good!!!

    Special thanks: To all the wonderful friends I've made here at Seekerville! Being separated from my writing family in Kansas City since moving to SC has been lonely. Thanks for stepping in and filling the void! You're all awesome! I pray you have a wonderfully, happy Thanksgiving!

    Count me in, Glynna! lr dot mullin at live dot com



  54. I wanna see Laura's houses too! can we eat at that place that tosses the rolls at you? I know it's not right there super close but it's only 'bout an hour or so away right? I've been twice..before my dad got sick my parents would go to Branson about twice a year - sometimes 3 if they went during Christmas. I used to go with them for a few years til my dogsitter moved! We made 2 trips to Laura's house but both times my dad didn't want to stay what he called 'forever' but my mom and I could have camped out in the gift shop half a day let alone the museum just reading everything and looking and stuff and imagining what it was like.


  55. Hey, Vince! Did you see my post about Japan yesterday?


  56. Susanna, are you an Ozark gal, too?

    Ozarkian, Linnette

  57. Susanna, that's Lambert's. Maybe we can all meet at Lambert's on a certain date every year, then drive to Mansfield.

    Wouldn't that be cool?

    What was that movie where the couple were supposed to meet every year, and when they finally did, they almost missed each other? One of them kept going year after year...waiting...

  58. I lived in Missouri nearly all my life and have eaten at Lambert's a total of one time. Sad, sad, sad!

    Pam, are you a MO gal, too? I would find all these MO writers AFTER I leave the state!


  59. LINETTE - Sorry you're feeling under the weather when you have so much to do. I hope the rest of the family pitch in and help out a bit.

    Wonderful that you finished your WIP -- and amazing when you consider how much goes into getting ready for a move!

  60. Have any of you Ozark gals been a bit farther to the north -- to Arrowrock? I used to live in Henry County in semi-southwest Missouri, but also lived in Boone County (Columbia) and loved to go to historic Arrowrock for their fall festival.

  61. Linette, nope I'm a Texas gal! Bred born and raised in east Texas near Longview/Tyler area but since college I've been in icky Houston. blech! I would love to live in Arkansas or Missouri but I"m almost 44 and only driven on ice/snow once and it was nearly a disaster! I think at heart I'm a cold weather with some mountains/hills in sight kinda gal but here I am in stinky flat Houston. Wouldn't know the first thing about surviving a winter where it's actually cold! I was wimping out last year when we had a weekend of 18 degrees at night!

    I have a cousin who's in Arkansas near Fayetteville I think? NW somewhere.

    Lamberts! yep that's the one! never seen so much food in my life (outside of a buffet that is!)

    this is a lazy day..I'm on book 5 in Cheryl's series and already panicking since I only have 2 more after this one...maybe I should do some quilting/sewing today and spread them out a bit more...


  62. Thanks, Glynna! And as far as the move goes, I had four weeks to find a house 1000 miles from home over the internet, pack everything I wanted to bring down, make the trip down with the four boys (John had to start work a week before we arrived), gather incomplete homeschooling records, move in and enroll the boys in school the day before it started. Not much planning went into it, but it sure wore me out. :D We left all our "extras" in the basement at home and have missionaries living there at present. It's been quite a ride!

    Susanna! The Long Star State! I love Texas. Go San Antonio Spurs!


  63. Susanna and Pam~

    Lamberts is great! I have a friend from college who lives in Illinois and loves to eat at Lambert's when in Missouri. We used to go with them to the one in Ozark. But when they drive down, they eat at the one in Sikeston, all the way on the other side of the state. I'm usually bummed when they do that because then I don't get to go.

    The Wilder Museum is great too. I love all the little notes that tell what it is and what book Laura talks about it. And there is a 3/4 size replica of the wagon that Laura and Almonzo drove to Mansfield from DeSmet, also the writing desk where Laura found the $100 bill she thought she lost. That story is in the book "One the Way Home" I think it's Rose's diary of their move from SD to MO.

    I could go on all day...but I won't.

    I anyone is ever in the area, and you want to go, I'm in the book. Look me up.

  64. Sikeston! Oh, my! It's good to hear familiar places being spoken of. LOL My younger brother went on a little ride with a friend of his to Sikeston from Ellington in the middle of the night. My dad gets this call Sunday morning of all times saying that his son is being held at juvie. Well, I prayed the whole way down there that my dad wouldn't kill my brother. LOL We all laugh about it to this day. His friend had his license and they decided to take my older brother's car (the friend had moved back from there and was missing his buddies).

    They pushed the car down the road before starting it, drove down there and all around Sikeston. They were going to head home and decided to make one more trip through town and that's when the cop pulled them over for NOT HAVING a TAG! Poor brother has never lived it down! :D


  65. LOL, Glynna, with that kick-in-the-pants tone, I was absolutely certain at first that this post was written by Tina!

    When it comes to goals and analyzing how my year has gone so far, I'm guilty on so many levels. I've set hundreds of goals over the years, but I tend to "set 'em and forget 'em."

    Or, as I think Cheryl commented earlier, God comes along with an entirely different agenda!

    Anyway, years ago I took some kind of quiz that determined whether you were a goal setter or a problem solver. I came up problem solver. Not sure exactly what that means, except maybe I'm better at tackling a challenge in the here-and-now than projecting what I hope to accomplish in six months or a year.

    My goal right now is to get my act together so we can spend tomorrow with family. Wishing everyone safe travels and a happy Thanksgiving!

  66. Glynna~

    I've been as far North as KC and St Louis, but not since I was a teen. Don't know Arrowrock, but I have an aunt who lives in Colombia. My personal stomping grounds is from Miller in the West to about West Plains (which, strangely is east/central, not really west at all).

    Susanna~ I also have an aunt in Texas.

  67. Arrowrock...I don't remember if I've been there or not. I've driven I-70 a gazillion times, but Arrowrock is a bit off the beaten path. If I did ever go there, it's been too many years to remember. I lived I Jefferson City for a while. My folks are still in that area.


  68. CarolM~ I know Republic well, used to have family there. Also I drive right past it down James River Freeway to get to grandma's house. Also bought my car there.

    My address is Seymour, but we're farther south than that, about the same distance from Seymour and Ava. We do all our "living" in Ava though.

  69. Andrea and Carol, that is so not fare! You two are close enough to have a party without me. If you do get together, have a latte for me, will you? ;-)


  70. Wow a look into 2011 already.

    This year was very productive and busy and next year seems to be shaping up the same. I better start preparing :)

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

  71. Andrea, all those 'little notes' at the museum are what finally had my dad about to blow a mom and I planned to read every single one! I was still reading a newspaper article when he realized the way things were going down!

    you know in all the books she kept describing Mary as being so beautiful - from the pics I saw she wasn't all that...I mean not that I'm a beauty queen to be saying nothin' but it kinda blew my image!

    gosh between this discussion and childhood books re-read in another place online..I may have to re-read this series though Big Woods and Plum Creek are still may's weird how reading these as a kid their pa was so great but by today's standards he'd probably be considered pretty worthless - dragging his family all over the place, not holding a steady job, stupid enough to build their dream house in indian territory LOL! wish I could read now without being so cynical and reading between the lines! :-)


  72. Great post! :-)


  73. Lamberts! I took my best friend from Phoenix there and she didn't believe me when I told her they throwed rolls at you!

    They have tables big enough for all of us. I'm so there if anyone heads this way!

    A good friend of mine - who inspired my currently completed MS [I wanted to write the sequel - been languishing on my hard drive in bits for years and she was like 'uh, no. write the one before that!'] - lives in Diggins near Seymour. I'm never out that way, but if you're ever in Springfield/Ozark/Nixa/Mt. Vernon/whatever, we should get together and have a bite to eat or something :).

    Okay - we have made:

    *Double batch of sugar cookies - painted with sprinkles
    *2 16th century apple pies [was supposed to be one, but apparently they had bigger pie pans and I happened to have a frozen crust in the freezer]
    *Apple crisp [in the oven]
    *2 Pumpkin pies
    *Black Bottom Chocolate pie [chilling in the fridge, to be topped later]
    *Brownies [homemade from scratch with frosting] to be made later

    Anyone wanna come over and help us eat it? We're having 7 adults and 4 kids [and at least 2 of the adults don't eat much].

    At this point, I'm thinking we skip making a big ole turkey dinner and go straight for dessert...

    And eek! The residential facility/ranch hubby works at is under a tornado warning right now! Polk County - watch out!

  74. Already made the mandarin orange salad, the chocolate silk pie, and the cornbread for the dressing. Woohoo! Yay me!

    Oh yeah, we're supposed to be making goals for next year. Hmmmm... I'd like to finish the book I've already started and write the second book in my Alabama series. Is that okay for goals? I'm not very good at making detailed goals.

  75. My goal for next year is to find an agent, get my book published and finish book 2 in the series.


  76. Linnette, I'm a *MS girl, but we've been to/thru Branson several times on vacation, so I know where Lambert's is, and Cracker Barrell, and...well, all the GOOD places! lol

    *Here's your MS treat:

    dotted letter
    crooked letter
    crooked letter
    dotted letter
    crooked letter
    crooked letter
    dotted letter
    dotted letter!

  77. How'd we get off on Laura Ingalls Wilder?

    Oh, yeah, because of Lambert's!

    It always comes back to food..

    Anyhoo, I have the complete boxed set of the 1971 edition called "First Harper Trophy edition".

    Dh bought them for me for Christmas sometime between 1985-1987.

    The entire set is in excellent condition and has been sitting on my bookshelf for 25 years.

  78. Oh, Myra, I must be a problem solver too! And I didn't know there was such a test.

    Googling it now...

    Good grief. Almost 19,000 hits!

  79. A thousand pardons Ms. Kaye. I was here at 3 am and at 9 am and both times got interrupted and couldn't leave a message.

    Terrific post. I am a list person and I also believe in WRITE IT DOWN MAKE IT HAPPEN..(another great book).

    And in medical write goals for your patient but the road from Admit to Hospital to Discharge to Home means lots of specific steps.

    Same with any goal.

  80. Oh are we making Thanksgiving goals?

    Pick up live lobster. Check.

    They are staring at me in the fridge. Marie Callender pies. Check.

    Okay I'm done.

  81. Late to the discussion - but GREAT recap, Glynna.

    Attending ACFW was my BIG goal for the year :-) (check)

    Meeting Seekers was another (two birds with one stone :-)

    Write at LEAST 500 words a week. (well, not consistently :-(

    Enter two more contests? (Check)

    I'm not sure what 2011 goals will be, yet. I'd love to attend ACFW again, but it would take some divine intervention, I think :-)

    I'd love to up my wordcount, but I just need to get consistent first. Maybe try Novel Track again.

    Thanks for the reminder, Glynna.

    Happy Thanksgiving SEEKERVILLE

  82. Oops, I meant 200 words a DAY!
    Although, right now I might hope for 500 words a week. Blah

  83. Hi Glynna:

    Of course, you are rigth about goals. I was just speaking from experience. I like to think of goals as targets that you keep shooting at all the time. The objective is not reaching the target but shooting it full of holes.

    Hi Linnette:

    Yes, I did read your post on Japan. I'd like to go there one day. I dated a girl from Japan in college but her parents did not approve. They objected to me but they were still very polite about it. This was 1968. Things may have changed by now.


  84. Well I'm almost at my weight loss goal and am very thankful for what I call my second chance at life.


  85. congratulations Lourdes!

  86. Unfortunately all my goals were not met this year. My Mom underwent a couple of surgeries and I moved in with her for a couple of months to help her get around. My plans for the coming year is to not only make goals but to commit them to paper where I can see them everyday.

    Cindy W.


  87. Lourdes, congrats on that weight loss! Honey, that's awesome. Dagnabbit, it's a tough road, all told.

    And Carol M, I'm SO THERE for dessert.

    Oh my stars, it sounds wonderful. And we've got pies cooling, sweet potatoes and squash done, and pumpkin rolls ready to rock!

    I love the Little House books and the fact that Laura was 60 when she started should make us all kick ourselves in our collective butts (big or small, doesn't matter a whit) and just do it.

    Sixty.... And wrote timeless books we all love and respect. Go, LAURA!!!

    Glynna, I thought this was a Teeeeena post too, AT FIRST, even though I knew it was your day.

    Which means: You're no longer a shy retiring sweet thing, but a strong, decisive, go-getter with goals, plans and the elbow grease to follow them!

    (Notice how I didn't mention BOSSY???? It wouldn't be right this close to the holiday an' all.)


    Sponge candy....

    Sponge candy makes everything worth it.

  88. Glynna,

    Thank you for a thought-provoking post.

    Today is just not my day to really analyze the year, but I will do it over the weekend.

    Still have two desserts to make and a newspaper story to write tonight.

    Would love to win your book.

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo dot com

  89. The Ozarkins are at it again. smile

    There is going to be a party. I just know it.

    I hope we're invited. smiling again. I'll bring some yummy stuff. Promise.

    That's a good goal isn't it?

    Pamster, I almost died laughing at the M word. Boy did that bring back some fun memories.

    Ruthy, Did I hear you say you're BOSSY? my my. No need to tell US. Oh I reread it. I guess you didn't mention it. My bad.

    And you're up late again. Me too. I've got to get to bed so I'll be ready for the big feast. Hugs all
    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  90. Great blog--something I need to think of more often.

    I set one goal for myself this year--finish my book and send it to my agent. Well, I'm happy to report that I not only finished one book, I finished two with a third one almost completed. I've craved out four hours a day every day to write which is a HUGE deal for me. And I'm reading tons of books, either on my nook or listening to them on CD.

    I've still got other goals but the best goal I achieved is making time for a short Bible study every day before I get started--probably not a big deal to most of you guys, but a big deal to me.

    I'm so thankful for you guys--you've taught me so much and been so encouraging over the years. I don't know what I would have done without you.

    Patty Smith Hall

  91. I have read some of Glynna's books and they are great. Know this one will be also. This Thanksgiving I'm so glad everyone in the family is enjoying good health. This Thanksgiving I have a new little grandson. Love him to death! I just get his sug all the time! I'm from south Mississippi and it's going to be hot on Thanksgiving day but cooler and raining on Friday. As the saying goes in Mississippi, if you don't like the weather today, just wait til tomorrow. haha.