Wednesday, June 24, 2015

JULY IS YOUR NEW JANUARY! Recommitting To Your Writing Goals

January 1, 2015. New Year’s Day. Twelve sparkling months stretching before you, filled with writing goals you dream of accomplishing in the next 365 days.
Was that bright and beautiful kickoff truly almost six months ago?
Poised on the brink of the year’s halfway mark, how are you feeling about the goals you set when the New Year dawned? Jazzed? Bummed? So-so? Have you made solid progress toward finishing that book or novella? Have you entered a contest you told yourself you’d enter—or sent a proposal to your dream editor or agent?
Maybe you’ve heard of what award-winning author Cheryl St. John calls “the muddled middle.” That’s where your story charges confidently out of the starting gate then, midway into the book, things suddenly get, well, “muddled.” Your story loses steam and wanders aimlessly.
Muddled middles happen in real life too. Middle-of-the-year blues aren’t uncommon. Best intentions fall short. Progress isn’t as speedy as hoped. The goal gets blurry. Lethargy zaps.
You’ve heard the saying, “tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life,” haven’t you? It can be. July 1 is your NEW January 1 -- if you choose to let it be.

Pull out your writing goals list. What? You didn’t write them down? Research proves written goals reviewed frequently have an astonishing rate of achievement versus those vaguely swimming around in your head. If you didn’t write them down earlier, now’s the time to do that!
A helpful tool for setting and evaluating goals is the classic S.M.A.R.T. objectives.
- SPECIFIC: You can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is. Name it--and make sure it meets the following criteria.
- MEASURABLE: What indicators tell you you’re on target or getting off track? “Write every day” is vague—but “write 500 words a day except on Sundays” can be tracked against your goal of writing a 75,000 word manuscript in the next 365 days.
I actually document daily on an Excel spreadsheet the number of words I write. Watching the totals add up is highly motivating and I know exactly where I am in relation to my targeted word count.
- ATTAINABLE: Is your goal “doable” by common sense standards? While “become a New York Times bestselling author” is a fine dream, that ultimate destination needs to be broken down into bite-size, step-by-step goals in order to reach it.
- REALISTIC: Given the reality of your life’s circumstances, time limitations and skills/abilities, is the goal logically reasonable—or totally impractical? Push yourself to the next level, but don’t set yourself up for failure before you even begin. Does your goal stretch and energize you—or discourage you?
- TIME-BOUND: A commitment to a deadline anchors a “sense of urgency” in your brain. Even if you’re not yet published, set a realistic deadline and meet it. You’ll get a sense of accomplishment AND it will be good practice for when you sign on the dotted contract line!

How did the goals you dreamed of on January 1 stack up to S.M.A.R.T.? Are you on target? Or are adjustments needed? Did you set too many goals and need to weed out a few? Did you fail to establish a concrete plan—or made one but didn’t stick with it?
NOW is the time to prayerfully and honestly reevaluate and recommit to your goals. Yes, six months have passed since the New Year dawned—but a FRESH half-dozen months stretch before you. July 1 can be your brand new January 1--if you want it to be. Your choice.
Remember, “write a book” or “get published” is a vague wish—not a strategy for accomplishing that dream. But a statement like this one holds power: “I will draft a 60,000 word book in four months by writing 500 words during the 60 minutes set aside for writing each day.” Better yet, give that 60K in four months a specific deadline...“by November 1.”
Post the goal and review it every day. (If you have Microsoft Office, use the “sticky note” feature that allows you to “post” a note on your desktop so that when you log on it’s there front and center.)

Let’s chat today about 2015 goals--met and unmet. How’d you do January 1 through June? Do you need to brainstorm strategies to get back on track? Seeker Villagers are always here to help! You CAN get back in the saddle. We have confidence in you.
And by the way—if you choose to start the New Year on July 1st, it’s okay to toot a horn and throw a little confetti!
Rekindling the Widower’s Heart”-- the first book in my new Love Inspired “Hearts of Hunter Ridge” series -- debuts October 2015 (August for those of you who are Love Inspired subscribers, and it’s available for pre-order if you aren’t!). If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a hot-off-the-presses copy, mention it in the comments section, then check the Weekend Edition to see if you’re one of three chosen winners!
Glynna Kaye’s 2014 Love Inspired books--Pine Country Cowboy and High Country Holiday--are finalists in the 2015 RWA Faith, Hope & Love Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards.
A Future to  Build On.  All widower Luke Hunter wants is to raise his three kids--and be left alone.  When Delaney Marks arrives in town to oversee the youth group's house renovation project, Luke decides he must come out of hiding. He's worried she's too young to get the job done. He'll have to keep a close watch on her--and on his heart.  Because being with the vibrant girl makes it easy to forget their age difference and to start hoping for a future he doesn't deserve.  As tension rise over project pressures, Delaney tries to make Luke see that some things are just out of his control--and that he is worthy of happiness...with her.


Vince said...

Hi Glynna:

Now where is this Hunter Ridge place? I feel like a kid who has just been told the family is moving! Goodbye school. Goodbye friends. Does this mean we're moving from Canyon Springs? A place I've always said I'd like to live? : (

I also feel like that kid in 1919 who said to the baseball player, "Say it isn't so, Joe." : (

About this year's new year's goals, I chose to go "One Word" -- my word: 'systems'. Every time I had a problem come up that was systemic this year, I was going to stop and impliment a system so it would never happen again. This takes a lot of up front time but it pays off in the elimination of many recurring problems. I'm doing very well this year with "One Word"; however, I didn't set any writing goals. : (

I guess July 1st is a good time to do that. I knew "One Word" seemed too good to be true. : (

But your S.M.A.R.T. approach gives me new hope for our new revised year! : )

So please tell me what I'm going to like about Hunter Ridge?


Mary Preston said...

One of my goals was to read more this year. So far so good.

Count me in thank you.

Tina Radcliffe said...


And yes, time to Eat My Frog and SMART and get my writing buns in gear!!!

Jackie said...

Hi Glynna,

What a beautiful cover and great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

My goals have shifted this year. I'm so glad you suggested reevaluating. I need to step back and look at where I'm heading. Finish this project and start the next one. I needed to hear your words today. Thanks!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, VINCE! Hunter Ridge is about 30 minutes from where the 7 books set in Canyon Springs take place. When I first sold to LI, they couldn't give my books a series "flash" to alert readers that the stories took place in the same little Arizona mountain town because I'd only written the one book. But with the latest six-book contact they could be given a series designation and my editor requested these next books be in the same area --"The same only different." The cabin country town is a little smaller, further off the highway. A town going through some growing pains.

In occasional books in this new setting, Canyon Springs will be mentioned or visited and once in a while you'll see an old familiar face--if bringing someone in from Canyon Springs fits the story. In the first book of the new series, you'll remember the heroine as being the best friend of Paris Perslow from last November's "High Country Holiday." So I think you'll still feel quite a home. :)

Maybe you can figure out a way to use your One Word "systems" for kicking off your July 1 New Year? After all, isn't "S.M.A.R.T" a system of sorts?

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, MARY P! Reading more books sounds like a GRAND goal for the new year. Sometimes I can't help but remember those long, lazy summer days when I was a kid--coming home from the library with an armload of books for the week ahead. Fiction, biographies, history, science, how-to's. :)

Rose said...

Hi Glynna,

I love 'goal posts'...pun intended! I review my goals every quarter and make adjustments where necessary. And the reality is: It is always necessary to make adjustments to my yearly goals.

Glynna Kaye said...

I loved the cover, too, TINA! Summertime in the High Country among the ponderosa pines. Yep, frog-eatin' time! The neat thing about July is having a fresh six months into which to launch again.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good Morning, JACKIE! So glad you like the cover! I like to look at July 1 as a fresh slate--to reevaluate the past six months. Not to get down on myself for what I didn't accomplish but to celebrate the things I DID--and strategize how I might be able to reach some dreamed of goals by the end of the year.

The pictures were taken at a Northern Arizona plant "nursery" -- they have such creative groupings of flowers that they are truly inspiring for ideas to try at home.

Glynna Kaye said...

ROSE -- It sounds as if you already have this periodic goal reevaluation as an important part of your schedule. I know sometimes I realize I've put too much on my plate and have to weed things out. Or life's circumstances have closed in and those "extras" may have to wait until next year. But I always like to launch out at the midway point with a renewed sense of direction for the last half of the year.

Barbara Scott said...

Thanks for the nudge, Glynna! And thanks to SPEEDBO. I finished a 95,000 word manuscript in three months, took another full month to edit and rewrite, and then wrote the proposal, which is worse than sticking pins in my eyes. Really.

I got some great advice from Ruthy about the first couple of chapters and sent the manuscript to a couple more reader/writer friends, who also made comments, and then I edited some more. The manuscript went through at least five edits.

Then God really opened a door! As I prayed about agents, I contacted a couple of people I knew, but only one name kept niggling at me--my good friend Greg Johnson at WordServe. I kept telling myself, "But he mainly handles nonfiction." I finally broke down and contacted him.Turns out he was making a trip to Nashville in a couple of days, we met and caught up on old times, and he was excited about the project and asked to represent me! He sent the proposal out that weekend and by Monday had a request for the full manuscript. Wow! Now I'm waiting patiently and will start the second book of the series on Monday.

Well, actually, I wrote the first page of dreck yesterday, which is always the hardest. First sentence...check. Set up writing schedule...check. Do a little research...check. I'm kind to myself for the first week--a daily 500-word goal. I bump it up to 750 words for the next two weeks, and when I hit my stride, I sit at the computer until I meet my 1,000 words a day goal. Goals are a good thing.

My only regret is that I didn't dive into the deep end until this year because of my insecurities. If I can do it, every other Seekervillian can do it. Go team, go!

Cara Lynn James said...

Glynna, I love the idea of resetting our goals half way through the year. I'm doing that right now and marking my calendar. Thanks for the inspiration.

I don't want moving to another house disrupt my goals too much. I need concrete goals to stay on course during a busy time.

Tracey Hagwood said...

Hi Glynna,
I set measurable goals as a reader and track them on Goodreads. I set 120 books as my goal this year. I just looked up my book count and I've read 66 of my goal, more than halfway so I think I'm on target, enjoying myself all the way.

My 67th book is High Country Holiday. I'm right in the middle, so it's funny you started by talking about that "muddled middle". There's none of that in your story, but I am getting a little ticked by how the locals are treating Cody, ugh. It's such a great story, I can't wait to finish it. Since we're in week two of a heat wave, probably today :)

I recognize Delaney's name from this book, so I will be looking forward to REKINDLING THE WIDOWER'S HEART. Pretty cover and the summary sounds interesting.

Glynna Kaye said...

WOW, Barbara! A 95K draft AND revising/polishing in only THREE months? I'm in awe! And yes, those proposals can seem to take as much time and effort as the entire manuscript--trying to cram an entire book into a cohesive, entertaining and convincing synopsis can really be a major undertaking.

It sounds as though all your hard work is paying off, though--your chosen agent AND a request for a full! Congratulations! And NO REGRETS--this sounds as if it's God's perfect timing.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, CARA! Definitely set yourself some writing goals even at such a busy time. You can kind of treat yourself with an hour or so of writing each day as a reward for making headway on all the decluttering, packing, cleaning--and then UNpacking chores.

Audra Harders said...

Glynna, great timing on this post. I try to take a couple/few days off around the 4th of July to first - mentally prepare for the Fair season; second - I usually have tons of comp time I have to burn up before nastygrams arrive from payroll about misuse of time; and three (the most important of all) -

I must regroup and recharge my writing!!

I plan on getting the rough draft of my Christmas novella done over that long weekend.

How in the world am I going to write about snow, frigid temps and Christmas decorations when it's HOT outside and fields surrounding me are green?

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, TRACEY! Funny that you've reached 'High Country Holiday' in the heat of June! Glad you're enjoying it--and not finding a "muddled middle!" Whew! (And funny, too, that the third book in this new series is a Christmas story and I'll be well underway in the writing of it in July!)

66 books! WOW. You're definitely on target for your year's goal. And by being a bit ahead of the game now, you're good to go when the end-of-year holidays arrive!

Audra Harders said...

Glynna, I forgot to mention how gorgeous your cover is! If this is the kick-off for a new series, I predict it's going to be a winner!

Glad you included the photos of beautiful summer too, nice to know you're not always digging out of snow, LOL!

Vince said...

Hi Glynna:

Happy dance!

If we're just moving from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria, I'm fine with that. Happy even! I just don't want to move from Santa Barbara to Newark, New Jersey.

I just love the Canyon Springs cabins, pine trees, cool weather, mountains, and closeness to all the big, empty, beautiful, amazing areas of Arizona. There is a theory called "Primacy of Place" and in my mind Canyon Springs has it.

Actually I have only one writing goal: edit Rewards Per Page. This last step could be rightly called handling a 'hot potato'.

As for "One Word", I kind of thought of it as a diet with only one food you had to give up and still lose all the weight you wanted to. Life just doesn't work that way.

Looks like I'm going all the way to the edge with Hunter Ridge! Will you have people falling off the cliffs like Mary does? : )


Glynna Kaye said...

AUDRA! Sounds as if you'll need to crank up the AC and turn on the Christmas music that weekend! Few people in the mountains here have AC, so guess I'll have to drink lots of ice water and spritz a pine-scent in the air while I write my story this summer. :)

Writing a Christmas novella for a Seeker collection was one of the things on my "hit list" for this year, but day job demands are ensuring there's no extra time to write more than my contracted 2 books. SIGH. But maybe NEXT year!?

Audra Harders said...

Barbara Scott! You go, girlfriend! Completing a 95K ms, editing, signing an agent, and receiving a request for a full...all in 4 months!!!! Wow, you are smokin'!!!!

WooHoo! Yes, you are a great example of I CAN DO IT!!

Glynna Kaye said...

No, Vince, no cliffs. Sorry! And although it's hunting country, nobody gets shot either. I may need to reconsider... :)

Finishing up your "Rewards Per Page" would be a GRAND goal to reach this year! We're all eager to read it!

Audra Harders said...

Glynna, I hear you. Silly day job. I'm counting down the years to retirement...

Still, two book a year on YOUR schedule is awesome. You are my hero, girlfriend : )

Barbara Scott said...

Thanks, Audra! After a hiatus of 20 years, I never thought I'd write again. God is good!!!!!!!!

Now where's Ruthy with the coffee and scones? I'm starving.

Glynna Kaye said...

AUDRA! Glad you like the cover. And yes we DO Have summer here. We call it the 4th of July. :) With snow well into mid-May we definitely got a slow start this year, so will enjoy every single precious day.

DebH said...

I needed this post. Haven't gotten anything accomplished so far this year. My guess is because I didn't write things down. I have to do S.M.A.R.T. planning for my job right now (um, goals? how about stay employed?), so I need to extend that to my "other" job of writing. *sigh* I'm not good at this stuff. Good thing Seekerville is here to help me.

I love your cover and of course, I'm always hoping for a chance to win a Seeker book. Always a guaranteed awesome read, imho.

p.s. Vince please finish your RPP book. I think I need it... badly.

Janet Dean said...

Glynna, love your positive post that emphasizes it's never too late to start anew! What better time to review how we're doing than our country's new beginning.

Your cover is gorgeous. Can't wait to read the story and see your handsome widower find happiness!


Janet Dean said...

Barbara, you're inspiring!! Congrats on the agent and a request for a full! Go you!


Tracey Hagwood said...

Re HC Holiday, I always save a few of my Christmas books out for the summer, probably a weird habit but I actually feel cooler reading winter books, lol. And what's not to love about Christmas any time of the year?!

I knew I'd picked the right book, in this 110 heat index weather, when on the first page I read:

"...a gust of WIND swept SNOW through ponderosa pines. filling the air with a reminder of the FROSTY holiday season"


Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, DebH! Sounds as if this is an ideal time to reevaluate your goals for the remainder of the year--both for work and writing. Start out with something bite-sized that's a piece of the larger goal. Step-by-step, inch-by-inch is good. Steady progress with little "quick wins" along the way give you a sense of accomplishment and help you build momentum to keep going.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, Janet! I always need to give myself a mid-year kick in the seat of the pants. Yes, I finished my book in the first six months, but there are a bunch of other writing- and non-writing-related things I'd hoped to get done and didn't. So as I launch out into the second half of the year with writing another book, I want to also see what I can get done in other realms while the days are still long and the weather good. Winter with its short dark days comes all too soon around here (you DID know we already hit the summer solstice don't you, so our days are getting shorter already? WAH!) I'm SO solar powered that I have to make the most of this time of year.

Glynna Kaye said...

You may be on to something there, TRACEY! A mental cool down with a Christmas story during a heat wave! :)

Myra Johnson said...

Timely reminders, Glynna--thanks!

I've never been a huge goal setter, although I've tried. Too much pressure for this pantser, I guess!

However, I do have a very general list of goals floating around inside my head. This year I also bought a big 2015 wall calendar for keeping track of every important writing deadline. I use different-colored sticky-tabs rather than penciling in the dates so it's easy to rearrange things if something changes.

Scrivener also keeps me on top of my daily writing goals. I set a project end date (about a month or so before the editorial deadline), the final word count target for the book, and how many days a week I plan to write (typically 5). Then Scrivener calculates how many words I have to write each day to reach my target. If I write more or less than the daily count, tomorrow's daily target adjusts accordingly.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning Glynna, Wow, I so needed this post. What a great idea to re-evaluate your goals mid-year.

And I love SMART. I am going to work on that today. Yay.

I'm with VINCE. I'm so happy Hunter Ridge is in the same area as Canyon Springs. I love your settings as well as your books. And I agree with TRACEY H you never have sagging middles. How you do that so easily is my big question. I always get bogged down in them.

Love the cover.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Wow BARBARA congrats on all those accomplishments and the request. woo hooo. Go, go, go and keep us posted. smile

Mary Connealy said...

I'm keeping up but not setting the world on fire.

I'm MAYBE going to get a finished novel out today.
I've got a book in the final galley stage that I need to read through.
I've got a book about 20,000 words in that needs me to turn my attention back to it, Bk #2 in a series we're called The Cimarron Legacy.

Bk #1 is what I'm finishing today. Called No Way Up

The galleys are for Fire and Ice.

So I have to keep jumping from one series to the other but, you know, I think that keeps my brain sharp (well, keeps it less dull, maybe!).

I'm anxious to get back to the book that's partly done, do some new work!
So finish that book and Bk # 3 asap. My goal for the rest of the year.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, MYRA! I move sticky notes on my hardcopy calendar, too -- except for the drop-dead submission deadline which gets marked in big red letters! :) Scrivner sounds like a neat tool for staying organized and on top of things!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, SANDRA! You have 6 yummy months of writing stretching out before you. Doesn't that sound good? :) Those muddled middles can really feel like quick sand--I can tell when I'm getting to them as my writing slows and the story starts to bore me. So if it's boring ME, I know it will bore my editor, agent and I have to re-brainstorm it--think through what would make it more emotional or increase the conflict and move the story forward again. What's always so crazy is when I start a book, I feel like I'll NEVER find enough to fill in the middle--then all of a sudden in the middle I panic because I feel like I don't have ENOUGH ROOM to tell the story the way I want to. Sometimes when I feel like that, so I don't rush the ending, I pause in the middle and write the last chapter and epilogue so that I know how much room they take up and how much room I have remaining to deal with in-the-middle issues.

Glynna Kaye said...

HI, MARY! Sounds as if you're keeping MORE than busy and making great headway! I don't know how you juggle so many full-length books at the same time and still manage to squeeze in several novellas! You're definitely a seasoned goal setter --and goal meeter!

Glynna Kaye said...

I have to be "out of pocket" for a while. I hope you all have a DELIGHTFUL writing (or reading!) morning. Since Helen wasn't here to put on coffee, I've opted for a pitcher of ice-cold homemade lemonade. Enjoy!

kaybee said...

GLYNNA, I loved coming home with the armful of library books. I was Lost To The World. I also loved it when our Scholastic Book Orders came in, especially the last one of the year. I would go home and sit under a tree and just plow through them. There is nothing like a book, or a book on Kindle.
Kathy Bailey

Sandra Leesmith said...

Wow GLYNNA, that is great advice. I think I will do that--write the ending. That will undoubtedly give me some inkling of what I need to put in the middle to get there. Yay. Great advice.

Have a great day. You always amaze me at what you can do in spite of all your commitments. Puts me to shame.

And the homemade lemonade sounds delightful. Thank you.

Sandra Leesmith said...

KAYBEE you brought back memories when you mentioned coming home with an armful of library books. Also the Scholastic Book orders. I remember those days also. Such fun. Now we have Harlequin books that come in the mail. YAY.

Sandra Leesmith said...

I agree. I need to follow MARY around and see how she does it. Whew! I would love to be that productive.

And you're right GLYNNA. Making and meeting goals helps.

I'm off to go re-write my goals.

kaybee said...

I am keeping up with my goals, though it's a struggle to find the time. My day job is also a night job -- I'm a reporter, so I can't predict my schedule and say, I'm going to write from five to seven in the evening, because I may have a meeting to cover. My sneaky strategy is to arrive at the meeting early, with a yellow legal pad, and plug away at my story. I am also finding it easier to turn off the TV on the nights I'm home, because it's summer and the shows are lousy. Let's hope they stay that way. Honestly, I have little use for anything beyond "Once Upon a Time," "The Middle" and "Nashville." Besides the oldies, but I saw those the first time around and Andy and Barney and the Clampetts will keep. Goals! I wanted to do better in contests and I semi-finaled in Genesis and just got informed that I finaled in Tara, but I didn't final in the Maggies like I did in 2014, so it's 2 for 0. I'm working on two books. Slogging through one I've already written with my critique partner, we each do a chapter a month of each other's work, and I'm putting her suggestions to work on that MS. The other one I'm working on, on my own, is my SPEEDBO/NANO story which is not ready for public consumption, even by a crit partner. It's a little rough around the edges but I always need to be writing something, not just rewriting. One of my goals was to be more helpful to other writers, and I was thrilled when an acquaintance asked me to be a beta reader and to write a short review. I am actively seeking criticism of my work and enter every contest I can find to get a five-page critique, recently won one from our own Janet Dean, very helpful. And I vowed to up the ante in social media, which has been a matter of fits and starts. I'm pretty regular here and on the Alley, even if I can't stay on all day. I finally figured out LinkedIn! And am posting on there, but not at the expense of my fiction. So all things considered I'm two contests ahead from where I was at this time last year, further ahead with my work with crit partner, made a new friend with the review, had a productive session with Janet, conquered LinkedIn and continue to plug away at my two MS. It's better than where I was last year, anyway.
Thanks for listening,
Kathy Bailey

Kathryn Barker said...

Hi Glynna,

Congratulations on your books being finalists in the 2015 RWA Faith, Hope & Love Reader's Choice Awards!! Winning this award must have been one of your goals!!

I am the "goalkeeper," (and as Rose said)...pun intended...for our writer's group. We review our a group...every three months. Very helpful and keeps us accountable...we make revisions or additions if necessary. We've used S.M.A.R.T. and a handful of other formats to keep motivated.

I'm plodding towards meeting my goals...hit a few speed bumps in April...but back on track now.

During writing breaks, I'm making gallons and gallons of iced tea...good thing I have an extra fridge. Our local news posted a weather forecast of 704 on Saturday...LOL...(somebody needs to hire a proofreader!!)

Take care all...have a tea-lightful Wednesday! Thanks again Glynna for the goalie reminder!!

Myra Johnson said...

KATHY, you are one busy girl! Congratulations on the contest finals!

Great "sneaky strategy" for getting in the writing time even on meeting nights!

kaybee said...

Thank you, Myra. I didn't say any of the writing is good, but I'm definitely in there trying.

Sandy Smith said...

I really needed this, Glynna. Thanks for reminding us that we can always start again. Sadly I not only have not met my January goals, but it is the end of June and I have not even accomplished what I set out to do on June 1 for my summer break. I always come up with excuses. On Monday I was convicted about decluttering and today about keeping to my writing goals, both of which I want to do this summer. So I must get going.

Please enter me in the drawing for your book.

Sandy Smith said...

By the way, this year has one extra second on June 30. Wonder how I can make an extra second count?

S. Trietsch said...

Thanks Glynna! I need a January/new beginning do-over!! My girls (twins) graduated from college, both have been BLESSED with jobs they've dreamed of (though one went out of state...)and the hubby and I celebrated our 25 yr anniversary last night. WHEW!!

I did meet my goal of entering a contest and while I did not final I'm looking forward to receiving the critiques and moving forward! So, time to get busy writing (with occasional breaks to work on the two bedrooms now mere shells of what used to be)!


Missy Tippens said...

Great reminder!! I always get to this point in the year and can't believe it's half gone. I do so much better with deadlines!! It's sort of a panic, get it done mode (so I finally quit being such a perfectionist).

Thanks for the reminder of the SMART goals, Glynna!

Missy Tippens said...

Mary Preston, I love that goal! :)

Sarah Claucherty said...

Definitely going to pause and reevaluate! I'm going to graduate from college a semester early now, so my goals include job-hunting, settling my work and class schedule for my final semester (YAY!), finding an internship or 2 to keep my skills sharp, and ensuring I spend extra, quality time with my parents before graduation. I do need to write out a list and detail the specifics of those, for sure! (And remember to get in my application for an internship handling marketing etc. for an author before the deadline at the end of the week! Eek!)

Goals accomplished...hmm. I made it through a brutal semester with a full course load, a job, a couple internships, and commitments in 2 places 50-odd miles apart with no car--without missing any deadlines or due dates! (yawning in exhaustion from remembering all that)

Start a book review and conversational blog: check! Although I'm still conversing mostly with myself.

Visit Seekerville and other writing blogs at least 3 times a week to keep writerly-brain active: check!

Cherish the people in my life a little more with extra fellowship and love gestures: check!

Thanks for all the advice and perspective, Glynna! Now to develop writing goals and specify my others...

I'd love to join the drawing! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Kathryn, I LOVE that you have a group goalkeeper! What a fantastic idea. You can guilt each other into producing. LOL

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Tracey, reading Glynna's Christmas opening is much cheaper than air conditioning! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Vince, I'm so glad you're finishing Rewards Per Page! We're waiting!!

Debby Giusti said...

Glynna, thanks for getting us back on track!

Sunday was the summer solstice and the longest day of the year--the half-way point, as you mentioned. Today many churches remember the birth of John the Baptist, six months prior to Christ's birth.

My goal is to produce more work. I'm cutting back on some of the PR things that used to take my time. Instead, I'm focusing on writing.

So far, so good.

Lyndee H said...

Congrats on the contest finals!

I really like this post. Our neighborhood always sponsors a community garage sale dubbed "Christmas in July." Now I will add 'Goal Revision July' to my calendar. Thanks for the reminder to stay engaged!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Glynna!

My boys were taught about SMART goals when they were in Scouts, and I've used the acronym ever since. Love it!

I'm far from muddling in the middle here. I have deadlines looming and I'm barreling toward them at full speed. The way I stay smart about the deadlines is to reevaluate every Monday morning - what does my daily word count need to be? How many pages of revisions need to be done each day? That helps me readjust and keep on track.

But thanks for the reminder to revise my January goals. Eventually the deadlines will be met, and then what? It's time to do some planning for the next project. :)

Jeanne T said...

Glynna, this post is just what I needed to read today. My hubby was gone for seven weeks this spring, so I was parenting solo, trying to write, ending the school year with the boys and just trying to keep our home life stable during his absence. My writing goals got put waaaay off to the side. He, being the sweetheart that he is, has given me four days to myself. I'm planning to make great strides in revising my MS. Finally!

So, your post has shown me how to craft a solid plan. Come up with my deadline, break down the work into bite-sized pieces and get busy. LOVED your suggestions and the way you described SMART goals! THANKS for this boost!

Keli Gwyn said...

Great post, Glynna! I just set some very specific goals for completing my next story. They're Specific, Measurable, Attainable and Time-Bound. I like to think they're Realistic, too. The next six months will let me know if they are or not. Off to write right now...

The Artist Librarian said...

Glynna - July 1st should definitely be the new January 1st! Mid year evaluation ... :)

Why am I not surprised that SMART is a Boy Scouts thing, Jan? :)

Tracey Hagwood said...

MISSY, I'm definitely reading Glynna's book in a/c and with an icepack on my newly adjusted back. Actually feeling a little nippy in here, lol.

Crystal L Barnes said...

Glynna, I actually met my goal to finish the story for the LIH Blurb2Book contest yesterday. Now my goal is to have it edited and turned in by the July 15th deadline. That's Specific, Measurable, Attainable and Time-Bound. :)

It's a great idea to evaluate how the first half of the year has gone. Noting the progress is a great encouragement. :) Thanks for the post! Now to find some grub before more edits. :)

Happy Trails,
Crystal L Barnes

Myra Johnson said...

Way to go, CRYSTAL! Yes, it's important to acknowledge our progress. Big steps or baby steps, it's movement in the right direction.

Crystal L Barnes said...

Thanks, Myra. :)

Rhonda Starnes said...

Glynna, thank you for this great reminder that goals not only need written down but should also be revisited on a daily basis. I wouldn't say I've reached all of my daily goals, but I am making progress. I'm currently working hard to finish my Blurb2Book entry. The end is in sight, now I just have to hang on and get it done.

Congrats, Crystal on reaching your goal and finishing your LIH B2B entry. Prayers that the edits go smoothly!!

Sandy Smith said...

Oh my goodness, Sarah. I get tired just reading about all you have been and are doing. It shows me I should definitely be able to juggle my life. Good luck with everything.

Sandy Smith said...

I like the idea of reading Christmas books in the heat of summer. I have so many to read that I plan to start in October this year instead of November. (Have a lot of Seeker Christmas books to read!) But I had thought about doing a couple of them as Christmas in July!

Sarah Claucherty said...


This past semester had the heaviest workload yet, and I was so exhausted by midterms I caught a horrible cold that kept me housebound most of spring break and hung around for 2 months until I finished the semester and got a chance to rest!

Here's praying my upcoming final semester will be a little lighter! :)

Crystal L Barnes said...

Thanks, Rhonda. I'll take all the prayers I can get. :)

Valri said...

Glynna, I'm so excited that you are starting a new series! I will miss the Arizona series but it's always time to move on! You know how I love "Flagstaff" area :) I read all your books in the Canyon Springs area and loved them all! That was the town name, right? I hope I got that right! I love your characters and storylines!

Sherida Stewart said...

Glenna, thank you for reminding me about my goals. I did submit a short story, fulfilling one writing goal, but I need to focus more on my specific weekly goals.

Loved the cheerful flower pictures.

Please enter me for Rekindling The Widower's Heart!

Congratulations on two books in the FHL awards!

Wilani Wahl said...

Thanks for this timely post. I will admit I have been struggling the last two months. this is a difficult time of year for me health wise which always make the other things needing to be done. Hoping wanting and desiring to get back into the groove.

Sunday at church the lady who has been editing my non fiction book said she is going over it for a second time and is making lots o notes and comments so at some point I will have that to work on as well as the other works in progress.

Stay cool everyone. It is hot here in North Carolina.

Myra Johnson said...

SHERIDA, congratulations on submitting your short story! I got my start by writing short stories and articles. It's a great way to gain experience and build a writing résumé!

WILANI, it's definitely been a hot, hot week in NC! Looking forward to a slight cool-down this weekend! So sorry about the health problems. Hope your stamina returns quickly!

Mary Curry said...

Hi Glynna,

July is a great time for me to renew goals because it marks the beginning of 2 months when I can focus on writing as my primary preoccupation rather than school.

I started out the year great to the tune of 90,000 words, but then I hit my crazy season of testing at school and writing suffered.

I'm ready to be back in the saddle!

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, Glynna, I realllly like this blog today because it addresses right where I am -- beginning a new life in a new house across the state from where I lived before. The first six month have been adversely affected by getting a house ready to sell, then shopping for another, then selling, and mega downsizing, then packing, moving, cleaning, and unpacking. So the idea of July being the new January is for me, sooooooo inspiring and hopeful!!

Thanks for the boost!


Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Congratulations on being a finalist in two contests, Glynna, and to Kathy on her contest recognitions. Kudos to Barbara on all her hard work and the exciting prospects ahead for her. I appreciate the helpful suggestions for moving forward to reach our set goals. Many thanks for your perspective and what you've learned on the road to publication. I had small attainable goals for the first 6 months and happy to say I met them. This encourages me to push myself harder the rest of the year. I remind myself that perseverance is key to moving forward, inch by inch. But sorry to say I haven't disciplined myself to meeting a word count every day. My hat's off to those who consistently do this. Lovely book cover, Glynna.

Mary Curry said...

Oh, Julie, I had no idea you were moving. Best wishes to you on the move and in your new home.

Sherida Stewart said...

Glynna, I DO know how to spell your name. I'm blaming "Glenna" on auto-correct and the tiny phone screen.

And to Myra, thanks for the encouragement about short stories. Good to know that is how you started your writing career.

Julie Lessman said...

Gosh, Glynna, I needed this blog today, girl, so THANK YOU!!

I just moved across state, so between getting our house ready to sell, selling it, finding another place to live, downsizing a lifetime of possessions, packing, cleaning, then unpacking in a rental until our new house is ready in September, then two week-long trips in the spring, I blinked, and it's almost July, so this was a VERY encouraging way to look at it.

Bless you, my friend!


Tina Radcliffe said...

Tina is my name.
Do-Over is my game.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I'm laughing because when I first clicked in this morning there were 3 comments... then I worked all day and couldn't get back and there are 83!!!

Oy, I'm sorry I missed the fun but this is our end-of-school week here and it's crazy. Fun... but crazy! School ends here tomorrow, so we're late-season ending.

And I'm smiling at Tina's do-over! Me, too!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Late with the coffee and scones!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love the concept of hitting the "re-set" button and beginning again mid-year.

We can do anything we set our minds to. God's given us great gifts/talents/opportunities. We can do whatever we need to... if we don't give up.

And I'm all about not giving up!

Julie Lessman said...

ROSE SAID: "I love 'goal posts'...pun intended!"

LOL ... you are TOO cute, Rose! ;)

BARBARA SCOTT SAID: "95,000 word manuscript in three months, took another full month to edit and rewrite, and then wrote the proposal, which is worse than sticking pins in my eyes. Really."

OUCH!! And WOW!!! I am VERY impressed, Barbara, and I will admit, it sounds a bit weird hearing an esteemed literary editor talking about writing her own proposal, but I guess you guys have to propose things, too, just like the rest of us, eh? SUPER CONGRATS ON SIGNING WITH GREG AND the request -- that is AWESOME!! Can't wait to read it!! :)

AND, Glynna -- LOVE the new cover, girl!!


Julie Lessman said...

VINCE!! Cannot wait to read Rewards Per Page, my friend, so get that puppy out!!

MARY SAID: "I'm keeping up but not setting the world on fire."

Uh, yeah, right:
1.) I'm MAYBE going to get a finished novel out today.
2.) I've got a book in the final galley stage that I need to read through.
3.) I've got a book about 20,000 words in that needs me to turn my attention back to it, Bk #2 in a series we're called The Cimarron Legacy.

I see a fire blazing from where I'm sittin', Mare! ;)

KATHY BAILEY SAID: "I semi-finaled in Genesis and just got informed that I finaled in Tara, but I didn't final in the Maggies like I did in 2014, so it's 2 for 0. AND I'm working on two books."

Uh, Kath ... sounds to me like you are doing pretty darn good, girlfriend!! SUPER CONGRATS on the semi-final and Tara final -- that's AWESOME!!


Tracey Hagwood said...

GLYNNA! I finished HC Holiday! 5 star AWESOME!

Sherida Stewart said...

Barbara, congratulations on your agent and request!

Kathy B, good to hear of your contesting progress and final in the TARA!

Tracey, WOW! 66 books! Your idea of reading the Christmas books during the summer heat wave is perfect!

Vince, I'm looking forward to reading your reader rewards book. Please keep us posted on your progress.

I'm keeping all the B2B writers in my prayers....

Glynna, I forgot to mention that I love your new cover...walking in the forest amid the wildflowers means romance to me.

Janet Dean said...

Glynna, I hadn't thought that summer is already waning. Waa is right!

Congrats on turning in another book! I'm awed by writers who work fulltime and get great books written too!


Janet Dean said...

Crystal, you are adorable in that cowboy hat! And working hard! Hope you get it polished to a high shine before the July 15 deadline.


CatMom said...

LOVED this post, Glynna! And I have an urge to shout "Happy New Year!" ;)
Overall, I'm doing pretty well with my writing goals for this year, but I want to push myself even harder throughout the remaining months of 2015. I so agree about writing down goals! Even my daily "to-do" list is much more likely to have tasks crossed off if they're written down, as opposed to bobbing around in my muddled brain, LOL.

Love the cover of your book, and please enter me in the drawing for REKINDLING THE WIDOWER'S HEART.
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Becky Dempsey said...

Yeah, I kinda got stuck in the muddled middle. I'm getting back in there, but I think July 1st is the new January 1 is a good thing for me!

Glynna Kaye said...

My apologies to all. Something unexpected came up which prevented me from logging on to chat. Thanks to the Seekers and Seeker Villagers for keeping each other company today!

Glynna Kaye said...

KATHY B. -- I LOVED it when the Scholastic book orders came in, too. My folks also subscribed to a book club for me -- but after a year or so my mom cancelled it because ALL the protagonists of the books they sent were boys. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

KATHY B (Continued) - It sounds as if you're really keeping at the goals despite not being able to have a firm writing time established, so congratulate yourself on that! I hardly ever watch TV either. Would rather read or write.

Contests were SO GOOD for me as a beginning writer--when I started out writing there was no internet, few books on the subject, and certainly nothing available anywhere on how to write commercial fiction. So receiving feedback from judges was so very helpful--like a personalized class of sorts!

Glynna Kaye said...

KATHRYN B -- Thanks for the congrats! The regional RWA group I used to attend had a goals books, too. We met every other month -- it was fun and motivating and gave us a sense of accomplishment to be able report what we'd done (and to be able to commiserate with each other when we fell short).

Glynna Kaye said...

HI, SANDY! This is the perfect time of year to turn your back on the past six month and move head. I can understand why you didn't meet your June goals--I think this month was only about 7 days long...!

Glynna Kaye said...

Congrats, Stephanie, on the anniversary AND your twins getting great jobs! Congratulations, too, on managing to enter contests when so much is going on. I know people enter contests electronically now, but it was always so exciting to drop off my entries at the Post Office and then wait a few months on pins and needles for the results.

For those of you who are "contesting" -- check out a blog I did a number of years ago on "Good Things" (or called something like that). It's about documenting all the GOOD THINGS you hear from contest feedback and reviewing it regularly to keep up your spirits when you doubt yourself or get less-than-nice contest comments.

Glynna Kaye said...

Boy, SARAH C., you wore me out with all that you have on your plate right now! You seem to be a real goal setter and goal meter! And I like that you make family relationships such a high priority. So glad you can sneak in some Seekerville time each week, too!

Glynna Kaye said...

DEBBY -- the PR can really eat into your writing time, so I'm glad to hear (as will be all your readers!) that you're making focusing on the writing a priority.

Glynna Kaye said...

HI, LYNDEE! I like the idea of a Christmas in July garage sale! I really need to do some major decluttering this summer--but I don't think my church is having their annual yard sale this year, so I'll probably tote stuff off to a second hand store here in town that gives the proceeds to local charities.

Glynna Kaye said...

JAN -- I LOVE that your boys were taught about S.M.A.R.T. in scouts. That big of knowledge, if applied, will serve them well throughout their entire life!

Great idea to evaluate weekly where you've been and where you need to be on all your deadlines!

Missy Tippens said...

Wilani, I'm sorry you're struggling. It's been really hot here in Georgia, too. Today was the worst (before it clouded up and tried to rain).

Missy Tippens said...

Yay, Crystal!! Way to go!

Glynna Kaye said...

JEANNE T - I'm glad you found the post helpful! You really had your hands full during those 7 weeks, so I'm delighted that you've being given some "me time" to work on revisions!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey,KELI! Glad the post was useful. You'll have to report back in in six months and let us know how things went!

Glynna Kaye said...

ARTIST LIBRARIAN -- I love a fresh start mid-year. Why should January 1 get all the glory & fun? :)

Glynna Kaye said...

CRYSTAL -- Congrats on completing your contest entry and moving ahead to the editing phase! Keep us posted on the contest results!

Glynna Kaye said...

RHONDA -- it's really amazing how energizing it is to review goals regularly, to keep them to the forefront of your mind. I always find that it gives me a renewed sense of purpose and excitement and really motivates me to keep on moving toward the goal. What a sense of satisfaction you'll get when you finish that contest entry and send it winging on its way!

Glynna Kaye said...

VALRI -- Yes, Canyon Springs! And Hunter Ridge will be in the same beautiful mountain country with all big ponderosas -- cool summers and snowy winters. As you know, it's an amazing part of Arizona so many people don't even know exists!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, SHERIDA! That's great that you submitted a short story! I've always loved short stories and novellas, so am pleased to see both growing in popularity once again. Meeting that writing goal should be a good launching pad for the ones you choose for the remaining 6 months of the year!

Glynna Kaye said...

WILANI -- I'm sorry things have been such a struggle recently health wise. That always make sit harder to stay on task when you don't have any energy.

While it was only a temporary setback for me, I caught some kind of respiratory infection mid-February that lasted for 6 weeks and it was all I could do to get through a work day. My writing really suffered. So take good care of yourself!

That's so nice that you have a church friend who is able to help edit your non-fiction book!

Glynna Kaye said...

WOW, MARY C! 90K! That's a wonderful goal met! I'm glad you're finally getting a break to focus back on the writing after all the testing responsibilities.

Glynna Kaye said...

JULIE -- with your fresh start this summer, it's a perfect time once you get settled I to plan your goals for the remainder of the year. Moving is SUCH hard work, but I'm so excited about your new place!

Glynna Kaye said...

TRACEY -- thank you for the "5 star" rating for High Country Holiday! Glad you enjoyed it!

Glynna Kaye said...

JANET -- why is it the shorter days of the year always seem to take up such a larger share of the year than the longer dsys??? :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, PATTI JO -- and Happy New Year to YOU, too! I'm glad you're doing well on your goals this year. And just think...SIX MORE WONDERFUL MONTHS await you!

Glynna Kaye said...

BECKY -- Wishing you the best in getting out of the "muddled middle" -- with 6 fresh months ahead, you have lots of opportunity awaiting. And with the "new year" a week away, you still have time to reevaluate your goals and to be ready to launch out again on July 1!

Glynna Kaye said...

Thanks for stopping by today everyone! You have six more days to get ready for your HAPPY JULY NEW YEAR! :)

Deanna Stevens said...

I enjoyed reading your New Years in July post.. I need to get back to my New Years resolution!
I'd like to be entered in the drawing for a hot-off-the-presses copy! !

Crystal L Barnes said...

Janet, you're such a sweetie. Thank you so much for the compliment and well-wishes. :)

Missy and Glynna, thanks so much. I'll try to keep y'all posted on the results. :)

Chill N said...

Glynna, thanks for the encouragement. A new year as of July 1 it is!

Nancy C

Julie Lessman said...

MARY CURRY ... thank you SO much, sweetie! Best decision the hubs and I ever made. Living on a lake ... a dream come true for both of us! I think I may be the only author I know who takes her laptop out in the boat while hubby is fishing ... :)