A few days ago, I reviewed some of my older blogs and found this post from 2008 that I thought might prove motivating as we work on our Speedbo goals. After all, Speedbo is about achieving our writing dreams whether we're penning our first manuscript or our twentieth. No matter where we are on our journey to publication or beyond, we need to dream big and work hard to achieve that which gives meaning to our lives.
So what’s your dream?
Finish a book? Win a contest? Become a published author?
Motivational speaker and author Matthew Kelly writes about the importance of dreams in his book, THE DREAM MANAGER (Hyperion, 2007, ISBN 978-1-40013-9370-9). According to Kelly, dreams are the keys to a successful, happy and motivated life. Without them, you languish. With them, you soar.
To illustrate his point, he uses a janitorial company with a high turnover rate. Needing to improve employee morale and retention, the executives came up with an innovative concept -- hire a Dream Manager to help the employees identify and achieve their own personal dreams. Before long, morale was up. Employees took pride in their work and felt a new sense of loyalty to the company. The jobs they once considered dead-end were seen as stepping-stones to success.
So how does that relate to writing? Let’s take a closer look at what Kelly has to say.
People stop dreaming when they become caught up in everyday activities. Sound familiar? The house, the job, the family take time and energy. Often there’s little left in the day to devote to your own needs and especially your writing.
Most people don’t fail because they want to fail; they fail because they don’t know how to succeed. The first step is to identify your dreams. Start with something small that can be easily achieved. Then move on to a bigger dream.
Those who fail to plan can plan to fail. Draw up a plan to achieve your dream. Break it down into steps that are manageable and measurable.
Keep a Dream Book. Get a notebook or journal and write down your dreams, then review them often to stay focused and on track. Be sure to note the date when you first had the dream and also the date when your dream came true.
Dream without limits. Don’t hold back. Want to be a New York Times best-selling author? Add that to your Dream Book as a long-term goal. Now come up with a list of short-term and mid-term dreams that bridge the gap from where you are now to where you want to be in the future.
Find a Dream Manager. His or her job is to support your dream. The Dream Manager doesn’t do the work himself or solve any of the problems involved, but rather serves as a coach and cheerleader. (Consider asking a critique partner or online writing friend to serve as your Dream Manager.)
Be a Dream Manager for someone else. Relationships are built and strengthened when you help others achieve their dreams, whether family members, friends or fellow employees.
The earlier you start dreaming and the more mentors and friends you have who urge you toward your dreams, the richer your life becomes. Sharing your dreams opens the door to opportunity. You’re no longer isolated or working alone; rather, you're joined with others in a common sense of purpose.
As a writer, you know the journey to publication is long. With a map or plan, you can see where you’ve been and where you’re going. Charting your progress helps you realize you’re moving forward.
Steps in your plan for publication could include:
●Take part in Speedbo 2017.
●Read a how-to book on writing. Work on daily writing tasks that reinforce the techniques presented in the book.
●Do a “what if” and come up with a deeply troubled but endearing hero. Then create a heroine who is his complete opposite. Now brainstorm a plot that would tell their story.
●Read a book by an author who writes for the house you’re targeting. Reread the book like an editor. Pick out the internal and external conflict, make an outline of the story and see how the author moves the plot from beginning to end, note the emotional and romantic development.
●Write something new. While revisions fine-tune your writing, overwriting can be as poisonous as underwriting. Realistic deadlines keep you on track. Every time you begin a new book, you become energized and regain some of the thrill you initially felt when you started on your writing journey.
●Look at the manuscripts you’ve written. Determine five ways you could improve each story. Apply what you’ve learned to your current work-in-progress.
Everyone needs a mountain to climb or new horizons to conquer. Set lofty goals and make a plan that leads to success so your dreams can come true.
Leave a comment about your writing dreams, your Speedbo goals, and anything else you’re doing on a regular basis to make your dreams come true. All those who comment will be entered in a drawing for the first Seekerville giveaway of my upcoming May release, AMISH REFUGE.
The coffee’s hot. Tea is available, along with a light breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, hard boiled eggs and blueberry muffins. Enjoy!
I’ll be at Romancing the Smokies 2017 this weekend and wanted to share a picture of the goodies I’m giving to each person at my table. Plus, I’m donating a cute computer tote packed with gifts, including a Kindle Fire. My wonderful publisher is giving a copy of AMISH REFUGE to each person who attends and there’s more SWAG in each goody bag! I’ll be speaking between noon and one PM EST, and would appreciate prayer coverage to make sure I don’t stumble getting to the podium. Wish all of you could be there with me…be assured that I’ll feel your prayers and support across the miles!
Wishing you abundant blessings!
By Debby Giusti
HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
Miriam Miller barely escapes the ruthless attacker that killed her mother and kidnapped her sister. Running deeper into the woods, she’s running out of hope…until she falls into the arms of an unlikely bodyguard—a peaceful Amish farmer. Something about Abram Zook inspires her trust, but even in bucolic Willkommen, Georgia, Miriam faces danger. Both from the men pursuing her and from her growing feelings for the caring—though guarded— widower who protects her. Because if she falls for Abram she’ll have to embrace his Amish faith as her own—or lose him. With each minute, her abductor creeps closer, pushing Miriam to an inevitable choice: stay and risk her heart…or leave and risk her life.