Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Recalculate, Reinvigorate, Restart

by Mindy Obenhaus

Here we are, officially at the halfway point of 2020. It’s been one for the record books, hasn’t it? Now, this may be tough, but I’m going to ask you to look all the way back to January 1. Back when COVID wasn’t even a blip on our radar and you were looking forward to what 2020 might hold. What were your goals for this year? Go ahead, pull out that list, mental or written, and look it over. Are you able to check anything off?

I know life has been wonky, so some of the things on your list may be out of your control, but what about the rest? Are you going to throw in the towel or press on, no matter what life throws at you? Because let’s face it, there has always been and will always be obstacles. The loss of a job, illness, death of a loved one. 

Mary Cate talked about procrastination and the inability to focus during these tough times in her post last week (if you missed it, you can read it here). She had a more scientific approach, but she’s a lot smarter than I am. So today I’m going to give you a laywoman’s approach to pressing on.

Recalculate – Think back to when you wrote down that goal. Was it simply a wish or were you determined to achieve it? Why were you determined? Did you have a plan of action? It’s okay to go off the map, but there comes a time when you have to get back on if you want to reach your destination. Look at where you are now and then think about where you want to be at the end of the year. Come up with a realistic plan of action and resolve to stick to it as much as possible.

Reinvigorate – Surround yourself with things that uplift and/or motivate you. Praise and worship music always lifts my spirits and helps me refocus. Bible studies or books on the craft of writing or whatever else might interest you can reinvigorate your desire and motivate you to push through. And encouraging people are always a blessing. Is there someone in your life who will encourage you to press on? Is there someone you can share your goals with, knowing that they’ll support you? If so, I’d encourage you to do that. And, of course, the ladies of Seekerville are always on the sidelines, cheering you on every step of the way. Our goal is to motivate and encourage you on your journey. Remember, you are not alone.

Pray – Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest. God gave you the desire for whatever it is you want to achieve so that He could partner with you every step of the way. Tell Him your struggles, your weaknesses and fears, knowing that He's big enough to help you overcome whatever obstacles cross your path. Claim those scriptures that promise He will never leave you nor forsake you. Hold tightly to His hand and then get ready for the ride of your life.

Don’t lose heart or give up on your goals just because the world has gone crazy. Revisit them then recalculate, reinvigorate and restart your journey. 

How are your goals for 2020 shaping up? Are you staying on task or is it time to recalculate? Leave comment for a chance to win a copy of my new release, A Father's Promise. 
(US mailing addresses only, please)

Is he ready for fatherhood?
He doesn’t think he deserves a family… But now he has a daughter.
Stunned to discover he has a child, Wes Bishop isn’t sure he’s father material. But his adorable daughter needs him, and he can’t help feeling drawn to her mother, Laurel Donovan—a woman he’s finally getting to know. But can this sudden dad overcome a past tragedy that has him convinced he’s not meant to be a husband or a father…and make a promise of forever?


HOLT Medallion winner and three-time Carol Award finalist, Mindy Obenhaus, is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups, countless cattle, deer and the occasional coyote, mountain lion or snake. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking and watching copious amounts of the Hallmark Channel. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com

45 comments:

  1. First, this book sounds wonderful!!!!! I'm sighing just reading the back cover copy, Mindy! And second, this is a solid call to reconfigure what we thought 2020 would bring and the reality.... life hands us hard lefts and some quick rights, doesn't it? And we muddle on or motor on or charge on, depending.... and that's okay, we're all different, but I love your push to re-examine and pray. Life without prayer is like flailing in the wind.... my life with prayer has the focus I want and need.

    Oh, that faith!

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    1. Ruthy, you are so right about prayer. It's vital. It gives us hope and the strength the muddle through the tough times. I don't know how people live without it.

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  2. When I set my goals for 2020 I wanted to have a polished manuscript. I think I can safely say that my new goal is to have a first draft done by then. It has certainly been one heck of a year for the world and for my family, so I will soon be able to take a bit of time, regroup and start the journey up again. Thanks for the encouragement. And I'm with Ruthy that book looks wonderful!

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    1. Glynis, it's hard not to feel bogged down when there are so many things trying to turn our attention away from what we need to do. And you know what, if writing is what God wants us to do, then you can be certain that's exactly where the enemy is going to hit us. So yes, find that time to regroup and then put your foot back on the gas pedal and head on down the road. Don't let the enemy get his way. I believe in you, Glynis! And I'm cheering you on to that completed first draft. You go, girl!

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    2. Glynis, there is nothing wrong with starting over. Especially now.

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    3. Thanks, ladies! I needed to hear that :)

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  3. Kimberly BurkhardtJuly 1, 2020 at 8:41 AM

    So far, I have only had to change 1-2 of my personal goals. Otherwise, I've been able to keep up and achieve both personal and author goals amid everything going on. I've learned how to keep myself organized and on track by using a daily planner. Without it, I don't think I would have accomplished as much as I have so far.

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    1. Kimberly, you can't see me, but I'm giving you a standing ovation. Bravo for staying organized and sticking to your goals! Keep pressing forward. You've got this, Kimberly!

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    2. Oh Kimberly, good for you. I love planners! Best way to get things done.

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  4. I’m not much for setting goals, other than perhaps daily or weekly ones. And had I done so this year they definitely would have been upended. In January we were assigned supervisory duty of our daughter’s custody time so at age 70 I am with 4 kids, ages 3-9, pretty much 24/7. It’s been a stressful 6 months and we recalculate frequently. Prayer is an ongoing occurrence as the Lord is my Strong Tower, my Comfort and Strength. Reinvigoration has been a challenge but with things opening up more I can see my friends (with some kids in tow LOL)a bit more so that will help. Thanks for the encouraging words. The book looks great and I look forward to reading it.

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    1. Oh, Anne, I feel for you, sweetie. Yes, sometimes life sends more than a curveball. Sometimes it sends a bomb that completely obliterates life as we know it. Bless you for taking on that challenge, though, and for trusting God to get you through. I have no doubt that He is and will continue to honor that, Anne. And I will be praying not only for you, but that God will provide relief for you in some form or another. Hang in there, Anne, and continue to be the blessing those children need. Hugs and prayers for you.

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    2. Anne, your daughter -- and those children -- are lucky to have you.

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    3. God bless you and those kids, Anne!

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  5. Thank you, Mindy. I did meet my writing goals for the first half of 2020--finish the draft of the third Western Dreams book plus a companion novella plus my nonfiction book. Didn't do anything else, the baking of bread, the cleaning of closets etc. But the writing goals got met, in part because I have more time to write than i've ever had.
    Dave and I got off better than a lot of people--both still working, neither of us infected, and I don't have to Homeschool A Child. But we've been affected the same as everybody else. COVID and its isolation is like Christmas and Thanksgiving, in a bizarre way: whatever is wrong in your life is magnified by those holidays. And it's magnified by COVID.
    I'm a little down today. I got a form letter rejection and didn't final in a contest I wanted to final in. How long are we allowed to pout/grieve/brood? Was it 24 hours or 48? Either way, I expect to be over it by the time we talk again on Friday.
    I also feel bogged down by Everything Else. In that sense, writing has been my life raft for the past six months. I can't change or control anything else. But I can sit down to the computer and knock something out.
    Mindy, don't enter me in drawing. I HAVE the book, in fact I've read it, nice job.
    Best,
    KB

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    1. Kathy, you actually cross my mind as I wrote this. I thought, "This won't apply to Kathy. She's been writing this whole time." Kudos to you for losing yourself in your writing. You're right that it's something we have control over. It's a good escape, kind of like reading is, only more difficult because we have to expend some brain cells.

      I'm sorry about the rejection and the non-final. Here's some chocolate and you have 24 hours to wallow. As for the Everything Else, all we can is put it in God's hands. Otherwise, we'll be buried beneath the weight of it all. Hugs, sweet friend.

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    2. Okay, I just wanted to get the parameters straight. 24 hours it is. I will be back Friday as my usual chipper self. Thanks Mindy et al. (Et al is the only Latin I remember.)

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  6. Well, Mindy, my SMART friend, you have the advantage over me. I'm not a planner. It's always seemed like tempting fate. Or maybe that's just the excuse I give myself. Anyway, I did have one thing I wanted to accomplish this year, and I did. I finished the book that would never end, sold it to my editor, and it will be out in January 2021.

    I also took the advice I dished out last week and just got started. I'm happy to report I've written about 14,000 words on my next book since last week's post. I'm finding when the world stresses me out too much, I'm happy to sink into my fictional world.

    I love everything about your new book EXCEPT the fact that Amazon delayed delivery of it so it's not due to arrive until Friday - a week later than expected.

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    1. Cate I love this. "When the world stresses me out too much, I'm happy to sink into my fictional world." That's what it's been like for me the past six months.

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    2. Mary Cate, YAY for you getting that book completed and turned in and even more cheers for being 14K into your next book!!!!! That's awesome! I'm so proud of you. One bite at a time. Because despite what you might think, I am not a planner. Day-to-day, year-to-year I simply write down things I either NEED to accomplish or WANT to accomplish. And, honestly, it brings me a thrill when I get to cross something off of that list. But I'm only disciplined when it comes to deadlines. Whether it's book deadlines or I've got company coming, deadlines motivate. So tuck that in your back pocket.

      I'm sorry Amazon delayed your delivery. But I hope you enjoy the story/escape.

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    3. Mindy, deadlines motivate me like nothing else. The other thing that works for me is having a streak. So now that I've gotten a streak of days with words, I'm motivated to keep going.
      You'll be my 4th of July read - perfect timing and setting since my editor wants me to take these characters back to Texas!

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  7. Great post, Mindy. This year has been all about recalculating those goals!

    I was hoping for big things when I set my goals back in December/January. For the first time in several years, I thought this year would be time to catch a breather and spend more time writing. I knew a family wedding was on the schedule, and I knew an election year would be stressful...but I really was hoping for normal in the rest of life.

    But God has a way of reminding us that our plans are not His plans, doesn't he? NO ONE gets "normal" this year.

    So I've constantly been recalculating...reinvigorating has been harder to do. And I've had several restarts.

    Here's to a better second half of 2020. :-)

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    1. Amen, Jan! We just have to keep things in perspective. Sorry you didn't get that breather, though.

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  8. I reviewed my 2020 goals earlier today. I was more energetic on January 1 than I am on July 1. But I won't give up. I can recalculate, but prayer is what will reinvigorate me. Thanks so much, Mindy. I needed your post!

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    1. Jackie, if you reviewed your goals before reading this post, then this was your affirmation. I love it when stuff like that happens!

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  9. Hi Mindy:

    I have one major goal. Stay alive. I am in four of the categories in which I'd be most likely to die if I get the virus. This situation changes how I see my 2020 goals as might be expected.

    My new goals are now taken one at a time. I think of a project that would take 2 to 3 days to complete if I really worked at it. These are projects that I've put off for months and even years. The idea is to feel good about getting something actually done -- something that has evaded me because life kept intruding and disrupting even my best intensions.

    I've completed three or four of these already and it does feel reinvigorating to be making at least some progress at long last. It is even more satisfying when a goal produces visual results. I love actually seeing the improvement.

    Now about you:

    How do you have two releases coming out so close together? Are you in competition with Ruth? :()

    I got your, "Her Rocky Mountain Hope," last weekend, btw.

    I must say I love the cover art for "A Father's Promise". It's the type of cover that most makes me want to buy the book. That's because I do love the 'baby on the doorstep' theme; however, I can't tell from the blurb if this is the case. I don't think it could be if the mother is still around.

    "Baby on the doorstep" is a tricky theme which really makes it interesting. Can you tell us some more about this latest release? I presume that it's part of a new series. If so, how many books are planned for the "Bliss" series?

    If I really enjoy a book, (and the characters), I very much want to see the series go on indefinitely. (Unless it's a mystery series and the heroine does not get married. I lost interest when Anna Pigeon and Joanna Brady got married. All the energy was lost!!!)

    Well, I know this is probably too much information but I do try to write some everyday.

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    1. Vince, I hope you and your wife are staying safe! These times are worrisome for anyone with risk factors. Take care of yourselves!

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    2. Vince, I'm glad you're not only staying safe, but that you're actually knocking out some of those items on your to-do list. There's nothing quite like that sense of accomplishment. And I'm with you on visual results. Though they often have me thinking, "Why didn't I do this sooner?"

      Her Rocky Mountain Hope was a February release and A Father's Promise is technically a July release, though its release date was June 16. I'm still scratching my head over that. No, I can't keep up with Ruthy, though I'd certainly love to.

      A Father's Promise is a secret baby story. And the baby is a result of a single night that changed the course of both the hero and heroine's lives forever. Now he's trying to get to know his daughter, along with her mother.

      As for the series, there are four books in the Bliss, Texas series, and it revolves around four women who came to Bliss in search of a new beginning and found each other. One is a single mother, another is a former tech industry exec, the third is widowed and the fourth woman's husband left her for his pregnant mistress. The second story will be out in March 2021.

      Hope that helps. And I hope you enjoy Her Rocky Mountain Hope.

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    3. Vince, I'm a big Anna Pigeon fan. I just reread...wow what was it? Okay, had to hunt a while. Destroyer Angel. Wow, sort of an insane book but I wouldn't say the tension is drained out. LOL A strange, wild ride as Anna tries to save her four friends, kidnapped for ransom from a wilderness campout, while Anna is away canoe-ing. She gets back just in time to stalk them and one by one, take out the four bad guys.
      I've never read J.A. Jance but if you like Anna Pigeon then I'll bet I like Joanna Brady.

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    4. Hi Mary:

      I have not read "Destroyer Angel" but I read all the books up to "The Rope". Where was Anna's husband during the action in "Destroyer Angel"? If I remember right he is the Sheriff on the Trace and a part time Minister. Anna is also older now and in a managerial position which by itself is not very interesting. However, I did just order "Destroyer Angel" on CD so I'll be listening to it soon.

      Joanna Brady was an insurance agent/office worker when her Sheriff husband was murdered. She ran to replace him and won the election. No law enfordcement experience. She had to go to the Police Academy near Phoenix. Very interesting at the Academy. Solves a murder while a student! The first five books are great.

      Now I think you would really love J.A. Jance. Her book, "After the Fire" about her very abusive marriage, near where all the Brady books take place, is one of the most moving I've read. Part prose and part poetry. To read it is to love Jance. As the author of "The Bossy Bridegroom", I think you could relate to every page. If you read the Brady series, please start at the beginning as they are the best books.

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    5. Hi Mindy:

      Thanks. This information is just want I wanted to know. The "Bliss" series has very interesting themes. Book four seems to be the hardest to write. It goes well with a theme I'd love to read, something Ruth would likely do, and that is; have a husband who once left his wife, (I'm thinking because of breast cancer), be the hero in a book where the heroine was abandoned by her husband as in your book four. Can a man who once did that to his first wife ever be trusted to marry again by a woman who was once betrayed in a similar way already? That would be some heart wrenching conflict to overcome. It would help if the heroine had four little children and lived in a house that was falling apart and the hero was now a successful builder who was seeking love, a family, and redemption. Even that would be hard to make work. Can't wait to visit 'Bliss' even if bliss seems to be a 'bridge too far'. :)

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    6. Destroyer Angel, Anna is off on a camping trip. She thinks about her husband (between killing bad guys) but he has no part in this. I ordered book #1 of the Joanna Brady book from Interlibrary Loan. They have a lot of J.A. Jance but not that one. I'm looking forward to it.

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    7. PS Vince, Destroyer Angel is a mean book. Yikes! If you didn't love Anna Pigeon I would really advise you not to start with this one. Anna has to get really vicious to save her friends.

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  10. I guess I’m different as I don’t set goals, as I look at each day as a gift from God and seek what I can do for His kingdom on a daily basis.

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    1. Lucy, that is probably the best outlook anyone could have. :)

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  11. Mindy, that's such a great cover! I love it and can't wait to read the book.

    I'm way off my goals for this year (to clarify, that means I'm behind on them). So this is perfect timing for your post! I do need to recalculate and re-set those same goals with new dates. Thanks for the post today!

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    1. Missy, better to look at them now than in October. We've still got six months left.

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  12. I am pleased to say I have met some of my goals. I was thinking about how much I hadn't accomplished that I meant to yet, but then had to stop and remember what I had. I set out to snag another contract ... and did. I set out to write at least two books. I have written one and five chapters of another. They're not the ones I meant to write back in January, but it's still writing. And I have polished another manuscript and pitched it, too. And we still have six months left. I might even surpass my goals!

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    1. Wow, you're doing great, Amy! You've really dug-in on the writing and that's always a good thing. Congratulations!

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  13. I do my routine 1000 words per day almost everyday and, what with being locked-down, I've done more work, the same steady pace, but I almost never miss a day.
    What I never seen to do is MORE. I wish I'd do sprints. Do 2000 words a day once in a while. Or 3000 or 5000. Why am I so stuck in that routine? Why do I never just have a story POUR OUT.

    Frowning.

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    1. And yet you seem to have a new book coming out every month, Mary. You're obviously doing something right! ;)

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    2. Thanks for the pep talk, Mindy. :)

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  14. Great post, Mindy. I have to say I am glad we are halfway through this year. Don't you think it will be the biggest New Year's party ever this year? There won't be a person who is sorry to see 2020 end. I actually have finally gotten busy with revising my book that I finished quite some time ago but felt like I didn't know how to proceed. But I am moving along with it now. Please put me in the drawing for the book!

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    1. Sandy it was SO FUN TO SEE YOU SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!

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    2. Sandy, so glad you're making progress on your book. Good going! And I hear you about being over 2020. I'd be content to just jump to Christmas and then move on into next year. ;)

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    3. Mary, it was great seeing you, too!!

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