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Posts tagged ‘Goals’

January 2020 – New Year, New Goal

Happy 2020!

We’re in a new year and that means it’s time to talk about new goals for the year. Last year my plans got derailed. I had these big goals to write more stories, write my novel, and grow my blog. I did write a couple of stories, write some of my novel, and gained a few more followers, but still I fell short. Throw in recovering from surgery, getting laid off, money worries, and starting a new job, and well, the goals just didn’t happen. I fell behind. Then, I beat myself for falling behind.

So for 2020 I’m scaling back the goals. I only have one.

Write and sell my book.

That’s it. One single focus. I may do other things (rewrite some stories or maybe another chapbook next winter), but the primary focus will be on the book. I’ve ignored it far too long and this is the year that I really devote time to it. Writing a novel is a brick by brick building process. It won’t get written in a week, or a month. But it will get written this year.

It’s not an exciting goal on paper, but the last time I finished anything that was over 5,000 words long was 2003. I’m a bit daunted by this goal, but I also know that I can do this. I’ve done it before and I KNOW I an do it again. I just have to stick to my mantra — Put words on the page everyday.

Also, if you missed the news, I had a new story published last month by Scarlet Leaf Review. You can read it here.

Thank you for reading and Happy New Year!

 

 

Continuing On…

It’s a new month and a new reality for me. The dust is starting to settle around my unemployment. I still feel like I should be working everyday and often I find notes written to myself about a work thing I needed to get done or a goal I wanted to hit. I forgot to stop the alerts on my calendar, so stuff pops up every now and then.

But I’ve also waded through the paper work for unemployment benefits, healthcare,  updating my resume, and job searching. I have to say – It’s nuts the way almost every employer wants you to create an account on their site just to submit a resume. I have so many passwords now… LOL.

Hey you gotta laugh, otherwise you’ll cry.

One thing I do want to address is my fiction writing career. For the first time in a long time, I have the time to really write, everyday, without feeling guilty. I apply to jobs in the morning and then in the afternoon, I pull out the stories. I don’t have to worry about taking time away from anything else, because I’m not doing anything else. It’s freeing.

Even when I was working full-time and I would take vacation days, I still didn’t write with total freedom. Days off meant doing things I would have the chance to do like travel and do house projects. Now I really have the time. I have to keep myself busy and active. The last thing I want is to start waking up at 10am and not get dressed until the afternoon.

Nope. Not a good idea.

So, I’m up at my usual time of 6am. I do my usual morning routine: lemon water, vitamins, scripting, and exercise. Then it’s make tea, get dressed, plan my day, and see what’s going on the world (usually an hour or so of morning talk shows). Then at 8am or so my (new) workday starts. So far so good.

As a reminder, I had 4 writing goals this year:

-Finish my novel

-Write 6 new short stories (1 down, 5 more to go.)

-Write 100K words

-Gain more followers on the blog (Got a nice little bump in April.)

That should be plenty to keep me busy. Let’s do this!

Keep Going!

Today I was reminded that it has been a year since I put a down payment on my first home. Two years ago, I lived in a different place and was plugging away at my goal to save up money. Time seemed to move much slower while I worked toward my goals. The days repeated over and over.

I felt like I would never get there.

I feel like that now. I’m plugging away at my novel and stories, but not really making any progress. Things are still unfinished. I know that I will be done one day. But that day seems so far off.

I have to remember that sometimes when you are in the middle, it is tough to see the end, but it is there. There is an end. You have to keep going and trust that you will get there.

I’ve done it before. I’ve gotten degrees, paid off lots of debt, saved up large sums of money, and written novels (and lots of short stories). All long-term goals I achieved. This should be a familiar thing to me.

And it is, but sometimes I need to be reminded. I need to keep going and until I get to the end.

One Moment and Everything Changes

This week has been difficult. I gotten difficult news both professionally and personally. I won’t go into it, instead I want to write about what happens after. The world goes sideways and what do you do next?

You make a plan.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. Everything doesn’t have to make sense. You can take some time (as long as you need), but then the world is still turning. Life, whether you are ready or not, is still going on.

Make a plan. Try to figure out where you want to be and what you think is best. Be flexible and let your plans change, if they need to.

Most important, though, is to keep your eye on the bigger picture. I try to think about years down the road, instead of day by day. I do have short-term goals, but as I get older they seem to be less important. Long-term goals tend to bring me more happiness and satisfaction when I complete them.

So for now, I’m going to think about my long-term goals and how I’m going to get there. I want to think about how this news is going to affect these goals. Then, I’m going to make some plans.

Twenty Days Straight and Still Going

It’s day twenty of my little experiment to write everyday for a month. So far, it hasn’t been too hard, but we’re coming to the end of the month, and usually this is when things get tough. Ending of stories are difficult and, if you don’t get them just right, the reader can be unsatisfied. Endings are an art form.

One of my favorite pieces of advice about writing is that an ending is, “Endings are inevitable, but not predictable.” I want readers to leave my stories thinking, “Of course that is how it ends.” So far I’m 50/50 with most of my stories. Sometimes I change the ending, because the beginning has changed too. Sometimes I leave it alone. (My story Future Virtual Love had and ending I never changed.)

I’m not sure how I’m going to feel on April 30th. Probably proud that I accomplished this task I set myself. No one pushed me to do this, I was ready and decided to try. I also know that on May 1st, I’m going to write because I am used to the routine now. I may not share it on the blog (it will probably be more fiction.), but the habit is there.

Hey, if I can write through my birthday, the last season of Game of Thrones, Avenger: Endgame, and Easter — I’m good.

Also, tomorrow is Easter, so the post will be very, very brief. Holidays should be with family and friends, not staring at a computer. And if you don’t celebrate Easter, have a happy, relaxing Sunday. Read a good book. Watch that GOT premiere! Do something good for yourself.

Two Years – Still Consumer Debt Free

About two years ago, I paid off the last of my graduate school bills. I got my Masters in May 2015 and for two years I sacrificed and worked to pay the degree off. It was tough, but I had paid off debt before (my undergrad degree and my car), so I knew I could do it.

Two years later, I’m still consumer debt free. I do have a mortgage, so I don’t consider myself totally out of debt. It hasn’t been hard, I love being debt free. There is no part of me that wants to go out and charge up my cards, or make any other foolish money decisions.

Why?

Because of the freedom I have now. I can spend my money on the now (regular monthly bills) and the future (savings & retirement), instead of the past.

But paying off debt also gave me something else. It reminded me that doing something long-term, eventually pays off. I had forgotten about that side effect.

Writing can sometimes be lonely and isolating. But sticking with a long-term project like a novel, or a collection of stories will eventually pay off. For me, just knowing that I did something empowers me. I’ve written novels before and they didn’t sell. No one wanted them. However, knowing that I could do it gave me the confidence to write more. Sooner or later, I’m going to write a novel that sells.