Tag Archives: writing goals

Setting Goals

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I don’t know about my fellow Twisted Writers but life has been sucker punching me left and right. There’s been a lot going on that’s out of my control and unfortunately, writing took a backseat to trying to pick up pieces the overturned snowglobe dropped into new places. Hence, the reason why I haven’t been posting on Mondays here or even on my home blog.

I’ve had some exciting news recently. I’m being given the opportunity to become a freelance writer for the company a friend of mine works in. It’s not overly creative but does give me the chance to work from home and get a foot in the door for better opportunities in the future. However, having not had the kind of experience most freelance writers have, I’ve been a little concerned about my ability to be successful and pull this off. I’ve not had the formal education most writers have. But I’m not going to let this deter me from trying.

The whole experience happened rather quickly and it made me stop and think about the first time I sat down and wrote anything after my dad died. I had a goal in mind then and I was determined not to let anything stop me from accomplishing that goal. The last year has been a hard one and I have let myself become distracted from my original objectives. That’s why this weekend I made the decision to accept the offer my friend’s company extended to me and see where it leads. I am also going to sit down and complete my first draft on my NaNoWriMo project from this past November. My goal is to have my first draft and edits done and a manuscript ready to go (whether self-publishing or traditional, I’m not sure yet) by the end of the year. Possibly the summer if I can manage that but I still have some  life issues that will affect my timeline. But I am going to do my best.

What writing goals have you set for yourself that haven’t been met yet? What will it take to meet them?

I know how hard it is to let life take over when things get out of control. Writing anything and completing it is a way to feel as if you are in control of something.

Set some goals, even small ones, and finish them. I guarantee the small boost of confidence you get from completing even something small is worth it.

Have a great Monday!

Jesi

A Juggling Act

**Disclaimer, this post has not been proofread for any grammatical or spelling errors, so please read any errors that you come across and pretend that they are not really there. **

Wednesday. Today is Wednesday. It is just a day in the middle of the week for a lot of people, or also known as hump day.

Wednesdays are also the day I have a class scheduled and get my youngest to soccer practice and my oldest to church for bible study, after I have put in 9 hours at the office, made dinner and… and… I am forgetting something…

Oh right. It is also the day that I post here at TW.

I have a juggling act going on right now and I might’ve let a few of the balls drop lately, including remembering that I post on Wednesdays. Well, I cannot say that I have completely forgotten. I do remember – right as I lay down for sleep and go through my “to do” list in my head. That’s when I go “crap!”

But why dwell on what cannot be undone. Let us move forward…

Last night was my first class in English. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, the professor hadn’t posted his semester syllabus nor had he sent any pre-class emails giving us a heads up. Yes, I know this can be the norm, but my other professors already had made contact and I have been a complete mess of nerves about going back to school, so I really wanted something.

In class he explained the reason for the lack of a syllabus, of course system issues – we’ve all been there right? – And gave us a break down of what our next 16 weeks will look like. At this point I was both relieved and back to being freaked out. It occurred to me in the middle of this room, with 20 other bodies, that I will now be graded on my writing.

GRADED!

Graded, as in scored for pass or fail. (What in the hell was I thinking?)

This week’s assignment, we watched a video and have to give a thesis on the debate of the “Homeless Homed” project. It is less for a grade and more to show the professor my writing style. We need to give the argument vs argument concept; the argument being the claim plus the justification in the situation.

Claim + Justification = Argument

Then how the use of the “Art of Persuasion” and how a person can use techniques to coerce their audience. It is an interesting concept. And something as writers we all try to do. We use our voice and techniques or the “Art of Persuasion” to show/coerce the reader into feeling for our characters even if/when they are flawed.

Hmm, wonder what I will come up with.

So my question for you, do you know your writing style? And if so, are you comfortable enough with it to be graded on? Let me know in the comments.

Till next time,
~AJP

An age old question

When you meet a writer, one of the first questions is, “what do you write?” or, “what are you working on?”

 
This past weekend, while some of our fellow Twisted Writers were running the library book sale, I met another local writer. And sure enough, these were her first two questions, “what do you write?” and, “what are you working on?”

 
I struggle with these questions. I am not sure why, but I always have. It is almost like I guard these tidbits of knowledge as my own precious jewels needing to be locked away from prying eyes. Mine!

 
But being a writer is opening up and sharing your bits of treasured words with others. So I guess I should start handing out my treasure maps…

 
What do I write?

 
I write contemporary fiction, usually in the YA (Young Adult) or NA (New Adult) genre. I write flash fiction on the side, but it’s not something I really think much about in the long haul. My love is for novel writing and that is where I want my future to be.

 
What am I working on?

 
At the moment I am working on several different pieces.
My biggest project is writing the Storyteller’s point of view in my novel. (Synopsis: The synopsis for this one is; One family. One hour. One Action. Several Reactions. They say blood is thicker than water, but what do you do if that blood is slowly choking the life out of you? We delve into the lives of six family members, three generations; each dealing with a situation that could make or break them.) It is a big project for me because there are so many POV’s that if I do not get this done correctly then it will become a confusing mess of words. I have written out the stories from everyone else in the book, but now I am left with the most important one, the one who created the mess in the first place. My goal is to have her side written by the end of the year so that I can start on edits and rewrites by January.

 
My second smaller project isn’t really a project at all. Yet. I had an idea come to my head a few weeks ago and I am working on getting the bits and pieces out on paper to see if I want to take it further into a story later on. Right now, I have a bunch of random scenes and dialogue scrawled out in a notebook. Oh and a time line. It’s always good to have a time line.

 
For my mini project, I am working on a short story for a Twisted deadline. (I say mini project, this is the one giving me the most grief at the moment.)

 
Human nature is to always be working on something, towards something, or doing something. It’s what we do. Keep our minds busy, our hands working, our imaginations rolling or we become stagnant.

 
And no one wants that.

 
What are you working on at the moment? Share with us down in the comments, we’d love to hear what you have to say.

 
Till next time,
~AJP

Habitual Bliss

This morning I got into my SUV, to go to work, and proceeded to take the wrong route. I was about three streets into the drive when it dawned on me that I was headed in the direction that I take to go to my grandmother’s or the library (both are on the same road). Now I can still get to my new job this way, but it is not the preferred way due to go due to I have to turn onto a main road and the visual for on coming traffic is limited.

I laughed at my mistake and continued on but it had me thinking about my habits. I travel to the library and my grandmother’s at least 3-4 times a week. Sometimes more. Okay, mostly more.

However, I have only driven to my new office once. That being yesterday morning. So it has not become much of a habit just yet. It is not even a route that I have driven more than a handful of times in the past two years.

This brings me around to my train of thought and to today’s post.

Habits.

Here lately, we are all struggling with finding time to do what we need to do. Amanda wrote about accountability on Monday, and she is right. We have to be accountable for making the time to write. We have to stop treating this as a hobby and take it serious as we would any other job. Albeit, some of us have jobs that require 40+ hours at the office, families, school and so on.

BUT. If we can carve out an hour a day, or two hours a day during the weekend, and make this part of our daily routine, in no time writing will become a habit. It will no longer feel like a chore trying to find the time to do what we love doing anyway.

It goes along with the goals we should be setting for ourselves, pick a goal, pick a day, pick a time slot, then just stick to it. Eventually it will be our normal routine, the road more driven that we are most comfortable taking.

Some of us are already doing a bang up job at writing daily, or whatever their routines are, and if so – bravo! Good for you. But how much time do you spend wasted before you buckle down and jump to it? Do you browse the net before you start? Or scan your Twitter/Facebook feed before buckling down?

Honestly, how much time do we waste when we could actually be putting words on paper/the screen?

So let’s make writing a habit and not a chore and see where we end up.

Is writing already part of your daily habit? Or has it become a struggle? Let me know in the comments.

Till next time,

~AJP

habits

Setting Goals

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

– Douglas Adams

Jess asked us yesterday, “So do you want to be a writer?” and encouraged us to just do it. Amanda talked to us last week about “The Business of Writing” reminding us to treat our writing like what it is, a business. So if I want to be a writer and I want to treat it like a business, what are some of the things I need to do to take my craft from something I want to do into something I am actually doing?  For me, that meant setting some writing goals.

I’ve always been a writer at heart for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t start making progress as a writer until I started setting goals for myself. It made the abstract idea of wanting to be a writer a more concrete task to be accomplished. It also made something that could seem unattainable seem possible.

My brothers-in-law really impressed me with a five year plan they laid out to accomplish a goal they had in mind of starting a new business in a new place. They set a realistic time line, made practical plans, did research and went about making it happen. Today they are living where they want, doing what they want and they accomplished it by setting and sticking to their goals.

Last year I set myself a challenge to write every day. My plans weren’t as solidly laid out as they might have been, but just setting a goal to write every day, even with loose restrictions on what I had to write, helped me get into the habit of writing. I didn’t set a word count limit, though some people do. I didn’t set a time limit, though some people benefit from setting a specific required time. I didn’t even make what type of writing I had to a part of the goal. For me, just having set the goal to write every day pushed me to make real my desire to write.

To set a goal that works for you, first you need to decide what exactly you want to accomplish. Where do you want to end up once the goal is met? How much time do you want to allow to get there? Is the goal less about where you want to be and more about improving how you manage to get there?

Once you’ve set a goal and set about accomplishing it, you might find the plan you’ve put into place isn’t working for you. Allowing a little flexibility and an ability to shift as needed can help you make it to the finish line, instead of quitting halfway through the race.  When I set the goal to write every day last year, I had originally thought I would blog every day as well. I quickly learned that I couldn’t manage both. Many people can, and do, successfully, but I realized with my work and family life it just wasn’t possible. Tweaking my original idea of what I would do rather than abandoning it all together meant that I continued working toward what I want.

I’ve still got quite a few goals in place now and am always looking for others I may need to put into place. What about you? Do you have any goals you have set and met? Any you are considering setting for yourself? Do you work well with goals or avoid them? Feel free to tell me in the comments.

Thanks and have a great week! 🙂

~CJS