Friday, January 02, 2009

2009--It's Here!


I don't know about all of you, but I'm still in a little state of getting acquainted with this new year. It seems like I spent so much time thinking about Christmas and New Year's that now that it's over I'm left thinking, "What's next?" Valentine's as suggested by all the stores who've already put out stock?

Then there's the to do list that never seems to get done and the dreaded r-e-s-o-l-u-t-i-o-n-s! I don't see them as something dirty, but lots of others do. In fact, to help people get a jump on the new year I asked my local RWA chapter members to think of what they'd like to achieve in the future. I agree that you can't make extensive goals like finishing 3 books, or getting an agent. Life can take a turn in an instant, derailing that intention and adding guilt to your list of woes. However, that doesn't mean you can't start the habit of setting smaller goals. How about establishing a writing goal for the week or month? You could promise to go to your first writers meeting, saving to go to a convention for networking, or sending out your next (or first) query. Baby steps can work better than jumping into a marathon, because achieving even the smallest goal can give you a sense of accomplishment. That will lend you incentive to continue to do more or atleast keep on track for a larger goal.

In HCRW we have a "finish the darn book" contest where members can pay into the pot for a chance to win if they fulfill their promise to finish a novel. It doesn't have to be edited, but it does have to be completed and in hard copy (not just in their head). At CRW, we've begun the "I've Got Goals" campaign where members list three goals they think they can achieve within the year. We outlaw anything like selling a book or getting representation by an agent, because it isn't something we can control. We can meet a daily word count, a promise to submit, and any number of other personal writing goals. Whoever achieves 75% of those goals gets their name placed in a pot to win the total of the combined fees.

I've competed in the FTDB contest and won. In 2008 I did "I've Got Goals" but only completed about 60% of my goals. I did enter SHOMI's contest, and got 2 non-fiction articles accepted/published. However I failed to finish editing 2 books. I actually only did one. But to win you also have to be present to win, and I was sick. See sometimes life doesn't work out like you want. But you pick yourself up, brush yourself off, regroup and get to trucking on that writer's road again.

This year I want to write a new book, place in a contest again, complete 3 more races and lose 25 more pounds. I'm headed in the right direction for the last goal by heading up another BIGgest Loser contest at my office, and have contributed an article for the CRW newsletter to help fellow writer's get rid of "secretary spread". When I think about goal number one, I get a surge of excitement. I CAN write anything. I know I CAN do it, since I've done it before. No matter what I choose, as long as I keep my fingertips speeding across my keyboard and my writer's cap on, I WILL finish a new book. Hopefully one that will be picked up by an agent or editor so one of those BIG writing goals will become a reality!


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