Focus

My creativity, well most likely my life, is being super squirrelly. I’ll get these great ideas and I’m excited to do the work. The words flow out of me and onto the page. It feels me with joy and struggles to capture it all. And then nothing. I slam into my own back hole. I’ve never had this happen to me before it’s like I’ve been robbed of the sun.

Maybe this is because I’ve still got other pieces that are in various stages of pruning and shaping that I can’t seem to focus so my mind keeps wanting to wrap up the other works first? Naw, that sounds like an excuse. So how do I keep my eye on the long-term goal of getting the actually writing down and finish a project?

Well, I do know of one thing NaNoWriMo is around the corner. I’ve been wanting to do it for a few years but I’ve normally been neck deep in editing when November has came around. So this year I’ll make sure I’m pumped and ready to write starting November 1st. I love me a good deadline so this idea works with my goal oriented brain. So between here and November I’ll make sure I’ve got the structure of what I want to happen and the characters a bit more fleshed out than what I normally have before I start writing and see how it goes for me.

To the plan,

Melissa

Grit

To become a published author one must ignore much of the noise around them, the inner critic, the outer cynics, the jaded, and the hopeless. These swirls of dissidence will do you no goood. Understand the difference between the anger and fear others have because you are reaching out, breaking out, and refusing to stay small. By following your dream, you are changing the pattern of most people you know; you are striving for something you truly want.

Keep your goal dead ahead, allow the voices that aren’t serving you to achieve your vision to dissolve and be left behind. No one but you can plot your course to get your dreams. Remember you are at the helm. So cut those anchors and explore the vast oceans of your fantasies.

Ahoy mate,

The Writer ~ Melissa

Who’s a Writer

A week off and no writing, can I still call myself a writer? I’ve opened the document and stared at it but no actually words flowed onto the page, so again am I a writer? Must I always be in the mists of writing something? But the I think the better question is this, why do I believe that I must be adding words to the page everyday to considered a writer?

I think it’s my own fear that I will let time slip away from me and not complete the manuscript. How many times have I spoken to someone who claims to be a writer but has never completed anything? They play at being a writer and like to strut around shouting to the world their story arcs, tragic characters, and the such and I don’t want to be them. I want to create and complete the story. I don’t want to be full of talk and no action.

Well, that settles it; yep, I’m still a writer. My own insecurities were getting the better of me. Now that I figured that out maybe I should do a little writing?

And Away I Go,

The Writer

One Sixth

Here we are at the cusp of March. One-sixth of the year is up and how goes your New Year’s Resolutions? I dislike the word resolution when it comes to goals.

Every New Year before the ball drops people write down a list of things they want to change about their life. Articles spew around the internet and people flap their lips about resolutions yet nothing changes.

Let’s go down the etymology rabbit hole with the word, resolution.

Resolution:

  • early 15c., “a breaking into parts,” from Latin resolutionem (nom. resolutio)
  • “process of reducing things into simpler forms”
  • Originally sense of “solving” (as of mathematical problems) first recorded 1540s,
  • that of “holding firmly” (in resolute) 1530s, and
  • that of “decision or expression of a meeting” is from c.1600.

(Thank you, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=resolution).

Today, when people say they are making resolutions they seem to be anything but resolute.

Here’s what normally happens:

“They” say, “I really want to lose weight. So I’ll eat healther.”

After, if they’re lucky, two weeks, they are back to their old junk food slinging ways. Why because they didn’t break it down into pieces, know what eating healthier really looks like, and there is no real reason why they should change their trothlike ways.

Here’s what one of the things on my January 1 list looks like.

Send completed manuscript out to at least 50 literary agents. Most people would have written: I want a literary agent. Or worst yet they could have said, “I want my book to be published”.

One I have control over, the first, and the other I have not say in, the second. This distinction between what I can and can’t do is paramount. Because I keep this in mind I’m more likely to keep up with my goals for longer.

That takes care of the how to write it up but what about the other stuff on how to actually make a resolution into reality.

I love goals. They motivate me. They push me. Why? Because I check in with them on at least a weekly basis. If my goal is to write two full length novels at approximately 65,000 words I know I need to write 10,833 words a month or more to reach that goal. So at the beginning of each week my goal is to write 2,708 words a week or better. Why do I keep adding the “or better” after each goal? Because I know that there will be weeks and months where I don’t make the original “perfect” target number. On those times, I acknowledge that I didn’t make it and revise my plan. Which is fine. I’m still on the path of achieving my dream. I’m just taste testing and adjusting the amount of salt to go in the magic I-will-finish-it sauce of success.

But that’s part of my ability to keep true to at least a few of my resolutions (at least so far this year) is that I revisit and revise my timeline. And I allow it to be alright that I don’t get that magic number every time I have a check up. I made the rules and I can take a day off if I want to but I try to make it the exception and not the rule otherwise I’ll never complete anything.

So how are you doing this year on your yearly goals? It’s never to late to dust them off and begin again. You still have over 83% of the year left to work on them.

If you are keeping your resolutions, what’s your secret ingredient? How do you keep focused? Any sage advice for the rest of us.

To achieving my dreams,

Me~lissa

Mechanical Troubles

Another week gone by and I’ve failed to make my word count goal I had set for myself. Well, I have two options degrade myself for my slothful performance or I could take stock of where I am and adjust my goal. Only one is helpful but it is harder to do the latter.

So how can I cope with my falling short of my goal?

  • Know that I will fail some days. It’s natural so be kind to myself.
  • Know I can’t fall behind because it’s my plan. Cut myself a break.
  • Know why I didn’t make the old goal. Was the original goal too difficult? Am I striving for perfection? Once I assess make the next goal reflect my findings.

Even if I didn’t make my small goal I am still on my path to achieve it. View it as a filling up of my world allowing me to come back to the task refreshed. Then hit it. Carve the time out of my schedule to do the work. If it’s important enough for me to be angry for missing it rededicate myself to it. It’s my dream if I don’t make time for it, who will?

Love,

The Struggling Writer

Time Carve

One of my goals this year is to write two complete manuscripts. To do this I must keep track of my goal weekly and tweak my long term goals. For example, I started a new work-in-progress that I want to have approximately 65,000 words manuscript. And I should be able have the first draft written by the beginning of March. Round 1 of edits should take me a month to get through. So by May, I could be ready to start my next work-in-progress.

Rinse and repeat with additional editing sprinkled in between. It sounds easy on paper but hopefully with me constantly checking and keeping my goals insight I can keep on track. By checking the goals at least once I week, I can adjust my time line to see if the original goal is feasible. If it isn’t that’s simple enough to handle, I update the completion date. This isn’t hard but I make sure I’m making progress and not letting myself off the hook.

To the word document I go,

Me

Flames of Hope

The clacking of keys may have been silent the last few weeks with life sweeping me away from the keyboard but I have been plotting. Such wonderful ways to push the story further along and keep the words flowing on the page.

I am hopeful that next week I will be able to steer into the words and slather them on the page.

First draft, I’m coming to finish you. You’ve been put on alert because I’m ready to finish this bad boy up.

Hope springs eternal,

Me