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Over the weekend, I did something I haven’t done in a long time – and I’m not talking about trying out a new brand of shampoo. 

I set myself some short-term goals.

I have to be careful when it comes to this kind of thing. Not because I give myself unrealistic targets (though I’ve been known to do that), but because I have a terrible habit of focusing too much on the goal setting and not enough on the goal achieving.

When it comes to goals, I often remember one of my old gran’s favorite expressions: “Shut your whining before I give you something to really cry about.” Of course, that particular pearl of wisdom has no relevance here, but whenever I remember it, some of her other sayings soon spring to mind, one of which, “Keep it simple, you pillock,” I’m sure you’ll agree is much more relevant.

Simple, bite-size goals can take you anywhere you want to go. Of course, we need a long term dream, like wanting to become a successful writer, to inspire us and keep us in the game. We also need some mid-range 'milestone' goals eg: write a novel in a year, to keep us heading in the right direction, but without those little goals, it’s much harder to accomplish the big ones.

Some folks use wordcounts to spur themselves on, but I find more specific goals like ‘Finish chapter seven’ or ‘Write an outline for a short story’ work better for me.

 I think it’s also important to allow yourself some elbow room. We all feel good when we’re on a roll and hitting our daily targets, but there’s nothing more demoralizing than the feeling you’ve fallen too far behind to catch up, and life has a way of derailing even the best-laid plans. That’s why I never schedule work on the weekends. It allows me to catch up on what I failed to do between Monday and Friday, or get ahead of schedule when things are going well.

As for my new writerly goals, gran would be pleased to hear that I kept them simple. Since I’m taking a month’s break from novels to soak up the wisdom from Jim Frey’s How to Write a Damn Good Thriller, my simple goal for the week is to rewrite my science fiction short story, THE FAMILY LEGEND, and create an outline for a new 1,000-word flash.

How about you?

 

What writerly goals have you set for yourself this week?




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Comments

tracy_d74
Apr. 20th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
I write goals each week. I planned to finish my date scene in The Collector. Finish The Collector (I only have three chapters) left. Print out The Collector and give it to my #1 beta this weekend.

On a side note, do my posts show up on your Friend's page? Not that I've been posting a lot lately. But I was just wondering. I know Amanda was having problems with posts showing up on hers and I know sometimes my comments don't show up on some posts (or that is what people say). Just checking. I just want to make sure I am not having an LJ problem. This does not mean I think you should commenting on my post . . . .PLEASE do not read that into this question. I am honestly just making sure I'm showing up.
jongibbs
Apr. 20th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
I think the last one of yours I read was about finding your voice, but I can't remember if I commented on it or not. That was a few days ago though.

Now you mention it, I do get the feeling I'm seeing less posts on my friends page than usual. I just assumed this was a quiet week.

Edited at 2010-04-20 04:10 pm (UTC)
tracy_d74
Apr. 20th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
No, I think it is quiet in general. But I keep wondering if it is really quiet or if LJ is having problems. I always seem to be the last to know these things. So periodically I just check with people.
jongibbs
Apr. 21st, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
Better safe than sorry, right :)

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

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