May 30th, 2012

Today, we’re talking about the ‘G’ word!

Yep, setting Goals. With a capital ‘G’.

If you are like me, setting goals is not so hard, it’s accomplishing them that is tough.

I love setting goals. They are like writing lists to me and I’m a list maker. Going down my list and checking each item off is such a big thrill to me. I feel such satisfaction and accomplishment at the end of the day. It makes my life easy in so many ways.

But goals, not so much.

It seemed every time I set a goal, the Goal Trolls clap their hands in glee and with an atrocious maniacal laugh set about to thwart me in ways that make it impossible to complete them.

{{sigh}}

So how does one beat them at their own game?

Set. Your. Goals.

You heard me.

And it’s okay to start small. When you reach those tiny ones, you will be surprised how good it feels and will become excited to set others. Maybe the next one will be a bit bigger. And soon, those Trolls will find someone else to pick on.

To make it a little more exciting – Issue yourself a challenge. It doesn’t have to be an expensive challenge or even a monetary one. And it doesn’t have to include anyone else but YOU to do it.

Just fill in the blanks. If I accomplish (goal)________ by (time frame)_________ then I get (reward)________.

And no cheating. No accomplishment, no reward.

Back at ya next time!

~Sandy

May 27th, 2012

Here we are. Back talking about how we can accomplish our writing dreams.

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase Keeping Your Head in the Game before. Especially if you, or anyone you know, have ever been involved in any kind of sports activity. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard my sons coaches preach it.

Basically, it means to keep involved and focused on your objective.

Things out of our control are exactly that. Out. Of. Our. Control. But there are a few things we can control and here are a few ideas to help you get back in the swing of things.

Set a few minutes each day for writing. Everyone can find five minutes in a twenty-four hour period they can devote to it.

If it is honestly impossible to write in that designated five minutes, then read something about it.

Read Craft books, writer’s magazines, your favorite author’s blogs, books in the same genre you are writing in and even those in different genres. It’s a good idea to get an idea what’s out there on the bookshelves whether they be a bricks and mortar store or a cyberstore. Reread the book(s) that inspired you to become a writer. Everyone has at least one.

Buy or borrow some tapes on writing. Listen while cooking, cleaning, doing chores, running errands (or just running if you are into that), going back and forth from school or work each day.

I belong to Romance Writers of America and their yearly National Conference tapes are available each year at Bill Stephens Productions and you can now download individual sessions straight from their website. I get so much out of them and listen to them again and again, learning something new each time.

I’ll continue next post more on how to Keep Your Head in the Game. But until then, your mission is to decide how many minutes each day you can devote to your writing. Start a diary, a spreadsheet or even keep up with it on your smart phone.

I’m sure there’s an app for it, LOL!

~Sandy

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May 20th, 2012

“You gotta keep your saw in the wood.”

~Paul R. Martin

So you wanna write a book?

You’ve got characters you’re in love with, a plot that rocks, and a theme to die for.

But what is missing here?

That elusive thing that everyone has, but not enough of.

Time!

In today’s fast paced, instant gratification world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed with ordinary day to day living. School, work, family, friends and a multitude of outside influences demand your time and energy making it difficult, if not impossible, to get any writing in.

Little by little, your characters stop demanding their stories be told and eventually drift away and become silent. The worlds you built become nonexistent and the plots you so labouiously crafted to torture your characters become a distant memory.

It becomes easier not to think about writing and harder to remember why you started in the first place. You lose the excitement of getting those first words down on a new story. You forget the adrenaline ‘high’ of getting into the ‘zone’ where the words come faster than you can type.

So you don’t even try any longer.

It becomes a ‘when this happens, I’ll start again’ which turns into a ‘maybe someday I’ll get back to it’ until you don’t even think about it much less talk about it any longer.

Your dream dies a slow, painful death. I know, I’ve been there.

For the next several posts, I’m going to address some things we can do to avoid this from happening.

It’s called Keeping Your Head in the Game.

For now, I want you to focus on one thing. What do you want to accomplish? Do you have something brand new or is there a WIP that has been sitting collecting cobwebs you’d love to get back to? Take a day or so to decide and we’ll meet up again this week to discuss a plan to get you back in the chair and in front of your computer/laptop/alphasmart/iPad/pen and paper.

Until then…

~Sandy

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