Friday, July 27, 2007

Writing Goals

Stephanie recently talked about having writing goals over on her blog. She talked about having a goal to get her work published, but that sometimes the big picture can get lost when dealing with all the details. Basically, the details don't get done.

Truth is, while I am going about my writing to get it published, I haven't actually written my goals down, or even looked too hard at them. Writing, oh yeah, lots of writing, but there's also so much more to it than that. And even that, the writing that is, can be hard to accomplish it if you're kind of looking sideways at it and won't face it head on.

After reading Stephanie's blog I felt a little like a fish out of water. Am I really a writer? Do I really want this? If not, what have I been doing with all my time? And if I do, then why am I not spending MORE time on it, working more seriously at it? Time for a decision.

So, what I did is what I always do when I'm stumped at discerning something important in my own character or I can't decipher my own dreams; I went to my husband. When I asked him "Am I really a writer? And do I really want to be published?" he just gave me that screwball look that asks "Are you nuts?". But he kindly replied "Of course you are!" (but I heard the "what's wrong with you?" tagged on there, I swear it).

After talking for a while I have come up with a plan. My husband is brilliant and he knows me better than I know myself. I should also add that he too is a writer and dreams of one day getting his work published, but he puts aside his dream for a more practical reality; that of supporting me and his children and provding enough income that I can pursue my dream more intently. I owe it to him to make his efforts worthwhile, don't I?

So here is my plan: I will spend some portion of every day, six days a week, working on my goal which is to become a published author. I currently have five books I am working on, which was part of my problem because they all clamor at me and demand to be written and since I can't write them all at the same time, I write none at all. But again, my brilliant hubby, suggested I assign each story a day, with a day left over for the business of writing - submitting and the like. I thought this was a grand idea.

Have you ever had a TV show you really liked and followed closely? Well I have, and if you're like me, you wake up on that day and you think "Today is Smallville!" and you are totally in the mood for Smallville (or whatever show it is that turns your crank). My hubby and I even have a favorite treat that has become our Smallville treat; we can't sit down to Smallville without this treat. Silly, isn't it? But I think there's a brain something going there. Wish I was a wildly intelligent scientist and I could prove to you what that might be.

Suffice it to say that my hubby believes, and I tend to believe him, that I could similarly train my brain to be in the mood for whatever story is the story of the day. I'll wake up in the morning and think "Ooh! Today is The Jump Boys!" and my mind will quickly recover where the story was last week when last I visited the boys and I'll be able to go from there. It's a theory. I'll let you know how it works out.

So Mondays I've got editing and revising of The Jump Boys: The Beacon, Tuesdays are The Jump Boys: Time Matters, Wednesdays belong to The Devils' Daughter, Thursdays are The Blood Crown, and Fridays are Her Lovely Island of Sorrow. Saturdays are for business (I have a couple picture books I have not bothered to submit yet and a short story that needs to find a home). Now don't scoff, I'm only requiring myself to write for an hour a day. That might not seem like much, but for me who has not been writing at all, that is a lot. I'll increase it, have no fear. Also, I'm usually pretty fast at getting down my thoughts once I get started. I can accomplish a lot in an hour. But think of what I could do in a day! Oh my!

All is going well with my goals this week with the exception of Her Lovely Island; I decided I needed to readjust my approach so several pages needed to go out the window but their loss has left me a little stumped. I really liked what I had written, but they simply won't fit with the direction the story has to go. It was sad for me and I found I couldn't write much more.

So, Stephanie, not that you asked for them, but here are my goals. I decided to write them down here because writing them down and having witnesses are two of the important factors in actually accomplishing your goals, or so I've heard.

Thanks for letting me share my writing goals with all of you ... care to share any of your own goals with me?