Momentum is not only what I feel like I’ve achieved today but it is also a free set of tools from Creative Folk–website of Laura Simms, The Creative’s Coach–which includes a Goal Guide and Dream Reality Checklist. I downloaded it and thought it might help me and my new fellow writing buddies, Shirley and Adrienne, set some writing goals so I brought the goal guide to Tullys in Redmond where, Shero Writers, our inaugural writing circle, met today. (The name is a placeholder just because I thought it’d be fun to name our threesome.)
When I got home, I filled out the goal guide in no time. When I got to the “Accountability” section of the goal guide, I was stumped. And then it came to me: write a blog post summarizing my goal setting plans every month. That way, I would be “putting it out there” for all to see. One is much more motivated if one’s goals are public, right? Well, that’s my thinking anyway.
The goal guide consists of a template where you fill out sections. Here’s my goal guide for September:
Last Month’s Successes–Completed 4-week Intuitive Writing class with Vedika Dietrich; Received thumbs up from 1 agent and 1 editor to submit the first 3 chapters of my manuscript; Learned a lot at PNWA conference; Splurged on headshots for promo materials; Submitted short story to Line Zero magazine
Last Month’s Challenges–Didn’t edit or write enough; Allowed inner critic too much airtime; Not much blogging; Juggling family and job search priorities
This Month’s Goals–Rewrite first 3 chapters; Write a short story about either my broken engagement or my mother’s purse, based on prompts from Intuitive Writing class.
Potential Challenges–Increased job search activity and/or starting a new job; Eve visiting Sept. 1-6; Not inspired to edit/rewrite same old, same old; Not carving out enough time in my schedule; Balancing writing with working on my Sketchbook project, Encyclopedia of Friulan Proverbs.
Challenge Busters–Schedule regular time to rewrite; Limit my TV time (and other distractions) to 3-4 hours a week.
48 Hour Actions–Set up and complete four 30-minute timed writings; Rewrite my synopsis; and Subscribe to Writer magazine.
Other Actions–Register for SIWC October 21-23; Send out 2 query letters to other PNWA agents/editors; Create a Tessa D’Uccelli author blog; Set time on calendar to attend the free Northwest Bookfest October 1-2; Register for the 6-week class “The First 20 Pages” at Hugo House.
Accountability–Write a blog post (this is it!) summarizing my goal setting plans every month.
When these goals are achieved, I will feel…elated that I pushed past my rewriting writer’s block to get one step closer to my pre-Thanksgiving Day manuscript submission deadline!
Cocooning these goals is a Supporting Thought. Mine for September is “Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.” ~ Syliva Plath
The goal guide is a straightforward one-pager that I can easily read at a glance. I will keep one copy at my writing desk in my home office as well as carry one with me so I can always have it at the ready wherever I happen to be. No excuses! It is part of the reason why I invested in a Livescribe Echo Pen so that if I don’t have my laptop handy, I can write and record my words when I’m on the go.
Next, I focused on the bigger picture that my goals are helping me strive toward and that is the dream of publishing a novel. That’s when I completed the Dream Reality Checklist. Lots of good questions to help me hone in on what I truly want and figuring out a way to get it. The bottom line of that checklist is improve my craft with daily writing practice. I believe with the wisdom nuggets I gained at PNWA and “Shero Writers” now in place, I’m well on my way.
Stay tuned for next month’s progress on my September writing goals.