What To Do While You Wait for Your Writing Goals to Come True

Originally published on September 7, 2021

Setting goals makes me feel better than a therapist and three bottles of antidepressants ever could. I mean literally and scientifically. Setting goals makes us feel positive about the future it’s important for our happiness.

Goals are a way we can turn our values and dreams into reality. Happiness doesn’t just happen it comes from thinking, planning, and pursuing things that are important to us. Research shows that setting goals can contribute to happiness in various ways

  • Being a source of interest, engagement, or pleasure
  • Giving us a sense of purpose
  • Bringing a sense of accomplishment

Goals help focus our attention.

Goals are most successful when they’re something we want to achieve and when we set for ourselves.

When I set goals, I allow myself to dream big. I visualize myself accomplishing my biggest dreams, and then I put my idea to work. So, as I wait for the Big dream goals to come true here are some things you can do to make the time go by faster and keep yourself engaged in your dream.

  1. Make a plan with a clear sequence of steps. Writing goals do not come true overnight and will remain unfulfilled until you make a plan to fulfill that dream.
  2. Identify helpful resources and systems. One of the easiest ways to begin fulfilling your dream is finding reaching out to support systems and resources like professional organizations that you might consider of which you might consider becoming a member.
  3. Set a timeline to review your goals progress. There is no set-in-stone deadline for checking in with yourself or how you choose to check-in. But I do suggest early and often rather than late and rarely that way you can make adjustments as needed. If you are writing a novel you may want to check your word count daily but your editorial page counts weekly. If your goal is to grow your blog you may want to check that quarterly.
  4. Establish a system of evaluation. You need a system to evaluate your self will you check in with a friend or mentor? Will you just look at your statistics and see where things are? Whichever you choose just remember celebrating with a friend makes the victory twice as sweet.
  5. Be active in the writing community. Being active in the writing community can mean any number of things. It should include belonging to one of any number of professional writing associations. It can also include attending write-ins and critique groups.
  6. Celebrate progress and accomplishments. Big dreams are made of small accomplishments and we need to celebrate those small victories when they happen. Otherwise, it could be a long slog to your dream.
  7. Reevaluate and set new writing goals. You can have more than one writing goal. While you wait to make the New York Times Best Seller List have another goal being published in the New Yorker.
  8. Be gentle with yourself as you go.

I NEED HELP

hey guys,,

Yes, The Cowboy’s Secondhand Heart will go live on September 6th but will be available to ARC readers and my Street Team on August 12th. I am so excited.

ARC readers need only read the book and leave an honest review of the book. within 24 hours of the go-live date.

Street Team members help me hype the book by putting it on their blog or mentioning it in their newsletter or whatever. Keep in mind that I will return the favor when you have a book go live. You will also leave me an Amazon review.

If you’re interested in helping me out just leave a message in the message box below.


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Get Organized Get Writing

Photo by Peter and Rudy Skitterians

I am not naturally overly organized. As a rule, I know where everything is and everything is exactly where I put it. Recently looking at the clutter drove me crazy, and I panicked. What if I lose something? Worse, what if I accidentally throw something away? The thought alone was being a distraction. Please understand that I was not looking at a desk that was overflowing with papers. I had one pile of papers for my blog and one pile for my novel I thought that wasn’t too much paper to have sitting on my desk until I read an article that said that the cleaner your work area the freer ideas can flow. So I have decluttered my desk and my mind to get those good ideas flowing in the right direction. That direction is through my fingertips and into my laptop. While I was at it I decluttered my laptop and my brain. The following is a list of 15 things I did to help me get organized and enjoy the fruits of staying that way.

  1. Capture your ideas

I write my ideas when I have them. That way I won’t risk losing them and I won’t have to stress about it.

2. Take charge of unruly research

I got rid of unneeded research and I organized what I needed into a file folder under the project’s name. It was quite easy to do, it only takes a few minutes to keep up with it.

3. Get a room of one’s own (metaphorically)

Getting a space where you can be alone with your thoughts, where you can keep any handwritten notes is important, but if you can’t have a room how bout a table and a drawer or a corner and a desk.

4. Get control of your writing tools

Learn to use your writing tools, whatever they are to the best of their abilities. I am not an expert and I haven’t made the leap over to Scrivner, So; I am still working in Micro Soft Word. I imagine the more books I write, the urge to get Scrivner will become too strong and I will succumb to its charms.

5. Attend to your published work

If you are publishing in magazines, you will want to track your submissions and your publications. If you are submitting novels to agents, you will also want to track your submissions as I used a simple spreadsheet that I created in Excel. Now, however, I use a different spreadsheet to track what stage each novel is in as I self-publish.

6. Clean the Clutter

I don’t have a desk or an office. I work from my bed (as I’ve explained before) I need to lie down to work because of severe back pain. So I have a file cabinet and some drawer space in my bedroom to keep office supplies in. But, I started making my bed every day and working on a made bed instead of an unmade bed. It has made all the difference. My computer was brand new when I bought it, so I didn’t need to clean a bunch of files. But I am being careful with my organization of files and my search history files.

7. Follow the five-minute rule

If I can do it in under five minutes, I do it immediately. It would take longer to write a note to remind myself to do it.

8. Make a to-do list

I make a to-do list every day and I’m not done until I have completed at least three things on my list. Some days that make for long days.

9. Make a follow-up list

The follow-up list for phone calls and things that I couldn’t finish because there was a part of the process that needed to be complete before I could do my piece of the process. For example, I can’t take care of my edits until the editor gets them back to me. I may need to follow up with her.

10. Write it down

I create more room for creative thought by not needing to remember stuff I write it down. When my husband asks me to make him iced tea while he’s at work I write myself a note so that way I don’t forget and I don’t need to remember.

11. Be proactive

When I attend a meeting, I am prepared with questions and ready to volunteer. I have deadlines and other things ready to go.

12. I create schedules and deadlines

When I’m working on projects, I create deadlines and schedules to keep the workflow moving and so that way nothing gets rushed and I can work in a relaxed way.

13. I mindfully manage my time

Sometimes it’s easy to say you are working when you unfocussed on the work in front of you. So, I mindfully and honestly carefully work on what I’m supposed to be working on even if that means I am letting my mind wander. I try to keep it wandering on the matter at hand.

14. Schedule Breaks

I used to always eat lunch while I worked, and I never took a break, because I am old and feel like time for me is running out. Now I know I need my mind to be refreshed. So I take a quick break every three or four hours and I take a lunch break and pet the dog.

15. Find what works for you

Just because it works for me doesn’t mean it’s best practice for you, but maybe you have to prove to yourself that it is best practice. The only way to know if this is good advice is to experiment. Try one or two things from this list and see how it makes you feel, see what it does for your productivity. The only way to know is to try it.