Friday, January 9, 2015

Make Those Resolutions, But We Will Call Them Goals NOW!

You have now made it through your first week of 2015. The dust is settled. The Christmas lights are likely down (although I have 3 strands that didn't make it into a box). The kids are probably back at school (thank goodness). And more importantly, you have shipped the relatives back to their respective homes. Whew!

But this is not a time to sit back and relax. It is time to get going and move into 2015 with a lot of energy.

Now I know  many of you want to make New Year's Resolutions. And, probably like so many people in the world, those resolutions are completely lost before today. It's a shame though because those resolutions, those goals are what drive us to achieve. You strive to give your characters a little GMC (Goals, Motivation, and Conflict). So it is time to do that for you too!

One of the reasons many of you don't make it through those yearly goals is the timing of when you make them. The clock is ticking on Dec. 31st and you are madly scrambling for a resolution! It is the excitement of the moment (and maybe the bubbly) but you are full of a lot of adrenaline and excitement. So you start making goals you probably won't keep.

The same thing happens to so many authors after they attend national conventions such as the Romance Writers of America Conference. You can't help but to become energized. You listened to some great speakers, you met some great writers and there are a ton of new ideas running through your head. But all of those plans disappear when you hit the real world. Why? You made those goals too soon!

I don't know about you, but I am completely exhausted after the holiday season. I have been scrambling to make things just right, trying to get submissions, edits and revisions done before we settle into the lights and everything. So making plans while that adrenaline is going will only lead to things I probably don't want to achieve or maybe are simply unrealistic.

But the dust has settled now. You have had 9 days to detox and become acclimated to the real world. Now make those plans.

What do YOU want to achieve with your writing this year?

As you plan these, however, I want you to take the time to think like an author. I want you to consider your own GMC.

  • What are your GOALS? Remember to keep these realistic and achievable. Remember also that goals have to be something that you can control. Therefore telling me you want to be on the NY Times list is not going to happen. Telling me you are going to get an agent or a contract is not going to be a great goal. Both are rely on others to make your decisions. Keep it focused on you and your writing.
  • What is your MOTIVATION? Why are you doing this? I will tell you, if it is to earn money to keep food on the table, this is a poor motivation. Again, you aren't thinking about the writing. Take the time to think about why you are really writing? What is that big "take-away" you get from finishing that story and passing on those thoughts and memories to your readers?
  • What is the CONFLICT(s) that might get in the way? Plan ahead on this one. You know your schedule! You know your life! Plan for how you will deal with the things that could potentially distract you. For me, it is the busy schedule of my kids - so I make plans to get things done during different times. 
Your homework this weekend is to figure out your GMCs for 2015! I dare you to post them here for the world to see. It is easy to have a resolution and a goal but never tell anyone. This way, if you fail, no one will know.

I challenge you!
I dare you!

And to get things rolling, here is my GMC

As you know, I have written two books of poetry. I also have on my computer 2 partials of poetry collections.

MY GOAL: To finish the book and have it done by Dec. 31.
MY MOTIVATION: I see so many of you finish your stories and your projects and I want the same feeling. I had it when I saw my took book covers the first time and I want it again.
CONFLICT: I have set up a pretty rigorous writing schedule. I need to write for 30 minutes a day to achieve this. Therefore, I have put it as a permanent TO DO item on my Outlook. The document is on the Cloud so I can write from my iPad or anywhere I have a computer, AND I have a notebook sitting on the front seat of my care to get those ideas in place.

1 comment:

  1. motivated me! Here it is:
    Goal: Finish the edits on my current wip, finish my 2nd and plot my 3rd.
    Motivation: Also, it'd be really nice to be finally finished with this first story.
    Conflict: Full time job, plus I just started my own business and I have my first grandbaby on the way. :)