Monday, December 12, 2016

Goals, Part 2 -- And new release!

Before we get into things you need to consider for creating a set of goals  -- I have a new book release!

The newest fae lord has to hold the Winter Court.
What could possibly go wrong?

Ancient Assyrian Gods
Massive Snow Storms
Irate Drug Lords
Inquisitive FBI Agents
Determined Fae Assassins
Holiday Family Gatherings

Winter Warning is the third of the fun Summerfield books. There is a lot going on in this one!

Now, about goals and what can stop you from succeeding at them.

First, there are two things to realize about what I write here.  First is that this is what has worked for me.  It may not work for you.  We are not the same.  However, sometimes people find bits and pieces in what I do that help them.

So what will stop people from reaching the goals they set for writing?

Well, yes, there is procrastination.  Some people seem to embrace procrastination as a way of life and if you are that kind of person, you might as well glory in it and not worry about getting anything done that does not absolutely have to be completed.  Writing, until you have a career in it, is one of those things. Write your paragraph or two every few days and call it good.

If, however, you want to write more than you want to do other things, but you can't seem to settle down to it, then fitting writing into your life as a regularly scheduled event will help.

Before you decide you are going to write X number of words a day, here are a few things to think about:

What are you doing to give up to do it?  An hour of television?  Some knitting time?  Facebook and texting time?  Sleep?  I know many people who get up an hour earlier than the rest of the family just to have the free -- and quiet -- time to work.  You already have something you do with all your time.  Something will have to give. 

You might be one of the people who can easily set a little time aside.  If you are one of those people, count yourself very lucky.  Others will have a more difficult time.

Things you cannot give up to make time for writing:

Family obligations

Job or school related activities

In fact, the moment you decide that writing is what you want to do, either family, job, or school (if not all of them) will demand more of your time.  There seems to be some unspoken universal law that says if you want to do any sort of art, then obstacles must suddenly appear in your path.  Don't take it personally.  It happens to everyone.  At some point you may simply have to put your foot down and demand an hour of your own time.  Everyone deserves a little time to themselves to do what they want.  I'll be honest -- quite often family will not understand that writing is important to you.  They'll tell you that you're wasting your time and that you should be doing something else (usually for them).  Stand up for your rights.  And if they insist, start pointing out the things they do for themselves that they have to give up to be fair.

What else can stop you?

Having no idea what to write.  This isn't because the Muse hasn't gifted you with a story.  You can find a story anywhere if you are open to it. (See Note Below) The problem more often comes from a fear that the words will not be good enough if you start writing.  You don't want to 'waste' the idea and ruin it. 

You cannot ruin it.  You can write it, see where you need to improve, and write it again.  No art is perfected without practice, and quite honestly if you are going to practice writing it ought to be on a story you really want to write. Also remember that this isn't school work -- you aren't going to be graded on the manuscript, and you aren't going to be forced to let someone else read it before you are ready.

Still not certain what to write?  Try free-writing.  Sit down and start something like this:

Today I would like to write a story about....

And let your brain go wild.  Keep the notes because every now and then you'll chance on something perfect, though you may not know it at the time.  Write bits of dialog if you 'hear them' in your head.  Description of places and people.  Maybe notes of things you've seen that day that intrigued you.  Notes about things you liked in books.  Write it all out just to get used to the idea of writing.

Next week I'll talk about how much writing you should do each day (or five days a week) and how to handle multiple projects.

This was something that happened back in May, 2004:

At Barnes and Noble last night I picked up one of their discount books -- Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Greek and Roman Women by Marjorie and Benjamin Lightman, Checkmark Books, ISBN 0-8160-4436-8.

While driving home I read this part to Russ:

Egnatia Maximilla, the wealthy wife of Glitius Gallus, accompanied her husband into exile after he was implicated in a failed conspiracy to assassinate the emperor Nero. She and her husband settle don’t he island of Andros in the Aegean Sea.  An inscription found on the island indicates that they were held in high esteem by the island community despite the fact that her wealth had been confiscated.

I turned to Russ and said, "You know I love stuff like that. There's an entire novel in that paragraph."

"Ha!  You can get a novel out of anything."  He waved toward a sign we were passing.  "You could get one out of that 'Children Present' sign.  Or the 'Speed Limit 35.'  I dread to think what would happen if you added that 'Blind Driveway' sign in."

Half a block later...

"It's a trilogy," I said.  "About someone's life.  Children Present is about his childhood, Speed Limit 35 is about his middle age, and Blind Driveway is about his old age."

I think if Russ hadn't been driving he would have hit me over the head with something!

(You can get ideas from anything!)

1 comment:

Deb Salisbury said...

Congratulations on releasing Winter Warning!

"In fact, the moment you decide that writing is what you want to do, either family, job, or school (if not all of them) will demand more of your time."
So, so true! I don't dare commit to NaNo because of this 'law.' In fact, this year the family scheduled 7 different doctors appointments, with me driving.

ROFL re: your 'trilogy'. :-D