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What is your goal?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by The Blue Lotus, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Most of us have goals of some sort when it comes to our writing.
    I have set a lofty one myself. I'd like to have The House on Berry Bay ready for self publication by Oct 31st of 2015.

    So shout out with your goals. What obstacles do you feel you will need to overcome to reach them?
    Maybe we can do a bimonthly check in to keep ourselves motivated, and hold one another accountable. :D

    Who's in?

    Some of my obstacles:

    I truly feel I suck at writing. I will have to hire a professional editor and work with others more to get my work up to snuff in time.

    I get sidetracked with life. I own two companies that require a lot of my time and attention, sometimes forcing me to work from sunrise to sunrise just to get things done.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  2. BronzeOracle

    BronzeOracle Sage

    My goal is to have finished the first draft of my novel Oracle's Gate within 1 year's time (end 2015), to have a thorough second draft done in 2 year's time (end 2016), and to have it published within 5 years' time (end 2019). I feel this is at the rate that I can work, between a day job and a family.

    The number one obstacle to me achieving this is my own negative thoughts about writing, and not prioritising writing over other relaxing pursuits - eg computer games, movies or web surfing! I remember a talk by Liz Gilbert of 'Eat, Pray, Love' fame (not that I'm a fan of the book) where she said one thing she has learnt as a professional author is to prioritise the things she really loves over the things she just loves. And I think that's a big thing for me in writing - how bad do I want that novel finished?

    I think the solution for me is to find a writing time each day - say early morning before the kids get up - to write a page a day.

    How do others working a day job and with families do it? Do you have a special writing time? Or do you fit it in as you are changing nappies and doing the cooking???
    The Blue Lotus likes this.
  3. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    I've heard people with children say that they either wake up super early when everyone is still asleep or stay up super late to get their work in. That's really the only way if you're busy all day. If you want something, you sometimes have to make sacrifices to achieve it. The most common thing being sleep.
    The Blue Lotus likes this.
  4. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    Yup, that's what I have to do. Two young children, a wife, and a good job means I don't have a ton of free time. When everyone is is in bed, I'm up for another 2-3 hours. Yes, I'm almost always tired, but I get to sleep in on the weekends. Another thing, in between projects I take a 2 to 3 week vacation from writing. I've found that I need the emotional distance as well as time to get some serious rest. I look at it as a reward for hard work... like any vacation.

    So in addition to my familial and work activities I have a lot of writing projects:
    1) One fantasy novel (likely a series) that is about 85k through (and crawling because other things have priority at the moment). I'm considering beginning release in serial format.
    2) One stand alone currently in the planning stage
    3) One collaboration novel where I have 1 out of 4 POVs. That's been moving slow but I think it'll pick up with some new changes to our structure.
    4) One short story in editing for publication in an anthology
    5) Running the Paint a thousand Words challenge here on Mythic Scribes. This takes more work than I thought it would...and I mean that in a good way. I have made agreements with several talented artists and we have art lined up through February. That, and the quality of the entrant stories has been excellent. I expect to publish this as a graphic novel style book sometime next year.
    6) Crits and reviews...In addition to the partners I work crits with on this site, I'm also part of a live crit group where I'm expected to perform 3-4 crits of 7500 words per month.

    So yeah, it's busy, and I have to prioritize well and manage time. I can't afford not to work nights, or to work only when I feel like it. That's a good thing though. If it's a passion, be happy you're busy. It means you're headed in the right direction. Like any business, success equals busy.

    1) Two publications, first quarter of next year. One short & one novel length.
    2) Complete first draft of novel-in-planning by September 2015
    3) Publish Paint a Thousand Words (Not the title) Late Fall 2015
    4) Complete series novel draft by end of December 2015

    As stated above...just one...time. That and managing time well to keep myself moving at a good pace.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
    The Blue Lotus likes this.
  5. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    My goal is to be able to make a living out of my writing.

    The main obstacle is that I've not even finished my first novel yet and that I'm still not sure I really know what I'm doing.
    The Blue Lotus likes this.
  6. SugoiMe

    SugoiMe Closed Account

    My goal is to complete and publish the trilogy I'm working on.
    The Blue Lotus likes this.
  7. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver


    back in July, I made a list of my goals for the rest of the year. Lessee...

    1) Finish the rewrite AND edit of Labyrinth by Labor Day

    2) After that get cracking on the rewrite and edit of 'Empire: Country.' Idea was to finish that before Halloween.

    3) After the rewrite of 'Empire: Country,' get cracking on the rough draft for 'Labyrinth: Seed,' with the intent of getting something at least semi coherent done by mid December. In the middle of that project, I'd have to take a week or three out to expand/rewrite a novelette for an anthology - probably the same anthology as T. Allen Smiths.

    4) Get started on the rough draft of 'Empire: Capital' before the end of the year.

    As of now, I am still plugging away at the rewrite of 'Labyrinth,' and have yet to embark on serious editing. I did enter NaNoWriMo with the intent of at least getting a solid start on 'Labyrinth: Seed,' but I'll have to take time away from that for the anthology story.

    I did write five or six tales for various challenges during that period, one or two of which clarified key points in my mind about how the world works.

    As to the list...I dunno...if I'm lucky I may complete it by early spring. Hopefully, I'll have rejection slips for one or another of these works firmly in hand by this time next year.
    The Blue Lotus likes this.
  8. I can see a lot of things, but with a handful of rejection letters is not one of them.
  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    I don't believe in goals. I'm working on stuff. I have a novel in progress, a short story in progress, and a number of WIPs waiting their turn. My intent is to have more things to do than I have days left to live. Doing fine, so far.
    Honestly, I'm enough of an old hippie to rebel against all this goal-oriented stuff. It's, or it can be, pernicious. Two things happen with goals. Either I'm not there yet, in which case I'm a failure. Or I achieve the goal, which is even worse, because it means I'm done. Done is dull. Done is the past. I love being not done. Even when I finish a story, I'm not done. I have to publish it. I have to market it. And marketing is never done, ever (at least not in the self-published world). That story will always be with me.

    I don't deprecate goal-oriented folk. If it makes them happy, I applaud the mind-set. I offer up my own take simply to put forward an alternate view of things. Sort of like what hippies always did.
    The Blue Lotus and T.Allen.Smith like this.
  10. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator


    I often enjoy your posts. They typically offer a view from a different angle.

    Even as a goal-oriented person, I find a certain wisdom in your approach. Not for me at age 43, but maybe sometime in the future.

  11. Aspasia

    Aspasia Sage

    Goals? Write every day.

    It's really hard for me, and every now and then I just ... completely stop writing, for months. I don't think I wrote a word between NaNo 2010 and NaNo 2011. But in high school, I used to write pretty regularly, just for fun. I want to get back to that. I don't intend to publish novels, nor even make any money off my writing, so it's pretty low pressure -- or so I'd think. But while actually writing stuff is hard, and I question every word, I'm usually pretty proud of having produced stories. Sometimes, I even like them :D! And sometimes, when you're writing a lot, you just get into the book and characters in such a way that really makes all the agony before that worth it.

    I hope that by actively participating in online writing communities, talking to other people who enjoy writing, submitting in challenges, I can get to the point where writing a little scene is just no big deal, every day.
  12. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Heart failure or mental breakdown? :)
  13. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Been there done that...several times...and I have been putting fingers to keyboard (or typewriter, way back when) for decades now. Still afflicts me even now. But I always come back to it, sometimes revisiting works I'd barely looked at in many a year. Bit of an eye opener, some of those: apart from easily fixed grammar bugs, they're pretty good.
  14. It seems my computer ate my "you" in there... rofl.
    If you are referring to my own heart giving out or me totally up and losing my frickin' mind sure! ;)

    Skip- How wonderful it must be to have that mind set.
    Goals were set for me all my life, now I set them myself, and yes a lot of the time I do feel like a total failure, but, and I stress that word a lot, it usually helps me push myself just a tiny bit more than the last one I set and either missed or reached.
    I guess it goes back to the only person you can ever really let down when you set self imposed goals is yourself.
  15. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    I have a bunch of goals. But really my goal is to get to a point where I feel I'm making the most of my days.

    If I decide that I want to, say, write a story during NaNoWriMo, and I don't make it, there's one of two reasons it might be. The first would be if I didn't follow through on the day-in, day-out workload of it. And the second would be because I tried, didn't like what I was writing, wrote myself into a hole, started over, rewrote things, and came up short. They're very different. Ultimately the second represents a real learning experience, while the first represents a wasted opportunity.

    I'm tired of wasting opportunities.

    So my goal, really, not just with writing but with everything, is to try and get closer and closer to living those ideal days, where I'm moving forward at a reasonable pace that I can be happy with.

    With writing, that means I want to write about 500 words a day. That's the only writing "goal" that I keep track of, and I keep it simple, using the Seinfeld method of marking an X on a small desk calendar for every day that I write 500 words or finish a chapter or story. Yes, while I write, or choose what to write, I think about other goals, like when I can finish a section or how can I get it published or "I'd like to finish a short story by X so I can work on a chapter afterwards." But if I don't meet those goals, I don't care. If I'm writing, and taking my writing seriously, then I'm living my dream, and if I don't, I'm not.

    To be honest . . . I'm doing rather abysmal at it. But I'm making steady progress and will get there.
    T.Allen.Smith likes this.
  16. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Hi. My goal is to live off my writing someday. This means working every day towards that goal by continuing to write, read, learn, and hone my skills. I'd like to publish in anthologies and also do Indie. I've been at this for years and it will take me even many more to arrive at a place where I'm consistently putting out strong work. I'm somewhat of a slower writer so I'm definitely working on improving that. I want to increase my pace and stop thinking so damn much when I write something. It doesn't have to be perfect right away, that's what editing is for. Bad habit. So that's my second goal, to not be such a perfectionist with my first drafts and just get them done!
  17. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

    Right now... I just want to finish editing my WIP.

    8 chapters to go...

    Then I can fix a few minor issues and it'll be finished. (I hope).
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