Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Importance of Goals



Target by Jasper Johns


If you've read this blog for any length of time at all, you'll know that I love goals. I try to set them every month, though I've slacked off this past summer. 

I've been reminded how much I need goals in order to get anything accomplished, especially something as big as writing a novel. Without specific goals, I flounder, piddle around, and waste way too much time.

You might notice that in the right sidebar I've placed a new word counter. It's for my new project, tentatively titled The Major's Minors, an historical romance set at Fort Larned, Kansas in 1868. I'm hoping to see that red bar fill up steadily over the next few months.

You see, I have a goal. I want to send my agent a completed manuscript by April 1st. When we spoke in Dallas last week, she asked what she could do for me, and I told her I needed a deadline, a goal, something to keep my fingers typing and my mind engaged in a story. And voila! I now have one.

I'm about halfway through the plotting of this story, and I'm layering in conflict and subplots and spiritual threads, romance, action, and lots more. Loving Major Elliot Ryder, his two wards and Priscilla Wellington, who complicates and simplifies things all at the same time. 

Here are my goals for October:

1. Finish plotting The Major's Minors by October 15th.

2. Begin writing The Major's Minors and get 10,000 words by the end of the month.

3. Put together a blog tour for A Bride Sews With Love in Needles, CA which releases 11/1.

4. Write all the blog posts for the Romancing America Blog where Sagebrush Knights will be the feature book for all of December!

What about you? Do you have any goals for October? Are you a goal-oriented person?

30 comments:

  1. I want goals. I need goals.
    You've inspired me.
    I'm setting up a counter and (gulp) committing in public...
    My Goals!
    Thanks for the kick in the pants, sweet stuff!!

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    1. Hey, we can keep each other on task! BTW, My heroine, Priscilla, she looks like you! You're the template I decided to use, lovely lady! :D

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    2. Ooo! I just hopped over to your blog and saw your word counter! We can do this!!

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    3. It's pretty scary commiting to a word counter. Ack! Folks can see what a slacker I really am!

      I've got to come up with some concrete goals for the month...

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  2. I'm trying to become a goal oriented person.

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    1. How are you going about it? Do you make lists or use a word counter or something like the #1k1hr facebook group? I'm always looking for practical ways to make tangible goals and follow through.

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  3. I work so much better with goals and deadlines! For October I'm working on revising yet again my earlier ms. And to have a new WIP plotted and ready to write in November. By plotted, I mean that loosely as I'm not a full out plotter. But I need an outline-ish kind of plot. :)

    Hey, I'm up for being part of your blog tour!

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    1. Jessica, are you diving into NaNoWriMo? I'll be shadowing the event, since I won't be starting a new project on 11/1.

      Thanks for being willing to be part of the tour. I'll get the info together and get back to you ASAP. :) You rock!

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  4. I definitely need a deadline otherwise I'll fritter the time away.

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    1. Standing right there with you! In some ways it was easier when I'd write a chapter and send it off to readers. There was always that expectation to produce more and get it out...

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  5. Okay. My goals this month are to polish my MS that's finished and smooth out the one that's 1/2 way to send out to the agent that requested them. To get my proposals ready to send out to the editor that requested too. And have them all sent in the next two weeks. I am a huge procrastinator but I LOVE goals!

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    1. Woohoo for agent and editor requests! That's wonderful!

      Procrastinators of the world unite...in a little while... :D

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  6. Oh yeah! You already saw my goals for the rest of the year but I really want and need to stick to them - so posts like this are super encouraging! Thanks!

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    1. Yay for encouraging one another! We can conquer the last three months of the year! I'm convinced of it.

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  7. My goal is to conquer the chaos as it erupts!

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    1. some days that feels like putting out little sparks all day long, and some days it's like trying to cork a volcano, isn't it?

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  8. So glad you got what you needed! The plotting can be the most fun part :D I'm back to the proverbial drawing board on plotting, and I'd like to have that done and a proposal sent in at the end of October.

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    1. You can do it! And if you want me to take a peek at the proposal, I'd love to!

      I'll hopefully be sending you a coherent synopsis soon!

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  9. You can do it! My goal is to finish my rewrites.

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    1. Yay for rewrites! Those always go quicker for me than first-drafting. :)

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  10. Somehow I'm not surprised by the title of this post! You are the goal queen! lol

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    1. Now if only I could accomplish all I set out to do... :D

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  11. Wishing you well as you work on your new story, Erica. I loved seeing how excited you were to have a goal when we talked about it at the conference.

    I'm looking forward to the release of A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California. Readers are going to love the story. I sure did!

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    1. Conference made a huge difference! I think we both had great convos with our awesome agent. :)

      So glad you liked A Bride Sews. I'm so ready for it to release!

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  12. Normally I set goals-well, I have many for my private life but with writing I seem to be floundering right now. Hopefully I can write a few new chapters this month. Trying!!

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    1. Maybe we can encourage one another. :) I floundered much of the summer, and I can tell you, it wasn't a pretty thing!

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  13. Anonymous7:50 AM

    Good for you! You seem very organized, and I kind of like the word counter idea.

    I don't think I'm quite as organized as that. Having a weekly deadline (for a weekly column) keeps me on track that way. I don't write fiction, so my books are being written, one chapter at a time, every week.

    Best wishes to you!

    Rhonda Schrock
    http://www.rhondaschrock.com/

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    1. Hi, Rhonda! Thank you so much for coming by! I weekly deadline would certainly keep you on task. I'm headed over to your website! :)

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  14. Erica, you are way much more organized than I am. :-)

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    1. I fear it is an illusion, Walt, but if I don't make the effort, I KNOW I will fail.

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