Happy Tuesday! Today, I’m pleased to present my non-fiction writing partner Faye Hughes as our guest blogger at Killer Fiction. Faye is also one of critique partners, and partners in crime. She knows most of all my sins and my weaknesses, and likes me anyway. She’s one of my cheerleaders, and the type of person who gives me a good kick in the pants when I need it. And today she’s blogging about meeting goals and she just might give you a good kick in the pants.
Also, today at http://cchunterbooks.com/blog/ I have a guest blogger. Our own Amanda Brice and she's giving away a copy of her YA. To sweeten the deal I'll be giving away a copy of Born at Midnight as well. So make sure you pop over.
And now . . . get ready to for agood swift kick in the pants about goals. Take it away Faye!!!
Okay, quick question—do you have a goal that you’d like to attain? And by “goal,” I mean something that you can actually achieve through hard work and dedication, rather than through a combination of blind luck, blackmail and the right alignment of the planets. Hey, I’m a huge fan of both blind luck and astrology. (I’m keeping mum on the subject of blackmail.) But saying you want to write a book that will land on the New York Times’ best seller list or go on a date George Clooney . . . well, they’re all laudable quests but they’re not the kind of realistic goals over which we have sole control. And this blog is about reaching our realistic goals.
Now, as some of you may know, Christie and I are faithful practitioners of the Make It Happen philosophy. We believe that we can achieve any attainable goal—writing a book, losing weight, getting more balance in our lives—as long as we put in the work needed to achieve success. In short, we have to . . . Make. It. Happen.
It’s a powerful concept.
What’s more, it works.
The key is to do something each and every day that will bring you closer to reaching that goal.
For example, say your goal is to lose 20 pounds before you leave for your summer vacation. If you’re like most people, you’ll develop a diet that you’ll follow—either your own or one through Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or some other weight loss program. You’ll go grocery shopping for the “right” foods and make sure you get rid of all the “wrong” foods in your pantry. You’ll decide to incorporate some form of exercise into your weight loss plan. Ditto for drinking plenty of water.
Now, those are all great but they’re more “big picture.” And reaching any goal is all about the small steps you take every day. Small steps like . . . taking a 10-minute walk break at work. Or parking a little farther away from the entrance whenever you go shopping. They may seem insignificant at first glance but, trust me, each of these small steps will bring you closer to achieving that goal of losing 20 pounds.
And the same principle holds true for other goals, too.
For writers, the goal may be starting or finishing a book and then submitting it to editors and agents. There are lots of small steps we can take to Make It Happen, too. We can make a commitment to write a certain number of words a day, or write for a certain amount of time. We can read a how-to book. We can take a writing class. We can attend a writer’s retreat, or even just go to a monthly meeting with other writers. There are lots of small steps we can take.
Right now, I’m working on a new book and one of my small steps toward finishing the book, aka Making It Happen, is to teach an online writing class. The class is called Recipe for Success: Cooking up a Great First Chapter, and it’ll be held at NEORWA, the North East Ohio RWA chapter, beginning on Monday, May 2nd. (For info on the class, go here.) It’s an online class that Christie and I have done jointly, and it incorporates much of the advice we offered in our book, The Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel, along with our thoughts, some inspirational videos and other special content. Christie is locked in her deadline cave so I’ll be doing this one solo.
And I’m so excited.
Because while I know the students in the class will (hopefully) get some insight into how to make their first chapters better, I will be getting inspiration to finish my WIP.
Sure, it’s a small step.
But sometimes, taking those small steps each day is all we need.
So, what about you? What realistic goals do you have? And what are you going to do today to achieve them?