tagged with: goals

Last year I decided to unofficially participate in NaNoWriMo, not because I wanted to write my novel in a month, but because I hoped to feed off the energy and motivation generated among writers during this month. There are live events near where I live, and I hope to attend at least one. This year my novel is almost complete. I’d hoped to have it completed by now, the first draft, that is, but my plot took an unexpected twist and I’m really enjoying it. So far, I have topped 102, 000 words, way more than I originally intended. However, I know I’ll be doing some slashing in the earlier chapters once I begin to edit. Anything that doesn’t advance the plot has to go. By the time I’m done, I expect to be under 100K.

So what about you? What does your NaNoWriMo look like? Are you attending any live events? What goal(s) have you set for yourself? Leave a comment below and let me know what you’re up to.


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Even though the month ended yesterday, I am scratching my head trying to remember what happened in February. Where did the days go? Will March vanish in the same way, with hardly a whisper, leaving no trace of its journey here on earth? Well, I do remember some things. For one, it was my birth month, which meant I’m one year older and have one year less to do the things I want to do. My oldest son also had a birthday in February and my car, which has never given me any trouble in the eleven years I’ve had it, broke down. And after months of talking to a travel agent, my plans to cruise the Mediterranean finally went into high gear.

Also in February I continued to work at my day job as an occupational therapist and at home I plodded away at the second in my Egypt novel series. In addition, I’ve been updating this blog and my Christian devotional blog while posting to my church’s website. I’ve also started writing again for Hubpages and participating in a little social media here and there. And, I almost forgot, I worked on a synopsis for someone. Not bad for someone with an almost full-time job. Now I don’t feel so guilty after all.

So here we are in March. A new month with new opportunities. I’m going to try my best to spice up my blog, work on my About page and make a better effort to get myself on the road to retirement. Oh, I also want to read more. I find that when I read good books my writing flows better. How about you? Have you started on your 2013 goals? Are things going according to plan? Don’t beat yourself up if you find you are not accomplishing things as fast as you would like. Just keep your goals in front of you and keep working on them. You may be slowed by other things, but try to do a little every day. Remember, the race is not for the swiftest, but he who endures to the end. Keep at it!

As 2012 hurtles to a close and your mind tries to make sense of yet another senseless massacre, or the fiscal cliff or your Christmas shopping, or a myriad of other things, somewhere in the midst of all that, you are probably telling yourself you need to make some goals for 2013. But how do you start?

HubPages suggests you start with knowing what you want. But do you? I mean seriously, apart from knowing that you want to succeed at writing, what do you really want? The following tips may be helpful:

1. Know your interests. What excites you? What are you passionate about? Decide what that is and then write about it.

2. Become a niche expert. When you unleash your passion, you acquire knowledge and expertise which will help you uncover your niche. Niche writers are like established businesses. Think WalMart for inexpensive goods, Best Buy for electronics, Hersheys for chocolates. Let your name be associated with something.

3. Network. You know this already, but do you do it? Online social media has made it easy for the introverted writer to expose herself to the world. HubPages refers to this as being an active netizen – a citizen of the net, that’s my interpretation. Social media sites abound on the net. Get involved in the most popular ones such as Facebook, Twitter etc., meet new people and make new friends. It’s all about that dreaded word – platform.

4. Write more. Short and sweet, but regular, blog posts will put you in better standing with the search engines than longer, infrequent postings. Writing more often will also improve your skills and help you build an audience faster.

Now that I’ve told you how to set your goals, here are my goals for 2013.

I will be the first to confess that I have been slack in some of the areas above, so I may have to repeat them for myself. Here’s my list in order of importance.

1. Publish my novel Coming Out of Egypt in 2013. I’ve been working on this novel for years and have just had the good fortune to have an editor request my full manuscript and synopsis. In the coming days I’ll be sweating away, getting it ready to submit.

2. Become a niche expert. I’ve been wanting to do this for some time, but because of work constraints I was not able to do so. Since I’m a health professional, my niche will focus on health and fitness. If I have the time for a second site, it will be weddings.

3. Increase my blog traffic. This I’ll do through more regular postings, article marketing, social media marketing and distributing a newsletter.

4. Get started on affiliate marketing. I already signed up with a few companies, but I have yet to earn commissions. I plan to be more vigorous in this area.

5. Read more. I cannot be an effective writer without reading.

So, there you have it. What are you goals for 2013? Please share them in the comment box below. And while you are thinking about your goals, take some time to reflect on all the blessings you received this year. Merry Christmas!

The race-course is used by joggers and walkers...
Image via Wikipedia

This morning I left home a little later than I should have for my morning walk. The reason was that I simply thought I would lie in bed a little longer, but the increasing brightness on the other side of my window shades reminded me that time was not waiting on me. So I got up and went for my walk. Fortunately, by the time I got to the park it  felt around 70 degrees and there was still a nice number of walkers/joggers to keep me motivated.

What does this have to do with writing, you are probably asking? Discipline. The same thing that gets you out of bed every morning, is the same thing it takes to get you in front of the computer to write something. Or to send out those queries or to read a book on writing.

I have to confess that I am still lacking in the discipline department. No, that’s not entirely true. Work and household duties sometimes get in the way of my writing. I do not spend as much time as I would like to, doing what I love. But I do write or engage in writing activities everyday. Whether it is for a client, for Livestrong or critting for my online group, I manage to squeeze in a little something everyday. And that, like exercise, is what counts.

I know that if I’m to eventually drop those two dress sizes by Christmas, as I plan to, I have to do what it takes to achieve that goal. In the same way if I’m to become a successful writer I must write every day.  So here’s to discipline. Do you struggle with discipline in any area of your life? Leave your comments below.

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