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Motivation Revisited

Cheryl Wright – All rights reserved

 

If you haven't read the original article on setting goals, click here

 

Last month I talked about setting goals, and sticking to them. I thought it appropriate to revisit this topic and see how you’re going.

First of all, did you print out and complete the goal worksheet? If not, why not?

If you did complete the worksheet – congratulations! Well done! Once completed, did you display it somewhere visible for your family and friends to see and read?

You may recall that being accountable is one of the main motivators. So having your goals prominently displayed is an extremely important step in the process.

Achieving goals is a step-by-step progression. You won’t go from A to Z in one giant leap. It takes lots of planning and baby steps along the way. And of course, patience. (You know, patience - that annoying little creature that all writers must possess if they’re going to make it in this industry!)

Because I really want you to achieve your writing goals this year, I’m going to walk you through my goal worksheet.

Here goes:

*What do you want to achieve?

My goal for 2006 is to complete two books – one fiction, one non-fiction. I also want to double my writing income.

*What date do you want to achieve your goal by?

The deadlines are mid-April, mid-July, and 31 December 2006 respectively.

*What steps are needed to achieve that goal? Write down each necessary step.

Since two books need to be completed, I’ll work on one at a time. (Trying to write more than one book at a time has been my downfall in the past.)

The novel needs immediate attention, so I’ll start on that. Writing 2,000 words every day will move my word-count up quickly. That should yield 20,000 words in two weeks. (Ten working days.)

The word-count is currently around 20,000 words, so that should mean the book will be finished by mid-April at the latest – including editing and polishing.

The non-fiction book has a deadline of September and is already 18,000 words written. If I start on that book as soon as the novel is completed, and write at least 2,000 words per day, it should be totally written, edited, and polished by end of July.

To double my writing income, I need to do more freelance work. To this end, I’ve sent out a number of queries to both fiction and non-fiction magazines. I’ve targeted national (Australian) magazines. Apart from the name recognition factor involved with these, the payment is generally higher.

 

*What obstacles would stand in the way of achieving your goal? List them in the table below.

1) Due to the state of my health, pneumonia is always a possibility.

2) Family issues with either my elderly mother, or my small grandchildren who live with me.

3) Being disorganised.

 

*How can you overcome these obstacles? List the steps you’ll take to overcome your obstacles.

1) Resting often, and keeping away from sick people. De-stressing will also help. This could be achieved by incorporating relaxation techniques (i.e. Yoga) or exercising for at least minutes per day.

2) This is not something that is predictable, so I just have to keep ahead of my projected word-counts in case something unavoidable comes up.

3) My plan is to organise my workspace on a daily basis. Twenty minutes per day for a week or so will get the space sorted and workable, then ten minutes per day should keep it that way.

 

*How convicted are you to meeting your goals? (i.e. Very, not very, not at all.)

Very, extremely, absolutely!

 

*What difference will it make to you and your writing career to achieve those goals? List the end result/s.

Meeting my goals will make a big difference to my writing career. To start with, the novel was started before I became very ill. I want to finish it as I believe it’s a worthwhile project.

The non-fiction book should be a boon to my career because of the publisher involved.

In regard to doubling my writing income, this is more personal satisfaction. If I’m more organised, I’ll put out more work, which is turn means more sales, which then means more money. It all works in sync.

 

*Make a list of each step needed to achieve what you’ve set out to do, including anticipated time frame for each.

1) Finish novel – by mid-April

2) Continue with non-fiction book. Finish by mid-July.

3) Send out regular queries, and write more short stories with a view to selling more regularly.

* * * *

I can’t guarantee this plan will work, but I’m sure ready to give it a shot. I’ve already sent out several queries and introductory letters, and have so far received one positive response.

I’m currently writing a minimum of 2,000 words a day, endeavouring to finish my novel.

I still have to hear back from other markets, all of which have three months or more response time, and have a number of others bookmarked to contact.

Sending queries is not as time-consuming as it sounds, and if you work this into your daily schedule it can help a lot. (And the more you send, the easier it gets.)

Set specific days for tasks and you will be more organised. For instance, Monday: website update day. Tuesday: send out queries, and so on.

Setting goals is not a task only for January, it’s a year long process, and needs to be monitored and reviewed often.

When thinking about the goal/s you have set for yourself, ask this question: "Where will I be in one year’s time if I don’t reach my goal?"

Only you will know if you need to continue.

 

If you haven't read the original article on setting goals, click here

 

About the author: Cheryl Wright is an award-winning Australian author and freelance journalist. In addition to an array of other projects, she is the owner of the Writer2Writer.com website and the Writer to Writer monthly ezine for writers.  Her publications include novels, non-fiction books, short stories, and articles. To keep up to date with her publications and new releases, visit Cheryl’s website www.cheryl-wright.com

 

 
 

         Last updated: August 04, 2008