Thursday, May 20, 2010


I'm knee deep in revisions for my Jan book - Caught Off Guard - at the moment. I'm on a deadline, so what's new? :-) But this has gotten me thinking about goals, how and why I set them.

I'm not sure if anyone's noticed but my word meter on the side of the page hasn't moved in...a very long time. I've been writing, on a couple of projects actually. I just haven't been putting my progress into the word meter. I'm really not sure why, but possibly because I didn't need it this time.

Some stories I come to kicking and screaming. I don't mean that I don't want to write them, I do. But they're hard. Sometimes the words flow without effort and sometimes it's like pulling teeth to string one coherent sentence onto the page. When it's tough I need those goals to push me. I'm motivated by disappointment (not making my goal) - and possibly the fear of missing a deadline. :-)

As I'm going through these revisions I've found myself making goals for these too. They have to be back to my editor by the middle of next month (although I'm hoping to have them finished before then). I set myself a page goal each day. And at the moment I'm blowing it out of the water. I'm way ahead of schedule which is unusual for me.

I think we've had the carrot and the stick conversation before. I'm definitely motivated by the stick. But that means once I've met whatever goal I've set for myself the stick goes away for that day. I've made the finish line...why would I want to run some more?

Well, I've made myself. Actually, I had some prodding from Smarty Pants who pointed out I was wasting valuable time I could use to get ahead of the game. I did it. Reluctantly. But she was right. I have school field trips, Kindergarten Rodeo Day, the end of the year festivities, Memorial Day festivities and the beginning of summer all waiting to foul up my daily page count. Getting a head start is smart. Something I've never claimed to be. :-)

How do you set goals for yourself? Do you reward yourself when you've met your daily, weekly or monthly goal? Anyone else in the middle of revisions? Honestly, mine really aren't that bad. Although, thinking that makes me wonder if maybe I'm missing something important. :-)


P.S. Harlequin Executive Editor Marsha Zinberg is visiting today on the Blaze Author's Blog to talk about the new Harlequin Showcase program. Drop by and say hi.


Cheryl said...

I try to set goals and fail miserably - life intrudes. I am definitely like you, I am a stick person. Right now there is no one waving the stick at me so my goals tend to fall to the wayside in favor of more exciting things like working in the yard or cleaning (yuk). I envy you the revisions, no matter how painful, because it means you are successful. And after reading your books, you are very successful! Can't wait for the next one, so get to work!

Playground Monitor said...

I'm usually better with goals but I'm not usually in the middle of personal crisis. And lately that has seemed to trump everything whether I like it or not.

Sometime before the end of July I need to polish up the first 3 of my book.

Anybody got a big stick that will frighten a personal crisis?

PM's Mother said...

I don't mean to get preachy on you, but what has helped me is the Serenity Prayer -- "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."

Problem Child said...

Y'all know I'm a stick person.

Anybody got a stick about now?

Instigator said...

Well, I blew off my goal for today and took a nap instead. I'm hoping to get back into gear tomorrow.