Monday, January 2, 2012

Goal Setting and Goal-Getting

I wrote this article for a recent issue of the newsletter I edit and design for Pennwriters, a networking organization for aspiring and published writers. Now that we're two days deep into the new year, it's a great time to contemplate our goals and ambitions.

Goal Setting and Goal-Getting
I think it’s safe to say that every Pennwriter has a set of goals. Surely none of us are new to the notion of goal-setting. We want to be published, or published to more fanfare and success. We want money, or more money. Respect. Financial stability. Freedom. The writer’s life, however we each define it.
We write because we want to share our perspective, to be heard, to be recognized and to be appreciated for our wit, humor, intellect and creativity. We want to conjure the electric feeling of words leaping from our brains faster than we can type or write. To pen something perfect and true and meaningful and transformative. We want to entertain our readers. To entertain ourselves.
We want paid. We want paid well. We want to see our bylines in glossy magazines and respected journals, our books on the shelves of every bookstore we step into. Long lines of smiling faces at book signings. A revenue-generating blog. Poet laureate. Working lunches with Steven Spielberg. The New York Times bestseller list. The Newbury. A Christmas card from Oprah and Stedman.
There is a problem, though, and a big one. These goals that I’ve listed are not really goals unless you have a plan in place—a plan of how you will go about attaining them.
The truth of the matter is that dreams and goals are two different things. Dreams are things we hope for. Goals are things we work for. And mapping out our goals and putting an action plan together could be a great exercise for many of us who have yet to realize our writing potential. Defining goals and listing the steps we need to take to achieve these goals could help all of us work more effectively.
Think about your writing and publishing ambitions. What have you done lately to make your ambitions a reality? What would you like to accomplish in the next 12 months? Make a list. What steps can you take to help foster an environment for success? What steps must you take? Get specific. This issue’s challenge: Get a 2012 calendar and put a plan in place. Dream big, then get to work!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 2

516 words and some sparks of "hey, how about I do this..."

Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 1

Mission accomplished. Poorly accomplished, but accomplished.

Sunday's bedtime: 10:30 p.m. (as opposed to my regular 12:30 or 1 a.m. bedtime) Made it to my desk by 5:33 a.m. Read over my old files... the old narrative summary and outline and the three measley passages I'd written more than six years ago. Copied and pasted the passages of text into a new document and—Elena cries. I go get her a little bottle of milk. Return to desk. Reread text. Revise a paragraph. Stare at screen. Reread text. Contemplate how story should open. Eat a donut. Stare at screen. Type a sentence. Go back to beginning and reread. Elena cries. Go change her diaper. Come back to desk. Eat another donut. Ban donuts from my office. Check time. Write a paragraph. Write another paragraph. 7:00 arrives.

So, for day 1, my "new words" count is something like 165. Later this morning, I went back to the beginning (I know, this rereading crap has got to stop) and revised one final time, now I will be proceeding forward with the story. I am not allowing myself to revise again until I'm at least five chapters into the novel. With old content and new content, my 'Day 1' word count is 1,616 words. Lots of room for improvement, but at least I sat here and did something.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I'm reading one of my many how-to books, PLOT & STRUCTURE by James Scott Bell, who wrote the following:

I remember the exact date that I decided I was going to be a writer. I jotted this in my journal: "Today I resolve to take writing seriously, to keep going and never stop, to learn everything I can and make it as a writer."

Ok. I'm making a public declaration about how I'm finally going to start writing, for real and with consistency. Every morning from 5:30-7 a.m. I will park myself at my desk and wait for awesomeness to descend upon me... or, try to actually write the novel I extensively outlined about 6 years ago.

Wait, scratch that TRY TO. That's pathetic. I am not going to try to write it. I'm going to write it. I need to overcome the whole "wanting it to be great" fantasy and just write it. Even if it turns out kinda lame, at least when I finish it, I will have learned that I CAN FOLLOW THROUGH and write a novel. Even a lackluster novel is better than no novel.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

reading reading reading reading :-)

Good stuff I've been reading lately...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

next up by the marvelous Megan McCafferty...

I can't wait to read this novel, an upcoming release by
Megan McCafferty, bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series. Check out the jacket copy below. Compelling, don't you think? :-) Megan is choosing two fans to receive advanced copies of the novel. My fingers are crossed. I won a signed copy of SLOPPY FIRSTS last year for my wining Marcus-Flutie-themed haiku... maybe I can win a copy of BUMPED, too.

“When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.”

Bumped will be hitting the shelves April 26, 2011!

***and maybe my mailbox soon if I win the ARC drawing ***

Friday, September 3, 2010

My subconscious affection for Jerry O'Connell

I never realized how much I like Jerry O'Connell until I saw this milk ad featuring his wife and kids. That little one on the left is a carbon copy of Jerry, who I apparently have a surprising hidden affection for. Every time I see this ad in a magazine, all I can think is "awwwwwwwwww..."

WEIRD! I never even knew I liked Jerry O'Connell!