Carol Collett

Life as I know it

Archive for the category “Reaching Goals”

Sunday Round Up and Goals for Next Week

One of my goals for the week ending was to resume blogging. I’ve done that. I’ve written my blog post due dates on my calendar. I posted Friday and today. My schedule will be Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The second was to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. I set up my profile and my project. I joined and became active in a cabin. Yesterday Camp NaNo launched. I wrote. Yay! My goal for July’s Camp NaNo is 20,000 words. Definitely a reasonable number.

I have three goals for next week.

  1. Continue working on my Camp NaNo story. I’d like to have at least 4,000 words by bedtime Tuesday 7/5.
  2. Work out at least four days-aerobic component all four days, weight machine work out on three of those days concentrating on upper body.
  3. Add a blog post Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

Did you meet your goals for this past week? If not what can you do differently to meet your goals? What’s on your calendar for the upcoming week? What project most excites you right now?

 

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March Goals: Week One Follow Up or Where Am I?

Even though it ‘s not a full week into March, I’m going to do my first week follow up today. Sunday will be a day of reflection and follow up as far as my writing goals are concerned.

So how did I do?

Over all, pretty good. I’m satisfied with my progress in a way that leaves me excited about where I’m headed.


 

Goal One: Two days off per week

This may be the easiest goal to accomplish since I’m basically lazy. 😀 But, yes, met this one. Took a couple of days off earlier in the week. What that means is that I need to write today since Sunday has typically been my day off writing.


 

Goal Two: Add 3000 words to WIP each week

I only added 2349 words to my WIP, so I failed to meet this goal. But the month (week) only started Tuesday, and I do plan to write today, so I’ll count this as a draw rather than a loss.


 

Goal Three: Complete the rough draft of one article

I have not worked on this yet. It’s not due until the end of the month. I do have work on this project scheduled this week. I’ll have an update next Sunday.


 

Goal Four: Complete the rough draft of one short story

Same as above. I have not started this project yet, but do have some work on it scheduled.


 

Goal Five: Set up a WIP word count tracker

Done! Woo Hoo! I’m using StoryToolz. You can see the counter in the sidebar on the right side of the page.


 

Goal Six: Research magazine markets

I have started this. I have a the Kindle version of the  2016 Writer’s Market. I ordered the 2016 Children’s Magazine Market from Institute of Children’s Literature late last week. I hope to receive it this week.


 

Overall, I think I’m off to a great start. Next weekend during my reflection time I will start working on writing out my April goals.

Have you made progress on your March goals? How do you track your progress?

Things I Learned During the #LeapAheadWritingMarathon

In February I joined my friend, Kaye Dacus, in a writing marathon. Kaye set up the marathon to focus more on developing commitment to writing rather than setting a word count goal alone. With great enthusiasm, I joined in the fun.

Along the way I (re) learned some things about myself and my approach to writing.

  1. My heart’s deep desire is to write. I’d let that passion dim over the years due to fear.
  2. I LOVE children’s literature and want to write it. I started out writing for kids, but turned to writing for adults years ago. I can’t even remember why. But this month, I returned to my roots.
  3. The more I write in my personal journal, the more I write other things.
  4. Although I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, AKA pantser, I need to develop and use some way to create a story skeleton. Not a detailed outline. That might choke me to death. But a bare bones, one or two sentences about each story beat guide to keep me at least in the same story world throughout the process.
  5. Even though I’m an introvert of the highest order, I need my friends. My writing friends, especially, help me stay grounded, and keep me inspired.
  6. Social media derails me. Shortly after the start of the #LeapAheadWritingMarathon I began to limit my social media time. Wow, what a difference, not only in my productivity, but in my emotional state.
  7. Finally, I learned that I can be committed to writing and be afraid at the same time, and my head won’t spontaneously ignite.

Today March blew in with gusto, and Kaye started another writing marathon for our private little group of writing friends. I’m so stoked!! My goals for March may seem weird, but hang with me.

  1. Take two days per week off writing. I can still study and plan, but no actual writing. (Journaling doesn’ count.)
  2. Add at least 3,000 words per week to my novel length WIP.
  3. Complete the rough draft of at least one article.
  4. Complete the rough draft of at least one short story.
  5. Set up some type of WIP and word count tracker. (Maybe Story Toolz?)
  6. Start researching markets for the short pieces. I plan to spend one of the non-writing days each week on this.

I can’t even begin to explain how GREAT it feels to the passion for my dream back. 😀

If I Knew I Could Not Fail

What if I fly?

In working through a creative business planner and productivity workbook to try to get me on track for 2016, this question was in the first chapter: If I knew I could not fail, I would…

The exercise is to then answer that question honestly. It’s a great exercise. I can see how it could free many people to realize what they want to inspire them to go for it.

But to someone who has pushed down her dreams for years in order to tolerate the grind of the soul-eating day job, that question incites panic, maybe terror. In fact, I waited several days after I read the question to answer it. For so many years I’ve run in fear from my dreams. Nothing has worked to make them seem reachable or reasonable to me. I have always come back to the day to day grind of making a living.

For several days I grappled with the desire to work through the exercise versus the demons of practicality telling me to just let it go, that my dreams have passed me by. The voice telling me that at fifty one years of age I’m too old to dream is strong. Very, very strong.

Finally, after several days of prayer, I overcame that voice. What did I have to lose? More self esteem? Whatever. And just maybe, I have something to gain.

So here’s my list:

If I knew I could not fail, I would…
Write and publish stories
Weave beautiful chainmaille and sell it in a successful online store
Train and handle cadaver dogs

I feel nervous just typing out that list. But there it is.

You know what? None of those are out of the realm of possibility. I can attain any or all of them. Will I pursue all of them? I don’t know yet.

How do you answer that question? If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?

Dreams, Midlife Crisis, and Bucket Lists

You know those life coaches who tell us to leave our hum drum daily lives and go live our dreams? I’m sure you do. They’re everywhere. Heck, I even follow one or two on Facebook and Twitter.
But I’ve noticed they never explain how I’m supposed to leave my soul eating job to live my dreams while I  continue to pay my mortgage. Oh, and buy groceries. Or pay the electric bill.
There are people out there, though, who’ve managed to leave their personal drudgery to realize their dreams. How did they do it?
I still have dreams and goals. I still have a bucket list. But I’m tired of waiting. I don’t want life to keep passing me by while I wait for the right time.
Help?!!
How do I get off the merry go round?
My dreams really aren’t all that grandiose. Really they aren’t. I want to train a dog to compete in nose work. I want to learn and train a dog in agility. I want to run a marathon. I want to spend a month touring the British Isles. I want to start a shelter nose work program at MACC.
See. A very simple list compared to some. But my day job is truly slowly killing me. It’s turning me into some hateful bitch stranger-someone I don’t want to be.
It always comes back to finances. How do I get beyond that?

Adjusting Goals

So far this year I’ve done pretty well with my goals. But I think it’s time for a reality check and an adjustment. I’m not going to enter the Genesis contest. Not because I’m afraid or nervous, but because I just don’t care about it right now. Which is odd to me. But I think it’s because I know I’m not ready.

I can’t even bear the thought of looking at the story I finished in January. I’ve tried to start something new, but can’t get interested yet, the characters and their world are still forming in my mind.

Which brings me to the next adjustment. I am not going to push myself to finish two more novel length stories this year. I’d like to finish one.

Now I’m going to add a goal to the mix. I plan to write every day. Even if it’s just a sentence in my journal. I need to write something every single day. Well, something other than a tweet or a Facebook post.

Are you still on track with the goals you set for yourself for 2012?

Post Rough Draft Completion Blues

Saturday when I finished the rough draft of my first novel I was Snoopy dancing. Lame, I know, but that event placed a large check mark beside one of the major milestones for a writing career. So I was happy. Still am.

So why do I feel a kind of bluesy funk creepy over me? No, I don’t need medication. But it’s kind of like “Now what?” Wonder if that’s normal?

Normal or not, tonight’s the night I get over it. I gave myself a few days to not write, to relax and enjoy the accomplishment. But tonight, it’s back to the keyboard.

Goals Update

With only one day left in January I’m happy to report I’ve completed two goals and am still on track for my others.
As of Saturday evening I completed the rough draft of my first novel. I also met my January word count goal.
I’m still blogging three times a week.
So far 2012 is off to a great start.

Mid-Month Goal Check-In

Accountability time. So far I’m doing well working toward my goals for this year. No cause for too much excitement since 2012 is only two and a half weeks old. But still, I’m happy.

Blog three times a week? Check

Finish rough draft of current story by 1/31/12? On target, well, maybe a little ahead of target. 🙂

Next up? Work on Genesis Contest entry the minute I finish the rough draft of the current story.

Thoughts of Themes

In working on meeting my goal of blogging three times a week, I’ve been trying to think of possible themes for certain days. For instance, I think Fridays will become “Gluten Free Friday.”

My plan is to blog routinely each Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I just can’t come up with a theme for Mondays and Wednesdays yet. But I will.

Some come back Friday for my first Gluten Free Friday.

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