I have a ton of writing on my plate this year and the only way I’m going to get it done is by setting goals and sticking to them. That’s right. I have to organize my life AROUND my writing in order to accomplish all the contracted work I have to finish by the end of the year. My sister, Delilah Devlin, and I offer a Goal-setting Workshop once a year for free to anyone. Usually in August when everyone seems to need a recharge to make it to the end of the year. I know I do!
The think about goal setting is that it can apply to any line of work or life in general. Setting long-term goals is the first step. Know where you want to be in five years.
Now you might think that’s a huge elephant to eat. Eat an elephant? You might as well, you’ll never get there, the elephant is way too big for one person to eat. So how does one go about eating an elephant?
One bite at a time.
Set your 5-year goal. Write it down. What big steps do you have to take in order to reach your long-term goals? Write them down. For each big step, determine the smaller steps that will get you there and…what will I say? Write it down!
I have my goals down to the number of words I want to write each day of the week. I plan in the times I’ll be away from my office, vacations, commitments, whatever. But the days I have words on my calendar, I write.
Sometimes it gets tough forcing myself to sit in the chair and get my words in. That’s where accountability steps in. I joined a goal-setting group to inspire me to reach my goals. We have to log in twice a week and report out progress toward our weekly goals. It’s embarrassing when you’re the only slacker reporting zero pages. I call it shaming me into getting the job done. Heck, whatever it takes.
Another technique I employ along the same lines is writing sprints. I have some online buddies I talk to through AOL instant messaging. We meet during the day online for encouragement and a break from the writing. But when we say GO, we write for 45 minutes. We’re not supposed to let any interruptions get in the way of our writing. Head down, butt in chair and hands on keys writing. When the 45 minutes are up, we report in. Again, there’s a shame-factor involved or tapping into the competitive streak. If you end up with a low word-count, for shame. If you have a high word-count, but your buddy has a higher word-count, you’re spurred into action for the next round, determined to beat that count and more.
Accomplishing your goals is the ultimate end to this game. Setting them isn’t enough. You have to follow through with dogged determination. But then the results are worth it. For a writer, it’s a published book.
Harlequin Romantic Suspense
“You win for now, but it isn’t over.”
Trouble has followed pregnant artist Kayla Davies to a picturesque Oregon town where she hopes to paint away memories of a brutal attack. Instead she finds herself again gripped by fear when a woman’s murder and an eerily familiar stalker coincide with her arrival. Someone is watching her…and disappearing into the dreaded fog called The Devil’s Shroud.
Shaken, Kayla finds comfort in the arms of Gabe McGregor, the hard-bodied town sheriff and single dad. Though he and Kayla share a powerful attraction, neither wants anything beyond an earthshaking fling. Too many lies and secrets have come between them–until another vicious attack on Kayla changes everything.