What's Your Big Goal?

Jennifer Bradshaw

I don't know about you, but as a creative type (and as a Gemini), I tend to have about a million projects in some stage of completeness in my work area at any given moment. 

Now, that doesn't mean I exist in a state of total chaos and clutter at all times. I'm pretty good about tucking most of those projects out of the way so they're not cramping my space. It's my to-do list that shows the evidence of all those in-progress works, and my brain short circuits at some point.

I hit that short-circuit point last week, and got stuck in a place of indecision.

Decide on one big goal and pursue it relentlessly

Now, writing is usually a solitary pursuit. Most of us writers closet ourselves away to do our actual work. But I have a standing date with my good buddy and mentor, Allie McCormack, every Sunday afternoon. We meet up in Second Life and work on our manuscripts. Usually.

There are days, however, when one of us needs a pep talk, or just a kick in the pants; and last week was no exception. Allie has been working away at revising a novel she's been writing for... a while now, and a few weeks ago, she made me her accountability partner in finishing "The Plan" (which boils down to her working on reading through her story in two hour blocks, twice a day, and finding the holes in the story; no editing allowed).

Last week, it was my turn. With no fewer than 8 works-in-progress, I was getting a little overwhelmed and unsure what to work on, as I've been struggling with the last two manuscripts I started.

So, like any good writing buddy, Allie reminded me what my big goals were for the year. At the top of that list, is to have just one book ready and out the door to agents and publishers. We kicked around a couple possibilities for my areas of focus, and decided to go back to the work I "finished" for the Golden Heart award, because it is the closest of all my projects to being ready to submit.

Now, "Finding Home" is mostly done, but it has some fundamental flaws that I was aware of when I sent it off to the GH contest, but ran out of time to fix them. So, my "The Plan" for the next month or so, is to go back through FH and fix what's broken to make it more marketable before beginning the long process of submission.

Lesson learned?

Keep your goals in mind. Keep them in focus and work every day at them. Let the cluttery stuff fall away, and revisit it only when the primary objective is reached. 

Oh. And it never hurts to have someone who, occasionally, will crack the whip and remind you to get back to work!

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