Goals and Tasks: Planning for Success

doorway-to-avalon-glastonbury-tor-somerset1In the RWA chapter I belong to, we have all signed up for a goals type contest.  We write down  our yearly goals for our writing career and pay a few dollars.  At the end of the year, a drawing is held, and if that person achieved his/her goals, they win the jackpot.

Given that we are almost half way through the year, I’ve been looking at what I’ve accomplished towards meeting those goals.  It’s not much, I’m sorry to say.

In order to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself, I’ve decided to look at it from a project management perspective; something I do in my day job.

My goals are as follows:

  • Submit “Unraveling a Gentleman” to publishers/agents.
  • Submit a couple of shorter stories to some EPubs

For the first one, I have to finish the final draft.  I’ve set a deadline of July 1st.  I’m panicking because it’s almost June and I’ve not really worked on it very much.  Because I’ve entered this into a contest of sorts, the July 1st deadline is pretty firm.

So with a deadline in mind, I have to decide how to meet it.  Do I write so many words per day?  Or so many pages a day?

Then there are the distractions, such as the web page I’m building, work, holiday’s, other outside activities, my family and time with them, that eat into this time.  And given the fact that I am still working to develop some discipline, I’m worried.

How do you keep your focus on writing? Do you schedule time to write?  Is it given a priority? How do you deal with deadlines, either self imposed or real when life is going crazy around you?  I could really use some advice.

2 Comments

  1. I find when I write, I have to write when the mood hits me. I can slot an hour at a time at the computer to type out my thoughts but with me when things finally get to the point that my brain settles down to focus on the task at hand I have wasted 25 or more minutes not to include any that I might spend staring because I have no clue how I want to write it. I find that I wake up in the middle of the night with a line running through my head, if I don’t want to get out of bed I reach over and jot it down. Unfortunately this sometimes has me getting writters cramps cause once I start it is hard to stop before the thought does. I think my only advice would be to carry a notebook specificly to jot down your thoughts on your Topic as they come to you. I know this sounds trite and it is what many people “SAY” to do but in practice I find one of the hardest things to actually do. It may help though. Setting a number of pages or words a day to do is an amirable goal, but I find that I can not dictate my thoughts. I know God will lead you in the path he has laid. I know you will do all with in your powers and be able to balance. Write as you can and relax when you can. Stress will only lead to further blocks when you do get a moment to type. Good Luck.

  2. I have problems that almost mirror yours. I cannot find free time to write, or if I do hve the time, issues totally inhibit the focus and creativity I need to continue. I really do not have an answer, but can assure you that you will get it done. You are a strong woman and even with your career you have gone far beyond what one might expect and have succeeded. I am trying to block out time and like Jennifer mentioned, carry a notebook to help me save thoughts that arise at the most surprising times. I am now using those notes and thoughts in my writing when I have time alloted on my schedule. I’ll keep you posted on the progress, but anything is better than nothing and writing should be fun. Currently I am putting two hours in the evening on my schedule for three days a week. We’ll see how it goes. Positive thinking Amy. Attitude is the driver. Good luck and let’s compare notes. Bob

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