a blog about the craft of writing
If you’ve read any of my past posts, you may have noticed I’m a goals girl. I love taking out the paper and figuring out where I want to go and how to get there. Making sure I check those goal sheets, well… that doesn’t always happen. I can be racing along, in a hurry to get where I think I’m going, and totally forget to check the map.
That can end up with the end of the year check in being a big surprise and can go something like this:
“Wait.. I said I wanted to save money for a trip to Hawaii? But I spent it all on that writing conference. What happened?”
This year though I did something different. I joined a goal setting group last December. Writing Giam hosted by the amazing Amy Atwell. Not only does Amy supervise the entire Writing Gaim site, she jumps on to all the loops (I’m on loop number five, and I know there are more than that), and she also is starting a database for authors with helpful articles.
Writing Gaim has been a lifesaver for me. I’ve found that having a group to report to has made my goal setting much more focused. Every week I set my goals, and I’m actually staying on course! (Except for the Hawaii thing). This is one of the reasons Weight Watchers is so successful. Reporting back to a person or a group of people on your weekly endevours increases your chances of success. Checking in with my GaimX5rs loop on a regular basis is like looking the WW leader in the eye and confessing to eating a whole box of Little Debbies. Not going to happen.
When you know you have someone to report to, then you are much more likely to stay on track. And if you have a bad week, you are much more likely to get back on the wagon. This is particularly helpful if you are easily distracted (like me) by things like unwashed dishes or husbands or dogs.
You see those things (especially the husbands and dogs) notice if you don’t follow through. Who notices when you don’t follow through on your writing goals? Just you, you say? It might be time for a change.
Writing Gaim also has a Go-Pro loop, for those people who haven’t yet made it to PRO. I love this idea and if I’d known about it before I hit PRO, I would have jumped on it. PRO is great, but you can’t access any of it’s benefits till you finish and submit that first ms. And that can be a mountain of work. If you are interested in achieving this milestone, and are having trouble, a whole group focused on getting you there might be the answer.
The other great thing about my goal setting loop is all the wonderful author friends I’ve made. And I use the word author instead of writer on purpose. These people are all either publishing or on the road to publication. And it’s happening at a fast rate. Whether they’ve jumped off the romance boat to write memoirs or are self-publishing, they check in and show their progress. These are authors on the move.
How do you challenge your goal setting weaknesses? Do you have someone who keeps you accountable? Is it a group or a crit-partner? What if they don’t actually push you? Do you need to make a change?