Tag Archives: goals

Goal Post Check In

Moonday Mania

goals, goals, goals

First of all, I’m guest blogging on fairy tales and their twists on Lyndi Alexander’s new site HERE. Lyndi is the author of the fabulous Clan Elves From the Bitteroot series that starts with a glass slipper that breaks on a sidewalk and turns out to be chock full of tiny men.

Now, on to today’s Goal Post Check In. This year I’ll be checking in randomly and letting you see how I’m doing on my goals. I considered Row 80 Goals, like Jenny Hansen and lots of fellow writer goal setters, but I already use a goal setting loop for my weekly check in, so this is just for fun, and just for you!

Jessica Aspen Goals for 2013

Overall Organizational Goals: 

  1. Continue to set and review monthly goals, set daily goals based on monthly goals In progress!
  2. Write five days per week, 3 hours per day So far, it’s hit or miss, but more hit than miss.
  3. Goal is 3k/day Yeah, right now I’m goaling 2k per day and hitting it about 3-5 days per week. When I am hitting it consistently I will then set the bar higher. I’m hoping to be doing 3k/day by the end of the year.
  4. and edit 15-20 pages per day Only on the days I’m not writing. And there are editing days when getting 5 pages deep edited is AMAZING!
  5. Keep up with personal site, blog 2 days a week Of course!
  6. Self-publishing class in January (taking a fabulous class on Author EMSwith  Amy Atwell and Kelli Finger!) This was a fabulous class, if you are at all seriously considering Indie Publishing, then take this class. You will absolutely understand the costs, labor and rewards involved.
  7. Tax class in February from Colorado Romance Writers. Yep! Done! Another great class, but I don’t know when it will be offered again.
  8. Market 1-2 hours per day Check!
  9. Attend CRW Writing Retreat in September

Writing Goals

  1. Finish editing Goldi and the Bear by January 18th I think I was a few days later than this, but it is done and turned in and I” expecting a Fall 2013 publishing date.
  2. Polish Goldi and the Bear  by January 30 Done!
  3. Write rough draft of B&B (second book in TQH series) I am 30K into this and really hoping to get it done by the end of March. That is the plan anyway. 🙂
  4. Edit rough draft of B&B
  5. Start thinking about 3rd book in  TQH series
  6. Outline 3rd book in TQH series
  7. Superhero goals: Edit BW and outline first book in that series

Marketing Goals 

  1. Submit Goldi and the Bear to PIP by January 30 Check!
  2. Decide what to do with HH Novellas
  3. Continue to submit TQH Check!
  4. Market all books (Little Red. S&S. GoldiCheck!
  5. Enter Little Red in  contests Check!
  6. Enter TQH into contests Check!
  7. Increase presence on Goodreads
  8. Work on All Romance Exposure
  9. Figure out how to increase presence on reader sites/loops
  10. I’ve joined Pinterest. I don’t have many pictures up, but I’ll be working on it slowly and adding them as I go. I’m not sure what the best way to work it is, so I’m a little slow. But you can check it out HERE.

That’s all folks. Hope your goals are all going well. I’m feeling pretty good about my direction this year and very good about 2013 in general. How about all of you? We’re just barely getting into the year, how are your goals? Are you on track? Do you need a goals re-vamp like I did in January or are you sticking to your plan?

9 Comments

Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Goals post #3

Today is my last day on the Bewitching Tour for Little Red Riding Wolf. Check out today’s guest post on:

And A Girl and Her Kindle reviews Little Red Riding Wolf:

Now on to the real post!

January is my traditional time for reviewing and setting goals. On New Year’s Eve I posted last year’s goals and showed you how I did. Click here for Goals Past and Present to see my 2012 goals and how well I did on hitting them. (Okay, I didn’t hit them all!)

 Check out the post Changing Goals for the New Year  for advice on setting goals and discover my own goal-setting pitfalls.

Today I’m posting my goals for 2013, but I have to add a caveat. I’ve already changed my goals several times since the beginning of the month. It’s taken me almost the entire month to quit waffling on where I want to go and how to get there, but I think I’m finally set on where this year is taking me.

Jessica Aspen Goals for 2013

Overall Organizational Goals: 

  1. Continue to set and review monthly goals, set daily goals based on monthly goals
  2. Write five days per week, 3 hours per day
  3. Goal is 3k/day
  4. and edit 15-20 pages per day
  5. Keep up with personal site, blog 2 days a week
  6. Self-publishing class in January (taking a fabulous class on Author EMS with  Amy Atwell and Kelli Finger!)
  7. Tax class in February from Colorado Romance Writers.
  8. Market 1-2 hours per day
  9. Attend CRW Writing Retreat in September 

Writing Goals 

  1. Finish editing Goldi and the Bear by January 18th
  2. Polish Goldi and the Bear  by January 30th
  3. Write rough draft of B&B (second book in TQH series)
  4. Edit rough draft of B&B
  5. Start thinking about 3rd book in  TQH series
  6. Outline 3rd book in TQH series
  7. Superhero goals: Edit BW and outline first book in that series

Marketing Goals 

  1. Submit Goldi and the Bear to PIP by January 30th
  2. Decide what to do with HH Novellas
  3. Continue to submit TQH
  4. Market all books (Little Red. S&S. Goldi)
  5. Enter Little Red in  contests
  6. Enter TQH into contests
  7. Increase presence on Goodreads
  8. Work on All Romance Exposure
  9. Figure out how to increase presence on reader sites/loops

So that’s it. I’ve slimmed my goals down and streamlined my writing goals. B&B will be written this year, I’ve put it off long enough. And I’m excited to be releasing Snow and the Seventh Wolf this month. Check out Thursday’s post for details and how you can win a review copy.

How are your goals for the year? Have you set them? It’s not too late, I don’t think it’s ever too late. 🙂

Want to see where my blog tour has been this week? Check out the entire list HERE and find out!

bewitching_author

10 Comments

Filed under About the Author, Bloghops, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Goals Past and Present

Today I’m being interviewed on Cynthia Woolf’s blog HERE and giving away an e-copy of Little Red Riding Wolf. Hop on over and say hi!

Goals: Moonday Mania Style

a blog for the goal setter in all of us

Last year I took a fantastic course taught by Bob Mayer called Write it Forward. I looked over my writing goals and dreams and decided what I wanted in life and how to get it. I set goals. Tough goals that I thought I could do but would be a challenge. While I was in the class my life became, let’s just say, a more of a challenge then I expected. My mother went into the hospital for a week. The same week my edits began coming in from my editor. I struggled.

I kept up with class, did my edits, drove back and forth to the hospital. But I didn’t write much of anything new, nor did I get my editing goals done for the work I already had written. And I kind of felt like my whole year went like that, dissolved in a sea of demands. Family demands, working out demands, working a day job demands.

So…

Here are last years goals. Considering some of the ups and downs in my life during 2012, I actually feel pretty good about what I accomplished.

Jessica Aspen Goals for 2012

  1. Polish and submit TQH , (January) continue to submit as needed Done, this took months, but I have re-edited this book and it is in submission currently. YAY!
  2. Polish and submit BW This year, for sure!
  3. Outline and write  DW second novel in BW series-possible #BIAY See above.
  4. Add BIAY page to my website and update monthly Done, then I re-vamped my website and took it down.
  5. Polish and submit DW If I didn’t write it I sure didn’t polish and submit it!
  6. Re-vamp novella-Rogue Enforcer, and publish On my list for this year! WOOT!
  7. Outline and write GB (new novella) (February) Changed this to Snow and the Seventh Wolf at Editors reguest. Done
  8. Polish and submit GB Done (Snow & 7th Wolf)
  9. Start thinking about 3rd book in Enforcer series Not even close.
  10. Outline and write sequal to TQH book (If TQH is accepted, this becomes a priority) Outline done!
  11. Attend Rom con 2012 (already purchased ticket) Done, and it was a blast!
  12. Go to RWA Nationals in July Done! Loved it!
  13. Market all books (Little Red Riding Wolf focus for Jan and Feb) Done
  14. Keep up with personal site and improve it, blog 3 days a week Done, I love my new look, and I love blogging only 2 days a week.
  15. Finish business plan Nope, but I set some business goals. 
  16. Outline a YA and write for NANO (if not working at MP) I didn’t do a YA, but I did outline and write the first draft of my 3rd novella in the Twisted Tales:  Come Into the Woods series, and it will be edited soon. Very soon. Like maybe next week soon? Or this week? Or any day now???
  17. Keep up with PNRF and improve site, blog once per month Done, but PNRF is no more. And I love having the free time!
  18. Take Bob Mayer class and keep up with it (Jan and Feb) Done, great class, see link above. Or buy the book HERE.
  19. Work at applying analytics and website knowledge to sites Yeah… no.
  20. Write five days per week, 3 hours per day (actually I want to have butt in chair for 6 hours per day) This one is complicated. I did sit in the chair and write or edit on the days I wasn’t working. And I got a lot done, but check in next week to see how I want to change this goal and change my overall goals for this year.
  21. Goal is 2k/day, expanding to 3k/day Done, when I am writing, I am WRITING. Love it!
  22. Or edit 15-20 pages per day done
  23. Market 1-2 hours per day done
  24. Increase presence on Goodreads and Google plus done
  25. Think about possibly 2 other classes this year I tried to take an intense Margie Lawson class this year, while working full time and balancing the sandwich generation sit-com that my life has become. I dropped out. I’m sure Margie wonders to this day what happened.
  26. Figure out how to increase presence on reader sites/loops If you figure this on out, let me know.
  27. Work at improving plotting with the intent of speeding up actual writing by an extra 1,000k per day from current speed of 2k per day using Rachel Aaron‘s techniques done
  28. Continue to set and review monthly goals, set daily goals based on monthly goals done
  29. Explore self-publishing a short story I’m taking a self-publishing class in January from Amy Atwell and Kelly finger on Author EMS. Check it out HERE
DSCF0748

Flowers for over volunteering!

Whew. It was a big list! And I did get most of it done. TA DA! What is not included on that list is running the last half of our Award of Excellence Contest. Running a Go-Pro group for our local chapter. And being PAL and (somehow at the same time?) Pro Liasion for my local chapter.  Those weren’t really my goals, but they sure did suck up a lot of time. And I won an award for over volunteering! You don’t have to hit me on  the head twice!.

What I didn’t get done was write a full length novel. I did write two 30+ novellas. Snow and the Seventh Wolf, coming out next month, and my Goldilocks story, that I’m still editing. I expect it to be completely finished during the first part of January.

And I wrestled with TQH and really edited the heck out of it!

So it was a productive year. But I’m sad about not writing more. Disappointed.

And that leads to what my post next week will be about. Check back to discover what I loved about 2012, what I learned about myself, and how I want to change my days and goals to fit my overall goals.

How did you do on your goals this year? Did you set goals? Did you make them work?

3 Comments

Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

The Darkest Night

Yule Celebration 2012

yule wreath

This Thursdays Bite we are planning for Friday, December 21st, the Winter Solstice, or Yule. The shortest day of the year and the advent of the zombie apocalypse.  (Just kidding!) Yule is the time  we pull our loved ones close and linger around the fire. The time for celebrating the re-birth of the sun and thinking about what we’d like to get rid of in our lives and what we’d like to keep.

Yule is also a great time to look back at the year and ruminate about what went well, and what we could be doing differently. When the new day dawns and the days get longer, how will you be spending your hours?

This year I’ll be frittering away a child free weekend with my husband. Yep, a little early Christmas present for both of us. And boy do we need it. This has been a stressful fall and winter, and it’s not because our zombie preparedness kit is incomplete. ( I need a portable water filtration system. Maybe Santa will bring one.) I also have started looking at next year’s goals and analyzing what the heck went wrong with my goals this year. I have a pretty good idea that it was all my family stuff interfering and plan to just tell everyone in 2013 to “Go away! I’m writing!)

Okay, we’ll see how that works.

I do have some fun things lined up already for the New Year. I’m taking a class on the ins and outs of self-publishing. I’m too nervous to dip my toe into that pond without some cold hard facts and some hand holding so the class on Author EMS by Amy Atwell and Kelli Finger looks perfect. It promises to teach me enough about the whole shebang to figure out if it’s just too much work, or if it’s something I want to do. Definitely an interesting start to the New Year.

The other class I am taking is not such a fun one, but it’s necessary. It’s Taxes For Writers and it’s on the Colorado Romance Writers site HERE. I’m moderating that one, so  I’ll have to get on the loop every day. That’s one way to make sure you actually participate in a class. Not that it won’t be a good class, but taxes are not my forte. I have to confess. I haven’t done taxes since I got married. Yes, it’s a June and Ward relationship. Jeff does the taxes and I stay home and write. I’m not complaining, no way!

Just for fun, while you’re thinking about your year and clearing out the old to make way for the new, here is a recipe to celebrate on Friday. Something fun to do with your sweetie or the kids or just by yourself while you watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

What do you do on the Winter Solstice? Do you celebrate the dark and the return of the light? Do you take the time to analyze the year, or do you save that for New Year’s Day? What about baking? If ginger bread cookies are not your thing and you would like some delicious recipes check out the Holiday Yum Recipes on More Cowbell.

From the Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook: “Make gingerbread cookies both for yourself and for your tree spirits to encourage the return of the sun.”

Magical Colors:  Green (Growth, prosperity, faith and health) and Red (strength, courage, vitality, fire)

Now let’s do what any good kitchen witch would do and combine these magical ideas and make iced ginger cookies. Ginger ( health, cleansing, vibrant energy and zeal) is a sunny warm flavor perfect for summoning the light and banishing the dark during the cold winter months.

Rolled Gingerbread Men (and Women!)

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molassas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbl vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking pwder
  • 1/2 tso baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves

Beat shortening, add half the flour and all the rest of the ingredients- beating between each addition. Once thoroughly  mixed, beat in the rest of the flour. Cover and chill until workable (approx 3 hours). Roll out 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters. Cut a small hole in the top of each cookie. Bake 375° for 5-6 minutes. Don’t over bake. Cool on cookie sheet and decorate. Tie ribbon through the top and hang on the tree.

If, for some strange reason, you would like your icing to actually be hard because you expect your cookies to last on your tree. Be sure to use Royal Icing. And, to avoid the Solstice Sickies, use powdered egg whites in your icing. This will take care of the salmonella question.

I want to thank everyone who dropped by for the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop. I met a ton of new people and we gave away some great prizes. Congratulations to AJCraig for winning my e-copy of Little Red Riding Wolf. Grand Prize winners listed HERE.

8 Comments

Filed under Magic, recipes, Thursdays Bite

Nanowrimo Wrap-up

Moonday Mania

a random blog about writing

It’s over! JumpMy first Nanowrimo. And it was a pretty interesting experience. I was pretty sure that working full time during November was going to mean I would not hit the 50k mark, but what I didn’t know was how close I could have gotten.

Now, before you get too excited, my total word count was 21,588 total words written on my ms during November. Not even close to fifty thousand. But about 14,000 of those words were written in the very last week. Imagine if I’d been able to apply myself the entire month the way I did at the end. And I could have.

I could have gone to the coffee shop two nights a week and the library one day on the weekend and I think that would have made the difference. So I’m going to try again. Even if I work full time next year, I’m going to try for the whole shebang. I think I can do it.

This past week I have written a minimum of 3,000 words every day. And some days it was very hard. But other days I ended up surpassing my daily goal and it wasn’t difficult. So I’m going to try to keep up that kind of speed all year.

Will I hit 3,000 words every day. No, I know I won’t. But it’s going to be my new word count goal, when I’m not working. And when I am working? I’m not sure yet. I have until March to decide, so we’ll see how it goes.

And as for my 21,588?

Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop

Coming December 14th! Prizes galore!

It wasn’t 50k. It wasn’t my goal of 30k, that I thought I set as my goal while I worked. But it is 21,588 more words than I wrote last November. And I learned I could write during November and while I worked. So I’m happy.

Have you ever set a goal that you didn’t meet, but you will still satisfied with the results. Do you get down on yourself when you miss a goal, or do you look for what you can use from the experience? Does it make a difference if you expected to hit the goal?

Don’t forget there will be lots of prizes during the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop! Hop on by on December 14th!

12 Comments

Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey

Closing in on Nanowrimo (or not)

Moonday Mania

a blog for writers

Want to see how you do with deadlines? Want to push your boundaries and act like an author who has to turn in the full ms by the end of the month? The end of November is approaching and the close of National Novel Writing Month. One of the interesting things that is happening is how people react to a deadline. Those who are close to the fifty thousand word goal are pushing hard to finish. But those who aren’t close? Well, they have a variety of reactions.

There are the one’s who just give up. They know they can’t possibly hit 50K by the end of the month so why bother? These Nanoites just stop. It might be that they stop early, once they realize the month is not going to end like they want it too. It might be that they are giving up this week. When they realize they only have four more days left to cram an extra 25K in, and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

Then there are the ones who push on, no matter what. They resolutely keep struggling to finish. Even though they, and anyone who is sane, should know it ain’t gonna happen. But that doesn’t matte to them. They might make it! And if they don’t, they are sure going to be able to say they tried.

Of course there are the people like me. I never expected to actually finish the entire 50k this month. I knew going in that I was commuting, and working, and had other obligations that would make 50k impossible. But, I wanted to give myself a boost this month. Last November I didn’t write anything. Not one word. I know there are writers out there who work full time and still churn out books. That ain’t me.

Thanks Writertopia!


So, I set the goal of trying to finish a 30k ms instead. But I knew I might hit some bumps. And I did. My edits came in during week two and while they were extremely light, they still took some time. My CP (the amazing ML Guida) needed some editing done. So I took some time to do that. I could have said no, but she helps me out when I’m in a crunch. And I knew I wasn’t going to come close to finishing Nanowrimo.

So we come to the people like me. Great first week, declining second week, non-existant third week. Should have caught up over Thanksgiving, but I spent time with my family instead. So here I sit with 6963 words done out of my 30k goal. But I have four days left! So I’m going to be one of those optimistic people trying to push to at least get something done so my word count looks less pitiful. I figure I can reach 10k easily, so the goal is to hit 15K before the end.

And possibly 20K. If nothing crops up. Sure.

How do deadlines work for you? Does it make a difference if it’s set by someone else? What about deadlines that are for work or family members? Are you like me and put off the self-imposed deadlines for the “real” deadlines? What does this mean for your career?

8 Comments

Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey

Super Killer #Goals, Take Two!

Moonday Mania

a blog for the writing journey

In January I published my goals. Click HERE to see my crazy, over-achieving, goal list. Today, I’m re-visiting my goals and updating where I am. I would have liked to have gotten this done in June or July, but between working, driving kids up and back to camp every two weeks, and helping out my folks, (Oh and the travelling- I went to two conferences this summer. Yippee!) I didn’t get to checking my goals. But now I’m back to writing (actually mostly editing) full time and here they are, with updates!

Jessica Aspen Goals for 2012

    1. Polish and submit TQH , (January) continue to submit as needed January, my edits for Little Red Riding Wolf came in and my mother went into the hospital (she’s just fine!) so I put this off, until July! I’m now a third of the way through and plan to finish by the end of August, if not sooner.
    2. Polish and submit BW Another delayed project. My whole year got pushed back, so now this is on the table as soon as TQH is finished. I’m thinking before the end of August, but definitely during September. Finish by the end of Sept.
    3. Outline and write  DW second novel in BW series-possible #BIAY The plan is to now outline this in September when I am working on the companion book, BW. So by the end of September I should  have the outline, then begin writing either this or TQH sequel in October. 
    4. Add BIAY page to my website and update monthly I added this in January, and dropped it with last months website re-do. 
    5. Polish and submit DW Not even written, so not polished. I think this will end up being a 2013 goal.
    6. Re-vamp novella-Rogue Enforcer, and publish Pushed forward, maybe 2013.
    7. Outline and write GB (new novella) (February) This became Snow and the Seventh Wolf. I outlined in February and wrote over March and April, submitted and is now due for publication in 2013 from Passion in Print Press. WOOT!
    8. Polish and submit GB see above
    9. Start thinking about 3rd book in Enforcer series Haven’t written prequel, DW, yet. The 3rd is pushed back to 2013
    10. Outline and write sequal to TQH book (If TQH is accepted, this becomes a priority) I have a good start on this one, am outlining it during August, then I’ll see if I write this one first or DW first. I would love to have both ready to go for October.
    11. Attend Rom con 2012 (already purchased ticket) Done! I had a blast! See HERE.
    12. Go to RWA Nationals in July. Done! I had another super good time, see HERE and check out my FB page for pix HERE.
    13. Market all books (Little Red Riding Wolf was the focus for Jan and Feb) Still working on this!
    14. Keep up with personal site and improve it, blog 3 days a week As most of you know, I had a tough time this spring, keeping up with the job, the class I was taking, my folks, my kids, my life. Oh yeah, and the blog. I took a major siesta from the blog and it was wonderful. Now I’m cutting down to twice a week and I’m loving it! And of course the site has been re-done beautifully, with the assistance of cover artist Viola Estrella.
    15. Finish business plan Yeah, yeah. Someday this will actually happen. I do have one, it’s not pretty.
    16. Outline a YA and write for NANO (if not working at MP) I am planning on taking one of my finished outlines and attempting NANO, unfortunately I will be joining my working friends and working, so I may not hit the 50k mark, but I will try! Will it be the YA, probably not. Push this to next year, again!
    17. Keep up with PNRF and improve site, blog once per month This actually happened. Ok, I didn’t improve the site, but I have kept up!
    18. Take Bob Mayer class and keep up with it (Jan and Feb) Loved my Bob Mayer class, check out HERE
    19. Work at applying analytics and website knowledge to sites I don’t love analytics. I did try this at the beginning of the year, and I used it to determine that I should drop Sensational Saturdays, but other than that I’d say this is a wash.
    20. Write five days per week, 3 hours per day (actually I want to have butt in chair for 6 hours per day)
    21. Goal is 2k/day, expanding to 3k/day Hmm, some days, my non-working days. I can hit 2k. 3k is still a reach. And now that I haven’t written for so long, we’ll have to see how October goes.
    22. Or edit 15-20 pages per day Keeping up with this! WOOT!
    23. Market 1-2 hours per day Um, no.
    24. Increase presence on Goodreads and Google plus I think I’m tabling Google Plus, Joined MyWanna, but haven’t done much with it. I do like Goodreads though and have gotten more social there recently.
    25. Think about possibly 2 other classes this year Yeah. I’m done with classes for a long time. I have too much to do. I have the RWA Nationals Workshops I took to review, and I can listen to the CD if I want a class. I am in the middle of The Fire in Fiction and think that I might use those exercises if I need a bump. No more classes this year, just some CRW mini-cons and the retreat.
    26. Figure out how to increase presence on reader sites/loops If anyone has ideas, let me know!
    27. Work at improving plotting with the intent of speeding up actual writing by an extra 1,000k per day from current speed of 2k per day using Rachel Aaron‘s techniques I’m working on this. I think I’m up to 2k per day, when I’m actually not editing. I’ll have to get back to this in October.
    28. Continue to set and review monthly goals, set daily goals based on monthly goals This fell apart, but as of this month I am back to being disciplined. It’s the only way to stay on track.
    29. Explore self-publishing a short story Still on the back burner. Our August mini-con is on Self-publishing, so I may get some ideas. Meanwhile I’m working on everything else!

     I knew when I wrote these down that I wouldn’t have them all done by the end of the year. But the very cool thing is how many I have finished or am still on track to finish. When you write a goal down it makes it much more likely that you will achieve it. Even if you don’t look at it all year, it hangs out in the back of your head.

    Have you checked up on your killer goals this year? How far along are you? Did you have a bump in the road to your goals and have to go off the map? What about off-road? Did you get back on track? Leave me a comment and let me know how your year is going.

8 Comments

Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Wallowing in Karmic Self Recrimination

Sensational Saturdays

my new once a week blog for whatever I feel like

KARMA

That’s right, it’s karma day. A day to seize your comeuppance and enjoy it for what it is, justified.

Whenever I get extra time in my life I think I can do it all. So I sign up for things. And then them come around and I’m handling it. I’m handling my family and my house and my writing and my volunteering. And then I start to work. And then something falls apart.

Then I fall apart.

And I realize that I did this to myself.

Stock Image - CamelI over loaded based on the fact that I was healthy, everyone else was doing great and I could do it all. But when you are at the tipping point and a fat camel comes and sits on your scale, somebody’s back has to break.

And it won’t be the camel’s.

I’m lucky. Okay, I had a rough week. Okay, I’ve had it rough since 2012 began, but none of it is debilitating. None of it will truly set me back for long. And none of it is truly insurmountable.

So what do you do? What am I doing? Well, you already know that! I’m cutting back. I’ve already cut down this blog to once a week. Oh, and I’m forgiving myself. I missed posting yesterday. Why? Well it wasn’t because I didn’t have time, and it wasn’t because I forgot. It was because I just quite plainly needed a day to not do any of this stuff. I needed a day to recover from this H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS week. And I stole it.

I stole it from myself, and it felt good.

I’m hoping that this week goes better, but facing the last two weeks, I’m not sure. So I need to set the second part of my plan in motion and that is do what I can ahead of time, drop what I can, and not sweat everything else. Because karma has come to kick me in the butt and there ain’t nothing to do about it but hang on and survive.

So that goals sheet I set up at the beginning of the year, this week I’m ignoring it. And I’m facing the fact that come next month it may need total revising. My social media frenzy that I’ve been working on for over a year, this week I’m ignoring it. No Twitter, no Facebook, and thanks be to the heavens I already gave up on Linked In. Anything that makes me feel like I’m having a panic attack is getting ignored.

I’m in survival mode and that’s just the way it is. I should have done this months ago, but I avoided looking at the signs. I kept hoping (because as you may know, I’m an optimist) that my life would get whipped back into shape if I just tried harder. But I got hit on the head this week and I’m listening.

I know many of you have done this to yourselves, over-estimated your time, over-committed your time, or over-estimated your capacity for stretching yourself to the bone. Tell me your stories. Share with me your coping strategies. Did you forgive yourself and move on? Or did you wallow in the mud of self-torturing recriminations? 

Free Stock Photo - Pig

12 Comments

Filed under Optimisim, Sensational Saturday's, Writer's Journey, writing organization

Help! When do I write?

Sensational Saturday’s

a blog about whatever the bleep I want to write

Free Stock Photos - Blue Ballpoint Pens

I’m a goal setter. A go-to goal setter. If you peek back into January you’ll see my mega-list of goals. And there are a lot of little things, like, hmm, blog, blog and more blogs. But the most important thing on the list, the one thing I’m supposed to be doing before anything else, and the thing that actually might bring some real meaning to my chosen career is to WRITE.

Now don’t get me wrong. All the other stuff is important, but if I’m not writing, am I an author? If all I’m doing is promoting the one book or checking out everyone else’s books, can I call myself anything but a dabbler? A doodler? A dilettante?

Even if I’m sacrificing my writing for a good cause, even if it’s because my house needs attention, the fridge needs re-stocking, or the family desperately needs me, even then can I call myself an author? Or am I just a hobbyist?

Writing is the call. Writing is the thing that needs to be done.

Stock Image - Cow
That’s why my family is forced to eat nothing but PB&J’s till the cows come home, because Mama ain’t cooking. Mama’s writing.

Am I struggling to balance my life?

Yes. But I’m still writing.

Yes, this month things have gotten seriously in the way. My folks have needed way more help than usual. I took on a contest and that required a good deal of attention. And there are the usual suspects, the dirty bathrooms and the dog that needs walking.

But overall I am writing. And I’m on schedule. Or close to it.

My main goal for the beginning of this year was to write a novella. And I’ve done that. I have the rough draft of the sequel to Little Red Riding Wolf finished. Snow and the Seventh Wolf is in the middle of the polishing stage and I am on target to have it off to Passion in Print for the query stage by the end of March. Now all I need to do is fend off the children during spring break. Any ideas?

My next main goal is to edit BW (and rename it, I’m not happy with the title, hence the intitials). I’ve signed up for a Margie class in April, specifically to get the editing rolling. Fab 30, where Margie herself looks at your thirty pages. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!

I’m working in April, so this will be a challenge, but like I said, the natives will have to eat more PB&J. Or maybe learn to cook for themselves. That’s an even better idea!

I have a ton of other things I want to get done. Re-vamping this website is high on my list. But don’t expect to see it done anytime soon. One thing I took away from my Bob Mayer class, one thing I took away from reading Stephen King’s On Writing, one thing I read over and over again from successful authors is…. WRITE!

Do you have trouble getting your goals accomplished? How do you fend off the natives when they need, need, need you? Can you turn off your phone and buckle down? What are your success strategies?

5 Comments

Filed under Goal Setting, Sensational Saturday's, writing organization

JUMP! It’s your life!

Sensational Saturday

a blog for where I’m at today

This has been a crazy month, and I’m nowhere near where I thought I would be on my goals.

One thing that has progressed, whether I’m there or not, is my Write It Forward Class with Bob Mayer. I started the class with the idea that I would figure out a plan for where I should go as an author. What I really wanted was for Bob to hand me a list and a plan and say, “Go get ’em!”

Well, that’s kind of what happened.

Actually, as Bob says, no one can plan your career but you. So my hopes of having a plan are still hanging on me, myself and I.

Not Bob.

And that’s good. Why should I hand my life over to someone else’s check list? Why shouldn’t I decide what should go on the check list?

Turns out what I really needed wasn’t a plan from someone else, it was the “Go get ’em!”

And Bob delivered.

I’ll be going over his lessons many times over the next year as I try to figure out this crazy publishing business and my goals. Do I really want what I think I want? What should I be writing? And is self-publishing a realistic way to go? What about my publisher? What about my next book?

None of it is easy, but I’m the only one who can answer those questions.

Meanwhile, I have to share some Bob-isms. His dry sense of humor is sprinkled throughout the lessons and I now have started keeping a list on the refrigerator to remind me to face my fears and “JUMP!”

“Not taking charge of your career will doom you.”

“Write what you are afraid of.”

“Saying I can’t is really saying I won’t.”

“There is no 99% when jumping out of an airplane.”

These are all from the Write it Forward class, which is also available in book form from Who Dares Wins Publishing.

Are you waiting for someone to help you figure out your career? Who is going to be better at that then you? While you’re waiting for your white knight, how are you spending your time?

Leave a comment, then skip on over to the Paranormal Freebies site HERE to register it with the Rafflecopter widget and get one more entry into my Little Red Riding Wolf Contest, ending soon.

Come into the woods with Little Red Riding Wolf*, a spicy paranormal romance novella available from Passion in Print Press. What if Little Red Riding Hood was a werewolf, and a sexy forest ranger wandered into her woods?

Little Red Riding Wolf by Jessica Aspen
Buy Little Red Riding Wolf Here

Fraternizing with humans is taboo, but when feisty werewolf Red runs into hunky new forest ranger Evan Brewster, she jumps on the opportunity to let loose her desires. Evan is stoked when he meets the petite red haired hottie, and combined with his new discovery of wolves in Colorado, thinks his career and life are made. Then Red pushes him away, her hostile brother threatens his life, and things begin to spiral out of control. Caught between her sexy lover and her pack can Red trust Evan with her secrets, or must she sacrifice her human lover and her heart?

*Honorable Mention in Passionate Ink’s 2011 Stroke of Midnight contest



13 Comments

by | February 25, 2012 · 6:00 am