Five on Friday: Goals

May 2, 2008 at 8:55 am (Five on Friday)

I’d been thinking about doing a goals post for a little while now, but it’s not that simple. My anal-compulsive side comes out and I need specifics, details, minutiea. So, for my Five on Friday post today, I’m doing my Top Five Goals to Accomplish Before Nationals. (3 months.)

Goal Number One: (And this is the biggest) Finish the current work-in-progress. I’m at page 150, which means 250 to go. Now, to get this done by July 1st, which was the original plan, I need to write 30 pages a week. Given how much I’ve been struggling recently with 24, I have some reservations. On the other hand, I also have belief it can happen–I’ve been struggling with the middle. Once I hit the third turning point (a.k.a. Big Black Moment), I have the rest practically written in my head, so it’s just going to be a major brain drain from there. (Visually, I’m at the bottom of the roller coaster. The BBM is the top, right before you goย blasting down at high speeds, arms thrown high and screaming for all you’re worth.)

Goal Number Two: Give book #4 a last lookover and sign up for editor/agent appointmentsย at Nationals. Why waste an opportunity, right?

Goal Number Three: Get a basic website up. Doesn’t have to be uber-fancy, just a classic, simple theme and gives some information about me and my writing.

Goal Number Four: I guess that means I’ll need new business cards. My old ones have my home address and phone number, so I knew I needed new ones. The website will drive this, and vice versa.

Goal Number Five: Get some networking lined up. I want to meet a lot of you and pick your brains. I think two things you need in this business are friends and the ability to keep learning. (Does this count as two goals then?)

ย 

So that’s it. Nothing fancy, but at least to me, nothing that easy either. I guess that’s why they’re goals. It reminds me of a favorite quotation by Robert Browning: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

What are you reaching for?

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14 Comments

  1. Katie Reus said,

    That’s a smart way to look at your goals, in small increments! That’s exactly how I do mine, I use an excel spreadsheet (b/c I’m OCD) and post it on the corkboard by my computer for daily goals, monthly, etc ๐Ÿ™‚ Currently, I’m ‘reaching’ to find a home for my recently finished WIP!

    Oh, to answer your question from the other post I won’t be at Nationals this year ๐Ÿ˜ฆ but hopefully next year. I’ll definitely be at RT next year though!

  2. Ilana said,

    You should definitely sign up for appointments. I bravely joined the CT regional RWA group and have signed up for a meeting at their May conference. Therefore, my goal is to finish the final touches on the current WIP. Ideas for the next one (Victorian era, BTW) are beginning to form and demand attention. Then, after the move, its query letter time (at this point, it should be perfect timing – and all those SASEs will go to the right place).

    Can’t you set up this site as your webpage? I think you can get one (a domain) with your name and then ‘migrate’ this blog over to it. Take a close look at Lani’s – she uses WordPress. I figured out how to make the front page a static one with info about you… but ended up switching back to having the blog on the front page. Just let me know if you can’t figure out how.

  3. Caryn said,

    Four hundred pages?!? No wonder it’s going to take you a while. As for being stalled, whenever I have that problem, I move on to a scene that I know will happen and write that one. Better to get it out there while it’s clear in my head and I’m excited about it. I can come back to the other stuff later. When I come back to the difficult scene, I have usually either worked it out in my head by then, or I find I don’t really need it after all, and I’d just been trying to force myself to write something my subconscious said wasn’t necessary. And, finally, the web page. I’m just going to have my blog as my website. It shows that I actually do write, and that I have people reading what I write. It shows that I network. And it has a link to my About page for more information. I may or may not add links to pages with other information (such as synopses of my books) but most likely not.

  4. Pam said,

    Katie–I’ve started using an Excel spreadsheet and it’s doing pretty well by me. I think maybe I need a better reward system. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think I’ll do 2009 Nationals if I have an agent and/or editor, but not other than that. However, I am confident our paths will cross eventually. At our RITA awards, perhaps?

    Ilana–I know. My problem is I pitched this book last year and don’t want to wear it out. However, I did miss a few people and that’s who I’m targeting. I do love sending out queries, so I’ll be thinking successful thoughts for you!!!

    Caryn–I’m thinking I should stop counting pages and just tell the story, then go back and see where I need to add/subtract and worry about the final number at the end. I mean, this is my first draft, right? It’s not due or needs to be perfect out of the gate (ah, the curse of the panster–lots to clean up afterward) so why push so hard? Argh. As far as my website, I like this and MySpace (after cleaning it up some), but GoDaddy is supposed to have some decent templates I want to check out. If it was meant to be, they’ll work and be easy–if not, the blog is it. I also need to poke around WordPress some more and see what it can do. May have to utilize Ilana’s expertise there! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Robin said,

    You can do it! *pom pom swish* Having laid out your goals, I think there’s no stopping you! Have a great weekend and Happy Writing!

  6. Katie Reus said,

    Rita Awards? I like the way you think Pam!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Pam said,

    Robin–I got a pom pom swish? How could that not inspire me to write more? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Katie–Goals. I haz dem.

  8. Caryn said,

    Pam, do you tend to add or subtract when you revise? I always add, so I go for a shorter word count, because otherwise I’ll end up with way, way too much. But if you take a lot of stuff out instead, I can see going for a bigger word count. Or you could go for something in the middle. A solid 80,000 words, perhaps, which is 320 pages if you go by the 250 word per page formula. That should give you some wiggle room. I find when I’m trying to make a word count that’s too long for what I’m trying to write, I just end up padding too much. Just a thought.

  9. Marilyn Brant said,

    Pam–I have a similar page-count goal before Nationals, and I’m having a hard time being consistent. If only I wrote 5 pgs./day, I’d meet my goal easily…but I often don’t ,and so the next day I feel overwhelmed and try to play catch up. A friend suggested using a timer (set it for 20 or 30 minutes and just type for the whole time) to help get over that initial panic I feel when I’m staring at the screen thinking: OMG, I have to write, like, 40 pgs. today to make up for all the days I missed! (But I haven’t tried this yet.)

    One thing that worked for me, though, has been to jot down scene notes by hand, at random times during the day, so that when I get to the computer I have something concrete to start with. I feel like I have a running start going into the scene, then… (Of course I have about 270 pgs. worth of unwritten scenes to go, which will require a lot of running!)

    P.S. Your comments about Caryn’s couch yesterday were hysterical!

  10. Melissa Blue said,

    About meeting writing goals…they’ll drive you crazy, but it’s good to have a goal where you want to end up. At the same time don’t hold a gun to your head for reaching it. My first drafts are always under my goal. never fails. By the time all is said and done I’m at my goal. Don’t sweat it.

    My goals:

    Finish a book by the end of the year, which means doing whatever it takes to get the words on the page.

    Continue to revise I Said Never.

    Conquer grammar since it’s going to be the death of my writing career.

  11. Pam said,

    Caryn–I owe you something for this. Sometimes I get too set in my thoughts that it’s hard to break out.

    Marliyn–the next day overwhelming feeling? Oh, it’s so nice to hear somebody facing the same problem. It’s so tough to break the “I’m already 4/5 pages behind, what’s 4/5 more?” rather than just writing a page or two.

    Melissa–thanks for the calming words. Sometimes I need that more than anything else. And I’m confident you’re going to reach your goals–you are a great writer! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Kyle said,

    That’s definitely the smart thing to do, small steps! I always look at the big picture, and sometimes freak myself out. I have a secret goal of being a millionaire by the time I’m 25… That originated back 5 years when my intended vision of the future included starting a technologies company to rival GE. Now that I’m a lolely writer, the chances of that happening are SLIGHTLY smaller! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Always good to network. I’ve met some of the best friends I have through writing conferences/activities!

    Good luck with it all!

  13. nomadshan said,

    Keep on keepin’ on! The only thing better than setting goals is meeting them ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. Pam said,

    Kyle–it makes me think of the Richard Dryfuss character in “What About Bob.” Baby steps, Bob. Baby steps. And I think you can make your goal of being a millionaire–don’t all writers make it big that way? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Hey, Nomandshan–you made it! Glad you were able to come and play. I need to check out your tart and flaky blog! (Did I get that right?) ๐Ÿ™‚

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