Motivation

Setting Writing Goals–With a Little Help from My Friends

As writers we are constantly looking for ways to sit our butts down and focus on our writing.  But making the time is not always easy.  With family, work, social issues and anything else that might come along–we tend to sacrifice our writing time.  I know I’m a culprit!

Though I haven’t made any New Years resolutions this year, I am trying to be pro-active with my writing.  I may not be able to sit down for 8 hours and write every day but I can dedicate some time each day to writing.

I tried to do the NaNoWriMo this past November but with a revision, two contests I was judging (for my first time) and life happening, I couldn’t find the proper time to get motivated for a 50k goal.  I felt I cheated myself this year for not doing it even though I was working on my writing–but mostly it was revising.  It didn’t count.

Then I received an email from a friend of mine about the Ruby…
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Yes, I’m a Big Fat Failure!

I don’t think I lasted more than a day with my New Year’s Resolution, but even if I had it would have bitten the dust on Sunday night.  That was the night that damn Tebow blew my Steelers’ chance in the Playoffs.

Yep.  One of my resolutions was to stop swearing.  Although I said a few whispered swear words under my breath throughout the game, I let loose a long, and—I might add—loud string of them in those brief seconds of overtime.   Very brief seconds.

Although I read that 88% of New Year’s resolutions fail, it doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better.  I admit that my resolution was a bit half-assed anyway. :-)  I couldn’t think of much that I wanted to change this year. 

I’m blessed to have wonderful friends and family.  I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I don’t particularly stress about it.  I could try harder to quit swearing, but then I’d have to…
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The Reason I’m a Writer

When I was little – maybe 7 or 8 – I learned about poetry in school. Later, sitting at the counter in my Nunnie’s (grandmother) kitchen, I told her that I was going to write a poem about her. I don’t remember much about that poem. I know it was indeed about my Nunnie and that I wrote it very quickly. And I’m fairly certain I rhymed the words pink and think.  

But the big thing about this moment in my young life is that Nunnie took one look at that poem and declared that I was a writer. She thought it was truly an amazing feat of literary proportions. Think James Joyce meets Jane Austen.

Nunnie called my mom and my two aunts and informed my entire family that I was a writer. That was it. Based on this little poem, I had the talent of writing. So I always believed it too. After all, Nunnie said…
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Season of Change

I’m an overachiever. Yep, I’m admitting it. And if you don’t believe me just ask my husband—it drives him crazy. I tend to organize and make lists, heck even my extensive movie collection is alphabetized and categorized by genre. Not kidding. My books would be too if I could talk my husband into building me more bookshelves. Maybe when the basement is finished?

Every year for the holidays I wind up making a giant list of what needs to get done, then when I accomplish it… I celebrate for about thirty-seven seconds before making another list, and then another. So in truth I probably got the important stuff done way back with the first list but then I spend my holidays killing myself to achieve more and more, and only wind up making myself crazy.

But this year was a little different, I got sick right after Thanksgiving and I’m still recovering. I’ll just say that bronchitis sucks and…
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Just Show Up

It takes a brave man to swim in the mermaid pond but I think today’s guest is up to the task. Derek Dodson has a Master of Education in professional counseling, and was a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for a number of years working with at risk kids and families. He is an accomplished musician (guitar/bass), has a number of black belts in martial arts and is knowledgeable in Chinese, Okinawan and Japanese weapons. Derek has been a college athlete, a rodeo rider, fought as a semi pro kick boxer, and even worked as a bouncer in some really bad bars when he was working his way through grad school. This has probably come in very handy as Derek is also married with four—yes, you heard me right—FOUR beautiful daughters.

And did I mention he also writes romance?

Derek has published several “forgettable articles and lots of academic crap” in his areas of interest, as well as written music and poetry. He began writing fiction a wee bit more…
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Holiday Blues

I must confess:  I’ve not been in the holiday spirit AT ALL this month.  I’ve been the queen of not enjoying celebration.  I dial the radio away from Christmas music.  I proposed not having a tree at all this year.  It all just seemed too much, too involved, too wearing to contemplate doing it again.  And it will all have to be put away at New Year’s and that’s tiring too!  Bah, hum-bug!  I see other people having a wonderful time, dressing up, handing out presents, making merry, and I just feel sad.

Now, before you get all sad yourself and turn away…  at this writing, the tree is up, the stockings are hung, the garland is twined, the wreaths are on the door.  I’ve addressed half a dozen cards.  I’ve done all my shopping, except for a gift for MyMerman.  I even made a batch of Christmas cookies last night and was bad enough to eat them for breakfast this morning….
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When Your Middle Name Is Love…

When your middle name is Love…

you should not be caught doing this…

as you write your romantic scenes.

If I were to be a photographic fly on your wall,

what might I catch you doing while in the throes of writing yours?

(or while reading for our awesome non-writing readers?)

Bad Boyfriends, Old Lovers and Ex-Husbands

Robin Mermaid’s post last week (Love It or List It? Nov. 17) got me thinking.  She had started with a book review, but then she mentioned an unfinished story that was haunting her.  She put aside a project that was giving her trouble when another idea caught her attention.  Now she’s had a chance to take another look at the unfinished manuscript and wonders if she dares to take it on again.  Can she fix it?  Will it change?  Do they have a future?

I know that story all too well, as I’ve had more than one abandoned (relationship) manuscript in a checkered, challenged and generally lackluster (dating) writing career.  There was the hero intent on restoring a vintage Tucker automobile.  The other hero who rode a motorcycle.  The heroine left at the altar (she kept the ring).  The flirtation with inspirational fiction.  The heroine escaping an abusive husband (no, not from personal experience!).

Not one of these stories saw daylight. The floppy disks…
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Love It or List It?

I am an unapologetic HGTV-slut.  I. Love. That. Channel.

It doesn’t matter what is on – I’ll watch anything – but my favorites are House Hunters and Property Virgins.  But, a new program has caught my eye and I’ll definitely be tuning in when it premieres later this month – Love It or Leave It.

The premise is that when homeowners live in a house long enough and they lose the lovin’ feeling the question pops up as to whether they renovate or move.  In this show, two real estate professionals take opposite viewpoints and try to convince the homeowner to either stay in their home or list it for sale.  I think it looks fabulous!

It also reminds me of a recent writing dilemma I had about an old, unfinished manuscript. Now, I’m a little type A (don’t snicker, those of you who know me well) and I just can’t leave things unfinished –…
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An Accountability Partner

In the course of your writing lives, I’m sure you have had a critique partner or participated in a critique group. But have you ever had an accountability partner?

Before this past August, I hadn’t. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of the concept before. (Okay, so the term, “accountability partner,” I made up. If there is a more official or creative name floating around, do let me know!)

Three months ago, fellow mermaid Kerri and I fell into an accountability relationship, and it has changed the course of my writing life. Here’s how it works:

— At the beginning of each week, Kerri and I each set a goal for the week. The goals do not have to be the same, but it’s always fun when they are. They range from word count goals (such as 1.5K words a day or once, when we were feeling really motivated, 10K words for the week) to revision goals (such as 2…
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