Commit to write and set your goals

Karalee’s Post #91

It’s wonderful to refocus and aim high. Yes, everyone in our writing group has agreed to each have a book written, edited and ready to self-publish within the next year.

To me our 5Writers group has expanded from being a critique group to an all-encompassing writing support group. We’ve challenged each other to write our manuscripts, continue and expand on our social networking as 5Writers, plus learn as much as we can about self-publishing and all that it entails. And, we will all support one another in all of these aspects along the way.

5 heads are better than one, right?

freytag's pyramid

I work best to deadlines and taking courses on learning about the craft of writing seems to light a fire under my butt and often kick-starts my ideas.

I can easily flip between feeling confident in my writing to wondering WTF am I doing? So, improving my writing skills definitely feeds my self-confidence to be able to write well enough to publish an awesome book!

Before our two day writing group retreat I had already started an online course by Dean Wesley Smith  called “Character Voice and Setting”. It is excellent and I enjoy how Dean uses videos to teach so it’s close to being in a classroom and taking your own notes. The assignments are in-depth too and put into practice the concepts taught.

12 weeks to draft

The other course I’m signed up for is through Writer’s Digest University called 12 Weeks to a First Draft  by Mark Spenser. This course is perfect timing for me as I’m pushed to figure out my plot-line, develop my characters and setting, and put into instant use the techniques I learned through Dean’s course.

I feel stoked and my FUN FACTOR is back to get my book written. My goal is to get the first draft outlined, researched and at least half written by Christmas. There, I said it.

To make it happen I need to commit to time and productivity goals so here goes:

  1. Spend a minimum of 3 hours in my office per day or 21 hours/week.
  2. Produce at least 500 words/day over and above research/outlining/blogging, etc. starting next week so I have this first week to do initial plotting.
  3. Keep up my regular exercise routine for my health.
  4. Meditate daily. I’ve found this has become essential to help keep my energy and mood balanced.
  5. Journal my progress daily. I haven’t done this before and I think this may open my eyes to how I work best and help my productivity for future books too.
  6. Of course, my dogs and family need some daily attention too!

dogs at beach

I feel that all 5Writers left our retreat pumped to rise to our new writing challenge. In the last year our group has become even more geographically spread apart and the feasibly of getting together more than a couple of times a year seems difficult. To help us stay connected and give us a regular venue for progress and feedback, we’ve decided to have a Monday morning group check-in via email. I love this idea and we started this week. Already it’s a great addition to our group dynamics.

Sometimes the simple ideas are the best! And who doesn’t like Monday morning coffee?

Does your writing group keep connected in-between meetings? If so, how?

Happy writing!

7 thoughts on “Commit to write and set your goals

  1. Karalee, it’s so great to feel the enthusiasm radiating from your post! I agree about our “Monday Morning Coffee” via email — simple and brilliant (credit where credit is due, I think Paula came up with this one).

  2. The group I belong to has developed something very similar. We check in Sunday night via our Yahoo Group to state our goals for the upcoming week, as well as report on our successes from the previous week. And sometimes we just give each other a pat on the back or a cheer. All of this helps an amazing amount. It really does help when you say your goals “out loud”. Accountability does affect how we make choices day by day, hour by hour. Seeing how organized and ambitious everyone else is also spurs us on, if we have a little competitive streak, or were feeling sorry for ourselves. Good luck with your new system. I’m sure you will find it helps a lot. I think this is also why NaNoWriMo is so effective. Similar idea. Maybe you should sign up since you’re trying to write so much by Christmas. If you manage 50,000 words in November, you’ll be halfway there.

  3. November’s coming up, and while I don’t do NaNo, I’m setting my goals for the month to get me back on track with my writing. You’re so right about having a support group to provide encouragement (or a friendly shoulder to cry on). I find that in my blogging cohort rather than an in-person group, but the idea’s similar!

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