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November 17th, 2005

Goals that keep me going

    Recently, several people have said they give me credit for devoting endless hours to a career I haven't seen a dime from yet. I never thought of it that way. It was a little shocking at first, but I know I'm getting closer to my dream. If I don't put in the time, it will never become a reality. I find that smaller goals help keep me going, even more than my promise to spend as much time writing as possible.

    Here are some of my career goals. Some are much closer than others - but all help fuel my motivation.

        1. I'd like to have at least one book in print by the time I turn 40. Since I turned 37 in October, the race is definitely on. Would I be disappointed with a contract or so, but nothing in print by 40? Probably not. But that won't stop me from trying my best to make it a reality. At the very least, it motivates me to spend as much time as possible writing, revising and submitting.

        2. Write at least another 50 pages of my YA WIP within the next month or so. Some days it seems possible, other days everything in the house decides to break at once or my daughters are home from school and I lose some of my writing time (although I do treasure time with my girls). I'd like to finish as much as possible before attending my January conference and plan to begin submitting it to one of my critique groups about a month from now. I don't want to feel like I have to race from submission to submission. Right now I'm a little over 15,000 words. I'll post every time I hit the next 5,000 mark.

        3. Make sure that my submissions truly are ready before I send them to editors or agents. Sometimes I feel like I have to struggle not to submit. But I find that after my manuscripts have been through at least one critique and I've revised a million or so times (or so it feels) that if I convince myself to put the manuscript away for at least a week and concentrate on something else, I'm a much better judge. Reading them out loud to my daughters helps also.

         4. This one may sound strange to you, but I'd like to give myself the freedom not to write from time to time. I tend to feel guilty when I have a busy weekend or have a few days that I can't write as much as usual. I also feel badly when I take a break from my WIP to revise another manuscript or write notes for my next novel. I met a writer at a conference who said he doesn't write on the weekends - he feels he needs time off. I was shocked. I take my daughters to school, either rush home or work out, then pretty much spend the rest of the day with BIC - butt in chair for anyone who hasn't read about it from a_suen
I really do squeeze in as much writing time as possible throughout the day and night.  I often go to bed way too late (I'm talking after 1 or 2) when I just can't stop.  I calcuate vacations according to lost time at my computer.  I often revise when I'm away, but don't have a laptop yet and prefer to
type my manuscripts whenever possible.

Here are some other goals:

  • Strive to learn more about writing each day
  • Read and write as much as possible
  • Attend conferences, retreats and workshops and never return to my cave
  • Make each new manuscript better than the previous one/s
  • Take all my website ideas and finally put them into action (but at least I'm blogging now!)
  • Learn how to navigate LJ better (I tried a few new things this time - hope they work!)
  • Never forget all the help I've received along my journey - and help others as they begin theirs
    I'm sure I'll think of a million more goals the moment I post this.  Do you have any goals not mentioned here?  What are your  most important writing goals?
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mindyalyse
Mindy Alyse Weiss
I write humorous middle-grade novels with heart and quirky picture books.

I'm an Administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, the FL SCBWI Newsletter Editor and Critique Group Coordinator, and a proud member of From The Mixed Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors

I've been married for twenty years and have two beautiful daughters, an adventurous Bullmasador adopted from The Humane Society, and an adorable Beagle/Pointer mix pup who was rescued from the Everglades.

I've been published in Highlights three times and placed in the 80th Writer's Digest Competition.

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