Meet that Writing Goal and Do It Your Way

Thursday, September 21, 2017
A month or so ago, Renee blogged about having a writing bucket list. What an excellent idea. Did I make one? Nope. I was busy writing. I swear. 

Then Sioux blogged about having a BHAG (a big, hairy audacious goal). Sioux seems to have a really good understanding of how I operate. She asked us to state our BHAG. Make me write it out, and it is in my head. Bugging me.

Here was my response:

“Fiction with chapters. I want to write a piece of fiction that is long enough to require chapters. I want to make is submission-worthy.

“Progress? Well, see . . . I've got a two book contract for NONFICTION. So, I really have to work on that...”

My biggest problem is that I’m very skilled at using other writing goals, writing jobs, and writing related activities to put something off. I really do have a two book contract. But I could also easily spend 5 minutes of my social media time each day working on my novel. 5 minutes. If only I had a reminder.

Then, instead of writing on my novel or my nonfiction project, I read a WD blog post by Jan Ellison on getting your first novel written. She wrote out a reminder and posted it above her desk. “Get to the end of the story.” Not bad. It is a visual reminder and I’m a visual person. 

But my brain could play with this. “Nonfiction tells a story. I have a nonfiction deadline to meet. So I’m still writing.” It was almost too easy.

While I like the idea of a visual reminder, I need something more specific. I popped open a folder on my hard drive to look at some of the meme’s I’ve saved. (See, I am really good at not writing.) One of my favorites is a Loki meme telling me to write. Good, but again not specific enough.

But in 3 minutes with Photoshop, I had this reminder that is now hanging off my monitor. “Spend 5 minutes on your novel. Now.”

It is visual. Check.

It is specific. Check. Loki is gently reminding me to work on my novel.

It is attainable. Check. 5 minutes is doable even when a nonfiction deadline is on the horizon.

Reminder system in place. Check. My husband will comment on it. Guaranteed.

When you have a goal you keep putting off, find a nudge that works for you. That might mean taking advice from a friend who knows you. Or you may end up borrowing an idea from Renee, Sioux, or even from me.

But the possibility is very real that you may start with an idea from someone else and make it your own. And, if it works, isn’t that what matters?


To find out more about Sue Bradford Edwards' writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.  Sue is also the instructor for Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next session begins October 9th.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--Hey, if Loki works for you, wonderful. Each of us is different. What nudges you has no impact on me, and what nudges me might be silly from your perspective.

How about doing NaNoWriMo? (nudge, nudge) That might be a way to work on something long enough to have (lots of) chapters.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Ha! I've tried NaNoWriMo - 3 times maybe. I'm not sure what the issue is. Perhaps because I always have a book deadline during the month? I have no clue but I sticky note stuck to the monitor has brought out almost as many words as NaNo. Go figure!

Mary Horner said...

I love advice that can be altered and adapted by a variety of writers with different goals and strategies! This is great! Now I'm thinking about who can remind me to write? Who would I really listen to? Hmmm. That's the hard part!

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