Chasing Those Bright, Shiny Objects

Thursday, December 23, 2021
Photo by Harry Cooke from Pexels

When I sat down to write this post, I decided to look back on some of the writing goals I shared with my Butt Kickers Writing Accountability Group at the beginning of last year (don’t you love that name?) What I learned is that writing down goals does not help you when you’re one of those writers who tends to chase all the bright and shiny objects that come your way. 

One of the best things about working in the freelance space is that you have flexibility to chase those random opportunities. This can also be one of the worst things you can do, because it distracts your focus. I’m not sure which camp I fall in, though. When I look back at my accountability group, not a lot of us have met all our original goals, but we’ve all continued to write and have made amazing strides. One member, Sioux Roslawski, published her book and is now working on adapting a screenplay of it. Sue Bradford Edwards has published several non-fiction books as a writer for hire and is working on both a cozy mystery and middle-grade fiction book. Another writer, Ann Kelly, juggles a full-time day job in the tech space but has also become an accomplished poet, getting her work published in several different literary journals. Kelly Sgroi has written several women’s fiction books and even received a full manuscript from an agent (crossing my fingers for her!) Nicole Pyles has continued to write, revise, and submit a bank of short stories all while seeking full-time employment and manage blog tours for WOW. WOW’s Executive Editor Angela Mackintosh has continued the day-to-day operations of running this amazing company, wrote more than 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month, has submitted creative non-fiction, and been published in several different literary journals, and much more. I know I’ve left some of their accomplishments off this list, but they are welcome to correct me in the comments section because I’m running out of space! 

For me personally, I had set a goal of monetizing my podcast, Missing in the Carolinas, grow my true crime YouTube Channel, wanted to submit a few essays to writing contests, and planned on revising a young adult novel I wrote several years ago during National Novel Writing Month. None of that really happened. I did continue to produce two episodes per month for the podcast while working my regional magazine editing gig, picked up a new ghostwriting client, and wrote 60,000 words of a thriller/suspense novel during National Novel Writing Month. I also entered one essay in a CNF category of a national writing category and am waiting to hear back on how that went. I have the tendency to look at this list of results/non-results and feel like I didn’t accomplish a lot, but if you look at the amount of content I wrote for The Muffin, my personal blog, the magazine I edit, the podcast, and the novel, it’s a heck of a lot of writing! I’m also in the process of seeking publication of another YA novel I wrote years ago, so there’s that. I was also featured on a local business podcast in my area and am in contact with another podcast I pitched myself to several months ago. 

I’m trying to learn how to embrace the beauty of the freelance life, and the freedom of choosing which projects I work on. I feel like you must go in one direction if the muse strikes you, even if it wasn’t on your “official list of goals.” 

Cheers to following the muse and I encourage you to follow all the bright and shiny objects in 2022!

Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer and editor who also hosts the true crime podcast, Missing in the Carolinas, which recently surpassed more than 40,000 downloads. Learn more about her work at


Margo Dill said...

I think our goals are always so big--I know mine are. And I think actually looking to see what you accomplished toward the goal can help you see that there is progress AND you should keep going! Here's to 2022 and the bright future it brings. :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--Look at that paragraph that details what you've done. Read it again. You have done an amazing amount of writing and work. Considering that you write for a living during the day--and then do lots of other different kinds of writing in your "spare" time--you should be extremely proud of your accomplishments.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top