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Monday, January 25, 2010

WHEN LIFE HAPPENS TO YOUR GOALS

WHEN LIFE HAPPENS TO YOUR GOALS

One of the last posts before I went blog-silent was on minimizing my goals due to less free time.  It was about cutting back.  In these times, with this economy, who doesn't know about cutting back?  You cut out splurge items.  You make do with what you have; you make it last longer or you buy a cheap substitute.  You save by eliminating wants and pleasure items.  And you feel the loss.  I felt it when I cut my writing goals, and part of me rebelled at the loss:  I haven't done a thing toward my writing goals that were left. 

You see, that was because I was focusing on the loss, not the gains, I was focusing on something out of my control affecting what I wanted to control.  What I need is a shift in my thinking.  I can't change my situation, but I can change my perspective.  Instead of just cutting down on my dreams, I am going to change them. 

I had wanted to write weekly articles to help my fellow writers and learn a new craft.  After my work situation changed, I decided the amount of articles had to be far fewer.  But with a shift in focus, instead of less, I can do more . . .  of a different kind.  After all, motivational podcasts are helping me get through this high stress period with a smile on my face.  Why not share what I gain from them by writing my own motivations for writers?

I had wanted to fill my Thursdays and Fridays with Test Drives and Book Learning sessions.  Things changed and I decided I couldn't do anything more than dissect a single novel in a six month period.  And what about going through a whole reference book and creating a course of study based off it?  Forget about it.  But with a shift of focus, I can find things to analyze--like the TV show I hate to miss each week.  I can create lessons--based off a single technique a book talks about, a book I am reading snippets from anyway.

I had wanted to finish and submit an entire novel to a literary agency; then I decided I better focus on just completing a draft.  But what if I chose not to write less this year, but focus on writing more.  More of what I want to write, not what I should write.  Forget the trends and market, focus on fiction that satisfies my creative urges while keeping my skills sharp.  The results can still be shared--as free fiction, a traditionally marketable item, or a self-published work.

Basically, instead of focusing on what to cut back, what I have to lose due to circumstances beyond my control, I am focusing on what I can change for the better.  The way I see it, I'm not losing anything--I'm gaining so much more.

REVEILLE 


Reveille is a wake up call.  It means "to awaken, to wake up", but it ultimately derives from Latin meaning "be awake, keep watch".  Let inspiration awake something inside you, and then be vigilant on what you are doing with your new awareness.  In this case, we are in the month of goal setting for so many writers and so often life interferes with your best laid plans.  What are you doing to keep the heart of your writing goals intact even if life changes?  Need some more advice?  Check out the companion piece to this very article, now posted to my webpage.

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