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Welcome to The Inkwell, the blog site of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) of Colorado.

Each week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can find a wide variety of topics and insight
from inspiration to instruction to humor and more!

For detailed information on ACFW, click here to visit their main website.


Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 Goals

Wow. The year has gotten off to a roaring start. I can’t believe that January is almost over.

I’m sure those of you who know me are waiting with baited breath to see if I succeed at this blogging thing. I’m holding my breath that this works. And if it doesn’t, I’ll probably pass out soon. ☺ I think I’m getting light headed. ;-P

Since this is my first time posting on the Inkwell, I’ll start with a bit of an introduction. I have been writing for twenty years and have books fourteen and fifteen coming out this year. I have a Web site and am trying to figure out this blogging thing. Technology is not my strong suit but I am trying to learn. Really I am.

Also, I am the president of the local ACFW chapter in Colorado Springs. Kim Woodhouse is our VP, Evangeline Denmark is our Secretary, Tiffany Stockton is our Treasurer, Heather Tipton is our Industry Liaison, and Daneen Padilla is our Publicity Office. I have a great team to work with. I couldn’t run our chapter without them.

We are hosting our first annual writers conference, Peak Writing Conference, at the end of February. This is going to be a great conference with Donita K. Paul, Lisa Tawn Bergren, and Beth Jusino. If it is the success I hoping it is and I haven’t gone crazy, we’ll do it again next year.

As this new year begins, I have asked the members of my local ACFW chapter to write down their writing goals for the year so I can pray for them throughout the year. I did this last year and enjoyed being able to pray for them.

I asked them to write out three or more writing goals. They needed to be realistic for them, measurable, and within their control. Here are some examples:

Don’t write, “I’m going to get an agent this year,” because you have no control over this. Rather write, “I’m going to send out one proposal a month until I get an agent.” You have control over how many proposals you send out but not if an agent accepts you.

Don’t write, “I’m going to write one book a month this year,” when you haven’t been able to finish one in your lifetime.
Rather write, “I’m going to complete one book this year.” If you complete twelve, great! It is fine to exceed your goals.

Don’t write, “I’m going to write more this year,” because how do you define more? More than what? How much did you write last year?
Rather write, “I’m going to write one page a day or a thousand words a week.” You can measure that.

Other goals you might want to think about putting on your goal list would be to read a certain number of books on the craft of writing, or going to a writer’s conference, or getting into a critique group, or starting one, start a Web site or blog. Stretch yourself.
And if you are not a writer, set other goals for yourself like reading books, or gardening, or volunteering, but do set some goals.

One of my goals for this year is to blog two to three times a week. That will be a stretch for me. I’m hoping once I get in the habit of it, it will come easier. I have actually start posting again on my blog. I have even started posting a chapter of a novella each Friday.

Then trade your goals with a writing buddy or among your crit group and pray for each other during the year.

“Reach for the stars. You may not get there but you will soar higher than if you had never reached at all.” Unknown

If you have no goals, any road will get you there. (Or rather nowhere.)

So I challenge you, set some long term and shorter-term goals for the year then focus on meeting them. Even if you don’t reach them all, you will get closer than if you never reached at all.



Paulette Harris said...

Yea! I made it! So many computer problems in 2008, I thought I would never get back on my feet. I am so excited to be here. This is an awesome group and you are doing a good job Mary. Thank you from all of us....fearless leader!

Hugs in 2009,
Paulette Harris

Kathy Kovach... said...

Welcome to the 21st Century! Great post! Goals, hmm. I will make the big New York publishing companies stand up and take notice. No, that won't work according to your rules. How 'bout, I will meet my deadlines and think of my future for after they're all done? What to do next...

D. Gudger said...

I like your reframing of goals. I tend to set the kind that set me up for failure. Dang! I used the word "set" twice in one sentence. Bad writer, bad writer.

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