Thursday, November 7, 2019

You Need A Goal by Sally Shupe

How is it November already? It seems like just yesterday I was sitting down, planning out my goals for this year, and very excited for the year ahead. And now I find the year is almost winding down. How did your year go? Did you meet the goals you set forth in January? Did you find goals that didn’t work and then set new goals?

I had a planner that I started using in January. I set goals regarding how many words to write in a week, brainstorm blog post ideas, find places to blog, come up with new story ideas, research agents, read a writing book a month, enter contests, participate in NaNoWriMo. Sounds very productive! After thumbing through the planner, I now realize I’d only written out how to meet these goals through February. My new goal is to be consistent!

Since this is the month of thanksgiving, I wanted to be intentional and thankful for what I’ve accomplished this year. One of my goals was met when I started blogging here monthly. Thank you for allowing me to do so! I also entered a contest and got feedback. Another goal I’d set, not related to writing, I’ve met each month as well. Then, my flashdrive broke and I had to set a new, fast goal. Recover my stories that were on there! I had sent some of the stories out to friends to read and so found several of them. The story I was working on I was able to get an earlier version of it, so another new goal is to work on it and bring it back to where it was. But at least I found a copy of it! If your story is only in one place, go right now and save it somewhere else as backup.

But the work doesn’t stop at writing out your goals. You can’t start a project and never finish it. Well, you can. But then you’ll have a hole in the floor, or the wiring showing in the walls, or a sink that overflows. By a dog named George. No, not really, but you get my point. (I wrote about the house-flooding dog in my previous post.) Anyway, you get the picture. Setting goals is for the purpose of completing them. If a goal ends up not working, you can change the goal as situations and circumstances change, but you have to have goals. Goals keep what you want to accomplish right front and center. Zig Ziglar said if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. That is so true with writing. Goals keep us writing when everything else comes at us and wants us to quit.

If you’ve met your goals so far, great job! You’ve made it this far, only two more months to go. You can do it! If you haven’t, you’ve got two months to uncover those goals, dust them off, and work on them. Consider what’s kept you from meeting those goals. Something beyond your control? Don’t fret about those. The ones you have control over, go after them! If you find a goal that won’t work, change it to something that will. But have a goal. This year still has two months left to make your goals a reality. You can do it!

If you need a critique partner, someone to share your writing accomplishments or struggles with, a writing partner, an encourager, a NaNoWriMo buddy, contact me. Send me an email or contact me on social media. I’m on NaNoWriMo as sallyshupe. Writing can be lonely, as it’s just you and a piece of paper, or a screen, or talking into Dragon Naturally Speaking software, but it doesn’t have to be. Reach out to others. We’ve all got different gifts and abilities, and we’re all on this road together.

Now go forth and write. You’ve got two months. Unless you’re doing NaNoWriMo. That gives you like four months in one, right?

Sally Shupe lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two grown kids, and a whole bunch of pets: five dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She writes contemporary Christian romance, with two completed manuscripts and others in progress. They are part of a series located in small town Virginia.

When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; a copy editor for Desert Breeze (now closed); a content editor for Prism (became part of Pelican); performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews on her blog and with Valley Business FRONT’s monthly magazine; is a member of ACFW and ACFW Virginia; and loves genealogy, running, and crocheting.

Sally uses her love of words to write about God’s amazing love.