Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Goals: Why I LOATHE them, but they're Good For Me

I hate to fail. I'm sure it's something I've struggled with since before time began, but I hate it. I am not one of those people who can just pick themselves up and and dust themselves off everytime they fall. I am a lay-down-on-the-ground-kicking-and-screaming-and-having-the-biggest-tantrum-ever kind of person. (Well, at least on the inside.)

I've always had a hard time judging just what I am capable of. I know the Lord knows me better than I do, so as I've matured, I've tried to rely more on the Spirit rather than "the arm of the flesh".

Well, this past week I signed up for a writer's conference in February, the annual ANWA conference. I also (gulp) signed up for a pitch session with Jane Dystel, head of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management (ack! Gasp!) But to pitch you must have something finished. I do not. I need to finish. I need to polish. I need to do a lot more to get this current story ready for the big time.

So now I have to Make A Goal. But what goal, do you ask? I could say, "have Fairy Godfather finished by conference". BUT....that would leave me without time to polish, let it sit and simmer, get it out to beta readers, etc.

So, you say, get it done by...January. Sure, I could, but that would only give me a few weeks to get it out and back and polished. NOT that you take your manuscript to the pitch session. It's like a query letter in person, so they REALLY don't want to haul 20 reams of paper back with them. But it would be nice to be able to send it out right after the conference if she requests anything.

So...I need more than 6 weeks to get it ready.

So, you say, get it done by mid-December. Before Christmas, so it doesn't interfere with anything else during the holidays.  You're getting warmer, but I still think that 8 weeks is not enough time for it to simmer. I wanted at least a month of not looking at it before I did some editing and sent it out to beta readers.

Okay, you reply. How about NaNoWriMo? Finish it using NaNo. Weeeellllll....maybe. If I have to. If I haven't succeeded in my first tier goal. Which is....drum roll please.....finish it by Halloween. Gasp. (I think I might faint just thinking it.) I've never written that much in such a short amount of time. I'm terrified. WHAT IF I FAIL!!!!!?????

But I know this is what the Lord wants from me. I have to do the work, He won't write it for me, but the internal pressure from constant nudging from the Spirit will not let me rest. I HAVE to get this done. On this time frame, or I will be scrambling at the end, and that's not what I want. I want to do this calmly, with deliberate steps, not my usual scraping up the dregs, dragging a trail of toilet paper behind me as a I run around squawking like a headless chicken. I need to become that person that does the right thing when it's the right thing to do. better go get to work.


  1. You can do it! Don't worry about failing. Just do the best you can. I just set a goal to reach by Halloween too, though not quite as ambitious as yours. =)

  2. Good goal! Set your sights high! You can do it! Those are all of the motivational phrases I know . . . :)



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