Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mary's Rants on Goals for 2011

Everyone have their resolutions ready? I don't, I never stick to them, so why bother? However, 2011 is going to be a huge change for me in more ways than one. I'm writing this on Sunday because on the 3rd I start my new job. Yes I officially started my new 'day' job 11/29/2010, however it's only been training.

What I'm doing instead of resolutions is re-evaluating the changes in my life and adapting. Setting realistic goals, and then not beating myself up if I miss one. Planning ahead, as with my M&M blog post. I'll prepare and schedule the post ahead of time whenever possible. Setting aside at least 20 minutes a day to write and 20 minutes to edit. If I can swing more I will. But with a full 9 hours between work hours and lunch away from my writing, I can't promise myself more.

Why set myself up to fail right out of the shoot of the new year? Why say I'm going to write an hour a day when I know that's going to be tough? I don't know how my new schedule or the actual job will take a toll on me. My hours are 1pm to 10 pm which are usually the hours, that when I actually do write, is when I write. 

I quit my 'day' job over 5 years ago to stay home and write. I planned to write hours every day like a full time career. Did that happen? Nope, I would wake up and get all my email, blogs stuff, Facebook, Tweeter and anything else out of my hair. Then it would be time for lunch and then I settle in to do whatever--sometimes. And usually by 10 pm I'd realize I'd accomplished nothing. I'd think, 'what the heck have I been doing all day?' I hadn't a word on the paper to show for it. Granted this did not happen every day, but way more often than I care to admit. And most of it's because I knew I had all day the next day to write. I'd let myself get caught up watching the grandkids. Getting involved with RWA chapter, which is not a bad thing except in the fact I let it take over and I'd volunteer for everything. Then I'd complain because it ate up my writing time. As if I didn't dilly dally enough anyway.

I wrote more consistently when I worked full time. So here it is, 2011 and because of circumstances beyond my control I'll be writing around a full time job, again. Maybe now I'll write more consistent. And if it is only 20 minutes a day, it's better than frittering away the whole day with nothing to show for it.

If you haven't set all your resolutions or goals, please consider carefully if you're setting realistic goals and/or resolutions for yourself. Are you going to pull them out at the end of the year and wonder what you were thinking. Or slap your forehead and say, "That lasted all of a month." Or are you going to pull them out and check off everything you accomplished and be proud of yourself, even if there are one or two small tasks you weren't able to finish. If you finish/accomplish the majority of your goals and/or resolutions you're ahead of about 90 % of the population.

Good luck to all of you in 2011. May all your hopes and dreams be accomplished.


Cassy Pickard said...

Mary: I hear you. As I wrote yesterday, taking the time to do what you WANT to do is so important. Of course that applies to our writing. But it also is true of all the other things we hold dear. Spending time with your grandchildren IS important, along with a list of many other things. I find the trick is to figure out what each day brings and endorse that. Sounds easy- hah! Let me know if there are tricks to figuring it out.

Lindsay said...

Consistancy in writing is definitely the way to get it done. Even, as with you Mary, 20 minutes a day. At least you (ed.) set a goal that is keepable. That seems to be the key underlying theme this week.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

20 minutes is better than none...hell even 10 minutes is better than none. In the end, it all adds up and that's the goal :-)

Good luck can do it!

Mary Martinez said...

It's Thursday and I've only managed 20 minutes one day so far. Great for my new years goals. However, as I said I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I will do may best to do it today, if not tomorrow.

Thanks everyone!

Liz Lipperman said...

Mary, sorry I'm late to the party. I find if I don't read the blog the first thing in the morning, it gets pushed aside until the evening.

I know life has thrown you a few curve balls, but I think you are approaching this writing thing wisely. A lot of working girls I know aim for 100 words a day, which doesn't seem like a lot - not even a full page, but 100 words a day gets you a half of a book in a year.

And Cassy is right, family is so important. Give yourself permission to go easy on Mary until you get into the groove again and establish a writing schedule that works the best for you.

Mary Martinez said...

Liz I know what you mean, if I don't check the blog, then I usually miss it until the next day. But I read every post, just not always the same day it posts.

I haven't written everyday but I have done a bit, so I'm okay. I wrote 6 pages last Sunday so if I can power write on the weekends, then just do what I can during the week I'll be happy.

Marilyn said...

Mary, good luck with your day job. My hope for you is that your new job provides inspiration for interesting characters and plots for your story.

2010 was a strange year for me--extreme highs and lows. As far as a writing resolution for this year, I want to make sure to take time to listen for inspiration from whatever life offers. When I'm inspired, I have to write.

Take care,