Monday, September 05, 2005

Setting Goals

Some of you have asked about the recent sale. It was to Ellora's Cave for a manuscript entitled Into The Fire. Yeah, I'm excited--I caught another "rabbit" I'd been chasing. Got the news last Friday, and everything is still being set up there, so no news on it for a while if you can bear with me.

Speaking of BARE with me...I do have a new book coming out between September and November - some time this fall, at any rate - with Loose Id, called The Big O. I was fortunate enough to have the talented Scott Carpenter assigned as my artist again. I'll post a larger cover of the book, along with the ISBN once the book debuts.

I can't believe it's already September. I feel the fatigue from the crunch I put myself under on deadlines in August, but still can't believe that so much time has passed. When I first started setting goals, the biggest thing on my list was to increase my yearly income by $10,000. Once I did that, I set another one, and another. What works for me may not work for you, but writing my goals (whether on computer or with pen & paper) never failed me. I had simple guidelines--write them down, work toward them in small increments, and reward myself each time I reached peak performance during the process.

Maybe it would be dinner out, a movie, something that pampered the soul...but I always rewarded myself after I reached a step on the ladder I created. Failure just wasn't an option once the goal was in black and white, but that's not to say that I hit the mark each time. I'd survived tornadoes, car wrecks that weren't my fault that partially paralyzed me for several months, plus combinations of health issues, money problems, and other things that happen to many others. So once I set a goal, I was determined it was a done deal, and even if I didn't meet and even exceed my expectations of myself, I still won and had a better understanding of what it would take for me to excel the next time I tried.

Small increments in writing usually meant that I wrote so many pages a day or week, depending upon how much time I had daily to devote to my tasks. Some goals within the goal were simply getting a section of dialogue just right or learning how to use "deep point of view". Other steps were listening to tapes by Zig Ziglar, Susan Jeffers, Shakti Gawain, Louise Hay, or Melodie Beatty. The tapes were important at the time, because they helped me visualize where I wanted to be.

I also read books by Julia Cameron and kept a daily journal. Cameron's The Artist's Way was a real treat for me--I didn't mind the daily free writing exercises and lessons at all. Another writer whose time management and goal setting exercises helped tremendously was Barbara Sher, especially her book called Wishcraft. Sometimes hearing someone else say the same thing we've read before will flip the switch on the lightbulb and give us that Ah-Ha! moment, so I read voraciously, even if the topic was one I'd covered before.

The most important thing with goal-setting (IMO) is starting. Pick a goal, dole it out in do-able doses you can handle. Don't measure yourself by anyone's yardstick but your own. Then just do it. If you fall short, what have you lost? You're wiser, more equipped to do what you wanted before you started, and you have some great stepping stones for the next time you set a goal or raise the bar on the one you just reached.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. -- Melodie Beatty



At 7:29 PM, Blogger Shesawriter said...


Congrats on the book! WOW! I'll make a point of picking it up.


At 10:20 PM, Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

What a cover! You really lucked out with that artist. I think I'd pick that one up on the strength of the cover (even if it didn't have your name, Lyn ;o)

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Lyn Cash said...

aw, you two are sweet - THANKS!

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Dee said...

Hey Lyn! I'm SOOOO happy for you! Just had to drop some smooches your way!



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