Quick disclaimer to my regular readers. Each Monday during July we’ll be joined by a few rabid writers who are committed to their goals and will be checking in here to report their progress and encourage each other. Please feel free to stick around and join in the banter and goal-setting. (You’ll be eligible to take part in the weekly draws, too.)
You’ve found me, fellow Wipsters. Yes, this is the Monday check-in place for July’s #wipmadness. I put the coffee on and set out virtual goodies in the hope that some of you would find your way here. A few non-Wipsters may pop in and help themselves, but most of them are writers, too, so I’m sure you won’t mind sharing.
Did flipping the calendar page yesterday and discovering JULY shock you as much as it did me? Not just because the weather here is still more springish than summerish – I can’t ever recall wearing a winter-weight sweatshirt on the first of July before – but because it proclaimed the year is now more than half gone.
What that means is the goals I set at the beginning of the year should be half achieved by now. But let’s face it… some of the one-month goals I set for just the month of March Madness are still in limbo, so I’m not even going to dare peek at the annual ones. (You can snicker if you want, but are YOU on track to meet all the goals you set for yourself in January or March? In April? May? June? Honestly?)
Sometimes we simply have to wipe the board clean and start again. Goals, objectives, resolutions… whatever we call them… have a way of getting stale. After a while our enthusiasm gets a little wobbly in the knees.
It wouldn’t hurt to take a hard look at why our current goals motivated us in the first place. Were there deadlines to meet, self-imposed or otherwise? Was it a Shiny New Idea we wanted to develop? Maybe a step in the journey towards publication we were anxious to complete? While the goals may have been perfectly logical in the light of January or March optimism, they may seem a little limp and weather-worn now.
Now is the time to look deeply into the heart of our projects and find their inner beauty… find new inspiration in them. It’s time to re-evaluate our goals, find a different approach, and set off with fresh determination. One idea might be to pare goals down into smaller chunks… say, for a week at a time, instead of the whole month. Put gratification within reach.
Artist and author Julia Cameron has a suggestion:
“Sometimes it is difficult to confront our work directly. We lack the nerve to look squarely at the course that lies ahead. This is our fear, and all artists have it. When we are fearful, it is best to sidle up to our next creative jump. Take pen in hand. Number from 1 to 5. List five actions that are indirectly related to your creative work. For example:
- Get the extra papers off my desk
- Organize my work area
- Wash and fold the laundry
- Buy new artist supplies
- Buy envelopes and stamps to make submissions
Choose one action from your list and execute it.”
That’s today’s challenge for you. Make a list if you think it will help, but decide what it’s going to take to draw fresh joy or satisfaction from your writing project. Then tell us the one action you’ve chosen for this week and how it’s going to help you reach your long term goal.
(Then again, if you’re not bogged down like I am, and are hiking happily along the trail toward your goal, feel free to just list this week’s objective.)
THERE ARE PRIZES!!!
(Of course there are. Did you expect I was beyond using bribery?)
Each Saturday I’ll draw a name from those who comment on the previous Monday’s post, and there will be a prize for the winner. This week’s winner will be able to choose one book from my basket of novels.** I’ll keep all the remaining names, and at the end of the month I’ll draw an extra name to win a copy of Julia Cameron’s book, “THE SOUND OF PAPER.”
How does that sound? (Ack!!… is that a bad pun?) Will it help motivate you during this month when you might otherwise prefer to don your sunglasses and take a holiday from your characters and their dilemmas? I hope so!
Now, let’s hear your actions of choice for this week, or your fresh July goals.
** Contents of my basket of novels:
- THE WHOLE TRUTH by James Scott Bell
- SNOW DAY by Billy Coffey
- NOT MY DAUGHTER by Barbara Delinsky
- THE INNOCENT MAN by John Grisham
- CROSSING OCEANS by Gina Holmes
- THE DAUGHTER’S WALK by Jane Kirkpatrick
(It’s impossible to get me to part with my newer books yet, but I’ve read these ones, and am ready to share.)
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