Keeping an eye on the goal

The last day of March! That means it’s also the last day of my month-long March Madness and Speedbo projects. All the other participants will likely be joining me in a last-minute dash to the finish line, hoping to reach or exceed the goals so publicly set out before the start of this endeavour.

What then? Do we heave a sigh of relief that it’s over, and walk away? I don’t think so. I think you’ll find those who have persevered through the month will still be working on their projects tomorrow, or moving on to new ones. I know I will be. When one goal is reached, there’s usually another waiting in the distance. Keeping an Eye Out I think one of the main differences between those who succeed and those who don’t is the determination to push on… to keep eyes focused on a long-term goal despite failures or successes, challenges or disappointments along the way.

March is just one month out of twelve. April will return me to my Monday and Friday posting schedule, but in between I’ll continue to write the story that has kept me occupied this month. I didn’t get the first draft finished and I’m anxious to see how it ends.

What about you? Besides Easter, what’s on your horizon that’s enticing you forward into April?

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Chickadee Black-capped

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Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection,
not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.

[Martin Luther]

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Are you focused on the future or fixated on the past?

Storms don’t last forever, and neither do vacations. If you’ve read my earlier posts this week (here and here) you’ll know I’ve been away all week, but today it was time to return home.

As we sailed away from Vancouver Island the sky was reminiscent of the two storms we had experienced. Hurricane-force winds on Monday eventually died down to gale-force ones on Wednesday. In between, there was driving rain, sleet and snow, and even a few tantalizingly brief peeks of blue sky. On the whole, it wasn’t pretty! Thankfully, our daughter‘s home suffered nothing more damaging than fifteen hours without electricity.

Today we happened to choose seats in the ferry’s stern lounge, so had a view of the glowering clouds as we left the Island behind. By the time we reached the mainland the sky was clearing with the promise of a better weekend. Those storms that had so recently consumed our attention became a distant memory.

Now that we’ve reached mid-March and I reflect on my writing progress over the past two weeks, I know how easy it would be to let myself get fixated on what I didn’t get done. While I managed to revise twenty-four chapters, after the first couple days I made absolutely no progress on my current w.i.p. No new words at all in two weeks. None.

Right now is when I need a good lecture! I need to tell myself to walk away from the stern — stop looking back at where I’ve been. Instead, I should get myself up to the bow and focus on my destination.

Today is the mid-point of March. I still have two full weeks in which to create those new words. Are you with me? Let’s get at ’em!

Have the past two weeks been productive ones for you? What’s your goal for the next two? Where do you want to be on March 31st?

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“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.”

[Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV]

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A Monday Admission

“There are times when nothing goes as planned…” Does that sound like an echo? Yes, I started my last post with the same words. Unfortunately this sentence doesn’t end as the previous one did, because I didn’t get my writing done. I had great intentions of visiting friends and family during the days, and catching up on my writing each night, as I’ve often done in the past. But it didn’t happen, although I haven’t exactly been standing around gathering moss. (Sorry… I needed an excuse to share this photo.) 🙂

So my Monday check-in becomes a Monday admission: the grand total of my weekend’s writing was the revision of only a half chapter. I’m hanging my head in shame. I’m contrite, but at least I’m honest. These last few days I’ve travelled, visited, and taken photos of various scenes along the way.

Today’s highlight was beachcombing, and thanks to the sharp eyes of my much-experienced “beach bum” daughter and her son, with help from my husband, there are even treasures to show for it.

So, while I’ll dutifully check in today with my March Madness and Seekerville Speedbo friends, and admit to no writing, I’m not counting this weekend as a total creative loss. Indeed, it’s been a time of re-creation and refreshment and I don’t doubt eventually my writing will benefit.

(That’s my explanation. Don’t you dare ridicule it!)

How about the rest of you? When your writing gets derailed (and I don’t doubt it occasionally does) do you count it as wasted time and get discouraged? What gets you back on track? 

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I don’t know about you, but…

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There are times when nothing goes as planned, and we still manage to get our writing done. This is one of those times for me. My week is all topsy turvy (in a good way… not to worry). I have no internet access today, so my writing is going to benefit. Less time online means more time for the manuscript. At least, that’s the theory.

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I’ll be back on Monday, hopefully with a significant increase to display on the word counter in my sidebar.

In the meantime, what are your weekend goals? (Be honest now. If I’m going to report to you on Monday, I’ll expect you to report back.)

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Teetering on the Writer’s Brink


(Click photo to enlarge)

Teetering on the brink. It’s a cliché, but apt, because I’m getting ready to fall head first into March. I’m gonna be swamped; I just know it! But sometimes taking a deep breath and leaping is what it takes to get somewhere, and I definitely need to be somewhere other than where I am.

I’ve been complaining to anyone who’ll listen that my current w.i.p. is lagging. Of course the complaining isn’t doing anything to help. What I need is a burst of enthusiasm – something to get my BIC (butt in chair) and keep it there. I’ve reluctantly decided accountability might be what it takes.

So, beginning tomorrow I’ve committed to participate in two very public, wild writing endeavours:

 

Seekerville Speed Book, aka Speedbo, is, in Glynna Kaye’s words, an opportunity to fully focus on that new story idea or current Work in Progress (WIP). It’s a chance to join your fellow ‘Friends of Seekerville’ (both pubbed and unpubbed) in an energizing month of fun, hard work and productivity.”

 

The other, March Madness, is Denise Jaden’s challenge: If you have a writing project you’re ready to start, or a work in progress you’re ready to finish, come and join the fun. Accountability is our main aim and the more support we have, the easier it will be to sail on through the month of March, bouncing along on each others successes.” In addition to cheering us on toward our writing goals, Denise has arranged for daily check-in sites and prizes to be won.

Care to join me? I’ll be here on my usual schedule, although I probably won’t make it around to other blogs quite as often while I’m scrambling to gather my novelling words. But if your output needs a little boost, you’re welcome to join in either or both endeavours, by signing in at the appropriate website — just click on the logos above to get there — today.

Or, for something less formal, check in here throughout the month and let me know how your writing is going. I’m a good listener. 🙂

Either way, I’m determined March is going to be my month to take the leap and make it past the wasteland and back into the verdant land of productivity again. Beginning tomorrow morning I’m adopting author Robert Dugoni’s battle cry: This day we write!” (By the way, if you need a powerful shot of motivation, click on the link and scroll down to hear Robert’s audio clip.)

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