It’s kind of magical to awaken with an extra hour. I slept in this morning but still woke up on time. Now tell me that’s not magical. The question that begs to be asked and answered is how will we use that extra hour. Will we waste it? Use it for something special? Will we just forget that it happened and go on with our day? I’m using mine to write this blog and then print out Rapture and start the task of editing it. I’ve done a little editing based on reading the 1st few pages out loud for ROW. It’s amazing just how different your writing can sound when it’s read out loud rather than just hearing it in your head. I found several ways to improve the flow by doing that. I am going to print it out and read the whole thing out loud. I’m hoping that by doing this, I will find any problems in the part that I’m basically happy with and find out where it flew off the rails when I was forcing the writing rather than letting it flow on its own terms. I was more interested in finishing it than telling the story. I put too much pressure on myself while doing that and it did not end well. As I’ve said before, I know that there are some good portions so I have to mine those and weave them in when I begin to rewrite the book. So, I’m feeling a little bit of dread and some excitement that I can move past the Frankenstein’s monster that I stitched together. In ROW, for our next Retreat, we have to set a minimum, a median and a maximum for our work…this is taking into account what we want to accomplish with our project for each of those. I’m working on mine. It’s a little difficult to do that with my monster in the shape that it’s in. Our next Retreat is the 17th, so I’m hoping to at least be at the point where I can begin the rewrite before then so that I can set realistic goals. We all know that if we set goals and don’t reach them, we get discouraged and at least contemplate just forgetting them altogether…so we don’t want to set one that’s completely unrealistic. But if you set them too low, we don’t have to stretch to reach them and that’s where the growth comes from. So we want a goal that we have to stretch for but not that we have to be a quadruple-jointed contortionist to reach. Just like everything else in life, it’s a bit of a juggling act. We do something called Micro Movements, thank you, SARK, where we set a goal and then we lay out our micro-movements to reach it. And, just as it sounds, we take small steps toward the goal so that we’re not overwhelmed but still make progress. I’ll be filling out a few of those wheels for editing, rewriting and for my minimum, median and maximum for my book. SARK has so many helpful tools that can be applied to everything in life. If you aren’t familiar with SARK, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, check her out. Most of her books are available on Amazon as well as her website, PlanetSark. I have been reading her books for years and I’m currently in her groups, Succulent Wild World (SWW), and Rhapsody of Writing (ROW). She is a funny, open, warm, compassionate and caring mentor who truly cares for her students and wants them to reach their goals. No, that wasn’t a paid advertisement for SARK. I just really love her and her work. Anyway, using her techniques, my maximum goal is to finish Rapture and get it published, as well as work on a sequel. I don’t even want to set minimum and median goals. I just need to figure out my timeline to reach that goal. We all need goals in our lives…especially when it comes to our writing. Without a goal, our writing will sit unfinished on our laptop just waiting for us to come back to it. Today, right now, set a goal for your writing. It doesn’t have to be a crazy one like you’ll have your book ready for a publisher in a week when it’s only half finished. Set an easy one at first to get back into it…write for 30 minutes a day or make notes in your spare time that you’ll incorporate into your book on the weekends. Just have goals and keep building on them as they are reached. You can go a great distance by taking small steps as long as you don’t stop! Try it and just see how far you can get. It might just surprise you.
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccesful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~ Calvin Coolidge