Pure Joy

The pure joy of free-flowing creativity is the greatest endorphin rush.

Characters so excited for you to hear them that they are screaming at you.

New worlds unrolling at your feet like a carpet, and the people and places literally sprouting up all around you like CGI magic.

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I am writing storyboards as fast as I can type, the ideas are coping so quickly. Trying to capture these amazing characters, their trials and tribulations.

I am already in love with them. But of course I am! The trick is developing enough talent as a writer to help my readers fall in love with them, too.

Their backstories are coming to life as I learn more about them. As I hear their stories and their struggles.

Honor and love. Betrayal and vengeance. War, assassination, arranged weddings and secret babies.

I have been seriously blindsided by these characters. They are haunting me all day at work. They are the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning and the last thing I think about in bed at night. The have even invaded my thoughts as I brush my teeth.

I am furiously taking notes, trying to get it all down. With a full time job there is no way I can write their story this fast, and I am still trying to work editing another novel that I wanted to publish this.

But that other story, the one I was going to write this year that I haven’t started yet?

It just got shelved.

Achieving My 2019 Writing Goals

This time of year, a lot of people talk about goals. It’s almost two weeks after the new year, and if my company’s gym is any indication, many have already faced the stark reality of how difficult those goals really are.

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My post here outlined my five resolutions.

To help me achieve the first two goals, I have enlisted the help of Wunderlist and a coffee partner.

No, Wunderlist doesn’t pay me for saying any of this. I use them, and I thought I would share as I had never heard of them until my sister introduced to me to the site.

Wunderlist allows me to create a checklist of goals, and as I reach them, I mark them complete.

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Part of my January list

A little bar slides across the screen, showing me how far along I am to completing my goals.

You know my OCD loves to see that little bar move…

It also allows me to set a due date (as you can see in blue above), and it will send me a reminder a few days before the due date.

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Here is where I am so far in January.

This allows me to break apart all of the tasks I need to do this year into smaller chunks. It’s not write a book. More, write 1,000 works per day, each day, for 30 days. As I achieve the goal, I mark it as done.

I then mapped out everything I need to accomplish in 2019 to publish two new books and write three first drafts, along with the pain of starting to edit 2018 first drafts. I then set up these tasks by month.

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Sample for the first part of the year.

What does the coffee buddy have to do with all of this?

Well, she meets with me once a month to discuss how we are each doing with meeting each of our goals. It’s a little accountability.

No, she isn’t going to yell and scream if I don’t meet my goals, but I do have to look at someone across the table and confess that I didn’t reach them. That something was more important than my writing.

She’s going to understand when the day job that pays my bills trumps my writing, but she’s going to be a whole lot less understanding about binge watching Netflix.

I have been using Wunderlist to track monthly goals for almost two years, but this is the first year I have mapped out all of my goals for the whole year.

 

I mapped out the year this time for three reasons.

  1. To mark the path I need to follow to reach my goals.
  2. To see how close I am to being on track at a glance.
  3. To stop beating myself up when work, family, or life in general interferes with my writing. This schedule lets me work ahead when I have time in preparation for long days at work. It gives me an objective view of how well I am doing year-to-date, rather than just the month. And, it doesn’t let me get too aggressive, then be disappointed later.

We’ll see how it works for me this year. Two published books and three fresh first drafts are aggressive goals, but I have a path to reach them.

 

Anyone else have a method they are using to reach their New Year’s resolutions? What is it? Have you used it before, and if so, did it help you?