Please help me welcome Dale Mayer, who is becoming a regular guest here. More talk of goals, but very worthwhile! I have watched this woman go after goals and achieve them!

Writing goals - past and future

Writing a blog for the end of December just has to be on goals. I don’t care if it’s writing goals, parenting, weight loss goals or something totally different. We all make them and we all break them. Maybe not this year or last, but I doubt there is a person alive that hasn’t broken at least one of their annual goals.

It’s not a crime. Sometimes life just gets in the way. Sometimes you get in the way of yourself. It happens.

Does that mean you shouldn’t make goals? Not at all. If you’re the kind of person that likes to have a spot in your future to reach for then go for it. And congratulations for making a step to do ‘something.’

I don’t make formal goals. Every year end, I spend a lot of time, and this can be days to weeks, where I mull over my last year. Did I do okay? Am I happy with the way the year went? Did I put in enough effort to making change happen? Or did I just sit back and enjoy the ride this time? Not every year is about maximizing time and effort to get somewhere. Some years are all about healing, or building relationships, or learning skills, or learning to be less instead of more.

2010 for me was a year of perpetual financial stress. That’s an overriding theme that carried over from the previous year. But on the writing front, it was an unqualified success. I wrote one single title novel, five YA novels for a start and then as a ghostwriter countless full size books and eBooks for clients. Then there are all the books I revised getting ready to send out. Tuesday’s Child is one of those. I did one final round of revisions before I put that manuscript into the Brava writing with the Stars contest. I’m so glad I did!

I can’t look back on this last year with anything but satisfaction – regardless of the many tough times. Amongst other things, like becoming more fit, getting back skiing etc, I also lost 25 pounds! I’d wanted to do more in the writing and I’d wanted to lose more in the weight, but that seems to be because I’m a chronic overachiever!

Sometimes I think I set my goals too high. Then there are the times when I think they aren’t high enough. I’ve learned that I can do a whole lot more than I expected to. I like to have easily met goals for a sense of satisfaction and achievement and hard to reach goals to make me stretch as a person.

When I can’t reach a goal – as in I didn’t sign with an agent nor did I sell my first novel this last year, I have to remind myself of goals I have control over and those that I don’t. I can control doing my best to get that book revised and out to an agent, but I can’t control their response.

Now I could focus on not reaching my goals, but that won’t take me to a place I want to be. So instead I choose to look at the unexpected positives that came out of this year. One of those was my writing routine that settled nicely into place and to a production level I wouldn’t have thought attainable last year. That’s got to count for something!

What about you? Did you reach the goals you set for 2010? Are you happy with the effort you made? Will you set new goals for 2011?

www.dalemayer.com *new website/blog

FINALIST - BRAVA WRITING CONTEST- Round 2 is now over!


Reminder, Dale is still in the running and needs our votes in the Brava Writing Contest..

24 comments

  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel // December 30, 2010 at 2:36 AM  

    You have me curious!

  2. Mary Marvella // December 30, 2010 at 3:07 AM  

    almost done

  3. Scarlet Pumpernickel // December 30, 2010 at 3:16 AM  

    Dale welcome to the Pink Fuzzies. We're pleased to have you visit. Yep, you pegged it. MM and I are racing to the finish line for our wip's with a 31st deadline. We will squeak in under the wire though just watch.

  4. Mary Marvella // December 30, 2010 at 3:18 AM  

    One last read through and 2 scenes for me to write!

  5. Judy // December 30, 2010 at 8:12 AM  

    Thanks, Dale! It's always good to get reminders about being realistic in setting goals and taking pride in what you did accomplish! Good luck in the contest! And good luck, MM and Scarlet!!

  6. Nightingale // December 30, 2010 at 9:24 AM  

    Unfortunately, my big goal didn't happen, but then it depended on outside forces. I did achieve smaller ones as I was reminded last night by a friend.

    Where do we go to vote?

  7. Dale Mayer // December 30, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

    Hi ladies, It's always such fun to be here. I'm racing to my own finish line at the moment to get my YA out the door.

    So happy to hear that so many of you are squeaking in under the wire. I never doubted you!

  8. Dale Mayer // December 30, 2010 at 1:54 PM  

    Hi Judy,

    Thanks for the best wishes on the contest - hopefully you have a few goals of your own to head for next year!

  9. Dale Mayer // December 30, 2010 at 1:55 PM  

    Hi Nightingale - sorry about the big goal! I have a couple of those that didn't pan out too.

    Go here to vote -
    http://www.rtbookreviews.com/content/writing-stars-vote-best-back-cover-blurb

    And thanks for asking!

  10. Mary Marvella // December 30, 2010 at 2:02 PM  

    Hey, readers,

    A funny thing happened on my way to post Dale's guest blog. I posted the wrong one and she didn't rat me out here. Early birds got 2 for 1 today!

  11. Dale Mayer // December 30, 2010 at 2:10 PM  

    Lol - Mary - Wish I lived closer. I'd give you a big hug right about now!

    Dale

  12. Mary Marvella // December 30, 2010 at 2:47 PM  

    I'd take that hug, Dale! You did us a favor today, so I owe you a hug, too!

  13. Pamela Varnado // December 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM  

    Dale, I give a shout out to you! I had every intention of entering the Brava contest, but just didn't do it. I allowed life to get in the way when it wasn't necessasry. That's one goal I didn't achieve.

    Wohoo! 2011 is a new year, full of possibilities and opportunities. I've set new goals and am determined to reach them. I'm stronger this year, mentally and physically and believe that the universe wants me to succeed. And I will!

  14. Edie Ramer // December 30, 2010 at 3:35 PM  

    I'm more than happy with my progress of 2010. And the funny thing is that except for writing one book, the others weren't on my goal list. I have goals for 2011, and I think they're doable. Good luck on reaching yours -- including financial stability!

  15. Dale Mayer // December 30, 2010 at 3:46 PM  

    Hi Pamela,

    I'm sorry you didn't enter the contest, but maybe you'll have a chance to do so in 2011. Or better yet - sell and you won't be eligible.

    I agree that the universe wants you to succeed! I'm so happy for you that you feel so much more capable of achieving the things you want to this year. Feeling stronger is half the battle!

    Good luck and have a wonderful New Year!

  16. Dale Mayer // December 30, 2010 at 3:50 PM  

    Hi Edie,

    You had a fantastic 2010! It's interesting the things that we achieve that weren't even ones we'd set out after! I hope 2011 brings you everything you want and as for your goals, you can do and achieve anything!

    Thanks for the best wishes for me for next year. I can't wait!

  17. Cyrano // December 30, 2010 at 8:00 PM  

    Dale,
    First of all, hip, hip HOORAY for doing so much writing this past year. WOW. I'm honestly impressed with your work ethic.
    My second shout out for you comes in the form of huge congrats on your weightloss! Awesome!!
    I'm glad 2010 seemed to be a great year for you in terms of writing and body.
    Now, as far as I'm concerned, no, I didn't reach my goals this year.
    I need to exercise more, and I've just been lazy...no gym, no walks, lots of junk food:{
    I also didn't finish the novel I had promised myself I would. I need to set some major goals for2011.
    I actually need to write the suckers down...maybe tattoo them on my arm. Then maybe I would be forced to follow through.
    So when I'm writing out my goals, whether it be on paper or on skin, I'll be sure to think of you and your qckomplishments!
    Great job and keep up the fantastic work:)
    tamara

  18. Dale Mayer // December 30, 2010 at 8:25 PM  

    Hi Tamara,
    My work routine is one of the biggest surprises that came out of 2010! The weight loss is an other huge plus. To say I feel so much better is to put it mildly.

    The whole getting healthy thing is just plain tough. It's hard to force yourself to do something you don't want to do! I partnered up with another writer and we checked in on the weight loss every Sunday. Knowing I was accountable helped to keep me on track.

    Now finishing the novel is important! You could be the next New York Times bestselling author.

    Set up a list and post it beside you somewhere! Check it weekly or monthly but don't forget about it. Make the list in increments that you can check off so that you see progress. There's nothing more depressing than a goal that is so big, you can't get anywhere with it for months to years. Write down weekly goals to write 2000 words or monthly goals to complete two chapters.

    Whatever the goal - make it doable for YOU! I'll be cheering you on!

    Dale

  19. Mary Ricksen // December 30, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

    Welcome Dale!
    May the best author win!
    I need to get motivated, got something for that?

  20. Dale Mayer // December 31, 2010 at 12:22 AM  

    Hi Mary,

    Motivation is usually unique to the individual. I find motivation is connected to setting goals you care about. If you don't care, or you're doing something because you think you should, or someone else expects you to do something, then it's very hard to gear yourself up for anything.

    Determine what YOU really want and go for it.

    Dale

  21. Marley Delarose, Author // December 31, 2010 at 7:10 AM  

    I'm glad you mentioned settling into a routine. I'd forgotten that this was the year I managed to create a daily habit of writing. It's always interesting to look back and compare the good and bad and look at what you've learned to carry forward.

    Have an even better 2011, Dale!

  22. Dale Mayer // December 31, 2010 at 3:17 PM  

    Hi Marley!

    I think setting up a routine and following it was the biggest thing I did for my productivity this last year.

    I love New Year's eve for just that purpose of being able to straddle the midpoint and look both ways. There's so much relief, pride, joy and hope when I take the time to look closely at what I achieved and what I'd still like to achieve.

  23. Joanne // January 6, 2011 at 1:55 PM  

    Dale,
    A belated welcome again to the Pink Fuzzies. My goals sound like yours---as I also wanted to sign with an agent and be published. Here's to 2011!

  24. Dale Mayer // January 6, 2011 at 6:33 PM  

    Hi Joanne! Better late than never. I'd love to get an agent and get published. I generally don't put down things like that because I can't determine other people's actions. I put things like that on my wish list. Lol.

    Here's hoping that 2011 is fantastic for all of us.

    Dale