Changing the Colours – Time for a re-think

Back in February, I posted a piece called Flag-Raising, wherein I set out my writing goals for the year. I’ve occasionally noted my progress (or lack of it) since. Now I’ve decided it’s time to move the goal posts or, to retain the flag analogy, change the colours.

They are funny things, goals. Setting them is hard – you want to keep them achievable, but still stretching. I remember learning in lawyer training that goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timed – and I think mine were all of that. Or at least, could have been.

But life had other ideas. Those who read last week’s Friday Fiction piece will know that life got in the way. I’ve been pretty lucky with my pregnancy so far, but it has certainly reduced my productivity on the writing front. Also, with a due date of 30 October, my participation in NaNoWriMo is looking precarious. I have already pulled out of MLing as I *know* I won’t have the time or energy for that. So, here’s what the flag looks like now:

ERIC

Let’s be honest. I’ve lost a lot of motivation for Eric. I believe there’s a story in there to be told, but at the moment, I think it runs the risk of being lost in a lot of rubbish. What this novel needs is more than the tinkering edit I’ve been planning. It needs a full re-write. And to do that, I need a lot of time and motivation. So I’m shelving Eric in rough draft form and admitting to myself that he won’t be finished any time soon.

REGULAR COMMITMENTS

I am very eager to keep this blog up, so my twice-a-week commitment to Elmowrites remains. Stay tuned for Fiction every Friday and a random collection of ramblings on Mondays. Thank you for your support and comments, they really do make a difference.

So far I’ve not quite managed a submission every month, but have managed an average of one submission a month. I’m aiming to keep that up, at least until the little one arrives.

EXTRA THINGS

All my short stories from last November are now in the realm of beta readers, and I’ll continue to shop them around, polish and edit until I’m happy. there’s a contest in July I’d like to enter them into.

I still write shorts when I can, and in the absence of Eric I’ll hopefully write a few more, but I’m not making this a SMART goal, it is neither specific nor measurable nor timed. It’s an AR goal.

I’ll still crit anything I’m asked to, and even with around 100 participants, I’ll still try to read all the Friday Fictioneers’ submissions each week.

AND THAT’S IT

It’s a smaller flag, but it’s still flying high and I’ll still do my best to protect it. Writing is a part of my life now, and I never want to lose it again.

4 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

4 responses to “Changing the Colours – Time for a re-think

  1. Congrats, Elmo! This is really exciting news. Having spawn of your own is pretty cool, but halloween spawn is even more awesome.

  2. Madison Woods

    You’re starting out with a plan that’s flexible and manageable – and that’s SMART even if the acronym thing doesn’t work. Once your baby comes, I think you’ll be okay with allowing your writing to take the back seat for a while. It’s a precious time for your entire family. If you’re fortunate enough to not have to go back to a day job, then it’ll be easier to resume and work in a writing schedule after you and babe have had time to adjust to each other. If your baby sleeps better at night than mine did, you might actually get to write even if you do have a dayjob. Mine were all terrible sleepers and rarely went more than 3 hours at a time without waking up for feedings. But it’s a phase that passes and hard as it is to remember that while you’re feeling stressed, it does pass. I’m glad you’re going to stick with the Fictioneers, but don’t get discouraged if it becomes too heavy a load – with so many of us now, we won’t all be able to read them all. Oh, and stay tuned for a 100-word contest in conjuction with In D’Tales magazine. I don’t have details yet, but we’re cooking something up 😉 Good luck and know I’m here to encourage you when you need it!

    • Thanks Madison – you’re a hero. I know it could all change again when the little one arrives, so I’m trying to be ready for anything then. But even in the meantime, I prefer to cut back to smart (small letters) goals, rather than failing big ones!

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