What are You Doing to Make Your Dreams Come True?

Ocean Dreams

2013 – One month into it and I am wondering where my motivation is for everything I planned to accomplish. How are you doing on your New Year resolutions, writing goals, and personal goals? If you are making headway – send me a note and tell me your secret to success.

I am looking for motivation!

Resolutions – I didn’t set anything too drastic for a goal.  I’d like to finish a poetry collection that I have written, submitted for beta reading, tucked it away for months, pulled it back out, re-read everything, contacted the publishers multiple times to go with it, and then not to go with it. I am convinced they think I am truly nuts and are sitting back quietly waiting for the dust to settle in one direction or the other.  I then, tucked the poetry collection away only to pull it all out AGAIN to rework the entire collection.  I have edited and edited, pulled and tossed, shook my head over several writings, and tucked it all away – yes, again. I have written several new pieces. However, I have decided to keep it to myself until I have made a solid collection that is very different from the original overarching theme. Yes, it is going splendidly, can’t you tell? (heavily laden with sarcasm)

Personal goals – again send me your secrets to success. Specifically those ideas that have you barreling through your personal obstacles – be they physical, emotional, or mental barriers. If I cannot use your secrets to successful charging through to reach the goal, come hell or high water, there is definitely someone else out there that needs to push through something. Let us work together and lend them a hand toward success.

If you haven’t noticed, it is all about the writing on this site.  Therefore, we’re back to the writing goals that are not covered above. What are you doing to make your dreams come true?  Are you writing every day?

Well, I am not writing every day or every week for that matter, and that is my sticking point. The creativity is at an all-time low, and it’s been going on for well over a year. I’m looking to push through those personal barriers, mine being personal time to write and working through downright pure exhaustion.  By the time creativity strikes, it’s late on the weekend and well, there’s that workweek glaring us all in the face.

Where does your creativity come from? How much time do you set aside each day or each week to write your stories, poems, or novels?

So, we’re back to those annoying goals, dreams, and working toward publishing, or whatever your personal markers are for 2013.  I’m taking the year in small bits.  I made a commitment to send out five random acts of kindness this year, small gifts given to friends and acquaintances when the mood strikes me.  I hope they have forgotten and the gifts are wonderful surprises throughout the year.  

I decided to wrap some previously published horror short stories into my own collection.  I didn’t publish anything in 2012, except for a couple of poems.  Several people have asked where they can find my work.  Much of it is no longer in circulation, so publishing the horror short stories will help satisfy that craving from a few friends, family, and fans, without crunching too much time out of me.  Furthermore, I have that annoying (said with love) poetry collection lurking in my mind on a daily (yes, well some things never leave the mind) basis.   I do hope to finish restructuring and torturing that collection into submission worthy material in the next few months.  I say torture as it was a lovely grouping to begin with, and well, I tore it to pieces over several months.   Now is the time to meld the new work with the remaining old and create an interesting presentation of material!  Wish me luck.

The biggest writing challenge for me in 2013 is that I set a goal to finish a story I started a couple of years ago. A personal goal is to finish writing it. A professional writing goal is to edit and do any re-writing by the end of the year to prepare it for queries in early 2014, and finally publish by the end of 2014.  Again, wish me luck!

Whatever your dreams may be for 2013, just go for it.  Reach for the stars and plot a course toward success.  Just don’t follow my example thus far!

Many blessings to each of you, and may you have plenty of time to write!

 

Project Excerpt from “Battering Storms”

This is a small excerpt from my current project.

“Addie, what in blue blazes are you doing here?” Kalyani yelled. A young man with a long braid down his back glared at Kalyani. “Mind your own business young buck. I will do as I please. Go back to your grandfather’s house and help him brace for the storm.” The boy backed away, clearly intimidated by the strong woman’s presence. Happy with herself, Kalyani turned her attention back to Adeline. Shrugging and pointing toward the young man walking away. “Kids today, that youngin’ doesn’t even remember me, and I used to change his diapers. So tell me now, what are you doing here, now of all times?”

Adeline smiled at her old friend. Giving her a strong hug Adeline answered, “I missed you so much I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

“Stop blowing smoke up my skirt, white girl.”

“What’s up with the white girl talk?” Laughing, Addie continued, “I thought we were sisters, you and I, blood sisters remember?” Kalyani nodded in agreement. She turned to walk with Addie as she searched her friend’s face for the real reason for her visit. Sensing the questioning glare, Addie looked away as they walked the small market together. “Fine…  I’m at the cabin cleaning it up.”

“Cleaning it up, but why now?”

“Selling it. The development is going to be starting next year adding all those cabins to the 60 acres Rick used to own. Once the developer starts advertising heavily, I’ll be stuck with the cabin for years. I might as well cut my ties now and be done with it.”

Kalyani felt Addie’s heartache. “I understand, I do. Now isn’t a good time with this storm coming in. You should leave and come back in the spring.”

“This is supposed to be spring Kal, it’s April. Besides, the realtor said if I can’t get it ready in a month to put on the market I need to find someone else.  He has too many clients already.  A friend of Jonah’s.  You know, doing him a favor but gritting his teeth the whole way because he’s dealing with me.”

“Why are you using this guy if he’s a friend of Jonah’s?”

“A deal. I guess he owes Jonah a huge favor, or money.” She raised her eyebrows to Kalyani. “He’s waiving all the fees – even paying whatever I would be required to cover at closing. I didn’t ask Jonah for anything in the divorce so, I guess he feels this is something he can do. I would never tell Jonah, but I could use the break financially.”

“I never understood why you didn’t bleed that man dry when you had the chance, the cheating sack of shit.”

“Kal please! Let’s just drop it okay. I had my reasons.”

“Fine, fine. Listen, before this storm kicks our asses, why don’t I come over in a bit with some venison stew. If I am snowed in with you, then all the better. Dinesh is hovering over me like a hound dog on a fox hole.”

“Why in the world is he doing that?”

Kal’s smile faded, “Hey, we’ll talk about that later too. Grab lots of gear for you and Rufus. This storm is going to be a trip. Some wine too, we have a lot to talk about tonight. Hey, does that truck out there have four-wheel drive?”

“No. You know I live in the city. I don’t need it there.”

“Dang, what am I going to do with you?  I’ll bring some chains for your tires too, just in case.”

Is There such a Thing as “Perfect” Writing?

You are plugging away at your computer, absolutely convinced you are constructing the next masterpiece to hit the New York Times Best Seller’s list. Alternatively, perhaps you write in another aspect, typing out the tasks and procedures necessary for Billy-Joe Jim-Bob to follow in order to assemble a recliner. His only objective is to follow your procedures so he can assemble that chair by the weekend. Whatever your goal, the point is, writing is a process, and there are no shortcuts.

We wordsmiths may have a jewel or two in the muddy mix from the start, but many more times than not, the writing needs molding, manipulation, and maneuvering to reach the anticipated outcome. I do not care how much experience you have under your belt, you are going to write, read, edit, and do it again, a number of times. Then, when you think you have created something that may sell and put some “cha-ching” in your bank account, you are going to give that work to someone you trust, to read and analyze.

Prepare yourself, my friend, because if that person is someone you trust for their expertise and writing skill, they are going to do some serious bleeding on that submission. Can’t handle criticism? Find another passion or line of work.

In order to write, you need to, “just do it”.

However, not everyone can do it well. It is an art form. Like any art form, in order to be truly respectable, you have to work it, practice it, and hone those skills to that dreaded point of “perfection” or as close to it as humanly possible.

You cannot please everyone. One man’s rejection is another man’s gem, remember that, and have faith in your abilities. As we hear so often from people that really do not recognize or care how writing works, “anyone can write”. We know differently. Do you have talent? Then learn to let the naysayers and ornery, obnoxious, miserable folks and their voices roll off your back.

It is a simple, however, time-consuming process. Writing is not one-step and done, but a progression that takes hard work. Can you follow through on your actions, continue even when the fun wears off, and it is time for due diligence and polishing? Once, twice, or maybe even three times. If so, you will be successful. I am going to give you the key to success right here – the key to “perfection”.  Are you ready?

There is no such thing as perfect writing. I know, disappointing is it not? Nevertheless, it is true. Because writing is subjective in so many ways, yet it requires skill. If your writing is good, and you are patient, persistent, and more than anything, you can handle the heat, you will succeed.

Here is another key. You measure your level of success. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to be a best-selling author, and that is perfectly okay. Top of your tech-writing field, short story hobbyist, writing contest enthusiast, or a gut wrenching, bound and determined, come hell or high water, best-selling writer, the measure of success is what you decide and not another’s view of success. Keep that in the back of your mind at all times and you will also be a happier person.

The bottom line is this, whatever your writing market, once you begin to prove your talent, success will follow you. After a bit of time and you establish a writing reputation, you may just hear your name answering the question, “Do you know the perfect writer?”