Tag Archives: accomplishing goals

15 Minute Monday

I think I explained a few weeks ago that I only want to spend 15 minutes working on the Monday post. That includes editing myself. I said that, right? Before I even started today I knew what I would write. So this is going to be easier than me looking at blank screen (like last week), sighing, and wondering why I’m a blog writer.

Guess what time of the summer it is? Marathon time!

We haven’t had a writing marathon at all this year, have we? And it was our goal to have one every quarter when we began this blog 100 years ago. So a Summer Writing Marathon. You know how this works. We’ll tell the days. (I don’t know yet.) And the length. (One day? Three days? Five?) You set you goal of words you expect to write. (I always way overshoot. Always.) And then we get together at some point to  eat and read a page from our WIP.

Wanna play?


We’ll let you know all the ins and outs by Friday.


PS– It’s way easier to write when you know what to write. That’s been part of my problem as of late. What can I say here you haven’t already heard? Or how can I say anything in a new way?

So how do you always know what to write when you’re working on a project? I’ve heard a couple of ideas and I’m going to make up a few, too.

1. Stop in the middle of a sentence.

2. Stop in the middle of an exciting scene.

3. Leave yourself so interested you WANT to keep going, but don’t let yourself.

4. Leave yourself a note saying what will happen next (a NOTE. Not the whole scene.)

5. Stop at a cliff hanger.

6. Put your character into a terrible situation.

7. Or a romantic kissy situation.

8. Or put the murder weapon in her hand.

I’m saying the same thing over and over. Keep the book interesting so you want to come back to it!

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The Day of Accountability AND Day Twelve!

So far we have five people in for lunch and the reading on April 8.

Or dinner. It might be dinner.

I’m not sure when we are meeting yet. Waiting to hear from the boss. But we do have our venue!

So how has the writing gone for you all?

We are nearly done with our marathon. We have just Friday (today), Saturday, Sunday (if you write on Easter) and Monday.

Will you reach your goal?

Will you reach your secret goal?

It’s a for sure that I will not reach my secret goal, which was start a new book.

But I will finish this novel, and I will do the rewriting of another. And maybe even another one, maybe, if my writing partner can come over and work with me.

That’s what I think right now.

Now, a note to Sue–I saw on Facebook that you are a little nervous about learning more and more and more about writing and how to put all you learn into action.

Remember what John Steinbeck said: “When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s work is all that I can permit myself to contemplate.”

Just one day at a time is what you have to do. One day at a time of learning something new and then seeing how to implement what you have learned, one day at a time of rewriting, one day at a time of  whatever you are doing to make yourself the best writer possible.

This really goes to all of us.

One day. ‘Cause that’s how life is, huh?



Filed under CLW, Writing Marathon, writing process

Day of Accountability

And that means you!

So here’s what I did this week, but I have to include last week, too.

40 + hours on word-by-word check for one manuscript. I started last Friday and wrote and wrote and wrote and sent that off to my editor this past Tuesday morning before class.

Tuesday night I went to Ann Dee’s class where I was ignored by most of the students (some of them didn’t even make eye contact with me. Hahahah!). But Ann Dee is amazing and we to dinner afterward and she thought, ‘Geez, Carol, you always say you are fat and now I know why because you got an appetizer AND delicious soup AND the yummy sweet bread AND a  main dish.’  Ann Dee knew all the names of everything (by heart) and I just pointed to what I wanted. She got medium spicy and I got White Girl mild. PLUS I wanted the rose milk but Ann Dee looked at me, read my mind, then raised her eyebrows so I didn’t get any.

Then I graded and graded and graded mid-terms (after teaching my classes) and that took until Thursday (yes, last night Thursday). At about 6-ish Cheri and I started on our chapter book doing word-by-word changes and guess what? We finished at 11-ish. And we only rewrote 6 SHORT chapters–TOGETHER.

When people say, “I could write for kids or teens. That’s easy.” I just smile.

(All this Thursday stuff is why I missed Three Things Thursday–because I was doing more than three things on Thursday.)

What did you do?

Some of you swore to have stuff going or done or etc.

Tell us everything.

And guess what–Ann Dee and I are looking into a place in  Provo where we can eat lunch AND do a reading of our work. Interested?

We’ll let you know the details. As for me this weekend? My agent sent me an email this morning asking when I will be done with my one-legged rooster book.

I can’t stick around on Throwing Up Words. Gotta go write!

Love you all!


Filed under Agents, Ann Dee, CLW, writing process

Happy happy HAP-PEE New Year!!!!

Every start of every week, every month, and every new year is exciting (especially if new week, month and year start on a Sunday, the first day of the week.). So you can imagine how exciting yesterday was for me. January 1, 2012! New Year starts on a Sunday! Woot woot!

This year is kinda cool. We have three Friday the 13ths and it’s Leap Year. Plus we have Project Don’twritecrapway coming up. And we’ll have a few writing marathons. There’s Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers. Sigh. I can almost smile about what’s coming up!*

I’ve talked before about what I think of goal making. I’m kinda crazy about setting goals. I like to writing a million things down. I like to scratch things off the list.

Example of one of my lists.

1. Make goals.
2. Break big goals into little goals.
3. Make sure that each goal is small enough to achieve.
4. Make sure even unattainable goals are attainable.
5. Have no fewer than 236 goals for the year.

So, you get the picture.

Two weeks ago I started writing down my goals. I had end-of-the-year goals. Goals to help-me-be prepared-for-the-New-Year’s goals. Last-week-of-the-year goals. Last-three-days-of-the-year goals. Last-day-of-the-year goals. I’ve made quite a few but I keep losing the papers I’ve written these on. This is distressing. But then I remake my goals and . . .

Here’s what dictionary.com says the definition of a goal is:

goal [gohl]
1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
2. the terminal point in a race.
3. a pole, line, or other marker by which such a point is indicated.

Writing is a race, right? We’re headed toward the end of our novels, and we hope to get the work done in a timely matter. It’d be cool if we won some awards for our work. One award, of course, is selling what we wrote. Another awards might be actually winning awards for what we write.

Rick Walton gave me great advice many years ago– “Make goals you can achieve, Carol.”
What?! Winning the Newbery isn’t a worthy goal?
Sure it is! The problem is, you don’t have that much control over making sure you win awards–unless you have friends in high places.

Kahlil Gibran said, “The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain.”

Hmmm, it’s starting to make sense why I have so many goals.

Here are a few more good quotes. I’m trying to make them all about me.

Here’s what someone said, but we don’t have his name because he didn’t leave 85 lists around the house with this written on it: “In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.”
Translated, that means this–”Know where you’re going in your novel–have just a bit of an idea. Otherwise your writing may take a wrong turn and you’ll not reach the goal of finishing your book.”

Here’s Chris Crowe’s favorite presidential quote (I think he loves Roosevelt because Chris met him!) “To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.” Franklin Roosevelt

Well, I collected a lot of these inspiring quotes, but I just want to get on with my own WRITING goals. (Yes. I have MANY kinds goals. Think about maybe trying to learn how to love running. Cook–maybe even every day. Read the scriptures with the family–together. I have a goal category for Health, Finances, House, Spiritual, My Kids and What I Want Them to Do–my list of lists goes on and on.)

1. Read fifty terrific novels.
2. Finish NaNo book.
3. Rewrite the DD and Fine.
and here’s one more–4. write a rough draft of at least one more novel (either killer book, or scary book–or maybe that one funny book).

The deal is, Ann Dee, Chris, Kyra and I all want you to succeed, so feel free to log your writing goals here. In the middle of the year, I’ll re-post what you’ve written so you can check in and see how you’re doing. Have fun writing your attainable goals. And you don’t have to only have three or four. But maybe just stick to writing.

Here’s a quote to end with: There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second.
 (Logan Pearsall Smith)

I’d change this up just a bit–Get What You Want–But Be Nice About It.
There are too many people who get what they want in the publishing industry and then they start acting ugly behind the scenes.
I swear–if I sell a begillion copies of my books OR win the Caldecott, Newbery and Prinzt awards for one of my books, I swear to still be nice. No! I’ll be even nicer!

Happy New Year!

* Cheri is convinced we don’t need to worry about the world ending Dec 21,2012, so I’m feeling even better about the New Year.


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