Sunday, 1 January 2012

What Keeps Me Going?

January 1st 2012 has arrived, and all day I've been thinking about how to write down my goals for the coming year. I know what I need to do.

The year ahead will be about getting draft 2 of my novel completed, taking stock afterwards, and seeing if its good enough to progress any further. I'm a realist. I'll do what I need to do to get there.

That led me on to thinking what do I need to get me there? Ultimately, the only way I'll do it is by motivating myself, I'm the only one who can make it happen. Regardless of it being a new year, a fresh start, a clean sheet or whatever you want to call it. Only I can make anything happen. I'm also the person holding me back.

The things I need along the way to help me get here are quite simple really. Of course I'll need some sort of structure. I'm going with the weekly 'to do' list because I think it'll work best for me. Bite size chunks are more my way of doing anything. Its after all the way I approached NaNoWriMo, and that seemed to work out, so I'll begin with that path. If necessary I will change things around.

I'll need to alter my lifestyle in that I shall have to get up earlier a few days a week. Let me explain, I write best at night. Very late at night, into the early hours of the morning. I've tried writing when I get up. I can't hack it. But I can do boring chores. I reckon if I can get these out of the way early, go off and do my day job knowing they aren't waiting for me upon my return, then I'll feel better mentally, and hopefully have less to do before I settle down to write.

I'll need caffeine. Why? Because I drink coffee with friends. People who make me happy, people who motivate me, and people who inspire me. So caffeine is good for the soul.

Yoga is something I do. Regular readers will know I am plagued with back problems. Yoga keeps me aligned. I would like to do more yoga. Watch this space.

Lastly, I need thinking time. Lots of thinking time. I get mine when I'm out and about. Walking, taking pictures, observing life. I intend to continue with my walking at least every other day.

This is my plan. How will you get to your goals this year?


  1. I guess I'm fairly lucky at the moment as working on my final draft has coincided with me being off work awaiting a knee operation so I have time on my hands for the first time in years!

    For a while now I have tried to live a simple life and to apply the philosophy of simplicity to all aspects of it, including of course my writing. What has helped has been the following:

    1. Reduction in alcohol consumption whilst wrting.
    2. No alcohol whilst editing!
    3. Realising there are no time constraints and that the only pressure comes from within me.
    4. Taking note of my instinct and whether something 'feels right' or not.

    And I guess lastly it's about just trying to keep in my mind how wonderful is this life...

  2. Hi Maria - well, it does sound like you've got yourself a plan. Sounds good to me and I wish you all the best with it. I have a main goals list and then set myself a 'to do' list for each day. It all helps me stay focused and gives me direction. x

  3. I liked your post Maria and your determination. It really is all about will power and making it happen. I like to think I'm fairly well motivated, but am easily distracted and perhaps need to set myself daily goals - and stick to them. I need to get all the household jobs (which I am very motivated about)out of the way or I can't settle to write. I'm off to make myself a list NOW.

  4. Hi Maria

    Great plan!
    I wrote up a few things that really helped me at the back end of last year and posted them here, just in case any of them help!


  5. Stu - I agree with you on instinct and things feeling right...not sure about ditching my glass of cider though ;-)You are quite correct about life though. It is very wonderful.

    Diane - I like your plan. I have broken my weekly plan into days. Its the only way.

    Maggie - Its the way forward for all of us procrastinating writers!
    I can identify with the cleaning comment.

  6. Neil - Hello and welcome, I popped over to your blog, love your advice.

    Number 3 is such a good, yet simple idea,
    "3. Five Minute Start
    Agree to commit the next 5 minutes SOLELY to the task you can’t get started.

    Just five minutes. This works."

    I am off to try that later this evening. Thank you.


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

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