Thursday, September 30, 2010

Realistic goals

I guess many people set themselves goals. But how to reach them, so they don't end like most New year's resolutions?

I think the problem with New Year's resolutions, as with other goals, is that they're too ambitious.

Want to lose 20 pounds in a month and look like a model? No problem. Want to stop smoking in no time and never be tempted again? No problem. Want to be a model student and catch up on any studying you have missed over the last year? No problem.

There's nothing wrong with being ambitious, but ambitions don't always motivate us. Sometimes they can be crippling. We see the goal in our mind and we want to reach it, but because it's so unrealistic we can't ever succeed and when we realize it, the goal no longer serves its purpose. It no longer motivates. It gets us down, because we know there's no chance not to fail.

And who isn't scared of failure?

The ugly threat of failing looms over our heads every day and cripples us even more.

So that goal we set a few days, weeks or months ago?

It turns into the bane of our existence.

What was supposed to help us, destroys every chance we might have ever had to actually reach a realistic goal.

And that's the magic word: realistic

Even a writer needs a hint of reality in their life.

Realistic goals motivate.

Unrealistic goals depress.

I used to set myself unrealistic goals and I never reached them. I didn't even get close and it always made me feel bad. So unrealistic goals? Not for me.

I like goals that I can reach or maybe even surpass.

You might say: What's the use of setting a goal of 500 or 1000 or 2000 words per week? That way you'll never get that book written.

You're wrong.

I will get the book written, it'll only take longer. Every written word brings me closer.

So what would happen if I set a word count goal of, let's say, 10k per week?

I'd fail to reach it the first time, fail to reach it the second time and get so frustrated that I wouldn't write for a few days or weeks. Nothing gained. And worst of all: I would feel bad about myself, even guilty.

Maybe 10k is a realistic goal for some of you. You have to decide what's right for you. Only you. It doesn't matter if your writing buddy gets 5k written every day. That's great for them, but trying to keep up with them won't do you any good.

So try to find out what's a realistic goal for you and adjust it whenever something changes. Sometimes life gets in the way.


Life always gets in the way, but that's just one more reason to be fair to yourself and don't pressure yourself with unrealistic goals.

What do you think? Maybe some of you like unrealistic goals and don't feel depressed by them?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Letting Go

I went on sub on Wednesday and now I'm trying to keep myself busy with something.


I'm desperate.

So desperate that I even cleaned the house and folded laundry yesterday. *gasp*

But now that I'm done with cleaning, I'm confronted with the same problem again.

How to distract myself?

Many people say it helps to write something else. That sounds reasonable.

There's no better way to distract oneself than to focus on a new WIP, maybe even a SNI (shiny new idea).

I'd love to do that. I have two WIPs and had a SNI for a YA Thriller yesterday, so what's keeping me from delving into them?

The answer's easy:


The book I'm on sub with. I spent weeks with revisions and the last few days with synopses for sequels. It feels like TOL has become a part of me. It's the last thing I think about before I go to sleep and the first thing I think about when I wake up.

I know the characters. Their fears and hopes. Their future and past.

I know what'll happen to them and I want to let it happen to them.

I want to write the next book. I want it desperately.

But working on the sequel to TOL won't do me any good if I want to distract myself from the subbing process.

I need to let go of TOL for now. Need to let go of the characters and the little voices (don't worry I'm quite sane) in my head telling me to write their story to the end.

Like with many things in life, letting go of a book isn't easy.

I'm still in the process of letting go.

How do you do it? How do you let go of a book and its characters, and delve into the next project? Is it easy for you or are you struggling?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What should I read?

I just finished The Poisoned House by Michael Ford and I loved it.

I'm not sure what to read next. There are seven books on my desk right now.

So guys, I need your opinion. :)

What should I read next?

(Oh and btw, I just got my submission list. Yay!)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

News and excuses

I've been a very bad blogger those last few weeks. But I've got an excuse.

Three weeks ago I got an offer of representation for my YA post-apocalyptic novel THE OTHER LIFE and I accepted!

I'm now officially represented by Julia Churchill of Greenhouse Literary Agency. Yay! :D

I've been busy doing revisions and after I was done with those, I had to write a synopsis for the sequel to THE OTHER LIFE. Those of you who've had the pleasure (*snort*) to write a synopsis before know what it can do to you and your brain (nothing good, believe me...). For most people (probably for everyone) it's even worse if you have to write a synopsis for a book that isn't even written. Eeek.

It's not that I hate(d) synopses. I usually write them before I start working on a new WIP, so I know what'll happen. I guess that makes me a freak?


Well, now that I had to write the synopsis for the sequel to TOL, I get why people hate them.

Long story short, I'll be on sub soon. (eeek).

So while I spend my time in the next circle of hell, I'll try to be a good blogger and post regularly.