Friday, January 04, 2008

Days of Dreams: A Writer's New Year

I love this time of year. Now that the holiday trappings have been put away, I get a chance to reflect on the past year, and to look forward to the new one. Goals are very much on my mind.

Last year was a good writing year for me. I finished the second draft of my second book (which I'm still tweaking). I attended the RWA national conference in Dallas, and met one of the top agents in the business. I was a contest finalist. I spent a weekend at the home of Susan Wiggs, along with some writing colleagues I've gotten close to. In 2007, this web site went up, built by my college-age daughter. Now I have two blogs, this one and another that is concerned with exercise and nutrition, called "Off the Couch and At the Table."

Speaking of exercise and nutrition, this year my efforts really paid off. Besides sticking with my exercise program, I improved my diet. The result? I lost TWENTY-FIVE pounds. (The picture on the home page was taken before the weight loss.)

All in all, a very good year. In 2008, I hope to be submitting both my books to agents with the goal of representation.

What are your goals? I'd love to hear them.

To help in goal-setting, this year I've asked myself and some writing colleagues three questions. Here they are, along with my answers.

Question 1: Sit back and close your eyes for a moment and imagine this is December 31, 2008. What dreams (or concrete goals) would you like to be able to say you've made come true by then?

My answer: On December 31st, I'd love to tell you I've obtained an excellent literary agent to represent my works of fiction. I'd like to say I've tweaked my two novels to make them the best they can be, so I can proudly submit them to my agent. Since that will require many hours sitting at the computer, I'd like to say I've been steadfast with my exercise routines, that I've maintained my current nutrition standards of minimal saturated fat and lots of vegetables and fruits. I also have goals for my "personal" life -- to be a good wife and mother, a good friend, a good sister and aunt, and to keep a good house.

Question 2: On December 31, 2008, if you've met these goals or made those dreams come true, what will your life be like? What changes will you see?

My answer: I'll be full of excitement and energy. Having a great literary agent will tell me I'm on my way to being a published author. And, with the vibrant health and energy that come with good nutrition and exercise, I'll feel especially ready. Succeeding with my weight loss goal will make me feel really good about myself, and I'll love being able to wear more stylish clothes. For me, success with diet and exercise and success as a writer are linked in my mind.

Question 3: What specific challenges do you face right now?

My answer: I feel like I never have enough time to get everything done. Another problem is that once I get writing, I don't want to get up to do anything else, and that includes exercise! When I'm working fast and furious on a novel, or on anything involving writing, I don't even want to take the time to eat right.

Those are my thoughts. What about yours?

Perhaps you can ask yourself these three questions as you formulate your goals for the new year. If you'd like to post your answers here, you are welcome to do so.

I wish you the best in 2008. May it be a great year for us all!

xo, ciao,

Rita

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