Monday, November 10, 2008

Accomplishments and Goals

It's November, we're nearing the close of 2008. That just seems impossible to me. There is some truth in the old adage that as one gets older time either flies by or crawls by. Mindy, the newsletter editor for Gator Talk has asked us to send something reflecting our accomplishments and goals. The Bayou Writer's Group has so much potential. I feel a bit small offering my little list.

My first thought--what accomplishments? I tend to compare myself to others. Pam, whose career is taking off like a rocket ship. And, not a moment too soon. She is deserving. She has finally got an agent. Judy, whose writing is becoming more and more available. Both of these ladies will become common household names in the near future. Angie who is an expert in freelance marketing to magazines. Harvey, whose western stories and novels transport the reader back in time. I shouldn't have mentioned names, there are just too many more. So, I just say--Cheers to BWG.

I thought of others who are just beginning on this writing journey. The young authors who presented their stories to our group. Each of the winners is in high school. Their creativity was amazing. And, inspiring. I pray their enthusiasm continues. I pray they are in touch with other writers who offer unconditonal support.

What were Nona's accomplishments?

I am steadily working on my novel, "Rebecca's Journey." I thank my Long Ridge Writer's Group instructor, Mary Rosenblum for that. I had a short story accepted by Mouth Full of Bullets, however MFOB had to close for a while. Thanks to Hurricane IKE. I have several works in progress to be fine-tuned and submitted. Including an article for the BWG newsletter.

The most interesting accomplishment for me this year is a new niche. About a year ago my husband suggested Iinterview a local man for the newspaper. His name is Johnny Harper. His trade is sharpening lawn mower blades, chain saws, knives and anything that can be sharpened. The tools he uses were handed down by his grandfather. His shop is like stepping back in time. The article turned out be a love story about a boy and his grandfather. I was thrilled when it was accepted and published.

I enjoyed so very much doing the interview and putting the article together. I loved seeing my by-line on page one. I loved the feedback. Because of this feeling of success, I have since interviewed a fellow member of BWG who is the father of seven sons. Rodney has raised his sons alongside his wife to believe in God, to appreciate nature and to use hunting and fishing responsibly. This article will also be a lesson in love.

When the first article was published a very knowledgable friend of mine, Jessica Ferguson, told me I could re-work the articles and submit them to magazines. I didn't know I could do that. But, I will.

I have become more active in writing groups that reflect my interests--ACFW, Short Fiction Mystery Society, 19th Century Writers, and NaNoWriMo. And, I started this blog.

An accomplishment I'm most proud of is taking part in the conference committe for the BWG annual conference. I worked with a superb group--Beverly Marin, chair, Jessica Ferguson, Angie Dilmore, and Walt Dutton. It's been a great deal of work, but the final product will be fantastic.

So, my accomplishments are not many. None of them are earth shattering or worthy of breaking out a bottle of champagne. These baby steps have given me a few more grains of self-confidence.

My goals for 2009 are much like New Year's Resolutions. I have great plans, but we'll see how many of them are met.

Because of the interviews I did for the newspaper I have discovered I like memoirs. I will simply list my goals:

1. Finish the first draft of "Rebecca's Journey."

2. Edit, find a market for and, hopefully, an agent for "Rebecca's Journey."

3. Write at least three articles for Chicken Soup and/or Cup of Comfort. Perhaps using the interviews I did for the newspaper.

4. Find homes for the three short stories I have completed, including "Lad with a Lyre" and "False Sanctuary," which has been rejected by AHMM and EQMM.

5. Submit an article to the BWG newsletter.

6. Write and submit at least two devotionals.

7. Begin my second novel, "Gifts from a P.O.W."

8. Encourage other writers to join a write 's group in their area. BWG has been a great influence for me. There is so much talent and support in our group. Serve on the 2009 conference committee.

9. Find a regular critique group and/or partner.

10. Continue reading often in different genres.

11. Try NaNoWriMo again.

12. Learn to do art journal like Mindy. And, be more consistent in keeping my journal up to date.

That's enough, isn't it? I tend to overdo. One thing I didn't include as a goal is a lifestyle change. I don't work outside the home, so I have no excuse not to make writng my job. I plan to write at least 4 hours a day. It will take discipline and learning not to proscratinate. Wish me well. If I don't or can't make this change my goals won't all be completed. If I do make the change, I believe I can succeed. Maybe even do more.

Thinking about accomplishments and goals puts things into perspective when one is honest. By the same token, it offers opportunites for the self to accomplish more, to improve in the mechanics of writng, and to lure others to the writing process.

Well, I'm off to write. Put your accomplishments and goals in writing. Print it out, put it on your notebooks and mirrors and refrigerator. Reminders are not so gentle nudges.



Judith Leger said...

Wonderful goals, Nona! Stick to them, post them where you can see the often and then do them. One by one until you've finished those and created new ones!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Yep, I agree - Great goals!

And great accomplishments.


Mindy Blanchard said...


Your accomplishments are no small fete. You have come a long way in making your dreams a reality. You're published and working toward publication. You submitted this year - and thats great - keep sending them out.

Your goals are wonderful, and I can't wait to see you accomplish them. I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!

I think giving yourself a guideline is great but don't be afraid to think outside of the box. Go out and do things, see things, get out of the house and go where there are people (people-watching = another fav hobby of mine - makes great characteristics).

You don't have to write 4 long hours at a time to start (thats a bit daunting when you're not in the habit yet). Build it up. Start with half an hour for a week, 2 weeks, etc and gradually build it up from there - you will be where you want in however long it takes - and it will be no time at all.

I have faith in you, my friend.


Jess said...

You've got great accomplishments, Nona. I tend to over-do my list too. If you sit down to write one page--only one--you'd be surprised how often that one page turns into two, or three or four. Many times it's like eating a potato chip--can't eat just one.

I promise if you write one, you'll write two!