Goal, Motivation, & Conflict

We work hard to deepen GMC in our stories, but they can sometimes become stumbling blocks in our real lives. If you’re having trouble meeting your goals, perhaps a lack of motivation is the culprit. Inner and out conflicts may be putting the brakes on your creativity.

When I first started setting goals, I couldn’t seem to get any one of them accomplished. I discovered each one was too broad, i.e. finish current wip, edit TCH, research agents. I had to set specific goals in order to reach them daily, weekly, and monthly. Now, if I have a weekly goal to write 5,000 words I know I will have to pound out over 700 words a day for 7 days. Gor blimey! Even writers need a day off. If I take Sunday off then I have to write over 800 words a day.

That goal would easily be attainable, but other goals, such as finding an agent, get in the way. So, the obvious conclusion is to lower my writing quota. One aim has to take precedence over the other. Writing is great, but what good are my manuscripts sitting in the dank, dark recesses of my hard drive? I need an agent to bring them into the light. I keep my daily goals realistic so each one has a chance of coming to fruition.  1) Tend to my family–if they need me.   2)  Write 500 words or edit 10 pages (or more).  3)  Research 2-4 agents; send queries.

I’m extremely motivated to find a top-notch literary agent. Not an easy feat.  It takes hours of research to discern if any given agent may be a good fit for my work. I’m serious. I research each agent as thoroughly as I can with any tidbits of information gleaned from the internet. The conflict to attaining this goal comes in the form of the dreaded…rejection. I will persevere. It’s my number one goal at this time. The others have to fall in line behind it.

If you’re not sufficiently motivated, grab a tall mug of coffee and read some of your favorite agents’ blogs. If they didn’t care about us, want us to succeed, they wouldn’t waste their time on telling us how to impress them with our wit, intelligence, and masterfully crafted stories. They also wouldn’t have a job without writers. Let’s keep them employed! YAY!

All my goals, no matter how high or low I set them, sometimes get ditched when the frequently unavoidable outer conflict known as “family” rears its ugly (eh, I mean beautiful) head. I love my family dearly, but they are often my worst enemy when I’m trying to accomplish my goals. They don’t mean to be–they don’t even realize they’ve brought my creativity to a screeching halt with their inane questions. No matter how many times I’ve said, “If you see me typing, for the love of God, please don’t talk to me,” they still do.  Unless your children are all grown and gone, you don’t have any, or you’re in solitary pursuit of your publication dreams, these outer conflicts will happen. Learning how to cope with them (not just family, but anything that impedes your progress) and continue to move forward is an absolute must.

I really hate to say it, however it must be addressed. Some people fear taking the next huge step on the path to publication. Querying agents is nerve-racking. It’s scary. It’s tragically disheartening. It feels like the end of the world when you receive a rejection. It took every ounce of my will just to hit the “send” button to shoot my carefully crafted query off. You mean I have to go through all that angst again? Dang right. Some dreams are worth working hard for. I’m callusing up my fingertips for mine.

Lis’Anne

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