Monday, February 15, 2010


Going After Some of Those 2010 Writing Goals

For those of you who keep up with the Muffin’s daily posts, you may remember a post I made back in December about the writing goals I wanted to achieve for 2010. One of my goals was to branch out into another genre that I don’t normally dabble in. Well…I did it! At the time, I was just finishing up a manuscript for a YA novel and not only did I finish it, I entered it in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. And now I’m so nervous.

I don’t usually enter contests. There are so many out there and competition can be stiff. But I thought the Amazon contest would be a great one. Hey! I know I may not have the highest chances of winning it but I know that I’ll get some valuable feedback I can tuck away for future projects. Plus contests like this one also give you an idea of whether you need to polish up your pitching skills.

The story is a personal experience from my early adult life that I wanted to tell but not from a Nonfiction view. So, I created an awesome fictional character to tell the story for me (He is about ten years younger than I was when I went through the same experience and, I think, made much better choices than I did.) Once I created a ‘storyteller’ so different from me, I found it was much easier to let go and tell the story. Fiction is a lot harder for me to write but, in a way, the element of telling a story is the same whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, right? You still have to capture your audience, make sure your facts are accurate and tell your story just right. Hopefully, I’ve done that. I guess we’ll see!

I have a lot of admiration for you fiction writers out there. Thank you for giving the rest of us some inspiration to give it a try!

So, how is everyone else’s writing goals going? Has anyone else entered the Amazon contest? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time…
Chynna Laird

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Does Reading Have A Place in Your Writing Goals?

By Jill Earl

In a ‘Muffin’ post from a couple of years ago, Are You An Intentional Reader?, I wrote of being inspired to develop a reading plan from an article by author Bob Hostetler. His annual plan includes reading a wide variety of authors and genres through the ages for pleasure and to enhance his writing skills.

At the time, I hadn’t thought about how reading intentionally could help in making one a better writer. Intrigued by the notion, I set about creating my own plan.

That first year’s attempt was a washout, simply because I just threw a list together. Last year’s was much more successful, with more thought going into it. Poetry, children’s books, memoir, new fields/disciplines of interest, authors I’ve never read, books I want to re-read, and so on. I’ve included the same categories in this year’s list.

Why do I do this? Well, I’ve always gotten great pleasure out of reading. With the turn of each page, my horizons expand as I learn more about my world. In addition, studying the varied writing styles of new, well-known and favorite authors, then applying what I learn will improve my own work. One of the goals we writers shoot for in pursuing the craft.

This year’s list will focus on more intercultural/multicultural, photography, travel, filmmaking and memoir, since these are areas I specifically want to pursue in my writing. I also want to include more poetry and biography too. And there will be more children’s books, so I’ll be looking for ‘Uncle Wiggily’, my favorite bunny rabbit gentleman to return for a visit.

You can check out the link to Mr. Hostetler’s article ‘The Intentional Reader’ here.

So in between assignments, my favorite book nook awaits, because reading definitely has a place in my 2010 writing goals.

Does it have one in yours?

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Saturday, January 16, 2010


Goals for 2010

Have you ever felt like you were on a roller coaster ride that didn't want to stop? Well, I have to admit with my ever changing work schedule and other things going on in my life, I feel that way on a daily basis.

Today I realized how many things have been neglected recently in my life. I can't really use the holidays as an excuse either, because, well, they just weren't in the way for the most part. I had things pretty well organized, no real stress about what was going on. I planned ahead to some degree, although I did feel like I was struggling to finish the last gifts that needed to get out the door.

I hear everyone talking about setting New Year's resolutions. To be honest, I have never done so to this day. However, I do set goals for myself each year. This year, my biggest goal is to find more writing time and to expand on many of my story ideas.

To date, I have published over 400 articles, but alas, it isn't where my true passion lies, my true passion is in the heart of writing stories for children. I have several in the works and only one completed and ready for editing, but now I have hit the point where my fear is holding me back. This leads me to one of my first goals for the year.

1) Pushing past my fear

With this goal, I plan to attempt to once again get this story published. It has gone through hundreds of hands over the past 5 years, many saying that it wasn't time, that this story would be better produced in the future. Well, it is now the future and I feel it is time to give it a go once again. Many of the publishers I had contacted stated that because of the huge craze with a very popular young wizard, they felt that my story shouldn't be left in the shadows and there was tons of potential that would help this story shine through.

I have to admit after reading those encouraging words, I'm still scared and ready to hide under the blankets, but, I will attempt once again. Yes, I admit just like all of us in the writing community, rejection is harsh, but we must go through it in order to continue on with our goals as writers.

After everything that has happened in 2009, I am anxious to even think about 2010. I am worried that I won't be able to find enough time to write. This is my second goal for the New Year. Finding more time. With an ever changing work schedule, sports, and other activities for my teenagers, I am now striving to find enough time to write.

2) Find more writing time.

My goal is to sit down daily and see where I can squeeze in even 10 minutes for writing. Hopefully, time at work will help, when things are quiet and there isn't a huge need for a lot of paperwork, or needed in other departments to complete tasks.

How about those minutes waiting in the doctor's office that I rave about using; oh wait, I don't get that time because I am hardly at the doctor's office.

My schedule shifts daily so I must shift my writing times and make sure that I schedule myself a writing appointment on the calendar. I hope that this goal can be met.

Another goal of mine is to get more involved with the writing groups that I have been in contact with and help others as much as they have helped me with my writing. This is another goal that I am striving to meet. Right here at WOW we have such fabulous women that have each helped me, throughout the past year, meet my writing goals even if they don't realize it. Thanks to all of you for doing that for me. :)

3) Get involved with my writing groups!

This goal should be easy to do; however, again, time may be the issue. I am going to strive to be in better contact with the groups that I so love and want to work with more closely once again. But, please everyone be patient with me. I am sure there will be times when you will need to take and beat me with a wet noodle.

Although I currently only have 3 main writing goals established for the new year, this is a good start and will help me to find my way into the future of my writing.

By attempting to not only work more on my stories but also to continue to write more articles, I am striving to stick to these goals that I have set forth.

For each of us, as writers, time is one factor that many of us struggle with on a daily basis. Getting into a new groove after major changes in your life can really put huge strains on your writing, and it is hard to let life do this to each of us.

Have you set writing goals for the New Year? If so, what are they and how do you plan to meet these goals for yourself?

Just remember, it is okay if you don't meet one of your goals. At least you tried. There have been many times when I have attempted to meet many goals through out the year that involve my writing and, no matter what, something ended up on the floor behind the stove.

Happy Writing!

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