Breathe Christian Writers’ Conference 2012: Goals & Advice

It was an awesome event. There was so much wonderful advice – actionable advice. (You’ll probably see quotes show up in other posts on writing in the near future.)

The question becomes:  Where do I start?

More than one speaker recommended that you set clear goals. It’s a theme of advice that I’ve taken to heart.
I’ve set three realistic and attainable goals coming out of this event. Goals that will stretch and grow me to reach them. Will you agree to hold me accountable along with my writing partners?

Goal 1:  Write My Elevator Speech …

Every position I’ve ever held, I’ve been told to have my elevator speech ready. I should be able to sum up my job function in the time it takes to ride an elevator a few floors; when asked:    What do you do?

I think the same is true for the question:  What are you writing? Only I don’t have that snappy response for my work in progress. I will start practicing now so that I can perfect my sound bite and not feel awkward.

Till this point I haven’t shared much about my WIP … but that will change with this goal … besides elevator speeches aren’t just for corporate types.

I’m writing a novel about life after Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Have you ever wondered what happens next? I’m telling the story.

Intrigued? Okay, it’s a start. I’ll keep working at it.

Goal 2:  Do My Research

I’ve mentioned before that I hate research. It may be my downfall as a writer.

I’ve been living on the hope that I could get by with a simple read through of Lewis Carroll’s books. HA! I Sad, I know.

Dear Research, I’ve been avoiding you but I won’t be any longer.

I won’t be cutting any corners. Not after hearing presenter and author, Jocelyn Green state she spent nine months researching her first novel and three months writing it. My hopes were quickly dashed that I could some how “get by”.

  • Step One:  Finish the initial read through of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
  • Step Two:  Complete a second read through of each book.
  • Step Three:  Interview a grief counselor to determine how children cope with death of loved ones; specifically in cases of suicide.

Jocelyn Green also recommended getting to really know your characters by interviewing them. Click here to see the questions. This will be Step Four. By the time Breathe arrives next year – October 18 & 19, 2013 – I will have completed these “research” steps (and maybe a first draft of the manuscript). Sigh. No way around it.

Goal 3:  Post Consistently

This goal is blog related rather than novel related.

I started blogging in April with the goal that I would post every two to four days; which I did for the first four months. Then life got busy and hectic. I started slacking off, claiming that creativity doesn’t strike every day.

The inconsistency is disruptive to you as readers I’m sure; despite my belief that creativity doesn’t like cages. So, I will pick a day of each week that I will post. Sometimes you’ll get a surprise day added. But ultimately there will be one day a week that you can count on the Jotter’s Joint to give you a read. Hopefully, a good read.

Let me know if there is a day that you would prefer. If the requests are similar it makes my decision easier.

Hold me accountable.

Ask me how I’m doing toward my goals. Don’t let me off the hook. And if you have suggestions that would help me in any of these goals, I’d love to hear them.

Hold Yourself Accountable

“One day” is today or it never comes. What ventures have you been putting off? Don’t wait for New Year’s resolutions. Do it now. Write some goals today. Share with me in the comments the goals you’ve set and I’ll remember to ask you how it’s going.

Recommended resources that came out of Breathe 2012 for you writer types …

  • Platform:  Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt
  • The Art of Fiction:  Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner
  • Craft of Writing by William Sloane
  • The Art and Craft of Novel Writing by Oakley M. Hall
  • Wrecked:  When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life by Jeff Goins
  • Getting Into Character:  Seven Secrets Novelists Can Learn from Actors  by Brandilyn Collins
  • From the Inside … Out:  Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in You by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck
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Comments

  1. Super advice and hey…your book sounds awesome! Can’t wait to read it. : )

  2. Phil Hanson says:

    Excellent advice you’ve been given. Go for it! Hugs!

  3. I first noticed the blogging world in March, but didn’t really write much until April or May. It’s been a roller coaster ride, trying to figure out who I am and what my passion is. I will keep trying – thanks for sharing this!

    • Thanks for sharing. Blogging can challenge how you feel about who you are. One of the best quotes from the event: “writing helps us figure out what we believe. We don’t set out to write what we believe.” It’s a journey. Keep going. 🙂

  4. I love this for so many reasons! First, I LOVE your book idea – brilliant! Second, I think goals are a great idea. Third, what a great idea to ask for support from your readers. This community is so supportive, I imagine you willl find lots of folks willing to help hold you accountable. You inspire me. 🙂

    • Thank you Jenni. This community is supportive. More than I expected. I’m glad the novel idea grabbed your attention. There will more to come on that. Thanks, as always for reading, commenting and encouraging. 😉

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