Guest Post: New Year’s Goal for 2014 by Syra Mason
Please welcome our January guest Syra Mason!!!
So, we all have an ultimate goal: get published, make the Best-Seller list, have a book made into a “Lifetime Special,” make a gazillion dollars, or be the next Jane Austen, maybe. But realistically, most of us have to take it one step at a time and be satisfied with something a little less glamorous until it finally happens.
Many writers enjoy the daily freedom of a quiet, low-demand lifestyle. The rest of us have kids. And jobs, spouses, extended family or community obligations, and a host of other important commitments that seem to take more hours of the day than are possible.
So where does a gal find the time to write, query, revise, blog, tweet, post, update, etc.?
I’ve learned to “just say no.” Not all the time, but at least once a week and for things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of life. The dusting can wait another day, the PTA meeting won’t collapse without me, and my teenagers can make their own soup & sandwich for dinner just this once. (Okay, maybe more than once.) Now that I’ve finally figured out how to eek out a few extra hours during the week, I’ve set myself a goal for the new year.
My favorite personal treat is a trip to the hot springs spa for their deluxe massage package. This is not cheap, especially on a pre-published writer’s budget. Therefore, until I am published, I’ll pay myself for the writing work I do. Starting January 1, a dollar will go in a “reward jar” each time I send a query letter, enter a contest, sit down and write five hundred words or more, or revise/edit for at least an hour. The faster the jar fills, the sooner I can afford my spa reward – and I really want that reward. The best part is, the faster I fill that jar, the sooner I’m likely to see more tangible success from my writing efforts – the real reward.
Granted, all this motivation may result in a noticeable decline in household condition. (I really don’t like doing laundry!) But in the short run – and long run – anything that keeps my writing moving forward is not a waste, and I doubt anyone ever stood at the pearly-gates wishing they’d vacuumed before they left.
Wishing you all the very best of luck in your own goal-setting this year, and may you each enjoy success from your efforts. Happy New Year and Happy Writing!