Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stepping Towards the Stars

So last week I talked about my dream goal. But you can’t just stop at dreaming. It would be nice if we could, though. Life would be so much easier, but as most of know life isn’t easy and it’s going to throw up road blocks of all sorts. So to obtain that dream goal you have to keep working towards it. In my case, I’m taking what I consider baby steps.


These baby steps are my goals for this year and I’ve tried to make them SMART. That means they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Or at least I’ve tried to make them that way. Let me give you some examples of what I’ve created.

Example 1: They say that part of being a good author is to read, read, read, so I’ve created a goal around this.
  • Read at least one novel a month
  • Read at least one short story a week
So by the end of the year I expect to have read 12 Novels and 52 short stories. That seems pretty specific and measurable. Is it attainable? I think so. I’ve already read my short story for the week and I’m currently working on that first Novel. As far as realistic and timely goes, well you have to remember I’m responsible for the feeding and clothing of my family, plus my own writing, so I think it is.

Example 2: the other part of being an author is to write, write, write. Needless to say I have a couple goals around that. I’ll show you the one related to The Phoenix of Vervell Trilogy
  • Complete the editing and posting of Phoenix Triumphant (February)
  • Complete the “Massive Revision” of Sarah’s Phoenix to align it with Phoenix Rising and Phoenix Triumphant (August)
  • Send Sarah’s Phoenix out for critique and beta reading (September)
I’ve made these as specific and measurable are as I could. I haven’t been through the editing process enough to know how to measure revisions, but I suspect I’ll know when I’m done. Sending it out will be the easy part to measure. Again they are as attainable, realistic and timely, as I can make them. I gave myself an extra month on editing Phoenix Triumphant, just in case life throws some curveballs at me.

I also have some goals related to this Blog. The first is to continue weekly postings and the second to turn it into an Author Blog. The first is getting harder as I struggle  for topics each week. The second entails changing the name, and probably other stuff that I'm not entirely sure of. I do have a few ideas though. Some are more specific to this year than others.
  • 30 days of World Building – Starting on April 11th, I’d lead you through the exercises as I flush out my own for NaNoWriMo 2012
  • Setting a topic for each blog post such as: First of the month is a book review, last of the month is a goal review.
  • Inviting some guests over to blog (yes Charley and Miriam I’m looking at you)
  • Finding a book on writing with lots of exercises that we can do together. (could be one a month?)
I want to tie into my fellow writers as well as my readers without having to maintain two blogs (or a website), so please, let me know your ideas, comments and questions you have on how to make my blog better. Believe me I’d appreciate it.

:} Cathryn Leigh


  1. Squeezles! I'll totally have you over on my blog too, just so you know - my readership of 27 will love you, I know it xD

    I like your goals - very cool acronym to match, haha! I will be spying on the Phoenix work like ... lol, a phoenix! And I may join in with your world building, if you'll let me! It looks like fun *grins*

    A few words of advice, which is also great fun for lazy blog posts - chuck your favourite music or pictures or whatever you like on the blog. I have a few funny quiz results and screen shots - I like to think the audience find them entertaining, and it adds a nice personal touch. That and, when you're tired, they're quick easy and funny *grins*

  2. I heard about smart goals through work and since writing is going to be my second career it seemed logical to carry the idea over.

    The cast and crew of Phoenix would expect no less, thoughthey think you're more a raven than a Phoenix... I'm not quite sure why. :}

    Hm... that's an interesting thought, the whole pictures on music thing. Probably be more applicable to me if I surfed the net more. I have no ipod, only watch youtube when I'm directed there and, erm yeah. I read lots of wikipedia entries when I'm doing research though. :}

    As to guest posting on your blog - that would be uber cool! I'll totally trade you a guest post. Just give me something to go with.

    :} Cathryn

  3. I'll happily guest here, Elo, and you know I said you could write on mine any time you like. If you have any ideas for a post - you know my usual topics and also my unusual ones - then just email me a draft and I'll put it up whenever I'm stuck for ideas! Ha ha :)

    As I'm now developing my fairy world in a way that I didn't in previous drafts (you'll get to it towards the end of Watching, and it plays a greater part in Returning, although there's too much snow in Destroying for it to really make a difference), I'd also be happy to join you on the worldbuilding. I see Spook has offered. Maybe we could do a sort of blog chain? For example, if you did it for a month then each week you could talk about one particular aspect, and we'd write about it on our own blogs and link back here, and so on.

    Does that sound like a good idea?

    Getting involved in blog chains is a great way to get more readeres, too :)

    Oh, and as for beta readers and a critique group, I'm great at shredding manuscripts. Plus, I've got an uber long holiday this summer, finishing school in mid to late June instead of mid to late July, so I would be happy to attack it then. After all, you're helping with Watching...

    Woah, essay comment. Sorry.

  4. Long comment are no problem in my mind. they make up for the lack of little ones he he he. Now to try and touch upon all points you have there.

    The worldbuilding idea would be run from the site I have linked two, which is basically 30 exercises to get your world built right before you start NaNo. I have yet to go through them all (I think I've done 10). however we could use that as a sounding board and figure out our own blog chain to do so.

    I'll defiantely do a blog post exchange with you. I know you have Feather Pen Fridays, but um... that's all I remember at the moment. :}

    And both you and Charley are definitely in the Beta/Critique circle. I plan on trying to find a CP who doens't know me as personally (and hasn't read Phoenixes before).

    :} Cathryn

  5. ah, the 30 Days of Worldbuilding! i don't think i've even looked at that since the SPC10! maybe i'll take a look again...

    as to your writing goals, you can tie it into your interaction one by tackling Marc/Eloosive's writing prompts each day. i know i've seen you over there from time to time!

  6. Well you can come have fun with us starting in April. :}

    And yes I've been a semi regular posted over on Marc's Daily Writing blog. I decided against doing a goal around writing to it dail as I have enough writing getting in the way of the dayjob, but I could probably add it to the list of Friend's Blogs to follow Religiously. :}