Writing Goals

 

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Nowhere does it say goals need to be set in January. In fact, it’s never too late to set goals. After all, today is the first day of the rest of your life. I spent some time this weekend reviewing my writing accomplishments from the past year and made some goals for 2019.

What I did in 2018:

  • Participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in both April and July, meeting my goal in both.
  • Participated in NaNoWriMo in November and won by completing 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days.
  • Entered into an agreement with a narrator through ACX, making my Melanie Hogan Series available as an audio book. Thus far Shear Madness and Shear Deception are available.
  • Attended the Colorado Gold Conference in Denver in September, spending three days fully immersed in all things writing.
  • Completed the first draft of book two, Abby’s Retribution, in the Whispering Pines mysteries.
  • Completed the first draft of book four, Shear Fear, in the Melanie Hogan mysteries.
  • Had a creative non-fiction essay chosen to be published in an anthology, Colorado’s Emerging Writers (2018).
  • Published book three in the Melanie Hogan mysteries, Shear Murder, on New Year’s Eve.

My goals for 2019:

  • Participate once again in Camp NaNoWriMo in both April and July; and, once again, meeting my goal.
  • Participate once again in NaNoWriMo in November; and, once again, win by meeting the 50,000-word goal. (I have to admit this one gives me a bit of anxiety already.)
  • Attend the Northern Colorado Writers Conference in Ft. Collins, CO in May.
  • Complete the project of finishing books three and four in the Melanie Hogan mysteries, Shear Malice and Shear Murder, in audio.
  • Work on learning and implementing some marketing techniques. I’ve never been comfortable with marketing and it’s time to step out of my comfort zone and just do it.
  • Teach a four to six-week creative writing class to kids ages 12-17. I’ve got the agenda and the location planned. I just need to schedule it.
  • Submit a short story to the Colorado’s Emerging Writers 2019 anthology.
  • Revise, edit, and publish book two in the Whispering Pines mystery.

Whew! I’ve got some work ahead of me. Work that will require cutting down on TV time. Ready! Set! Go!

Do you have any writing goals for 2019? I’d love to hear what they are.

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Jim Rohn

Rhonda Blackhurst

 

 

Thankful Thursday – Angels

An Angel.

Not in the heavenly form with wings and harps, but sent from heaven nonetheless. I’m referring to the special people God has strategically and perfectly placed in my life at the exact moment and purpose that He knew I needed. Those who have made a lasting impact and imprint on my heart, each planting a lasting seed creating the most beautiful flower garden in my heart.
Using first names to personalize, omitting last so as not to “over”-personalize, these people have made my life an amazing journey.

Lisa was a dear friend back in high school. We won’t say exactly how far back. We didn’t have a lot in common and hung around with only a couple of the same people, but I always admired her honesty and standing firm in who she was, and how she always stayed true to herself and her values. That has stayed with me thirty-some years later.

Mr. Rudy, my high school Prose Forms and Creative Writing teacher, taught me the beauty of words, how to connect those words to create beautiful sentences, and how to create stories. He taught me how to appreciate books of all different genres and to think through the characters’ view.

Pam played an instrumental role in my life as she pulled away from our life of parties and drinking fun to that of sobriety and faith. And still much fun. 🙂  Pam had a zest for life and passion for God unmatched by anyone I’ve known. She showed me how to beat an addiction and be truly happy can happen if we keep our focus on God. And years later, as I worked to beat my own addiction, her example still remains fresh in my mind.

Lynne was in my life for a short time, but that time was filled with the power of God and prayer, finding the positive in every situation. The most memorable lesson she taught me? When she was upset or frustrated with her husband she would vent in a way that would not criticize harshly or paint him in a negative light. She would always follow it up with, “But he’s my husband and I love him,” and a giant, genuine smile. Lynne carried me through some of my toughest life-changing events that had I not had her support, I surely would have crumbled. She was a pillar of strength and my rock.

Becky taught me compassion for those with mental illness as I watched her battle bi-polar disorder. She had the most beautiful heart and spirit, loved her family more than anything in the world, and nothing made her happier than to give to others and to make them happy. When she walked into a room, she radiated beauty from inside and out. Ironically, she also taught me the value of life when hers tragically ended. She was, and continues to be, my light.

Ben and Alex (yes, my precious boys) have taught me how powerful the love is between a mother and child. How it feels to say you would give your very own life for another in a heartbeat, and mean it more than you’ve ever meant anything. Ever. They have taught me how to keep giving something to God as I lift them up to Him and take them back again–daily–foolishly thinking I’m the one that keeps them safe. They have taught me about joy, laughter, milestones, and pure, unselfish love.

Clint (my amazing husband) is the life partner I have always dreamed of in a spouse since as far back as I can remember. He has taught me work ethic, the value of family, and a strong belief system. He has taught me it’s okay to take time out, to take a vacation, and how having your spouse as your best friend makes daily life so fulfilling and a beautiful ride. He has encouraged me to pursue my dreams and interests that he knew were so important to me, always my biggest fan.

Nikki has taught me how to live life on life’s terms as it unfolds and as it is given to me rather than how I want it to be. Watching her display such grace as she has struggled through tragedy and some of the worst times of her life has taught me that serenity truly is possible in the midst of life’s trauma and drama. She has taught me true humility and the power of friendship.

Tiffany has taught me by beautiful example how to truly care and listen to another, being 100% present for whoever I’m with. She models beautiful, simple and unwavering faith, as well as wellness of mind and body.

I pray I remain open to God’s calling and to be led to the lives of those He chooses.  I pray that I may be an angel to another, making a lasting impact on those He leads me to, as my angels have been to me.

White Ox-eye daisy flower, Wellington, New Zealand

Daisies. That’s the flower I would like to plant in the hearts of those I touch. They’re known to represent simplicity, loyalty, and purity. And they’re strong. Yes, that’s the seed I want to plant.

All is Grace.