Tuesday, July 1, 2014


by Ursula Renée

I recently participated in a thirty-day squat challenge. For one month, I did a series of squats for four days and on the fifth day I rested. Thanks to the encouragement of my family and friends, I stuck with the challenge. And, though I did not walk away with buns of steel, I did lose an inch from each of my problem areas.

Besides helping me get in shape, the challenge taught me a few lessons that can be applied to anyone pursuing a career in writing.

1. Set realistic goals. It is fine for a person to say she wants to lose weight. However, if she tries to lose too much too quickly, she will either damage her health or quit when she does not see the results she wants.

Many authors have other jobs, family obligations and life to deal with. Someone who already has a lot on her plate may not have the extra time needed to complete four novels in a year. Therefore, she would end up frustrated and probably quit if she did not meet her deadlines.

A more realistic goal would be to try and complete one novel a year. This would cause less stress and allow the author to enjoy the process. Once the novel is completed and published, the she can decide whether or not she can complete several novels in a year.

2. Focus on the short-term goals. The ultimately goal of a workout may be to help the participant lose weight or get in shape. However, instead of stating she wants to lose twenty-five pounds in a year, she may want to break it down even further and focus on losing two pounds a month.

Being a multiple published author in five years is a good goal. Yet, five years is a long ways away and could be hard to see the finish line. By breaking the overall goal into smaller, short-term goals an author will have different things to work towards. And, if she rewards herself when she completes a task, she will have something else to look forward to.

3. Vary routines. Doing the same routine day in and day out can become tedious. After a while, it becomes a chore to start the activity. Eventually, the participant may decide she would rather do something more interesting, like watch her grass grow, than continue.

Someone finds sticking to a firm schedule of writing 1000 to 1500 words difficult, she may try varying her routine. She could try writing 1000 words one night. On another night, she may conduct research.

4. Take a break. Work-out routines usually include setting aside a day or two to rest in order to give the body time to heal.

The brain also needs an occasional day off. Therefore, instead of trying to live up to the old adage of writers must write every day, an author should enjoy a day off to read a good book, watch a television show or work on a hobby. Taking the break will help clear the mind, which will also help an author work through problem areas in her work-in-progress.♥

Ursula Renée is the President of RWA/NYC. Her historical romance, SWEET JAZZ, will be published by The Wild Rose Press. When she is not writing, she enjoys photography, drawing and stone carving. Visit her at www.ursularenee.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment