I'm approaching another end of a quarter and am reevaluating my priorities. I do so every 3 months. I've decided to work up a mini-fix for the month of June because this quarter has been a wild one. I'm only 2 months into the quarter and it feels like it has lasted 6 months! I must step back and regroup so I can strengthen my focus. Basically, I'm de-cluttering my mind of useless stuff so I can tackle the important events coming up this month.
This quarter I started strong with an R&R out the door and the rest of the story to revise. It's been about 2 months since I sent the R&R out and I am in "wait mode." So much of this business is about waiting and being patient, but while writers wait we must do only one thing: write some more. So I finished the rest of the revision, sent it off to my CP, and tackled her critique 3 chapters at a time. I have three more chapters to go and I'm finished this round. That's on the table for the first part of this week.
While I revised this book, I entered another contest (which still requires an entry LOL), learned I finaled in the Fab Five, and attended a great workshop. I returned home in mid-April ready to work my tail off. Then the first detour in my road occurred. Sick kid. Mono. She's been home for about a month and a half now. I've got to admit, it's put a cramp in my writing style. You see, I am a bit spoiled. She's a teenager who drives so I was used to the days being mine to do my work. I had to work around her doctor appointments, caring for her, organizing school work, and canceling a lot of her "life" till she got well.
But as Nora Roberts says, glass balls are more important than rubber ones. My daughter's health, my daughter period, is glass. Fragile, precious glass I cherish. Writing will always come second to my child. Always. She needed me. I was there for her. I still am. I managed to revise a bit more, but a week after my child's diagnosis, the skies opened up and all he!! broke loose in Alabama. 28 tornadoes in 1 day. The most terrifying day ever. I don't think I'll ever forget the sirens, the dark skies, the sudden pop above my head after an eerie silence, or the complete sense of helplessness.
We were lucky. We didn't suffer any damage or injuries and I'm so grateful. But my writing did suffer a setback. Not just because of the time lost, but because my heart was aching. I was sore. Sad. I just wanted to reconnect with my friends. Talk. Sleep. Be still. Pray. And so I did. I gave myself permission to take a bit of a break.
I took a look at the crossroad in front of me and went left instead of right. I enjoyed the journey. I played with a new story idea, came up with plot points, index cards, and just had fun. I ignored the revision for a bit. And that was great. I reevaluated my future writing projects. I relaxed. Well, I relaxed for me. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a "relaxed" kind of gal. In the midst of all of this there was still the sick kid, still the doctor visits, still the desire to create, still the household to keep up, still the new diet to cook dozens of meals for......... and so the relaxation was more of a pit stop here and there punctuated with bursts of work.
Of course, my part of my idea of relaxing was to take a break from revisions and plan a new story. In the midst of story boarding my next novel, I managed to snag a couple of great editor and agent appointments at the RWA National Conference. Usually Nationals are in July, but this year the conference is June 28-July 2. I have very little time to prepare for it because of, oh, the above paragraphs. But that's okay. I can pull it off. I plan on pulling this off after I finish the first draft of my next book, and after I tour two more colleges with my darling teen (who is slowly mending despite another minor health setback).
See, this post is just a rambling thing about LIFE. Life is happening. All The Time. And somehow, we writers, we must continue to write despite the many distractions. And the only way I know how to do that is to have a plan. A map. Of course, the map can't prepare us for every detour and crossroad that comes our way, but it can give us a place to refer to when we get a little lost. And sometimes a new map needs to take the place of the old map.
That is what I am doing this week. I'm gearing up to make a new road map. I'm reevaluating my goals, my priorities, my ongoing "to-do" list.
How often do you reevaluate your goals? Do you tweak them regularly or only change them once a year?