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Easy Goal Setting for Everyone by Kitty Bucholtz

January 18, 2017 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing: It's a Business tagged as , , , , ,
Welcome to 2017! 
It’s January, and you know what that means: time to plan your goals for the year. Right?
Don’t Be Discouraged!
Depending on how well last year’s goal setting went, this might be easier said than done. Maybe you’ve tried a lot of ways to plan and they haven’t turned out very well. The biggest thing to remember is to find a method that works for you.
I’ve been teaching a time management and goal setting class for the last eight or nine years (not this January, as I’m busy living and writing books in New Zealand!), and there are a couple of things I’ve found that seem to work for most people.
Write It Down
The first thing you need is a list. Write down every single goal you have for your life this year . . . personal, financial, spiritual, career or writing-related . . . anything at all, write it down. This is your Goals Master List.
It may take you a day or a week to get everything written down, but once you think you’ve got it all, go through and circle the five most important goals. These will be your Primary Goals for the year.
Now go through and underline the next five most important goals. These will be your Secondary Goals for the year.
Move Some Goals to Next Year
Look at the rest of the items on your Goals Master List. Does it seem like there is more than you can do this year? Let me give you a hint: the answer is almost always yes. If there is anything that you are willing to put off until next year, get another piece of paper and move these onto your 2018 Goals Master List.
Now you have your primary goals, your secondary goals, and your extra goals. The idea is that you will work on your five primary goals first, and when they are accomplished you will work on your secondary goals. Then, if you get all of your primary and secondary goals accomplished this year, you’ll work on your extra goals.
Rearrange Some Goals
If, when looking at your lists, you feel like this won’t work for you, then you probably need to move some of your goals around. That doesn’t mean adding more than five to the primary or secondary lists but simply exchanging one goal for another more important one.
Congratulations! You have your 2017 goals list!
Fewer Goals, Better Chance You’ll Achieve Them
Another way to do this, which arguably might be more achievable, is to look at your goals master list and choose no more than 7 to 10 goals for the whole year. That’s it. You can work at each of them a little at a time or work at one all the way through, it’s up to you. If you want, you can choose two or three extras that you will begin working on only when you finish the most important 7 to 10 goals.
Go back to your original goals master list and try the second method. Now, look at both final lists. Which one speaks to you more? Which one excites you more? That’s the one you should type up and print out.
Or if you’re feeling artistic, rewrite it with colored pencils and pens and stickers and make it beautiful.
A Daily Reminder to Keep You on Track
Post it on your wall, someplace where you’ll see it often, and make sure to look at it every day.
If you haven’t started your goal setting for this year, or if you feel overwhelmed by the thought of it or the thought of failing to achieve your goals, give this a try.
Then post a comment below or write me an email and let me know how it went. I know you can do this!

I’m super excited about 2017. It’s going to be a great year!

[Follow my post next week on Planning Your 2017 Calendar on Writer Entrepreneur Guides!]

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon . The free short story Superhero in Disguise  and the new short story Welcome to Loon Lake are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.

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Compete with Yourself and Win by Kitty Bucholtz

February 10, 2016 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , ,

Everyone has a few personal tips and tricks to help them write more, and most people are willing to try something new to see if it helps. I’ve found a good number of people respond well to a healthy fun competition, but sometimes I start feeling bad if I compare myself to someone who always seems “ahead of me.”

Therefore, just in case it’s helpful to you, I wanted to let you know about a quick and easy writing competition you can have with yourself. (Compete with your friends if it doesn’t make anyone feel bad!)

Over ten years ago, I found this “Don’t Break the Chain Calendar” on the Writers Store website. In the description, it says that Jerry Seinfeld once said that he would write a big “X” on every day that he wrote new material…and so this calendar was eventually born.

It has 365 numbered squares on it so you can start any day of the year on square 1. The idea is to get the longest chain of X’s you can. I actually like to use gold stars that teachers put on school children’s homework.  😉  It’s fun to see the line of stars growing. Miss a day or three? Just go to the next appropriate square and start again. If you play the Settlers of Catan board game, it’s like getting the prize for building the longest road. Haha!

One of the nicest things about the Don’t Break the Chain Calendar is that Writers Store offers it as a free PDF download! (Check out the rest of the site – cool stuff!) You can also use a regular printed calendar, but you won’t be able to see as clearly how long your chain grows over time.

Cheap, easy, and motivational – just the kind of “write more” writer’s trick you needed, right? 🙂

Kitty Bucholtz

 

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon. The free short story “Superhero in Disguise” and the new short story “Welcome to Loon Lake” are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.

 

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Going the Distance Time Management Class by Kitty Bucholtz

January 9, 2016 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , , , ,

I’m super excited to announce that my annual goal setting and time management class for writers is about to start up again! And in lucky year seven (can you believe I’ve been teaching this for seven years?!) I’m creating a new website and making an important change to the class.

The lessons will continue to be the same – helping you figure out your goals for the year, breaking them down into pieces for each month, and plotting everything on a calendar so you can be sure you have enough time for everything you’ve planned – but I’m also adding six (6) monthly live video calls to help you stay on track.

No matter how well we plan our days, something always comes up to knock us off balance, a little or a lot. Having someone there to help you set things straight again, to re-evaluate and restart your plan, is sometimes the difference between spinning your wheels and getting back on the horse (to mix some transportation metaphors 😉 ).

With this new version of the class, you won’t be left to your own devices. We’ll work to keep you on track for six full months! By then, you’ll for sure know what to do when things come up during the last six months of the year. Excellent!

The sign-up page is almost ready – I’ll edit this post in a few days when the link is live. If you have any questions about the class, please email me at kitty@kittybucholtz.com. I look forward to helping you make 2016 your best year ever!

Kitty Bucholtz

 

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon. The free short story “Superhero in Disguise” and the new short story “Welcome to Loon Lake” are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.

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IT’S NOT PERSONAL, BUT IT SHOULD BE

December 15, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,
This morning I received three emails.
One was from a lady who in Scotland who read one of my books and joined my fan page. She wanted me to know how much she appreciated waking up and finding that I had responded to her messages.
 The second was from a man in Australia who sent me a list of things he liked about Silent Witness. He highlighted sentences that he particularly liked, but at the end of his note he said “thank you for making Hannah so intelligent.”
The third was from the woman who wrote me my first fan letter. We’ve been pen pals for 28 years. Now we communicate on the computer, but every once in a while we still send one another a card, remember birthdays, the holidays and share information on grandchildren (hers since I only have a grand dog).
The point is that what authors do is extremely personal. It begins with our characters. If we don’t feel them in our souls and translate that feeling into words on the page, our books will be enjoyed but not treasured. When we do make that magic happen and a reader reaches out, opening a personal dialogue with them will make a reader into a fan. In some wonderful instances our efforts also create a friend. 
Here are my top five rules of engagement:
1)   Know the personal history and habits of every character in your book and write as if you live and die with them.
2) When a fan writes, write back with more than a thank you. Acknowledge that you appreciate the time they took to write to you. I am always excited when someone takes the time to read my work; that they go the extra step is like having a cheerleader in my corner. I want them to know that.
3) Start a personal dialogue slowly. There are those fans that would like more of your time than others and those who wish to have a more personal relationship than you might be willing to enter into. It is up to you to set the parameters. For the most part, though, these relationships will be casual, fun and fulfilling for both sides.
4) If a reader contacts you about something in your book that touched them, expound on what got you to that place. For instance, Hostile Witness was inspired by a case my husband handled. As a criminal judge, he sentenced a sixteen-year-old boy to life in adult prison. The character, Hannah, and the plot of that book were based on this experience. It is a bit of personal information that is not too intimate but is interesting to readers.
5) Truly enjoy your interaction with readers, other authors and reviewers. Never look at it as a chore.
We are, perhaps, the luckiest people in the world. Despite the fact that our profession is solitary, the result of our labor is a book that reaches hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. When they reach back, that is the hallmark of success. Embrace real life dialogue; it is part of the joy of writing.

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Make Your Own Luck

February 19, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , ,

Monica Stoner, Member at Large

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the ‘luck’ intrinsic for success in the publishing world. And it sounds like a great discussion.  Except, well…hogwash.  Yeah, you heard me right, that’s pretty much a lot of bilge water emptying into the ocean.  Sure there’s luck involved.  Absolutely some writers just happen on to the right publisher, the right agent, at the right time.  But, as Harry Stone (Night Court…remember him?) pointed out, he might have been on the bottom of the list of judges to appoint, but he was on the list.  He had done the work and made the effort to qualify for that list.
By the same token, we can gag at the overwhelming popularity of writers whose books just aren’t that good, at least in our educated minds. We can point fingers at the lack of logic, or the grammar issues, but the fact is they’ve written those books, generally a lot of those books. And those books are what their fans want to be reading. While we’re stressing over the poor writing, they’ve written another book, and again it’s at the top of the Amazon rankings.
Maybe luck does have something minor part to play in readers enjoying their work.  But luck has nothing to do with them producing that work. As much as we want to bow down to our muse, or curse the lack thereof, the relevant issue here is just plain hard work. They possess a work ethic that has them at the keyboard early and late, that doesn’t allow them to check e-mail or cruise Facebook until their pages are done, and their word count is met.  Are they the best writers in the universe? Maybe, maybe not. But if quality of writing is based on the books which are written, and not those being mulled over in the mind of the writer…then yeah they probably are.
Okay, this is a bit of a whine since my work ethic is pretty much down the tubes. But I’m giving up complaining about luck, and even being envious of someone else’s ability to get things done. All of this produces artificial road blocks to accomplishing any sort of goal…and I’m getting a lot better at setting those goals.  Who’s ready to start that journey of a million words with me???

I realize I’m late putting fingers on keyboard and sharing this month’s thoughts. If you have just a minute more I need to share my thoughts on the loss of a wonderful woman who believed in me when I didn’t always believe in myself. Simply said, be at peace Barbara.  You touched so many lives.

Monica writes as Mona Karel

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