Those who have been following my blog and/or social media profile for a while know that I’m a writer and I’ve been seeking publication for several years. Actually, it’s been almost six years since I participated in my first pitch contest and submitted a story proposal to an editor. Back in 2013, I had no idea the up and down, rollercoaster ride I’d just hopped on. The joys. The heartache. The feelings of accomplishment. The self-doubt that says it’s time to end the journey. The burning desire that says never give up…the dream is obtainable…the prize is in sight.
I’d have to say my biggest struggle when it comes to achieving my goal of publication is finding enough time for writing. I think this is probably something a lot of writers struggle with, especially if they work a full-time job and have a family. Well, I think I finally have the answer!
This past week, I was introduced to the Kanban Board during a Zoom presentation by Sherri Shackelford for Faith, Hope, & Love members. Talk about a lightbulb moment! So simple, yet, so effective.
Note: Each sticky note on my board equals one hour of time.
I only have a small dry erase board at my house so I’m going to be working in two week increments for now. I’ve divided my board into four vertical sections and three horizontal sections. The vertical sections are a ‘parking lot’ for things I will address at a later date and three goals (WiP, Blog/Social Media, Contests/Other). Each goal has sticky notes to represent tasks that need to be completed. The horizontal sections represent things I need to accomplish during the two week period (top section), things I’ll work on this week (middle section), and things I’ve accomplished (bottom section). The goal is to move all of the sticky notes from the top section to the bottom section by the end of the two weeks. Isn’t that so simple? I’ve always been a visual learner, so this concept plays to my strengths to help me be more productive.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have more goals to move. 🙂
For the past four years, instead of making New Year resolutions, I’ve been choosing a word of focus. Previous year words have included INSPIRE, BELIEVE, and TRUST.
My 2019 word is BREATHE. I chose this word because I have a tendency to stress about things that I don’t have control over. When in reality, what I should do is stop, breathe, and pray.
Photo by Nine Köpfer on Unsplash
I’ve spent the last few days trying to come up with a title for this post. Something that could convey my feelings after attending the 2018 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in Nashville, TN, this past weekend. This morning, as I was driving to work, the perfect word came to mind…Renewed.
After four days with my writing peeps, I have a renewed sense of purpose. I am energized and motivated, and I am ready to continue climbing the mountains that litter the path on my journey to publication.
Keynote Speaker Debbie Macomber
My sweet friend, author Dana R Lynn
My dear friend, author Tina Radcliffe – ACFW Mentor of the Year
I have no way of knowing how much longer it will be before I reach my goal of a first sale. The journey won’t be easy. I’m sure I’ll continue to make mistakes along the way, and sometimes, I’ll fall short of my goals. That’s okay, as long as I keep going and don’t give up.
I just need to remember to take time to relax and enjoy new adventures.
We stayed at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort.
We ate delicious food.
This was really good but it had an unexpected ‘kick’ of cayenne pepper.
I also need to remember I’m not alone in this journey. I’m surrounded by writing friends who encourage me and help me continue when the going gets tough.
I am blessed with a wonderful group of writing sisters and friends. (L-R Sharee Stover, Tina Radcliffe, Patti Jo Moore, Cindy Regnier, me)
I am blessed! I am Renewed!
Have you ever planned to do something only to get busy with life and before you know it months (maybe even years) have passed and you still hadn’t done that important thing you meant to “find time” for?
Photo by Jiyeon Park on Unsplash
Prioritize the things that are important and make the time for them. Make time to play catch with your son. Make time to have a tea party with your daughter. Make time to visit aging parents and grandparents. Make time to travel. Make time to chase your dream (whether it be writing a novel or hiking the Appalachian Trail from end to end). Right now. Before time gets away from you.
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
Five years ago this month, I made the decision to write a book and pursue my thirty plus year dream of becoming a published author. The decision was made after I stumbled upon a writing contest being hosted by my dream publisher. After telling my Mountain Man about the contest, he encouraged me to finally stop talking about writing a book “one day” and just do it. So, I did.
I wish I could say the road has been smooth and that I’ve reached my end goal of a writing contract, but I can’t. You see, the road has been full of detours and delays with some rocky trails along the way. In addition to being an aspiring author, I’m also a full-time middle school teacher, daughter, wife, mom, and grandmother.
You might be wondering what I’ve accomplished in five years. Well, I’ve written three complete manuscripts. Two of which went through multiple rounds of revisions with the editor before being rejected. The last rejection was received just last month.
Where do I go from here? Well, if I still hope to see my name on the cover of a book on a bookstore shelf, I only have one option. And that is to keep trying until I receive “the call” from an editor offering me a publishing contract. And even then it won’t be the end of my journey. It will simply be a new road.