If you haven’t already done it, go and rip the month of January from your calendar!
That right…one month over and gone! Hard to believe…and January was one of the long ones.
Many of us make resolutions or do goal-setting at the beginning of every year – but often, after a couple of weeks, life gets in the way and those resolutions fall by the wayside and those goals remain unreached.
That’s why I’m so very excited to have Alayne Kay Christian here today as my guest for Goal Busters.
I met Alayne through our common interest in writing for children – you will find her in just about every kid lit writing challenge out there – many times as an ‘expert witness’ so to speak. She’s an award-winning children’s author, life coach, founder of Sub Six, does awesome professional manuscript critiques (I can vouch for that) and so much more – scroll down to the end of the post to read her bio and find out how to connect with this amazing lady.
Welcome, Alayne! I’m thrilled to have you here today.
Thank you, Vivian, for inviting me to be a goal buster. I have decided to only share some of my bigger goals for 2014. If I shared all my goals, this post would become a total bore. I love goals that provide their own rewards. So, when it comes to rewards, you will notice that in most cases my rewards come from the satisfaction of achieving my goal.
Alayne’s workspace, where some of the writing magic happens.
What: Get at least one book sold this year.
How: Keep polishing my manuscripts and subbing to my agent. As part of my polishing goal, I will continue studying, learning and improving my craft. I will do this mainly through reading. I also plan to study picture books using them as mentor texts, which I learned about from Marcie Flinchum Atkins. I only plan to take one course this year, and that will be Renée LaTulippe’s soon to be launched online poetry course. Although, I have some curiosity about Katie Davis’s Video Idiot Boot Camp, but cash flow will determine that one.
Reward: Getting the contract when my book(s) is/are sold will be the only reward I will need.
What: Focus more on writing and less on fun distractions.
How: Evaluate, and remain aware of, how I am spending my time. Where are the hours going? Eliminate or minimize the non-productive activities and distractions. Develop a plan using smart goals. Included in this plan are specific hours dedicated strictly to writing. I am also using Marcie Flinchum Atkins’s goal setting and organization forms that she offers on her blog. And I recently discovered a great way to create visual cues to remind me of my writing goals. I have used vision boards in my personal life and in life coaching. I have used mind mapping to brainstorm writing ideas and flesh out stories. But I never thought of using these things as a way to create visual cues for my specific writing goals. To see an example of what has me all fired up visit “Writers on the Move.” I also plan to keep an eye on kidlit411for resources and opportunities to learn. They are constantly adding new links.
Reward: The satisfaction of being more productive as a writer is a big reward. For me, another reward is getting time to chat with writing friends on Facebook and catch up with what is happening in the community. I enjoy doing that but find it is a distraction that gets in the way of my writing. So allowing myself time to chat and catch up, after my daily goal is achieved, is a nice reward.
What: Double my number of blog followers by the end of the year.
How: I think my new blog series, ALL ABOUT SUBMISSIONS, will attract more followers, as it is providing valuable information to writers. I plan to do my Grandparent’s Day writing contest again this year. I will continue to do my best to provide content that people find worthwhile. And I will be offering more posts this year.
Reward: Seeing the number of followers double and knowing I am helping other writers will be reward enough.
What: Write at least one rhyming picture book in 2014.
How: Take Renée LaTulippe’s soon to be launched online poetry course. I am a beta student for this course, but I will also be repeating the course because it is so good.
Reward: The satisfaction of knowing I conquered something that I never believed I could do. What a thrill!
What: I would love to go to the LA SCBWI conference this year.
How: Since funds are the determining factor, I’m still working on that one.
Reward: Getting there!
What: Focus on maintaining balance between my personal life and my writing life.
How: Exercise four days a week and lose an undisclosed amount of weight. I have gone back to good ol’ fashion calorie counting. I’m using the My Fitness Pal app and I love it.
Reward: Seeing the numbers drop on the scale, feeling lighter, eliminating and/or avoiding medication, lowering my cholesterol, and so on will be a great reward. But I think it will be fun to update my wardrobe, so shopping will be my bonus reward.
What: This one is for both my writing life and my personal life. Continue practicing saying no to myself and to others.
How: Remember when I say yes to one thing, I am saying no to another, and when I say no to one thing, I am saying yes to another. Listen to my body’s cues. They are very strong. And when I pay attention, I know when it is time to say “no.” Click here to find my blog post that includes a worksheet for evaluating your yes and your no. Scroll down to the section titled LET YOUR YEAH MEAN YEAH AND YOUR NO MEAN NO.
Reward: A stress free life!
Alayne…thank you so very much! You’ve got BIG goals…but you’ve also got specific plans to get to each of them. I know everyone appreciates how you laid out the goal, the steps and the reward – everything becomes more reachable and realistic.
As promised, here’s a little more about Alayne – they say when you need something done, ask the busiest person around because they will know how…I think Alayne fits the bill, don’t you?
Alayne Kay Christian is an award-winning children’s book author, a certified life coach and a blogger. Her independently published picture book, “Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa,” Blue Whale Press, LLC, received the Mom’s Choice Awards gold medal and an IPPY Awards silver medal.
The newly released anthology, “Jingle Bells: Tales of Holiday Spirit from Around the World,” Melusine Muse Press, includes two short stories by Alayne, “Christmas Spirit” and “Christmas in June.”
Alayne is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL) course in Writing for Children and Teenagers. After nomination by the ICL faculty, Alayne also completed their advanced course in Writing and Selling Children’s Books. She has studied picture book writing with Anastasia Suen; Making Picture Book Magic with Susanna Leonard Hill; and completed Mira Reisberg’s and Marsha Diane Arnold’s Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture books course through The Picture Book Academy.
Alayne is a member of the SCBWI. She is an active participant in the 12 x 12 writing community, an annual participant in the Picture Book Idea Month challenge and a member of many other writing groups. She is the founder and administrator of Sub Six, a Facebook group intended for supporting and motivating picture book writers with their submission goals.
After twelve years of helping women move toward their desired lives, Alayne recently hung up her life coaching hat to focus 100% on her writing, Alayne often combines her coaching skills with her writing knowledge when writing blog posts.
If you’d like to connect with Alayne and/or learn more about her books – and I highly recommend you do both, click on the links below:
Good luck with your goals, Alayne. I have no doubt you will meet them. You have defined the What and How so clearly.
Pingback: S-M-A-R-T GOALS | Alayne Kay Christian
Thanks, Penny. If the first goal is realized, my year will be complete 🙂
Vivian, thank you for making me look so good 😉 I appreciate your constant support and friendship.
It is I who must thank you, Alayne! You bring tremendous value with every post you do.:) Thank you for sharing your goals and plans here.:)
Excellent post, Vivian and Alayne! One of my writing friends is a retired psychiatric nurse who swears that February is a much better month than January to have resolutions, especially writing resolutions and goals. She has all kinds of support for this, but her #1 “proof” is that she has sold more articles and short stories she began and finished in February than any other month.
I’m sending this link to the members of the writing workshop I taught in January to encourage them to try some of your excellent suggestions, especially the life, health and writing balance wheels.
Good job, ladies. Thank you.
Hi Marylin…thanks so much for passing along Alayne’s wonderful time tips and resources. I’m glad you enjoyed the post…I always appreciate your support and encouragement!
Great post! Good luck on your goals, Ms. Christian! 😀
Thank you, Erik! Ms. Christian’s resources are fantastic…I know they will help all of us.:)
“Focus more on writing and less on fun distractions.”
I’m just the opposite . . . I focus more on fun distractions and less on writing these days.
Good luck with your goals.
No matter where you are focusing, Nancy, your writing is always tops!
Nice post. Those goals are terrific, and also ambitious. I also took the ICL course on Writing for Children and Teens and think that one course is a life-changer. Alayne, you have taken a lot of courses, which I admire about you. Always learning is something we all talk about but do not always follow through on. Time is a problem, but you’ve shown me it only looks like it is a problem if I let it be one. That will have to change. Thank you for inspiring me.
So glad you stopped by to read Alayne’s valuable post! She also did one for Doris K Stones Fearless February writing challenge where she gives a time exercise…I did it and found out that I am planning 127 hours of activities in the space of only 98 hours…hmmmm….something’s gotta give, I think. Here is the link to that: http://doriskstone.weebly.com/1/post/2014/02/guest-post-alayne-kay-christian.html
it was an eye-opening revelation.:)
Your goals and achievements are super, Alayne. Congratulations. I bet Renee’s course is fabulous and I too would like to do the Video Idiot Boot Camp this year :0)
Catherine…I was thrilled to have Alayne participate…she’s got some great goals…more than that, she knows specifically what she is going to do to reach each one.:) And Katie’s Video Idiot Boot Camp would probably be good for all of us…to get us over our fears of video stuff.:)
Hi Vivian and Alayne.
Wow, I’m going to keep this post and check out each link you’ve offered by way of Alayne.
And Susanna, (er, I mean Phyllis) sure received a lot of great submissions.:-)
Glad Alayne’s post will be helpful…her resource links are fantastic…I need to go to Marcie’s worksheets and use them.:) Here’s the time-management/exercise post that Alayne did: http://doriskstone.weebly.com/1/post/2014/02/guest-post-alayne-kay-christian.html.
Wasn’t that an amazing fashion show?
LOL – “undisclosed amount of weight” :). I’m definitely suffering from cabin fever in freezing Colorado – but, leaves me with no excuses to write. Thanks Alayne, for sharing your goals!
Hey Sheri…so glad you came by to enjoy Alayne’s post…I need to go over to the link she gave for Marcie’s worksheets…they sound really helpful.:)
Alayne is definitely an inspirational source of positive energy!
Her time exercise has really helped me put my finger on where I am spending my time…the first step toward making a better schedule. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post, Cathy!
You never cease to amaze me, Alayne. I want to be just like you when I grow up! Thanks for sharing, Vivian! :0)
I was so happy when Alayne agreed to do the Goal Buster’s spot this month! She’s really got her finger on time-management skills…glad you enjoyed the share, Donna.:)
Alayne, I don’t know what I like most about this post. Is it the “lower your standards” mug? Is it the “undisclosed amount of weight”? Is it the saying no? Is it the sunny room where I can imagine you tapping away or maybe critiquing one of my stories or offering one of your invaluable bits of calming, level-headed advice. It’s all those things. You truly are an inspiring influence on me!
Thank you, Vivian, for this wonderful series and for featuring Alayne!
Very concrete, measurable and achievable. Go, you, Alayne!