Monday, August 30, 2010

New Goals

Here on the west coast of British Columbia, it's still officially summer but you can feel that first breath of fall in the air in the early mornings. My house is filled with new school clothes and untouched school supplies. This is a big year for two of my three still-at-home children; one is entering Grade 12 and my youngest is starting high school. It's my favourite time of year and the time, every year, that I get a fresh burst of energy.

Energy is good. Energy should be used. Although I could use this time pursuing my dream of an impossibly high Bejewelled Blitz score (a highly-addictive game on Facebook for those of you who don't know), I've decided to set myself some writing goals.

First, although I have people in my life encouraging me to take my writing seriously, I have no dedicated space for writing. As my earning are allowing me to shoulder more and more of my share of family expenses, I've decided my writing deserves I treat it with more respect. Up until now, I've been writing in my bedroom with my laptop balanced on my lap. This is about to change.

One room in my house (more one half of a room to be honest) is going to hold a big wooden desk I've had for years. This desk needs to be cleaned and repainted, but I have a plan. I'm going to get a huge bulletin board to hang on the wall and a set of shelves to hold all my writing extras. These are books I use for research, pictures I use for inspiration and everything else writing -related. The room itself is going to get repainted and I'm looking at a new floor and new lighting. When I'm done, I'll have a space I'm happy with and more importantly, a space dedicated to writing.

I've booked myself a few days away at the end of September for a small writing retreat (my first!) As a result, I 'm determined to write 2,000 words a day five days a week for the next few weeks until I leave. I want to go off to my cabin with a finished manuscript so that I can take that time for a final review and move on to the next stage. It will also allow me to start work on a new book which is pounding insistently at the back of my head.

I'm not expecting either of these goals to be easy ones to accomplish. I'm sure I'll have good days and bad days. But I am determined! If I succeed, I may treat myself to a lovely stuffed dragon to sit atop my new shelves. I think it might be appropriate.

Does this time of year fill you with new goals and aspirations? Is it your New Year as well?


  1. Those are great writing goals. I haven't made any new writing goals but I should.


  2. Congratulations on just EVERYTHING in this post! Especially on giving your writing the respect it deserves. You'll love your new space. I totally get that new idea hammering away. It's happening to me, too, and I'm a long way yet from completing revisions on the current one.

  3. Elspeth - I am so happy for you that you've decided to focus on your writing and give it the attention and care and respect it well deserves. Good for you!

    It's funny - I always feel renewed at this time of year. I love the snap of autumn air and the sense of new beginnings. I don't know if it's the years I've spent in education, where fall always brings a new year, or something else. But I know exactly what you mean.

  4. Clarissa; Do it in your own time. For's time.

    Carol; THANK YOU!! I just need to get a move on. I'm hoping I'll love my new space as well. I just wish I had the funds for someone else to do all the physical work. I'm great at supervising!

    Margot; I'm sure it's to do with the school year for me too. I think when we spent so many of our formative years in the rhythms of a school year it's a hard habit to break! Being a professor though, you're still attuned.

  5. Yes, the beginning of the school year always signals new beginnings for me. It is also actually the time of the Jewish New Year. Congratulations on claiming a space for your writing and making it happen. You deserve it, and the time you will give yourself on retreat.

  6. A new writing place...a writing retreat...and complete absence from Bejeweled Blitz...I see a novel in the making! Jealous and congrats. :)

    Southern City Mysteries

  7. Karen; Of course, it actually is New Year for some! Thank you for your kind words.

    Michele; Let's hope you're right!

  8. I always find it easier to get serious in the cooler weather.
    Success with your goals and retreat.

  9. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your new office. If you can't find a big bulletin board, build one. My husband made one for my office. It's eight feet wide and three feet tall. I love it.

  10. Mary; Thanks for your good wishes and you're right, it IS easier to be productive in cooler weather!

    Helen; I should post pictures once it's done - what a good idea. Your bulletin board sounds wonderful. I'm not sure how large mine will be, but I know it ain't gonna be small.

  11. Wonderful! Your writing space should get the attention it deserves! Yes, pictures, please.

    I recently put a bulletin board up, although not nearly the size of Helen's (but she is in TX!) and it's great.

  12. Sounds like you're well on your way! And yes... pictures! I'm very envious of your writing retreat. I should see about sneaking away on one of my own one of these days.

  13. Congratulations on treating the writer in you to some special treats. I think this always pleases an author's muse.

  14. Good for you! Everyone deserves a room of her and his own. Especially hard-working parents who are also writers!

    I get my burst of energy in late spring and summer. That's my "new year." I do enjoy fall, though! But when it starts getting cold, I start slowing down. I thrive in the sun and warmth.

    Have fun making your writing room your own! Good luck with your goals. You can do it!!!

  15. It's true. There's something about fall that gets me going again. I'm a slug in the summertime, but love fall and winter. You have great plan for your writing space. You'll love it!


  16. Elspeth, this is wonderful! Good for you! I wish you the best of luck with your writing and your writing space.

  17. Great goals. We're going through our first year in a new place, so we don't know much about when seasons change, or what to expect. It's great fun starting virtually from scratch. And with no kids around anymore, and no day jobs, there aren't those markers of time passing. Heck, the school bus route changed so I don't even hear them come by!
    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery


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