Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Focus Pocus


Wish I could wave a magic wand and make my next post appear, but that's not going to happen. Just like everything in life nothing gets done until you sit down and do it. At the beginning of 2016, members of my critique group decided to share their writing goals. My goal was to post a memoir piece once a month on the subject of autism in our family and to bring it to the group for their review. It seemed like an attainable goal. I figured by the end of the year there would be 12 perfectly polished pieces I could combine into a book. Exciting, eh?

Focus pocus! Another deadline bumped me off my mark. Submissions were due for the 2016 Redwood Writers Club anthology. While considering the opportunity to see my words in print, I felt pangs of guilt because I would lose focus on my New Year's goal. How could I justify the delay?

Are you thinking what's the big deal? It's only a few weeks, a month? No. How about forever? I have seen my writing evaporate the second I stop thinking about it. Try to remember a dream after you wake up. The more time that elapses the harder it is.

On the other hand, I knew what a great opportunity this would be. I could work with an editor for free! Editors aren't cheap. It's also a nice feeling to be able to contribute to the club. The anthologies raise funds.

I'm happy to report my piece was accepted. Wonderful. I was not happy to see how much editing the story needed to produce it for a page. But, with great relief, I finished my second draft. I'm hoping there won't be much of a third. We'll see. Maybe I can rescue that fragment of my 2016 dream after all.

In other news, I also belong to our Napa Valley Writers Club and they just celebrated their four-year anniversary. Guess what? They are in the process of planning a maiden edition of their anthology. Should I submit? Of course. Focus Pocus!

8 comments:

barb bits said...

This was a comment sent in an email from Marilyn:

Barbara,
This was a good topic for your blog, one with which we writers are familiar. Establishing goals is easy. Completing them, not so much. But, you can’t stop everything and miss new opportunities. I’m glad that you submitted to the anthology, even though it may have set you back a little in completing twelve perfect columns for a book. You’ll pick up the pace again when circumstances are right. I have faith in you.
Marilyn

barb bits said...

Thanks for the email, Marilyn. I'm glad you agree. Anthologies have always been a good experience for me. Free writing coaches! So glad you have faith in me. Me appreciates that.

Kathleen Thomas said...

Writers write and write and write and write....do I need to say more? Congrats on all you've accomplished and what you'll see completed by the end of the year.... in time to start a new year :-)

barb bits said...

Thank you, Kathy. Same, same to you. I'm eager to see what is new with you too. B.

barb bits said...


This email from Patsy:

I loved the post. I agree that it's hard to stay focused on one project when there are so any opportunities to write.
Keep going, girl, you will finish your book.

barb bits said...

Thank you, Patsy. I’m thinking this occurs in all aspects of life. Choose wisely, I say. I appreciate your support. B.

Laura McHale Holand said...

I loved being able to read a little slice from your writing life. You provide a refreshing touch to the topic of goals bumped aside.

barb bits said...

Thanks, Laura. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. The writing life provides for a whole slue of bumpy rants.