Friday, June 10, 2011

Tina Gayle: Goals, Motivation and Conflict

Some of you might be thinking I’m going to talk about Debra Dixon’s book, but the same words can apply to developing the plan for your career.

Goals:  At the start of the New Year, we plan what we want to achieve.  It might be easy to come up with the goals but hard to achieve them.  After all, we only have twenty-four hours in a day, no more, no less. Yet, we all know people who seem to get it all done.

How you might ask?

Planning ahead and breaking things down into bite size pieces are the two best ways to achieve your goals.  Okay, your goal is to write four books this year. Impossible you might say.  But let’s break it down with a few questions:
How many pages can you write a day?
How long are the books?
How much time do you need to edit the book once it’s done?

Let’s say you want to write a 240 page book. You can squeeze out three pages a day with everything else you have to do.

Simple math 240/3 = 80 days.
You want to write 4 books x 80 days = 320
365 days in a year  - 320 = 45 days to do edits.

If you can edit each book in 11 days, you’ve made your goal with one day to spare.

Is this feasible for everything else you have to do?
What about other commitments?
Other objectives?
Will this fit in your over all scheme? What about promotion and blogging?
Can you make it happen by editing at odd times, like at your child’s soccer game?
How about writing more pages on weekends and take off time during the week.
If you plan ahead, set deadlines and make your objectives clear to your family and friends, you can make it happen.

Motivation and Conflict
These two things can kill a well laid out plan. If you are unmotivated to write or have some type of conflict, your writing can suffer. This is where you need to work some flexibility into your plan. 

Work in time for potential conflicts that might arise, if they don’t it’ll only give you more time to write.  We all have life outside of writing and things happen. Like our characters, conflict tests our resolve and the best way to work our way through it is by revising our goals and forgiving us for our shifts in priorities.

Finding motivation can also derail a plan. If you are worn out or struggling with other issues in your life; it can be difficult to sit your butt down in the chair and write. Again, give yourself a break and schedule a special treat for yourself like an hour in the tub with a glass of wine and scented candle. Remember to celebrate each victory that comes along and give yourself time to enjoy your accomplishments.

Hope all your dreams come true. 
With a little planning, they will.

After working twenty years in the business world, Tina Gayle decided to follow her passion and became a romance novelist. Now, she spends her days in front of a computer—crying, laughing, living in the world of her characters. Always working on perfecting her craft, Tina regularly studies writing through online courses and RWA conferences.


  1. What a great post. I'm forwarding this to a friend who is a true wonder and very prolific. Maybe after reading this she won't make the rest of us look so bad and we can catch up. I love the internal conflict of the writer. I feel that pain now. Sometimes its so hard to write when the one person you expect to help you only talks about others getting that call. I'm having a chopped liver morning as you can tell. This is wonderful thanks.


  2. Great post Tina! Thanks for sharing your insights. Looking at finishing a book is daunting, but when the process is broken down to just a few pages a day, suddenly it can seem doable.

  3. Wow, that really hit home! Thank you for the wisdom.

  4. Obe, someday you will be the person who gets the call. Just remember to break it down and take one step at a time - a journey not a marathon.

    Oh, Lizzie, thank you. I miss your insight into writing, life and the joy of cranking out those pages.

    Thanks, Sherri, you are the best.

  5. A big hug for Cheryl. Thanks for letting me visit your site. You inspire me to greatness...or at least through you I can see what it looks like.

  6. "breaking goals into bite sized pieces" -- well said, Tina! When you can break a goal (or scene) down into smaller tasks, it looks a whole lot more achievable. Hugs!