Writing life… making complicated decisions

The month of May was a big family month for me, and I combined that focus with taking a timeout to really think through my writing goals. I started doing a Pros and Cons list for my various options, and that grew to about 56 lines, so I put it in a spreadsheet and gave each factor an importance number and then to each option (writing what I want, quitting writing, concentrating on getting into Harlequin) I assigned a value. It’s a great tool. Here’s an example in case you want to try it for a big decision that you can’t resolve just by gut feel. In fact you do use your gut feel to assign the importance number, but when you have conflicting choices and keep going around and around on the same wheel thinking about them, this tool really helps you get a clear look at all the options and at your own feelings about them. Writing Fork Analysis

DSC09455-BThis exercise was an eye-opener in a few ways. First, no wonder I’ve had so much inner conflict over my writing. Writing matters hugely to me, but so does enjoying my life, and I have conflicting goals and dreams. Second, I’ve been pushing myself to write particular types of books aimed for a specific market because accomplishment and success are important to me. Despite those factors, when all things are carefully weighed, writing the books I want comes out way ahead. Trying to push myself to write that way was setting up an inner conflict that was threatening my desire to write at all, hence not writing at all was an option I considered. That option didn’t even come close to competing, so I think I’ve laid that one to rest!

DUSTY VINTAGE KEYBOARDSo my next goal is to finish writing the last of the Cruz Sisters trilogy, a mystery thriller sci-fi romance that I’m very excited about. I’m changing the plot and going pretty out there with it, so it’s going to be a lot of work. I hope to nail down the new plot in about 60 hours of planning work. I don’t know how long it will take to complete the book, but the beauty of my new writing-life plan is that there is no deadline.

I’ll be back with my regular Monday and Friday posting schedule now. Thanks for following along and sharing my journey with me!

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