/ Articles

Get your free email address:  you@dowse.com

Back to



Procrastination. . . .Who hasn't been afflicted? An insightful take on how to accomplish your goals.

Procrastination and Goals
Karen Wiesner

I think all writers must have a little quotation stuck right where they can see it in their offices. You know, one of those encouraging, kick-in-the-butt mottoes. Mine is "Do or do not do. There is no try." No, it's not a quote by Keats or Churchill. My kick in the butt comes from Yoda, the little cute/weird Jedi Master in Star Wars. It's what I believe it comes down to for anyone who dares to dream. So what makes us "not do"?

The WHYS of procrastination. The first step in fighting the urge to dilly-dally is to recognize why we do it. Some people have good reasons: they have another job, they have children, and these things run them ragged. They don't have the energy to be creative. Others are just naturally lazy or easily distracted. These are problems that can be solved by setting priorities and setting goals. The WAYS of procrastination.

It took me a long time to recognize the subtle ways I keep from writing, because I do it in a way that makes it look like I'm actually doing work. I write lists, I organize, I write articles (just kidding! this is a good thing.) Bottom line: I waste time.

The ways we procrastinate can be inane or viable. Who could argue that doing research or reading other books isn't necessary? No one. Except a lot of the time we research things like how many shades of blue there are--I have to get the color of my heroine's eyes just right! We research furniture--what kind of chair would my big, masculine hero sit in? We read other books to keep ourselves from writing instead of to "keep up with the market." Are you planning to write a time-travel? Well no. . . You have to do research. It's a must. You should keep up with the market. But these things shouldn't take us away from the actual writing of our novel. We can avoid inane or viable ways of procrastinating by setting priorities and setting goals. The WAGES of procrastination.

Goals are probably one of the things unpublished writers use the least. There are no deadlines, no "boss" telling them to get it done or get out. All they have is what they impose upon themselves. Published writers have to set goals if they want to keep on top of the industry and hold onto the slot they have with their publisher(s). For every action there is a reaction, and this scientific law also holds true for procrastination and goals. The less you write, the less you want to write. The more you write, the more you want to write. Procrastinate long enough and you may never go back to your dream. That's enough to get me to sit up and take notice every time. So we set our priorities and we set our goals if we're serious about this dream.

The WHYS of setting goals. In the movie The Fabulous Baker Boys, Michele Pfeiffer can make you believe it when she says the reason she never makes a New Year's Resolution is because "You do what you do, right?" That was my motto for not setting goals in 1994. The biggest reason for setting goals is simple: accomplishment. In 1994, I had no goals. By hemming and hawing and working whenever the mood struck me, I finished a book. It was an accomplishment, but it was a half-hearted one at best. In 1995, I set goals. I set an easily attained goal, I set a challenging goal, and I set an impossible goal. I surpassed my impossible goal somewhere around March of that year and kept going. I kept going because I asked myself "How bad do you want to be published? How much would you do it achieve it?" If your answer is that you want it so bad you'll jump any hurdle, you want it more than anything, and you'll go the extra mile, whatever it takes--you've accomplished the first step toward getting published. You know why you'll set that goal. As a published author, I immediately set a goal to have another novel submitted to my publisher before my first novel was released. Competition being as fierce as it is, I couldn't let it go at that. Before Leather & Lace was released, I had 2 full manuscripts in to my publisher as well as a proposal for a four-book series. If I don't keep my slot filled, someone else will come in and take it. That kind of thinking forces me to set goals.

The WAYS of setting goals. Goals are as individual as people. What works for you won't work for everybody, and only you know if you're letting yourself off easy, really challenging yourself or if you're overextending yourself. You can set your goals the way I used to, if it works for you, but whatever you do--set one that's challenging. There's a story, but an unknown author, that Charlie Brown was shooting arrows into a wooden fence one day. After each shot, he ran over to the fence with a piece of chalk and drew a bull's-eye around the arrow. Lucy came along, saw what he was doing, and said "Hey, that's not the way to practice. You're supposed to draw the target and then shoot at it." To which Charlie Brown replied "If you do it my way, you'll never miss." Let me tell you, that kind of goal is a sure-fire way to shame even the laziest of us. Do you want to do the best or just settle? Set challenging goals, but don't set them so high that the only thing you'll come out with is an extra-large dose of discouragement.

You could set a time goal, where you work a set number of hours a day. You could set a page goal of writing X number of pages a day. Or it might work best for you to set a date goal. When do you want to finish this by?

Once you've decided on your goals, test them. Are you making them? Exceeding them? Falling short? Adjust them so you're getting the maximum amount of work done. The WAGES of setting goals. Teddy Roosevelt said "Credit belongs to...the man who actually strives to do the deeds, who knows the great enthusiasm and knows the great devotion, who spends himself on a worthy cause, who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievement. And who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly..."

It's easy to shrug it off with "You do what you." Don't be fooled because if you set goals, you are taking the hard road. You're also taking the high road. "Do or don't do." "Dare greatly."

How badly do YOU want it? How much would YOU do to achieve your heart's desire? Don't wait until New Year's to set those challenging resolutions. Do it now and don't look back.

. . . . . . . .

Karen Wiesner, named a "leading romance writer" by The Writer Magazine, is the best-selling author of the Gypsy Road Series, the Angelfire Trilogy, Dare to Love Series as well as upcoming Wounded Warriors Series (coming 2002) from Hard Shell Word Factory http://www.hardshell.com. Her fiction novels from Hard Shell have been nominated for Romantic Times' 1999 E-Book of the Year, the Frankfurt Award and multiple Eppie's. In Fall 2001, Hard Shell Word Factory published ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING Q&A, the compilation of Karen's now-defunct Inkspot column. The book includes bonus columns never previously released.

Karen is also the author of ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING The Definitive Guide {The Most Complete Reference to Non-Subsidy E-Publishing}, a bestselling, Frankfurt nominated writer's reference. The Guide was a finalist in the 1999 EPPIE and won the 2000 EPPIE for Best Non-fiction. The 2001 Edition is published by Avid Press, LLC http://www.avidpress.com, is excerpted in the 2001 Writers Digest Novel & Short Story Market and made the Inscriptions Books of the Year list http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/BOTY.html. A FREE preview (zipped HTML format) of the Guide is available by sending an e-mail to kwiesner@cuttingedge.net with "EPTDG Preview" in the subject line.

Avid Press is the publisher of Karen's first paranormal romance, SWEET DREAMS, which was a Reviewers' Top Pick for 2000 http://www.ebookconnections.com/Eclectic%20Reader/reviewers'_2000_picks.htm, received a coveted 4 1/2 star Top Pick review from Romantic Times Magazine and is a finalist in the prestigious 2001 Daphne du Maurier Award http://www.rwamysterysuspense.org.

Karen won the 2000 Inscriptions Engraver Award http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Engravers.html for best online columnist, the Year 2000 for eXcellence in E-publishing Award: E-author from ebookadvisor and was a recipient of The Simply Charming Award for outstanding promotion of e-books. She was also nominated for the 2000 EPIC Florence Moyer Service Award.

Upcoming releases for Karen include: a book of poetry, titled Soul Bleeds The Dark Poetry and Other Wanderings of K.S. Wiesner (Atlantic Bridge Publishing http://www.atlanticbridge.net, July 2001), the 2001 edition of the Guide (Avid Press, July 2001), another non-fiction/writer's reference titled THE PRODUCTIVE WRITER {or how to avoid carpal tunnel with all those revisions} (Avid Press, LLC, Late 2001), a children's story written with Linda Jablonicky, called THE CODY KNOWS CHRONICLES (CrossroadsPub.com, Late 2002), as well as the first book of the Wounded Warriors Series, RELUCTANT HEARTS (Hard Shell Word Factory, Early 2002.)

Projects in the works for Karen: a mainstream romantic suspense called NO ORDINARY LOVE, the second book of the Wounded Warriors Series-WAITING FOR AN ECLIPSE, as well as a psychological thriller written with author Christine Spindler http://www.christinespindler.com titled DEGREES OF SEPARATION.


For more information about Karen and her work, visit her web site at http://karenwiesner.hypermart.net.

Back to Articles Contents Page

Search the web




Dowse Fiction Hub
Dowse Science Fiction and Fantasy Hub
Dowse home - Web Gateway for Creative Minds


We hope you have enjoyed this page. Please go back to the Fiction Hub Contents to read another story or for more information. We believe you will also find that the Dowse Science Fiction Hub has much of interest.


Computing & Internet
Fantasy art
Myths & Legends
News & Info
Science Fiction
Security online
Web Makers Tools
Writing & Publishing

. How to make
  your start page
. Your free email
. Message Bds
   & communities

. Suggest links
. Link to us

. About dowse
. Search the web


Copyright © 2001 dowse.com
all rights reserved


Dowse Articles