Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Musings: More than one aspect to a goal

As many of you know, I have been working on my first ever novel for about five years now. I finished the first draft during Fall last year. The manuscript was only about 35,000 words but I thought I was done. My editor, the brilliant, wise, wonderful writing coach extraordinaire, Mark David Gerson, said nah, it wasn't. And he was right.

So now, some six months later, I have revised it several times and hit 50,034 words last Thursday. It is now the minimum number of words to be considered a novel. Yahoo!

So, I accomplished my goal of writing a novel. But is my goal complete? It could be, if I decide not to try to publish. But I can hardly imagine making that decision unless drastic, unforeseen circumstances occur in my life.

If it never gets published, am I happy? On one level, yes I am, because I stuck with something that seemed so far out of the realm of possibility and was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. I am happy with the resulting story. But whether anyone else will be remains to be seen.

My job was to allow the story to emerge. Now I must put the finishing touches on it. Make it magical.Then figure out the whole publishing issue.

How about you? How do you perceive accomplishing goals?


Vicki Rocho said...

I think goals shift and change while you're working toward them. Often when we originally set a goal, we don't really know what we're getting ourselves into, so it's fine to set the bar higher or nudge it down a bit, depending on circumstances.

Congrats on the first novel! Do you have another one simmering in the background?

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Congratulations on reaching that word count, Karen! That's a lot of work that you did!

I rarely spend enough time celebrating my successes, actually. I think I need to...might give me a bit more satisfaction.

Liza said...

You stuck to it and you succeeded. Congratulations.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Congratulations on completing a goal that many people say they want to complete but so so few people actually DO. So awesome!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You've worked so hard on it - just getting it to this stage is a huge accomplishment!

Karen Walker said...

Vicki, thanks for your thoughtful comment. Yes, I do, actually. Another novel and a nonfiction book.
Elizabeth, I think we're thought that it's vain to celebrate accomplishments - that's why most of us are uncomfortable with it
Liza, yes, I did, didn't I? Thanks.
Keith, thank you so much - you're right - choosing to follow our dreams and actually doing them is not something everyone does.
Alex, one of the hardest things I've ever done - thanks!

L.G. Smith said...

It's true, some days I can be ambivalent about the whole publishing thing. I feel a huge accomplishment for having written three novels, but I don't think the goal will be fully realized until I get at least one of them published.

Robin said...

Goals shift constantly. That might be one of those unalterable truths. The more we can do, the more we want to do. Once we have accomplished anything, the next question is inevitably, "What now?"

For some people the writing of it might be enough. They are ready to put that down and move on to something completely different. For others, not a chance. They need to polish it until it shines and is publishable.

I suspect that you will fall into the latter category. You've already invested so much time and energy. I think you'll want to see it through.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

If it takes you five more years, I have a feeling you will see it through. And my emails directly to you always bounce, so send me one and I'll tell you about the big project.

Suze said...

Congratulations, K. :)

mooderino said...

I like to tick things off a list, makes me feel that much closer to where I want to get, even when it's still quite a ways off.

Moody Writing

Jemi Fraser said...

YAY!!!! Good for you Karen!! I love the feeling of finishing the drafts. I've got 7 or 8 drafts finished, but they all need rewrites & revisions done. Once that's done I'll head out into those publishing waters too :)

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations on the novel, no matter whether or not you decide to publish. You've set a goal and you've reached it - that's awesome. Way to go.

Arlee Bird said...

I hope you get the novel published after all this work. But you did get this far and that's a good thing.

I guess what the nature of the goal is, but I guess I've accomplished my goal when I feel like I'm done with it and it's time to move on to something else.

Wrote By Rote
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Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I think achieving a goal is a little bit like clearing a hurdle on a cross-country course. It feels fantastic to sail smoothly over that hurdle, but there are a lot more to go before making it to the finish line.

Congratulations on finishing your novel. I knew you could do it!