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Set Your Goals – You Can Do It


“Set Your Goals – You Can Do It” by Joan Y. Edwards

Set your goals larger

This is the time to review your past goals and set your goals for the current year. Any time is a good time to look at and focus on recommitting yourself to your goals. If they are no longer meaningful to you, it is time to revise them to make the goals in your mind and on paper ones that you really want to reach.

When I was in sixth grade, my teacher had these little encouragement signs all over the room. One of my favorites was: “Make a Wish Upon a Star, take a seat and there you are.”  This showed me that if you set your eye on a goal, you can reach it.

Day 1 Title the page with your name and goals for the current year. Brainstorm possible goals. Set time to reach the goals for December 31, 2018 or 12 months after you’ve made your list. List them all on a piece of paper or in a file on your computer. Let them sit overnight in your mind.  Save file as Day 1 Goals for this year.

Day 2 Read them over the next day. Delete any goals that you have already reached or revise them to be goals you really want to reach. Delete goals that you wouldn’t care if you reached it or not at the end of the year. You want your goals to be items you feel a strong yearning to reach. Save this file as Day 2 Goals for this year.

Day 3 Read the goals again. Make sure you agree with them. Make sure you believe you can accomplish them. Revise any to make them so they not too hard and not too easy. Goldilocks goals…just right. Believable and Achievable.

Add 1-3 Images at the top of your goals to inspire you.

Free images from www.pixabay.com/

or www.morguefile.com/

Print out your goals. Post in a picture frame on the wall or on a file cabinet where you can see them every day. Revise when necessary to keep your mind positive and motivated to meet your goals and live and conquer your fears.

There are many ways to reach your goals. You know yourself better than anyone else. Choose the method that works for you. Many people make goals in their heads and are successful at keeping them. Others write down their goals. Still others share their goals with a close friend that keeps them accountable for their goals.

As for me, I like writing the goals down so that I can look at them every once in a while to see how I am doing.

If you check your goals every 6 months, you’ll be amazed when you see how many of your goals you have reached and how close you are to others. There may even be one or two you want to change and set a different goal.

Here is a link about a Harvard Business School study of goal setting that says that it’s a good idea to not only write down your goals but also write down the steps to achieve them.  Even if you don’t write down the steps, you can achieve your goal.

Good luck!
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Thanks, Mary Lash for sharing your story with me before it was published!

All Bernadette “Bernie” O’Brien, an underachieving, overweight 14-year-old, who happens to be blind, wants is an average share of happiness. Instead, her life is on a runaway roller coaster that can only plummet down. Failed by those she idealizes, despising her own weaknesses, Bernie plunges into the desert of her own hopelessness. A Roller Coaster Down is a luminous, gently humorous story of failure and redemption, of the universal hunt for love and self-respect.

Giveaway Prize Awarded on January 10, 2018.

Thank you very much for the many people who read this blog and the five people who left a comment on this post between January 2 and midnight, January 9, 2018:

  1. Violette Early
  2. Linda M. Andersen
  3. Carol Federlin Baldwin
  4. Lisa Anne Cullen
  5. Sandra Warren

Random.org chose number 4 as the winner. So Congratulations, Lisa Anne Cullen. You won a free paperback copy of “A Roller Coaster Down” by Mary Lash and Vasant Garcia. Please send me your snail mail address and I will mail it to you.


Comment (Click here and Scroll to the Bottom)

Flip Flap Floodle, Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide A guide to help caregivers and elders never give up

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Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2018 Joan Y. Edwards


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#Revise: Allow Change to Add New Life to Your Story

“#Revise: Allow Change to Add New Life to Your Story” by Joan Y. Edwards

revise allow change

Negative Feedback can be an earthquake when you thought your manuscript was on solid ground. It’s like a baseball shattering the plate-glass window in front of your face. You swore you weren’t going to take anything personally. But, the fact is, you did. So now what are you going to do? Have a memorial service for the old version. Let it go. Accept your tears, clinched fists, and headaches. Cry. Shed tears. Pray. Release them all. Appreciate the old story for bringing you to a new place.

Keep the faith in you and your story. Let go of the old version. Revise and put new life into the story. Allow change to add new life to your story and to your dreams.

Revise your story. Add words that give it sparks of life, guts, intrigue, glue. 

FOCUS and Embrace all the possibilities of character, plot, and setting that will make your story shine.

Celebrate where you are now. Believe that you can and will write a new powerful rendition that you will like better than the old one.

Rekindle your writing spirit. Read best-selling works similar to yours. Study craft books. Be thankful. Motivate yourself. Imagine. Create. Write.

In a kiln, pottery changes into something more beautiful, waterproof, and stronger. Revision is the kiln of your imagination. In the revision kiln, your story becomes better, stronger, and highly marketable.

When it’s ready, send your new version to a publisher, agent, or contest. Envision a copy of your published book in your hand. Imagine dancing with it all night long. Keep the faith in your story. Your faith in yourself and your writing will take it to a new, more wonderful version that will take you to publication.

Send it off. Rejoice.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please leave a comment. I value your opinions. I love reading your stories and opinions.

  1. I revised “Bury the Old” August  2011  on October 11, 2011. It was too sad. LOL.
  2. I revised and renamed  “Let Go of the Old, Put OOMPH in the New”  today, January 20, 2018.


Never Give Up
Please check out my books:
Flip Flap Floodle, Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide A guide to help caregivers and elders never give up

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2011-2018 Joan Y. Edwards


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Please subscribe now to join over 430 Valued Subscribers and receive entertaining, encouraging posts PLUS 3 free gifts:

  1. Never Give Up image
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  3. Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators




15 Steps to Increase Your Chances at Publication (Pub Sub)

“15 Steps to Increase Your Chances at Publication (Pub Sub)” by Joan Y. Edwards

(I wrote this in June 3, 2011. It has had 382 views as of today, July 25, 2015. I hope it helps you become a published author.)

Dear Pub Subbers,

I can’t believe it’s June already. This year is almost half-way over. Let’s think about it. How many submissions have you made this year to critique groups, a paid critique, a free critique by someone, a publisher, an agent, or for a contest? Whether your answer is 0, 1, 21, or 41, accept your answer as being good for you at this particular time in your life. However, I want to motivate you to make at least 7 more submissions this year. That’s one for each month.

If you submit one manuscript a year, and you agreed to submit one each month, you have been 1/12  or 8% successful in carrying out your goal. Here’s a chart with all 12 months listed with the appropriate percentage beside it.

1/12 = 8%
2/12 = 16%
3/12 = 25%
4/12 = 33%
5/12 = 41%
6/12 = 50%
7/12 = 58%
8/12 = 66%
9/12 = 75%
10/12 = 83%
11/12 = 91%
12/12 = 100%

You can also look at how submitting more often increases the chances of getting published. If you send out one manuscript to one publisher, how much better your odds will be if you send out one manuscript to three well-matched publishers. You increase your chances 17%. It would take you from an 8% chance to a 25% chance of getting published. If you send out three different manuscripts to three different publishers, you have increased your chances to 50% chance of getting published. If you send out one manuscript to six different agents or publishers, you have increased your chances to 50% chance of getting an agent.

If you decided that these percentages don’t mean anything, you may be right. I believe the rates vary for different writers. However, I can tell you this. If you don’t submit your work at least 12 times in one year, you are not seriously convinced that your story is good or that someone will publish it. Some people have never experienced rejection for their writing. Dr. Seuss got rejected 27 times or more for his first book.  Some people say you have to be rejected 100 times. I’m not receiving that, but if that was so. here’s the percentage rate on that:
1/100 = 1% chance of being published.
2/100 = 2% chance of being published.
3/100 = 3% chance of being published.
44/100 = 44% chance of being published.
66/100 = 66% chance of being published.
99/100 = 99% chance of being published.
100/100 = 100% chance of being published.

It’s sort of like a weather prediction, even thought you have submitted 100 manuscripts, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will get published. However, if you don’t submit again, even after 1000 rejections, you will never get published. Your goal has to be that you will keep submitting and making your story better and better. Keep submitting no matter how many rejections you get. Realize that there is a publisher looking for you while you are looking for this publisher.  If your goal truly is to be published, you will not give up. You will keep submitting. You will keep the faith in yourself and your writing.

If you submit to the magazine market rather than the book market, you may have a better chance of being a paid published author. It won’t take as long to get your answer. It’s a good idea to experiment with writing for newspapers, magazines, non-fiction, fiction.  Experiment with writing for children and adults. If your goal is to be published, you are published when you write a blog. You have to specify paid published writer in your goals. Being published in other writing markets will help build a writer’s confidence in the book market. These writing credits also look good on a resume.

I can safely say that if you follow the 15 guidelines below, you will increase the possibilities of making your publication dreams come true.

Here are my 15 ways to increase your chances at publication:

  1. Set your goals.
  2. Believe in yourself and your writing. As Lisa Nichols said in the movie, “The Secret”, “have unwavering faith.” No matter what the circumstances are or how bad things look, you continue to believe in yourself and your writing.

  3. If you are not able to believe in yourself and your writing:

a. Take an online or in person workshop.

b. Ask the teacher/presenter of the workshop to critique your work (be willing to pay them $35.00 for 10 pages.)

c. Pray.

d. Say I am a paid published author ten times a day. It will make new brain cells in your mind. Your subconscious mind will steer you to publication when you act on your belief. Submitting your work is acting on the belief that you are a paid published author.

  1. Write a pitch for the story you have in mind to write.  I’ve discovered it’s a lot easier to write a winning pitch for a story before you write it than it is when it’s finished.
  2. Decide which genre, and who the audience will be.

  3. Write the story, novel, poem, or article.

a. Revise.

b. Submit manuscript for critique to

(1) a professional critiquer, someone who has gotten at least 10 published articles or books in the same genre as yours.

(2) a critique group – online or in person – Online can give more input; in person groups that just read it and give their opinion will give you a good overview. You can ask them to concentrate on the First Page, your query letter, your proposal, your cover letter.

c. Revise again. Never change anything you don’t agree with 100%.  When you do that, you’re making it someonelse’s story, not yours.

d. Get the story, novel, poem, or article in the “This is the best I can do at this moment in time with the knowledge and skills that I have.” Proceed to number 7.

  1. Study the market for this kind of story, novel, poem, or article.
  2. Choose three possible publishers, three agents, and three contests for this story who according to the guidelines are interested in this type of publication. If you send your query, cover letter, proposal, and/or manuscripts to  publishers, editors, agents who do not publish that kind of work, you are pushing yourself off the train tracks to success.

  3. Copy the links to their guidelines and copy their guidelines at the top of your query letter or cover letter. Copy it to the top of the proposal.

  4. Follow their guidelines. Follow their guidelines. Follow their guidelines.

  5. Check your manuscript, query letter, cover letter, and proposal for correct

a. formatting (manuscript formatting, poetry -rhyme and meter)

b. grammar and punctuation

c. following the guidelines of the publisher, literary agency, or contest where you are submitting

d. hook (pitch)

e. universal theme

f. plot –

(1) ordinary day,

(2) something bad happens,

(3) main character tries to reach goal of straightening out the situation, drops deeper in trouble.

(4) main character tries again to reach goal of straightening out the situation, and drops the deepest in the very worst that the situation could get.

(5) main character has an aha moment of how to solve the problem.

(6) main character does something to confront the villain (or villainous situation) and wins

(7) tell what happens to everyone else in the story as a result of the win.

(8) everything is back to an ordinary day, but it’s a better day than when the story’s problem showed up.

g. magnetic characters that stick to the reader’s minds because of their situations, thoughts, feelings, words, and actions.

  1. Print everything out. Read it over again. Leave it sitting in your computer or in a folder for at least 24 hours.
  2. Make necessary changes to correct errors to query letter, cover letter, proposal, or manuscript.

  3. Get it in final condition for mailing or emailing:

a. If email submission, copy and paste into the email. Check to make sure it kept the formatting of your original document. Make sure if they allow attachments and in what format they allow them.

b. If snail mail submission, address it properly, put your name and return address; enclose self-addressed stamped envelope, if the guidelines ask for one. Put correct postage on envelope.

  1. Say a prayer. Have a winning attitude. Visualize the person who receives it as smiling and really being pulled into your work and talking excitedly to everyone in their office about it.  Now push the send button on the computer, or put the envelope in the mailbox. Then visualize yourself receiving a “Yes.” Get excited. It’s really coming. In spite of all the odds against it. In spite of any doubts anyone has. You are a paid published writer.
  2. Repeat all the above steps for a different work. Repeat from Step 7 – 15 for the same work to different publishers, agents, or contests. When you submit in June, let me know in a comment to this June 2011 Pub Sub 3rd Friday blog post.

Here are six  articles I found on the internet to help further increase your chances to get published.

  1. Michelle Kerns “30 Authors Who Were Rejected Repeatedly and Sometimes Rudely by Publishers” http://www.examiner.com/book-in-national/30-famous-authors-whose-works-were-rejected-repeatedly-and-sometimes-rudely-by-publishers
  • David Miller “Four Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting Published” http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/4-ways-to-increase-your-chances-of-getting-publishing/

  • Sharon Miner “What Are the Chances at Getting Published?”  http://www.ehow.com/info_8097393_chances-getting-published.html

  • James Weseen “How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Published” http://www.writerscoop.org/How_to_Increase_your_Chances_of_Getting_Published.pdf

  • Henry at Creative Writers Desk “Increase Your Odds of Getting Published with a Killer Query Letter”  http://www.creativewritersdesk.com/queryletter.html

  • Julie H. Ferguson http://www.beaconlit.com/fiveways.pdf


    Other Information to help you submit your work and get published!

    Pub Sub

    Week One

    Week Two

    Week Three Pub Sub Friday

    Week Four

    Submit your work. You are worth it. Good luck with all your publication endeavors.

    Thanks for reading my blog.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards
    Copyright © 2011-2015 Joan Y. Edwards

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    You’ll be glad you did.

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    Five Good Things to Do after a Writing Conference

    Dear Honored Readers,

    What are five good things to do after a writing conference? Here are things I believe would be helpful to you as a serious professional writer. My goal is to keep you enjoying living and writing, too.

    1. Sleep if you are tired. Accept yourself as you are and where you are. Accept others as they are.  Focus on what you want. Be thankful for what you have and where you are.  Put the fun back into your writing.

    2. Read and organize your notes from each workshop.  Write at least three major things you learned from each workshop. You can write down more details if you want.

    3. Make a top ten list of things that you learned at the overall conference.

    4. After all this information soaks into your mind, body, and spirit, write/revise three goals for your writing to use what you learned. (Be patient with yourself.)

    a. Writing Skill/Genre

    1) Read 10 books in your chosen genre and 3 books on the craft of writing.

    2) Revise your favorite manuscript and submit it to an editor or agent.

    3) Learn a new technology.

    b. Marketing

    1) Submit manuscripts/sample illustrations to different agents and/or editors on a regular basis.  (See my Pub Sub 3rd Fri blog posts)

    2) Prepare a book presentation for schools/organization.

    3) Prepare a proposal to present a workshop for a writing conference.

    4) Prepare a pitch for a manuscript. Go from a page summary and then focus on the words to hook readers. Keep shortening your pitch: 200-100-50-25 words.  The ultimate goal would be to have a pitch that is 140 characters long  to fit in Twitter. If you have all these, then if you need one for your cover letter, you’ll have it. If you want a blurb to put on your book, you’ll have it.  If a teacher asks you about your book, you’ll have a pitch to get them to want to buy your book.

    5) Prepare a post card, business card, bookmark, signature for email to promote you and your writing.  Use your book titles and pitch blurbs.

    c. Networking

    1) Website, Blog, Critique Group

    2) Book Presentations for schools and organizations

    3) Facebook Author/Illustrator Page; Twitter; Linked-In, others

    5. Contact at least three of the people who gave you a business card.  If you remember your conversation with them, remind them of how you enjoyed talking about “their love of horses” or  “their sadness at being rejected.”  Thank them for sharing a resource. Congratulate them on their manuscript. Compliment them for being brave and reading their story at open mike.  Thank them for giving you a new way to look at a problem you were having.  Visit their websites or Facebook pages, they might refresh your memory and/or give you new information to mention to them.

    I hope these ideas help you.

    Please share your comments, questions, and/or resources below. I’d love to hear from you.

    Thank you for reading my blog. Please sign up for an email subscription from the “Sign me up” block from the top of the left hand column. Nineteen sweet people have subscribed so far. The 50th person to subscribe from the left will receive a free paperback copy of Flip Flap Floodle or a 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer.

    Joan Y. Edwards, Author/Illustrator
    Flip Flap Floodle on Amazon.com

    Copyright © 2010 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.

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