Deb Sarah on Writing Goals

Love all the talk about goals this week. It’s a hot topic for me right now as I’m moving past the halfway mark of book #3 (it does have a title (a really good one!), but I can’t share it just yet—but oh my goodness, I can tell you that I love these new characters and this story is absolutely making me cry as I write it—it’s an emotional story to write! Am I allowed to cry when writing?!) But, back to goals. There are so many things about publishing that we can’t control (print runs, reviews, big book deals, making the New York Times bestseller list, for example!), but we can control our words and our stories. And these have been my consistent goals when it comes to fiction:

*Create characters that captivate me: As I wrote above, I have been really moved by the characters I dreamed up for my third novel. If a character or a story doesn’t captivate me, I give myself permission to kill them off. Geez, I am mean!

*Write every day: I try to sit down with my story on a daily basis, even if it means only writing a single page, or just a few lines. So much of the time it’s more about the act of “checking in” with my story than it is about really churning out pages. When I’m away from the story too long, I lose sight of the details.

*Look for inspiration all around: For me, writing is a big juggle with other stuff—namely, magazine work, motherhood, and life. I try to think of all the stuff I do when I’m not working on my novels as research for my stories. And, by paying attention to those little details, in fact, I got the inspiration for the violets in The Violets of March! You can read about that story here.

*Read every day: I carve out time to read for pleasure every night before bed. Sometimes I only read a page before my eyelids get heavy, but I always crack the spine of a book. It’s a habit that I hope to have forever, and one that is very important for any author. I also love to support other authors by buying their books. I just bought Camille Noe Pagan’s The Art of Forgetting, Kristina McMorris’ Letters From Home, and Meg Mitchell Moore’s The Arrivals.

These goals of mine are all fine and dandy, but there’s a little guy named Colby who does his best to sabotage them (as do his two older brothers!)! I find his antics awfully cute, though.


xo, Sarah

10 thoughts on “Deb Sarah on Writing Goals

  1. I completely agree about reading every day – it’s hugely helpful for all kinds of reasons. And Colby looks adorable!

  2. Awww. Colby is so cute! And your goals are good ones. If you can manage all that while wrangling three boys, you’re a better woman than I. 🙂

  3. For the record, I already read Camille’s beautiful book (I was lucky to get my hands on an ARC. The copy I ordered is for a permanent spot in my library! 🙂

  4. I love your tips, Sarah! I don’t know how you’ve done it, but you’ve achieved a beautiful balance in your life, and I’m so happy for you!

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