Friday, September 3, 2010


As writers, we hear so much about the goals, motivations, and conflicts of our characters. It’s such a frequently used phrase that we’ve condensed it down to the acronym, GMC. “What’s the hero’s GMC? My heroine’s GMC isn’t straightforward enough.” There are entire reference books dedicated to GMC.

My question is, what about GMC In Real Life?

Because I can tell you, more often than not, “real life” is almost always at Conflict with my writing Goal and Motivation. Simply put, my Goal is to be published. My Motivation is the love of writing and a desire to entertain people and capture their imagination. My Conflict is pretty much everything else in my life.

You name it. Job. Family. Friends. Responsibility. Exercise. Yard Work. Grocery Shopping. The list goes on and on. We all have our list and, unlike in our novels, this is the one place we don’t want conflict. So what do we do? Well, we face the reality that we may never get hours of quiet time in some remote location, with a cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice), a computer, and a brain free of distraction. We carve out whatever time we can, five minutes here, an hour there, and we write. Don’t worry about how little time you have, just write what you can until the next conflict arises.

How do I do it?

I used to get up early and write while everyone else was asleep (I’ve heard of many a successful writer doing this), but now I have to have myself and my little guy (who we’ll call SJ here) up and out the door by 7:45am. I also have to squeeze in a work out or some Zumba before 6:45am, so the morning is shot. I can’t write late at night because my brain after 9pm is 99% ready for sleep, 1% able to remember the words “brush” and “teeth”. For weeks I made no progress until I finally decided I was going to write and that time would just have to be found. I set a weekly goal of 5,000 words and I began writing in small bursts. It worked! Now, during my lunch hour at work, I write. During nap times on the weekends, I write. On Friday afternoons, after 4pm, when everything has slowed to turtle’s crawl at work, I write (Shh, don’t tell). If SJ goes to bed early and the Dear Husband is working out, I write! I sneak in my writing time like a dieting woman sneaks chocolate.

The other day I knew I’d have no time, but the DH started feeding SJ dinner, so I whipped out my lap top with plans to tap away on some dialogue stuck in my head. I ended up writing over 600 words. Nothing huge, but it’s still progress. Yesterday it was 1,000 words on my lunch hour.

It can be done. I’m getting closer to my Goal because I finally stopped focusing on my Conflict. How do you reach your goals?


Sandra said...

I love this. You're absolutely right, we should stop focusing on our conflicts and just find the time whenever that is to write.

I'm not like you, in the meaning that I don't have a goal or write as much as you do, but sometimes I feel like writing and that "need" always comes accompanied by an after thought of all the things I must do that won't allow me enough time to write. I should start to write whenever I felt like it, instead of only if I knew I was going to have at least a few free hours for it.

Loved the entry. <3

Anonymous said...

Buy the book: 'The Secret' by Rhonda Byrne.
My father gave it to me to read and it has opened my world in so many ways and in every part of my life.
I highly suggest it to everyone and especially those seeking specific goals.

Post a Comment