One of my favorite stories to read to my little guy (and each of his siblings before him) is this version of The Little Engine That Could. You can't really tell, but it's a board book, and the book itself is the shape of the train.
When I read it to my kids, we repeat the phrases, "I think I can," and "I thought I could," over and over again - way more times that is listed in the book - until we are completely filled with optimism. The one thing I think makes a difference in any child's life is believing in themselves. We cannot do anything we don't think we can do. And we need to acknowledge our successes - even the small ones.
I know I've been whining a lot here about how much I am struggling to find the time to write and to set adequate goals for myself. I'm sick of it and am ready to just get busy...except I'm still sick. My doctor thinks I'll be back to normal by Monday. Fingers crossed.
This morning I came up with a plan that feels good. I decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo again. I know I've failed twice and suffered greatly for my failure. The act of committing to it seems to trigger anvils to fall from the sky.
But the need to clear my plate before the start date is very motivating for me. Each time I've tried this adventure, I failed at the word count, but I've been successful at finishing other projects before day one.
So this is my plan...
1. I'm going to complete final (yes, FINAL!) edits to half of my last WIP, One Small Betrayal, by October 31.
2. I'm going to write as much as I can of one of my new novels during NaNoWriMo in November. It's a win even if I don't write 50,000 words because, well, any words are better than no words. My husband has agreed to bake the turkey and alternate vegetarian meal.
3. In December, I'm going to cope with the inevitable post-NaNo depression and burn-out by editing the last half of One Small Betrayal and writing query letters.
I've heard it's not a good idea to send out query letters in December because publishers get flooded with submissions from NaNoWriMo, so maybe February 1 is a better date to mail the query letters.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If you want to be my writing buddy (I think they have writing buddies), let me know. I'm registered as Tonja - lucky for me my first name is spelled weird. I think the official 2012 NaNoWriMo signup is next week at NaNoWriMo.org.
BTW, I'm still behind on reading posts. Must nap first.