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Writing progress

Professional critique results + action plan

Two months ago I received back the manuscript assessment from Daniel Goldsmith Associates, for my book Juggling Life, Kids and You.  If you remember from my post in early October, I was hoping that I wasn’t going to have to make too many changes.  I’m pleased to say that results are positive – there’s definitely a market out there for this kind of inspirational parenting book, and in their opinion it will do well if the suggested changes are made.

The issue

Although I was really pleased with the report, I haven’t felt motivated to pick up my draft manuscript and make the suggested changes….in two months (and that has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the assessment).  I know I need to:

  • Re-read the report and make a plan (partially done)
  • Take one suggested change from the report and start editing, cutting, pasting, changing some of the structure (can’t face it).
  • Take second suggested change…and so on.

I can’t wait for my book to be out there as soon as possible, so that I can help and inspire others; however, I’m visualising this as a much bigger task than it really is.  So, why is it that I can’t motivate myself to do this perceived mammoth task?  Here are some of my excuses (including reasons not to have them):

  • I don’t know where to start (I do really).
  • There’s no fixed deadline (I should set myself one).
  • I just don’t have the time (I can make the time).
  • I haven’t got a step by step plan to follow (I should set myself some actions).

The way forward

  • I’m going to create clear action points from the results of the critique.
  • I’m going to set myself an overall deadline and also mini deadlines – and then monitor them.
  • I’m going to get a new, more portable and lighter laptop so I can edit on the train to work.
  • I’m going to find some inspirational sayings to motivate me, and stick them on the wall.
  • I’m going to write my goal in the present tense (as if it’s already happened) and stick that on the wall too.
  • I’m going to tell others about my committment and get them to ask me about it now and again, which will help me to stay on track.

I’ll keep you posted on progress…

What helps you to stop procrastinating on something and just get on with it?  Also, have you got any other tips to get me motivated enough to make a start?

Until next time…



About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


8 thoughts on “Professional critique results + action plan

  1. Firstly, congratulations on the positive response.

    Starting a task is often the biggest hurdle and it builds up in the mind to become a huge and overwhelming barrier. Set the timer for 5 minutes and make a start. When the timer goes off, stop – that way you’ll want to come back to it. Don’t focus of the end result – it’s too big. Instead concentrate on the next step. And remember that you can get a lot done in just 15 minutes a day.

    Good luck!

    Posted by seaswift | December 20, 2012, 12:39 am
    • Hi Sandra,
      That sounds promising. Nothing like positive results from professional editors.
      One trick that often works for me, which you have probably heard of already, but anyway:is to force yourself to do 2-5-10 minutes and promise yourself if you want to, you can quit that point, no shame. We can all do 2 minutes writing.
      Go for it!

      Posted by Bill99 (@Bill99) | December 20, 2012, 1:19 am
      • Thanks Bill. 2 minutes – I like that approach. It will probably lead to me writing for longer, but there’ll be no pressure. I’ll let you know how I get on. Thanks for the support as always. Sandra

        Posted by Sandra Madeira | December 20, 2012, 10:07 pm
    • Thank you for your comment. It’s definitely built up in my mind as a barrier. I did try the the 5 minute technique, which did lead to longer, but then I put it down for a month. I need to try this again when it’s quiet in the house. I like your idea of only focusing on the next step and writing for 15 minutes a day – I can do that. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks again – I really appreciate your support. Sandra

      Posted by Sandra Madeira | December 20, 2012, 10:03 pm
  2. Hi Sandra! 🙂

    Wow, you really got a lot out of that report! Good luck!


    Posted by Vikki (The View Outside) | December 20, 2012, 11:24 am

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