Hello, KTGeo family, friends, and lurkers! I hope life has been treating you well since we last met. I know the world seems to have continued spiraling out of control since 2020’s pandemic, but there have been some bright spots, too. Take, for example, I’ve finally reached my goal and completed my manuscript, Conjoined! After six long years of writing, editing, deleting, revising, revamping, etc… it’s finally done and in the hands of actual readers. Pre-readers, but readers nonetheless! I was so excited when I finally typed ‘The End,’ and meant it this time! I say ‘was’ because that elation lasted all of two days when it hit me…what do I do now? Who am I without this goal looming over me? Especially for six long years!

My Goal

Six years ago, in June 2017, I presented my idea and rough draft to two literary agents and a published author, Charlie Donlea, at Chicago’s Writing Day Workshop. I came away with great feedback from Mr. Donlea and yeses from the agents I’d pitched to. I was over the moon! Then, I wasn’t. I panicked. The one thing all three professionals said was, “Make sure you deliver a polished manuscript.” That meant, no typos, grammatical errors, or structure issues. Oh! And they all said to keep it to 80k words, but definitely no more than 95k words. Especially, for a first-time author. I’d written about 150k words and it was full of first-timer errors, like head hopping, adverbs galore, and tangents that didn’t add to the story.

The Block

I got to work right away on cleaning up what I could with the knowledge I had at the time. I also enrolled in several self-paced writing classes to dive more into the craft of storytelling. Then life happened. In a series of unfortunate events, all the way through and past COVID-19, one life event after another prevented me from spending the time I needed to make this novel shine in a way that would please agents and readers alike. Or at least that’s what I told myself every time I sat down to write or work on my outline. But wanting to create something to please others, especially others you don’t even know, is a nearly impossible task. All the self-doubt, negative self-talk, and self-limiting beliefs came crawling out of my brain telling me there were more important things to do with my time. Who was I to want to reach this goal anyway?

The Process

After working through some of those demons and trying various proven methods to help me reach my goal, I got back on track. With the help of a creative collaborator, I was able to crank out a brand new version of Conjoined in a little less than nine months. Nine Months! After years of struggling. You may be asking how I did that, but that conversation is for a different post. What I want to talk about now is: what do you do once you’ve reached your goals? Of course, the experts will tell you: Set a new goal! And that is all well and good. It’s healthy to want to grow personally and professionally. But what about the interim? Don’t you need time to revel in your hard work and sit back and relax a little? What do you do with that void of time and space that used to be dedicated to the thing you were trying to attain? How do you deal with the loss of identity attached to being the achiever versus the achieved?

The Solution

The first thing that I found helpful was to just sit with all those feelings. The happiness, the sadness, and the sense of loss. I avoided any ‘shoulding’ on myself and just allowed whatever to come up, do so. Then I made a list of things unrelated to writing — tasks I had been putting off around the house, in my life, and socially. I got busy filling in that time with other smaller tasks in the interim. Once I felt fulfilled in those areas, I began looking into the next steps for my novel. I’ve decided to forego submitting to agents. It’s been six years, after all, and the publishing world is a bit of a mess these days, with editors leaving in droves, and supply chain issues. That leaves self-publishing as an option, which I’m wholeheartedly dedicating the next couple of weeks becoming an expert on. So basically, I’m refilling that hole of time with next steps and new, smaller goals. I’m pivoting my identity from ‘struggling artist,’ to ‘best-selling author!’ And I’m hoping you all will help me get there! What do you say?

© K.T. George 2023 | This post was first seen on ktgeorge.com


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I’ve reached my goal. Now what?
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5 thoughts on “I’ve reached my goal. Now what?

  • October 28, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    Congratulations on completing your novel! I can’t wait to read it.

  • October 29, 2023 at 11:54 am

    I’m so excited for you. You’ve worked really hard on this and for this. I’m definitely there for the best-selling author wave! Congratulations!

  • November 1, 2023 at 8:44 pm

    I’m here for it, too! Let’s go, KT!

  • November 1, 2023 at 8:45 pm

    I just looked up the plot of the book on your BOOKS page. It sounds right in my wheelhouse. Looking forward to seeing it in my Amazon recs soon!

  • January 29, 2024 at 3:48 pm

    WOW, So very happy for you. I look forward to reading your first literary accomplishment.


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