Tag Archives: Heidi Wilde

To Quit or Not to Quit?

That wraps it up for us this month, and what a month it was! We dove into making goals, how to make better goals, when to amend your goals, and when to quit your goals. We hope our insights were helpful to you, and that you carry some of our hard-earned wisdom with you into your future work.

In case you missed a post this month, here they are:

The Stories that Just Don’t Sell by Mary Pletsch

We Always Need a Goal by Ace Jordan

Quitting by Nicholas Ruva

New Goal: Stop Making Goals by Kristin Luna (that’s me!)

A Gamer’s Guide to Quitting by Heidi Wilde

How Goals Can Destroy Your Writing Career by Gregory Little

Finish What You Start, or Not by Kevin Ikenberry

A Faster Book, or A Better Book? by Frank Morin

Quitting with Feeling by David Heyman

In Favor of Failure by Colton Hehr

The Goal Post by Sean Golden

Obstacles May Be Closer Than They Appear by Kim May

To Goal or Not to Goal, That Is The Question by Jo Schneider

Made to Be Broken by Hamilton Perez

2018 – Hello, Universe Calling, Is Scott There? by Scott Eder

When Chronic Illness Sabotages Goals by Ace Jordan

Setting Realistic, S.M.A.R.T. Goals by Shannon Fox

Resources on Goal Setting and Quitting Goals by Kristin Luna

 

What were some of your favorite posts this month? Did we leave anything out? Comment and let us know!

A Gamer’s Guide to Quitting – A Guest Post by Heidi A. Wilde

A guest post by Heidi A. Wilde.

When I was first asked to submit a post about knowing when to quit your goals I had mixed feelings. Aren’t we supposed to never quit? “Winners never quit and quitters never win” and all that? But the more I thought about it, and read other people’s thoughts on the subject, the more I realized that there are quite a few instances where quitting is actually the right thing to do, and that it doesn’t mean you have failed. I love playing games of all sorts, board games, video games, computer games/MMOs/etc, you name it; and as I was pondering how best to talk about the circumstances when it is okay to abandon a goal a few gaming correlations came to mind. Stick with me here, and I’ll share five examples of when quitting is the better option.

  1. Your quest log is full and/or you’ve out leveled the area you’re in. In order to make room for more level appropriate quests, you need to abandon some whose rewards are minimal because your level is too high. If you made a goal in your 20s and you’re now in your 30s but have yet to accomplish it, chances are that the goal just doesn’t fit your life now. You’ve grown past it. It’s hard to let go sometimes, especially as we’ve been told so often that quitting equals failing. If you’re only hanging on to this goal because you don’t want to be labeled a quitter, but it’s not actually going to give you anything in return, it’s time to let it go to make room for goals that are more appropriate to where your life is currently heading.
  2. Your raid group cannot defeat a certain boss. Every week you and your friends group up to try their hands at the new raid boss (big level character that takes many people to defeat), but just can’t seem to do it. Perhaps it’s time to look at your equipment, your understanding of the boss mechanics, your understanding of your own class abilities. In other words, you’ve set a goal for yourself that you don’t actually have the tools to accomplish. There’s nothing wrong with setting aside a goal for a time when you are equipped to complete it, or of simply dropping it completely.
  3. Overcomplicated Quest line whose benefits are not worth the effort. You heard about a quest that sounded pretty cool, but when you get into it you discover it has 36 mini quests and you need to complete them all before getting any rewards, and the reward you do end up getting is a piece of junk. Are the developers trolling you? I would say this example would be when you set a goal for something you thought would be simple, but discovered it would take much more time and effort than you thought. Now, there will still be goals that are worth pursuing even if they end up being more complicated, but that is something you will have to decide for yourself. Is the end reward what I thought it was going to be, and will it be worth my effort? If not, then don’t waste your time. There are plenty of other quests in the game 😉
  4. Limiting Quest Line. There are some quest lines that open up relations with certain factions, but by doing so you become hated by/closed from interaction with an opposing faction. You need to find out which faction will give you the benefits you want and can use. Does a goal of yours cut you off from interactions that would be more beneficial than the ones brought about by that goal? This would be a time where dropping a goal would be appropriate. Again, you are the only one who can decide which benefits are best for you, but don’t be afraid to let one go just because you’ve invested time into it if there is a better goal for you out there.
  5. Misleading Quest Line. Either a quest line looks like it will lead to a certain perk (new mount/companion/area), or you were told it would, but you find out once you get into it that it doesn’t. It’s not uncommon to set a goal with a certain outcome in mind only to find out that working on the goal is actually taking you in a different direction. If that direction is not something you want, don’t feel bad about letting go of this goal. Just because you start something doesn’t mean you have to finish it if it is going to work against you in the end.

These are just a few things that popped into my head while contemplating this topic. I hope you were able to get something out of them whether you are a gamer or not. There are a couple of other thoughts I had that I want to hit on before I end.

The first one is about mindset. Sometimes being too focused on results can be a detriment. Enjoying the process, the journey, and focusing on that will bring more joy. The Bhagavad Gita (Gandhi’s ‘spiritual dictionary’) states “Those who are motivated only by desire for the fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results of what they do.” A goal should have you thinking more about ‘getting better’ than ‘being good’.

Secondly, if you are contemplating abandoning a goal, I want you to ask yourself a few questions. Why did you set the goal in the first place? Do you still have the same reasons for completing it? Do you want to quit merely because it is harder than you thought it would be? Or is it that the effort involved is too great compared to what you will actually obtain from completing it?

Make a list of honest pros and cons for quitting. Only you can know what’s best for you and what will make you happy. Get rid of goals that don’t bring happiness and fulfillment. Executive coach Steve Robbins said, “The people who had the least extraordinary lives were the ones who managed to adhere closest to their plans.” Lives change, circumstances change, so don’t be afraid to dump any goal that isn’t working for you anymore.

 

About Heidi A. Wilde

Heidi A. Wilde is a Respiratory Therapist by night and aspiring author by day. She spends her nights dragging people back from the brink of death, but she has dedicated her daylight hours to the pursuit of writing. Current projects include a Regency Romance series, a fantasy saga, and even a foray into the realm of Steampunk, as well as the occasional short story competition. She attributes the bulk of what knowledge she can claim to attendance in fabulous programs such as Superstars Writing Seminars, Dave Farland’s workshops, and various conventions.

Thank You, Baby

A guest post by Heidi Wilde.

Those of you who know me know that short fiction is not my strong suit, but it is a goal of mine to really get to the heart of a story and cut out the nonessential fluff. The 55-word story format is new to me so I did some research and found many personal sites and even an article in Family Medicine written in June of 2010 by Dr. Colleen Fogarty, a writer and a family physician. In her article she states “These stories… have been used to teach family medicine faculty development fellows. Writers and readers of 55 word stories gain insight into key moments of the healing arts; the brevity of the pieces adds to both the writing and reading impact.”

The article explains what goes into a good 55-word story and recounts one session of a writing seminar Dr. Fogarty held for other physicians and included the stories they wrote in the 15 minutes she allotted them. The familiarity of the subject matter and story components coupled with seeing their results inspired me to experiment on my own.

The night I found the article I had been called to an emergency C-section. It was one of many I’ve been called to over the years, but after reading that article I thought it would be a perfect story for a first attempt. With any emergency there is stress and anxiety and then enormous relief when you have a good outcome.

 

Thank You, Baby

“I need help in here!” the nurse called before running back to the patient’s room.

“We’re losing the baby’s heartbeat with each contraction. Is the cord wrapped around his neck?”

Please, baby, be okay. They’re the only words in my mind. Every time.

A cut.

A tug.

Overwhelming anxiety.

A cry.

Relief.

Thank you, baby.

 

After that article I visited many blogs where people had posted their 55-word stories to see if I could get a feel for the form and rhythm. There were many that affected me, some that I found myself thinking of days later, and some that just made me roll my eyes. I went back to the ones that stuck in my mind to figure out why they had had such an impact and to hopefully be able to learn from them.

Truthfully, the invitation for this post scared me and my initial (knee jerk) response was to decline, especially since I had never heard of this format before. But no improvement will occur without effort and a challenge, so I accepted. I’m very grateful for this opportunity to share what I’ve learned and created. I hope you will be able to take something of value away from my post.

 

The Storm Caster

I feel the storm’s power surging through me. It’s explosive. I stand arms outstretched while the wind, my

wind, wreaks havoc.

I could tear the trees from the ground; send them crashing into houses nearby. I could…

Then I see my neighbor laughing at me through his window.

Ahh, I remember.

I’m an ordinary man.

 

Relaxing

I step into the hottub with a contented sigh. Sinking under the water briefly, I wet my hair and face, then

float.

How relaxing!

Slowly, the water thickens. To my horror it seeps into my mouth and eyes, but leaves my nose free.

Minutes pass.

The last thing I feel: two fingers covering my nostrils.

 

Guest Writer Bio:

Heidi Wilde - with bangs!Heidi A. Wilde is a Respiratory Therapist by night and aspiring author by day. She spends her nights dragging people back from the brink of death, but she has dedicated her daylight hours to the pursuit of all things writing. Current projects include a Children’s “How to” Poetry book, a Regency romance series as well as a foray into the realm of Steampunk. She attributes the bulk of what knowledge she can claim to attendance in fabulous programs such as Superstars Writing Seminars, Dave Farland’s workshops and various conventions.

The Solitary Life of a Writer

A guest post by Heidi Wilde.

As soon as I discovered the existence of books and realized that human beings wrote these precious passports to lands unknown, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. The span between that realization and the present day I like to call My Rationalized Life (sounds better than My Wasted Life, don’t you think?). A little over two years ago, I decided that if I was ever going to be a writer I needed to get serious.

At first I thought that becoming a writer would involve a lot of time locked in my room, alone. That I needed to sequester myself away from “real life” in order to get in touch with my Writer Self. It’s a romantic notion, and you do need focused, concentrated time for your writing, but I found that merely sitting alone with my laptop wasn’t getting me very far. I started looking online for inspiration, tips, advice and stumbled into the world of Conventions and Workshops and all manner of Enticing Gatherings.

I try not to do anything in half measures and my first foray into this strange land was no different. I found a workshop that was held in conjunction with Dragon*Con and involved submitting a short story or the first chapter of a manuscript to the author who was running the 3 day workshop. It popped my eyes wide open, let me tell you. It also introduced me to the idea that writing is a community effort. Yes, when it comes down to it, the only one who can tell your story is you, but we aren’t meant to walk the path from inspiration to fruition alone.

My second convention experience was attending LTUE (Life, the Universe, and Everything – a speculative fiction symposium) where I became acquainted with a group of people who were interested in forming a writing group. I’d never had a writing group and I was a little nervous about how it would all work. I mean, these people would expect me to submit my writing. I would be expected to critique theirs! It was all very new and scary to me, so of course I jumped aboard.

In the beginning these people were strangers. They held no familial obligation to tell me my writing was good. They were going to give me what they wanted me to give them in return; honesty and ways to improve. If you aren’t currently in a writing group and have any interest in publishing – or at the very least improving – your work, I highly recommend finding a group.

There are a few things to consider when you begin searching for a group. First, you need to figure out what you want to get out of being in a group. Do you have a few projects that are nearly finished? Just need those extra set of eyes? Do you want to develop better critiquing skills? Do you need moral support for your writing addiction? A place where people speak your language? Know what you want/need so you can communicate those things to prospective groups.

Every group dynamic will be different; you need to find the one that fits you best. Trust me when I tell you you don’t want a group whose only feedback is that everything you write is awesome. This may sound like a good thing, and at times we do need to cosset our egos, but how much will you improve if you’re never told how or what needs improving? On the flip side, you should avoid groups that make you contemplate suicide at the end of each session. Moderation in all things, right? This is just as applicable to writing groups as to anything else. Find a group where you feel safe to submit, but also challenged to improve.

Don’t forget, writing groups are as much about what you can offer the rest of the group as they are about what you can gain from them. Make sure you are willing to read other people’s submissions and give them your honest feedback. Again, moderation. Don’t hang in the shadows for too long, but don’t expect that the spotlight is there just for you.

Be sure you are ready to accept and (where you deem appropriate) apply criticism. Once you have decided what story you want to tell, listen to your group’s comments to make sure you are telling the story you want to be. There is no need to make every change suggested by your group (that is one good way to lose your story), but if you hear the same comment from multiple sources you need to pay attention. A problem area is being highlighted. Somewhere along the way what you meant to say and what you actually said became two different things. Whether or not you use any suggestions you receive on how to fix the problem, the section needs to be fixed.

In addition to writing groups, I found that attending seminars and workshops help your craft as well as get you out mingling with people “in the know”. Yes, I’m talking about networking, rubbing shoulders, brushing elbows, playing footsie. No matter how nervous the idea of actually speaking to other people may make you, it is a very important piece of the pie.

The best experiences I have had with this aspect of writing have been during Superstars Writing Seminars. I could write a long post full of effusive praise for this seminar, but since this post is already quite lengthy, I’ll just mention one thing. This is where the budding thought of community that I received at the Dragon*Con workshop and watered during LTUE fully bloomed and bore fruit. Never in my wildest dreams did I image Superstars such as Kevin J. Anderson, Brandon Sanderson, Rebecca Moesta, Dave Farland, Tracy Hickman, Eric Flint and James Owen would claim me as a member of their Tribe, but they did.

Of the millions of things these wonderful authors said that touched me, the one that really changed my outlook on this business of writing was when Kevin told us to look around at the rest of the attendees. “These people are not your competition; they are your comrades.” Build your Tribe. Work on your writing, of course, but especially develop strong relationships with your fellow writers, editors, publishers, agents – and yes, even those I.P. attorneys (hey, we all need love) and you’ll find fulfillment and success in this insane, scary, wonderful world of writing.

Heidi Wilde Bio: Me in the Scots Tower
Heidi A. Wilde is a Respiratory Therapist by night and aspiring author by day. She spends her nights dragging people back from the brink of death, but she has dedicated her daylight hours to the pursuit of all things writing. Current projects include a Children’s “How to” Poetry book, a Regency romance series as well as a foray into the realm of Steampunk. She attributes the bulk of what knowledge she can claim to attendance in fabulous programs such as Superstars Writing Seminars, Dave Farland’s workshops and various conventions.