The title of this post might seem cliche but it fits me today because I've given myself a lecture on doing just that: keeping my eye on the prize.
It's so easy in this day of technological distractions to find myself filling days with tasks that do not lend themselves to my main creative focus. I'm as guilty as the next person of checking my e-mail more often than necessary, logging on to Facebook with no particular objective or spending an hour playing online games.
I can also prioritize chores that do not really need my immediate attention. The laundry, the errands, the house cleaning, the bills and office organization; all these keep me from my writing goals - goals I do want to reach.
Distractions can extend to the media as well. Too much attention paid to the the latest political wrangling, the natural and human disasters that we face, or the dire economic chaos in our world can leave me beaten down and depressed. Expending too much thought on those issues can lead to a negative outlook on everything, including my ability to succeed.
It takes a special kind of stamina to maintain a positive outlook, a proper focus and a schedule that results in results. That's why the periodic self-lectures on positivity, focus and scheduling for results. It helps me to have others - my family and my writing group are the main motivators - to push me onward in my creative quest. But, most of all it's just me.
June 1 is looming. It's my deadline to begin sending out agent queries on my novel. To do that, the novel has to be complete to my satisfaction. And I still have quite a bit of revision before that is accomplished, so there's never been a better time for one of my personal push lectures. It renews my happy outlook on what can be - and that no one can make my dreams realities except me. I love Laurence Olivier's outlook on it all. He said, "I take a simple view of life: keep your eyes open and get on with it." You see? - "eye on the prize" - it works.