Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Five Day Writer's Retreat - Just a Few Days Away!

It's now just a few days until the release of my first book: The Five Day Writer's Retreat!!

Sunday, 10th of March, my 30th Birthday, is the big day. 

So, to get you all as excited about the book as I am, I wanted to share an extract from it on Goal Setting. I thought this was particularly apt, as this is also my ROW 80 goal check in!

This is from Day Four of the Retreat, and hopefully it will inspire you to look again at some of the goals you have for the year.

By the way, it helps if you have seen the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. So in case you haven't:

Day 4: Preparing Your Life

Food For Thought Part 1: Goal Setting. 

There is a lot of information out there about how to set good goals, and for unknown reasons a lot of that information sets my teeth completely on edge. Yes, I know they should be ‘Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Realistic – Timely’ (aka SMART), but who wants to be smart when setting goals? 

I think goal setting, at least the big, end goals, should be more like an Indiana Jones movie than a business plan. 

How does my little analogy work? Follow me! 

You should first see the goal in front of you like an idol. Can you see it? Gleaming on its little pedestal asking to be reached? Good.

Now, look at the bag of sand you have been carrying and work out if you have enough sand for the weight of your goal. The sand is every day material that you will need to give up: time, resources, money, etc. How heavy is your idol? How much will you have to hand over in order to achieve it? Do you have enough?

You are tense for a little bit as you slowly place the sand for the goal and rejoice when you pull it free – you have just agreed to a goal you think you can achieve.  

But wait! That is not the end. You still need to get out of the cave with your goal to realize it. It doesn't count until you are safely back home with the idol. And everyone knows it's once you have decided on a goal that everything in your life tries to stop you from achieving it. 

You start running. Then comes your first pit with stakes or snakes (not snacks as I originally wrote, unless tempting snacks are likely to distract you from your goal…hmmm, snacks…). 

Some kindly person yells to you that you should throw them your goal and they will give you the mundane life item to get you across this barrier. Maybe they say to give up the goal for a sensible job, just for a bit so you can pay the bills. 

Do you throw them the idol? Well, if you do, you still have to get out of the cave alive, and you no longer achieve anything at the end!
Maybe you are brave and you keep hold of it, working out some way through yourself. But then life might throw a giant, rolling boulder at you. Just remember, as long as you are running towards the entrance, it is all good, just don’t forget your hat.
Of course, when you break out with your goal, there will be a thousand people pointing arrows and spears of criticism that want to cut you down to size, so it is always best to have an escape plan such as your own plane that you can fly off and enjoy your achievement.
That is the way I think goals should be handled. So much more exciting and adventurous than being SMART. 

Also, if you create a goal that isn’t worth the sand you are swapping for it, or risking your life to cross the pit for, or even facing all the tribesmen wanting to kill you, then you haven’t really got a good enough goal. Stick with your sand and your day job.

Hope that gave you some inspiration for setting a new goal!

My goals for this week is simply to do as much as I can to improve the book before release, and then sit back and enjoy my 30th Birthday :D

If you would like a gift copy of The Five Day Writer's Retreat, you can still sign up to the newsletter at until 17th of March to receive it free. Or you are more than welcome to buy it. I am still offering a personal appraisal of your writing with every purchased copy, just to encourage you to take your writing seriously.

Sales will (hopefully, fingers crossed) go live on Sunday, 7pm Melbourne Australia time. You will be able to purchase it through The Five Day Writer website or on Amazon initially. I'm also planning on getting it on Smashwords, but that will mean reformatting, so might take a while.

Enjoyed the exert? Then go across to The Five Day Writer and tweet/facebook/share the love!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. Wait until you see the rest of the book!

  2. Love it! Putting it in my saved file. Thanks for the first smile of the day...especially when I'm in front of my keyboard, ready to start work.

    1. I always find a bit of young Harrison Ford makes for a good start to the day :D

  3. Oh. You are so right, that is way more exciting than SMART. What a great approach. And it addresses what SMART doesn't--resistance, all those people (and sometimes ourselves) telling us we shouldn't be trying/doing our dream (goal).

    1. Now every time anyone mentions to be about working more instead of writing, I imagine they are about to be spiked by booby traps. That's what you get for trying to take my idol away. (okay, that might sounds a bit more blood thirty than I meant it to!)