Saturday, 22 January 2011

Setting the Pace by JoAnn Carter

Author JoAnn Carter

Have you ever set out with a goal, a good and worthy goal, or New Years resolution only to become frustrated to the point of giving up? I know I’ve been there—done that. Here’s a recent example… I wanted to jog around the neighborhood (1.5 miles) before the year ended. So every morning, once the weather was nice, out the door I’d go. Bless my sweet husband, he’d come with me as a source of encouragement. However, no matter how hard I tried, it never took long for me to become winded to the point where I needed to walk. I was so disgusted after weeks and weeks of little to no improvement, I decided to quit. My husband, seeing my broken spirit said, “Do you trust me?”

I wondered where this was going but I replied, “Yes, I do.”

“Good. Then tomorrow, let me set the pace.”

The next day, dragging my heels, I followed him out the door. But you know what, a remarkable thing happened. I jogged around one loop without stopping! After the appropriate round of high-fives and smiles I stood amazed. I didn’t need to stop and I didn’t feel ready to pass out—granted it wasn’t the whole neighborhood yet, but I went as far as my husband asked simply by matching his steady stride.

You know what the trick was? Pacing.

Okay, so fast forward—I’m almost all the way through the neighborhood at this point (just a little side street left to tackle), and it’s that time of year to dig back in and refocus on my writing. I set my writing goals; I’m going to write 2,000 words a day and finish a novel every three months. I have BIG plans of going GREAT places.

Guess what? It didn’t take me long to fizzle out. Instead of enjoying writing, embracing the gift of time I had to set aside for writing this year, it felt like a burden, a chore! Then it hit me like a 2x4. My pacing was off! Granted some folks may write like a marathon runner, and have great success, but that won’t work for me. I want to love every moment of writing…explore the journey with eager anticipation.

I’d like to throw out this challenge, if you’re feeling tired or burned out—even though the New
Year in just beginning—check your pacing. Great things can happen if you slow down to enjoy life’s journey. I have proof. I been jogging completely around the neighborhood and my Inspirational/Historical Romance The Floating Palace (Book One in a three part series) will be released July 15, 2011 right here with Desert Breeze Publishing.

If that can happen for me, I know you can face your own personal mountain! Remember the key is taking steps, even baby steps some days.

Happy New Year!

JoAnn Carter
Inspirational Romance Author: Teacher’s Plans, By the Book, Sweet Rest, Smuggler of the Heart, Daniella, The Hamster Wheel, and Finders Keepers


  1. Thanks for having me here today, Steph!

  2. Great post on pacing, JoAnn! Using your personal examples got me hooked. You are SO right. Writers should always go with their own pace. After all, remember the Turtle. :))



  3. JoAnn--Pacing..quite a concept, isn't it? Very simple and very accurate. Yes, I feel overwhelmed right now, too, and I'm going at an uncomfortable pace. Why? Too much at one time. I did not think to "pace" things out, so that I'm ending up with too much to accomplish in not enough time. My fault--I forgot to check the calendar and pace myself.
    Thanks for the reminder, that I did this to myself, and only I can fix it. Congratulations on your release--maybe we'll get to know each other a little. Celia

  4. Susanne & Ceila,

    Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments!

    Have a great weekend~

  5. Great goals, JoAnn. I wish you the best of luck! A book every three months? Whew!

  6. Danielle,

    LOL-- can you see why that plan was destined to fail? :)