Kelly Maher


Goal setting

I’ve found another reason to be grateful I keep this identity separate from alter ego. It has to do with my latest life goal. My birthday was this past Saturday, and it was a milestone for me. For many years I’ve said that if a particular life event was going to happen, I’d want it to have at least be in train by this birthday. Well, it didn’t happen. I’m not ruling out the potential for this life event in the future, but I’m now at a point of re-evaluating what I want out of my life. While I’ve talked with friends about this re-evaluation process and the new life goal in person, I’m not ready to put it out online attributable to alter ego. Here goes.

About a week before my birthday, as I was falling asleep, I got an idea. Not a writing idea like I usually do, but still a “what if” kind of thought. It was: “What would it take for me to be able to live abroad for a year?” That idea quickly morphed into Project Maxilla. However, it wouldn’t stay still as the germ for a novel. It latched onto my mind the way a tick does. I could not stop thinking about it. I mentioned the idea on Twitter and a friend quickly responded with a title in her TBR pile which was a how-to guide to running away as an adult. That book was ordered so quickly my card was smoking.

I’ve settled on a date of when I want to run away: my 40th birthday. This means I’ve got a few years to pay off my existing debt and to save up enough money to take a year off from the day job. However, to make this all happen, I need to ramp up the income I make from my writing. First and foremost, this means ramping up my production of publishable material. I also envision having continuous income to supplement my savings while running away by writing the entire time. In fact, one of the things I’d like to do is write a book about the experience. I already have a title! “Dispatches from a 40-year-old Runaway” It’s got a ring to it I like 🙂 And that’s where the title of this new category comes from. As I work toward this goal, I want to share my journey with you. Whether or not it comes to pass, it’s a concrete goal I can focus on and use to drive me on the days where getting my words in is tough or I want to throw in the towel because I’m not connecting with the right agent or editor for a project. Having a time-sensitive goal also will help guide me as I make business decisions on projects. Being able to even envision this as a possibility is thanks to you readers. Thank you.

I hope you enjoy taking this ride with me!

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