Getting Concrete, Part 1

cementWhen we last left Betsy’s Blog, Betsy was meeting with Skipper – chipmunk extraordinaire and Habit Implementation Specialist.  Skipper has been getting quite impatient waiting for Betsy to get off her butt and move forward (in which Skipper is not alone), and decided a little quality face-time was in order.

Although Skipper seemed to be knocking back margaritas with abandon by the end of the post, she had also managed to lead Betsy through a brain storming session to come up with an fuzzy, overarching, dream-like objective.  Betsy wants to write stories, and have people read them.


Now Betsy is back for her next therapy session, but she seems a little glum.  What’s going on?  And what’s the next step now that she’s identified her overarching objective?

Let’s see….


*Skipper bounces into her office in Betsy’s brain*  *Stops short when she sees Betsy is already there, reclining in a recliner, hands folded over her not-so-flat tummy*

Wow, you’re early.  *Skipper skips to the other recliner in the cozy office*  *Pours herself a cup of tea (decaf) from the teapot on a small table*  *Sips*  I thought I was going to have to wait for you to show up.

No.  *Betsy sighs*  I figured I might as well just get here.  *sighs again*

*Skipper tilts head inquisitively*  What’s up, buttercup?  Why so blue?  I thought we made good progress last week.

Yeah, I guess.  *Betsy sighs*

*Skipper puts down teacup*  Seriously, you’re bringing me down.  What’s going on?

*Betsy brings recliner to upright position*  It’s just…I thought my overall life objective would be a little bit more impressive than “write stories and have other people read them.”  I mean, that was hardly worth writing a blog post about.  I’ve known I wanted to do that for a long time.

*Skipper curls legs under her butt*  No, see it was important for you to verbalize it again.  You’d forgotten.  But we needed to know that overarching objective, because we need to know how you define success.

*Betsy blinks*  Success?

Right.  When you say you want to “do your work”, we need to know what YOUR work is.  What YOUR main objective is.  How YOU see success.

*Betsy blinks*

*Skipper draws in a deep breath* *lets it out slowly*  So now that we know what’s going to make you happy and successful is writing a lot of stories and having people read them, we have the starting point we need.

*Betsy scratches head*  We do?

Yes.  *Skipper pushes aside teapot*  *grabs brandy snifter*  *pours healthy amount into a glass*  *sips*  We know you’re not looking to write one story – you want to write a lot of them.  And we know you don’t want to just hide them away – you want other people to read them.  And we know the creating of them is what makes you happy and feel like life is worth living.  These are all good things to know.  Some of the details may change as you move along, but the main point won’t, because that’s what you were born with.

*Betsy blinks*  Okay.

But the overarching objective CAN wither and die or get all twisted up in your head.  You need to bring it into the real world.  You need to make it concrete.

*Betsy frowns*  So, just thinking about it isn’t enough?

No!  *Skipper sips brandy*  No.  You actually have to DO something about it.  Otherwise it’s only a thought and doesn’t really mean anything.

Oh.  *Betsy scratches head*  Okay.

*Skipper sighs*  Soooo, what do you think you should do to make this fuzzy objective a reality?

*Betsy blinks*  Write stuff?

Right!  *Skipper puts down glass* *claps paws together*  We’ll start there.  You say you want to, and I quote, “write a lot of stories.”


So, what do you consider to be “a lot?”  Five?  Five hundred?

*Betsy scratches her head*  Well, I have enough ISBNs for at least fifty stories.  I’d kind of like to use them all up.

Okay, let’s start with fifty.  *Skipper pulls out her tablet computer and makes a note*  And what kind of a time frame are we talking about here?

*Betsy shrugs*  Before I die.

*Skipper rolls eyes*  Let’s try to get a little more specific.  How many stories do you want to write in a year?

*Betsy chews bottom lip*  I don’t know how many I can–

Eh!  *Skipper slashes air with her paw*  There is no “can” there is only “do”

I don’t think that’s what Yoda said.

Whatever.  How many do you WANT to write in a year?

I don’t know.  *Betsy considers*  Two?  Three?

Okay, two a year to start.  At least two with the idea of moving to three.  *Skipper looks at Betsy*  See?  That gives us something concrete to work with.  We’ve taken the overall fuzzy objective of “write a lot of stories” and narrowed it down to “write two-three stories a year”.  Now we can set up some goals and habits to reach that objective and get really specific.

But I’m not sure I can–

Eh!  *Skipper slashes with her paw again*  You can if you think you can.  That’s what we’re going to do next.  We’ll iron out some specifics and see what we need to do to structure your life to meet this goal.  I’ll reach out to Harry and pull him into the next brainstorming session.  *Skipper taps on tablet*

*Betsy frowns*  I’m not sure my brain can handle too many more storms.

*Skipper shrugs*  It’s got to be better than what you’ve been doing.



To be continued…


building a wall




  1. Only two or three??? Gads, you can do better than that, unless you’re talking full scale books. Your fans demand more, more, more!

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Athena: Well, yes, I was thinking of books, as opposed to short stories. I’m trying not to scare myself! LOL I’m hoping to be able to fit other, shorter, works in there too, but I wasn’t counting them. 🙂

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