[Worksheet] Four Personal Goal Categories + Inspirational Quotes

No affiliate links here, and no price to download. If you find this resource helpful, you can buy me a cup of chai. I hope you stick around for awhile to see what other resources and worksheets you can delve into!

When it comes to goals, January is really just a free-trial month. So don’t worry if you didn’t meet your New Year’s resolutions. They’re not nearly as important as setting goals for yourself.

I’ve blogged about S.M.A.R.T. Goals before, but now I have a worksheet for you that will help you establish more than just achievements and professional objectives.

Individual growth is holistic, but juggling professional and personal responsibilities is rough. It usually results in dropped balls and broken plates—or hearts. We’ve discussed the difference between important and urgent, so let’s figure out how to really make a priority of those important things that have been evaporating on the back burner for too long.

We Work Too Much

Perfectly (and coincidentally) timed with this post was a recent Twitter discussion on the pressure we put on ourselves to always be working:

The struggle is especially real for people who work at home:

“You do this thing where you’re never fully committed to work time or break time. Every day you get some work done, but you’re never in ‘work mode’. But then when you goof off, you feel guilty, ’cause you feel like you should be working on something. You should have designated work time, and work hard to get it finished. But then, have relax time, and actually enjoy it. I think you’d be a lot happier.”

The Personal Goal Planner

When creating this goal planner, I researched a dozen different life coaching techniques and ended up with four non-work categories that can end up falling to the wayside when we focus too much on work:

Keep reading for the download and a smattering of inspirational quotes in each category.
Continue reading

February Freebies

Hi all! Happy Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day. After a Twitter convo brought up the need for introverts to hit on people they see reading without disturbing them, I decided we needed bookmarks that say “You are cute and  you read—email me.”

But bookmarks can be hard to carry on your person all the time, so I decided to make them the size of business cards instead. I hope you enjoy them! Click the images below to download either the black and white or the black and red version.

Only 4 of the crop marks showed up in the PDF, so know that the cards are each 2″x3.5″

On the back, write:

  • your first name
  • your email
  • subj: [a keyword that you’ll be able to identify them by, like “combat boots” or “Wuthering Heights”]



I also made a dorky new desktop background that some cat-loving writers might enjoy. You can download that, too.

All of these are for personal use only!




  • 15 Bookish & Writerly Things I’m Thankful For
  • My Gift to You
  • Small Business Saturday–Cyber Monday Editing Deals

15 Bookish & Writerly Things I’m Thankful For

  1. My editing clients! I wouldn’t be able to blog or stay home with my kids if it weren’t for you. I’m daily inspired and encouraged by your creative spirits. You’re THE BEST.
  2. The books patiently waiting by my bedside for me to read them
  3. My local library, for saving me hundreds of dollars a year with all their books and comics and movies.
  4. Librarians, for being insanely helpful and brilliant.
  5. This reminder from Shannon Hale:
  6. This GIF:
  7. Indie Booksellers (like Addendum Books) and lit mags (like Revolver) who put on awesome literary events.
  8. The social media accounts which show how hilarious and human book publishers are.
  9. The couple hundred writers who participated in #pg70pit this summer—Thank you! We’ll be doing it again in 2016!
  10. The readers & writers who joined in my first BookDeeply writing seminar / book club. (You can still join! Nominate next spring’s debut author in the comments below.)
  11. My fellow MS Editors—you raise me up so I can stand on mountains. Oh, wait, that’s Josh Groban.
  12. Writing/editing/reading social media—Twitter, for helping me find my tribe, and Bookstagrammers, for making my daily doses of books and design easy and convenient.
  13. The community of comics creators at OA Live.
  15. And YOU, for reading my blog! Thank you!


What literary wonders are you thankful for this year? Share in the comments!

My Gift to You

If you are not of a geeky persuasion and/or have no appreciation for popular culture, you probably won’t appreciate this. But if you know who Pavel Chekov is, then I hope you like and enjoy.

I made a series of geeky to-do/checklists for you. I call them…

wait for it…


I’ve got blue ones with trekkie insignia…


Assorted colors for color-coders:

and black and white sketchy ones for those trying to save some toner…

They’re free! You can download them by clicking the image below.

If you do download them, and if you enjoy them, do me a favor and rate them on Teachers Pay Teachers, please!

Eventually I’ll add more writing worksheets to that site, so let your writing instructors know about it. 🙂

Have fun with these, print out a bunch for friends, enjoy!

downloadEditing Deals

From now through Cyber Monday, request a quote from me to receive big discounts!


Note: November is the craziest month for Marine families, so my posting schedule is a bit off! We had the Marine Corps Birthday Ball last weekend and have Thanksgiving tomorrow, so November’s query workshop and the Act Three post will be a bit delayed.

Manuscript Format Template (free download)


Have you read my posts on Formatting your Novel Manuscript? If not, read part one here and part two here.

I surveyed forty literary agents in October of 2014 to ask them which font they preferred for submitted manuscripts. The clear winner was Times New Roman. Many agents read pages on e-readers or mobile devices, and TNR is a web-safe, system-installed, serif.  Using TNR allows them to read pages without changing formatting first, but it is also an easy font to change.

Download the MS Format TEMPLATE.

Right-click the link above and “save as.” I saved it as a Word Document, even though I personally use Pages, so if there are any issues, please report them to me! Our PC isn’t working, and I don’t have Word on my Macbook Pro.

This template uses paragraph styles, which you can import into any preexisting document. Otherwise save a copy of MS Format TEMPLATE, rename it, and begin typing or pasting your manuscript.

Read through all of the instructions on the template, and save it as-is to keep as a reference. Do not type into the original TEMPLATE—type in a duplicate or copy file.

Copyright Notice:

This template was created by me for personal or educational use only. You may share it with others—simply give them this link or share the link on social media using the buttons below. You may not pass this template off as your own or charge anyone to use it. You may not upload the template to any website or blog.

Of course, you have full ownership of your own manuscript, whether you use my template or paragraph styles to format it.