It applies to everything really.

We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time or we watch 20% of our 80s teen angst films 80% of the time. And if I had just 20% of the money I spent on truly terrible fashion and hairstyle choices in the 80s, I'd be a rich woman today. ;)

So how does this rule measure up when it comes to your goal-attaining regimen? Do you spend the majority of your time thinking about achieving your goals or are you actively going after them?

With writing, it's easy to spend oodles of time investigating writing opportunities, researching markets, contemplating cool new ideas and, a trap I frequently fall into, revising stuff that's already done. Oh, and I better not forget about visiting other writer's blogs and checking out the forums and club websites. ;)

But how much time do we really spend doing what needs to be done in order to succeed? Sure, gathering information and sharing ideas and tales of woe with such a supportive community is great, but will it get us published?

One could argue that this form of networking is an essential part of the path to publication, and I do agree with that theory up to a point. Where I beg to differ is that commenting on blogs can't be your only avenue of promoting your work. You need to query.

There I go, mentioning the Q-word on a Monday. But I really must. It's our only way of letting the universe know that we're officially seeking publication. Despite the rumors, I have it on good authority that agents and editors do not drop out of the sky onto writer's doorsteps, asking to see manuscripts.

If only it were that easy. ;)

It's like participating in the Pillsbury Bake-Off without leaving your kitchen. If the judges can't sample your entry, how can you expect to win? And what on earth are you going to do with all those raspberry/chocolate cupcakes? (Call me!)

There are oodles of reasons why you're not going after what you want; believe me, I've used most of them. But if you don't try, you really shouldn't whine about not getting to where you want to be. You can, however, whine about how you're standing in the path of your own success. ;)

So take 20 minutes and give the one goal you want to achieve at least 80% of your efforts. Who knows what you might be able to create? For me, it resulted in a reworked query letter that reads better--and will hopefully get the results I'm hankering for.

What are you waiting for? Get to work!

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