Society’s lash

cuts deep

for those who bear the scars

of doing time

at Her Majesty’s pleasure.


No chance     these days

to change the spelling or pronunciation

of a surname     as was the want

of many ancestor convicts

to separate themselves

from the rigors     of their past

when freedom finally came

after years of servitude

in this distant land…


Our young man has responsibilities

must find work…

he shops at Vinnies

covers tattoos with long sleeves

regardless of temperature

prepares a resumé

highlighting his skills

and fronts up to interviews.


‘Why have you been out of work

for so long?’ he is asked.


He tells the truth     and hears

‘We don’t employ criminals’

or     the softer version

‘I can’t risk having you on staff’.


In desperation

he skirts around probing     about

his absence from society  

and even fudges his answers…

but fools nobody

least of all himself.


Long periods of unemployment

lead to gaping holes in his work history

which bring more aggressive questions.


He is willing to work

~ wants to work ~

yet nobody will employ him     and

he continues to carry

the burden     of his misdeeds.


Is this freedom   

or merely release     to a world

riddled with judgement

and inherent restrictions?


  • c. Kathryn Coughran
  • 24th January 2019

Writing Exercise #23

Reinforce Your Writing Goals

Setting goals is not enough to make our dreams come true. Setting realistic goals is not even enough to make them come to fruition. There are additional steps to take if we want to achieve success.

Setting SMART and realistic goals, and writing a commitment to yourself to achieve them are covered in my earlier Blogs ~ Prepare To Set Writing Goals That Can Succeed, Construct Writing Goals That Can Succeed and Turn The Opportunity To Succeed Into Success.

What else can you do? Find ways to reinforce your commitment. One such way is to make a collage. The energy you give to this task, and therefore your writing goals, will multiply the possibility of creating the desired outcome.

Exercise ~

Clarify and list your writing goals for 2019.

  • Write about a page that summarises the outcomes you want to achieve. This may be prose or poetry – whatever comes at the time. Just let your creative juices flow…
  • Identify key words, phrases, pictures/photographs, objects, or anything else that will symbolise the essence of each of your goals.
  • Gather these items – take your time with this part of the exercise and make sure you have the most meaningful representation for each goal. For example, a goal might be ‘freedom to write’ – which could have many different meanings, depending on the circumstances. While one person may choose a deserted bush scene to indicate ‘freedom’, another may select a photograph of themselves flying a glider… because they remember the sensation that they were souring on the back of a huge bird with no sound other than the hiss of the wind… and someone else, may simply find a feather for their project.
  • Check that your items are specific and personal. Replace them if necessary.
  • Arrange your items on a sheet of cardboard – or two, or three, or four. I once made a huge collage to represent life goals, using four sheets of coloured cardboard taped together, and it continues to bring rewards twenty years later!
  • Take a break, then come back to your collage with fresh eyes. Do this for as short or as long as feels comfortable – but don’t take so long that you give up!
  • Secure your treasures to the cardboard.
  • Hang your masterpiece where your eyes will naturally rest on it several times each day – to reinforce the power of manifestation.
  • Trust the universe to bring you the opportunities to meet your goals.
  • Take action… and enjoy a successful writing year!

This Writing Exercise relates to my Blog ~ Reinforcing Your Writing Goals.

Reinforcing Your Writing Goals

Over the years, I spent many festive seasons alone and grew to enjoy them, with my own special but very loose routine. Christmas morning… sleep in, read/write in bed, doze, raid the fridge, read/write some more, shower and then go for a long walk. By then, it was at least mid-afternoon. New Year’s Eve… bathe by candle-light with relaxing music, while clarifying my hopes for the following twelve months. New Year’s Day… find pictures, words, or objects to represent what I wanted to come to fruition, then spend hours making a collage to hang where my eyes would regularly rest on it to reinforce the power of manifestation.

Such was the mood I created on New Year’s Eve twenty years ago, that my list of hopes for the coming year developed into a poem before midnight. The resulting collage grew to cover four sheets of coloured cardboard of the standard size carried by newsagencies. I cleared the wall and hung the huge poster at the foot of my bed, where I would see it before I fell asleep at night and first thing each morning.

Many of the wishes were granted during that year, mostly because I focussed on achieving the outcomes I wanted… but others seemed to be the result of the goodwill of the universe, or as some would say, by the alignment of the planets.

Although a bit dilapidated from being folded, stored and carried around through several house-moves, I still have that collage. Some of my hopes represented on it are still manifesting, even if in slightly different ways. For instance, I’d pasted this photograph of myself on my creation, because it reminded me of the deep love that was between myself and the photographer. He was long gone from my life and I had married and divorced someone else, but I wanted to find another love such as ours.

Woody Head NSW – 1968

That connection with a new person eluded me year-in and year-out, but then the tide turned. Due to surprising life changes, the photographer is back in my life and our love is even deeper and richer than in our youth.

The universe works in mysterious ways!

What is stopping any of us from using this principle to reinforce our writing goals?

The answer is quite simple… Nothing!

By surrounding our dreams with energy – that of the universe and our own action – we multiply the possibility of creating the desired outcome.

The message is strong –

  • Make clear decisions about your writing intentions for 2019
  • Make a commitment to yourself that you will achieve these goals (a collage is one way to do this)
  • Plan what action/s you need to take to turn each dream into a reality
  • Take action!
  • Trust the universe to deliver your dreams…

This is a simplified list. You can expand on the process of goal-setting for your writing by reading my previous Blogs ~ Prepare To Set Writing Goals That Can Succeed, Construct Writing Goals That Can Succeed,  Turn The Opportunity To Succeed Into Success and Are You On Track?                                                                                          

You may also find it helpful to do Writing Exercise #23 ~ Reinforce Your Writing Goals.

What other strategies have you used to set, reinforce and manifest your writing goals?

I would value your thoughts and feedback in the Comments section, which can be found at the end of each post.

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