Do you have writing goals? Kudos to you, that’s wonderful. Goals are essential, in all areas of your life. However, looking at goals the wrong way is crippling.
Without a supportive mindset chances are that you’ll get bored (hello, New Year’s resolutions), become overwhelmed, and/ or just get tired. Achieving goals starts to be more trouble than it’s worth.
Let’s look at how you can achieve ANY writing goal, as long as you keep two things in mind:
- It’s not really about a goal, it’s about writing processes;
- There’s no free lunch: achieving writing goals involves sacrifice.
Has “sacrifice” scared you? Read on anyway.:-)
Why you aren’t achieving your writing goals, and how you can
You know about SMART goals, specific, measurable, attainable, etc. Setting goals is only part of the process. You can set as many goals as you like, but achieving your goals needs something else. Backbone.
Until you commit 100% to a goal — this, or death — you can’t be 100% certain that you’ll achieve it. You don’t have to commit at this level of course. Read Penelope Trunk’s excellent article on goal-setting.
Never mind your goals, focus on processes
From Penelope’s article:
“Goals are really about process – the results are ancillary.”
You need to create a map to your goal, and the roads which will lead you to it. The “roads” are writing processes.
For example, let’s say you want to write a couple of Kindle ebook fiction serials. Your goal is to get both serials published by the end of the year. You’ve got five months. You need to write, and edit, 200,000 words in five months. Can you do it? Let’s see.
Five months is 20 weeks. Can you write 5,000 words a week? 5,000 words a week for 20 weeks amounts to 100,000 words. That means you need to write 1,000 words a day. You get the weekends off. 🙂
Let’s say that you’ve decided that YOU CAN. OK… You’re busy. You have a job, and a family. Where will you find an extra hour or two every week day, in which to write 1,000 words?
Until you find those hours, and schedule your writing time, you can’t put your process into action. That’s your first step. Work out how you’ll get from where you are, to your goal, using a writing process.
Take a moment to think about it. Can you do it?
Remember that whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.
Now let’s look at sacrifices.
Sacrifice: you can’t have it all, all at once (sorry)
Everything has a price. Everything. That’s especially true with professional writing. Writing takes time. And even if you’re a full-time writer, there are many other calls on your time.
What will you give up in order to reach your goal? It will be something. It might only be a few hours of DVD watching every week, but it will be something.
If you can face your sacrifice, and decide that achieving your goal is worth it, you won’t be blindsided by what it takes to achieve your goal.
Set a goal: work out a process, and choose a sacrifice
Ready to set a goal?
If you’ve given up your writing dreams, because they seemed unachievable, set a new writing goal now. You can achieve anything as long as you have a process. You’ll make sacrifices along the way, of course.
Those sacrifices will be worth it. Not so much because of your achievements, but because you’ll discover that it’s all about the journey. Real writers are happy when they’re writing. They’re miserable when they don’t write. 😉
I'm sure you've heard quotes like: "if you can imagine it, you can achieve it." And: "if you can dream it, you can become it."More info →
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