Thursday, October 8, 2009

Have You Written Down Your Writing Goals?

I know a lot of people make New Year's resolutions about what they want to accomplish in their life for the coming year. I've never been a big New Year's Resolution kind of gal myself. Honestly, I don't need to deal with the guilt if I don't lose those extra ten pounds or the worry that I will never be able to keep my house clean no matter how many times I say I'll do it. Those kinds of goals are, I guess, just not that important to me (Gee, I wonder why?? :). And always having to do the goals in January? Why then? What if you suddenly get the urge to learn sky diving in August?

No matter what I think about New Year's resolutions (and, hey, if they work for you all the power to you) I do still believe in the importance of having goals. And if something is truly important to me, when there's a goal I really want to achieve, I'm a big believer in WRITING THAT GOAL DOWN. For me, writing it down is like a promise. To me or the universe, whatever, if I see the words on paper I can't avoid the promise I made.

When I started writing seven years ago I realized that I wasn't just doing this thing for fun. I was writing with the intent of one day being published. I didn't know how tough it would be or how much I would have to learn but I knew that was the goal. That was what kept me writing at one a.m. when everybody else was asleep. It was what kept me going when the rejections piled in or when manuscripts weren't turning out the way I thought they should. And to remind me of that goal, I wrote - on a little yellow sticky note that's still in the top drawer of my desk - "I want to be published by the time I'm (insert age here). You see, I always allowed for what I would do if I didn't make that goal by the time I gave myself. If I didn't make it by a certain age, well, then, I'd put in the next age where I would work toward achieving that goal.

As you can tell, I'm also a big believer that there is no failure in not reaching your goals. I do believe there is failure if you have none.

So, because I'm going to be published next year, does this mean I have no more goals? Are you kidding me? There is always something to strive for, always something to achieve. I've written two new goals on a new sticky and I've given myself a time limit for that. One of the goals is more like a hope - because I'm not sure I can influence whether it happens or not - but the other one I can definitely work towards. And, no, I'm not sharing them with anyone. Until I achieve them they are private and personal to me. No one else is accountable to those written words except me. No one else has the right to ask me how I'm doing in getting closer to those goals. Only I know. And the universe. Because, as any writer knows, the written word is a very powerful thing.

So, have you written down your writing goals yet?


  1. I did write them down at the beginning of the year - but I don't know if I've actually gone back to look at them. Sad, huh? I rewrite goals in my head on a daily basis, though. My goal, right now, is to write and submit. Simple - yet not so easy some days. I've submitted 6 things in the last few days (greeting cards, mag articles, etc). But I have a pb and chapter book I need to get out there!

  2. wordwranglernc: Good for you! The fact you are writing and submitting things is your written goal made real!

    Maybe you need to write down another specific goal like finishing the PB or Chapter Book by a certain date? I like giving myself a timeline. Makes me somehow think about it more.