Goals

Tami Pets a Horse in Dublin
Tami Pets a Horse in Dublin

Not a single organism on this planet ever does anything without a goal in mind. If you aren’t reaching your goals, maybe you set them unrealistically high. Or maybe you aren’t a strong/fast/smart/handsome as you thought you were. Or, maybe they’re not really your goals.

In writing, plenty of people will say that they want to write a best seller. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict that result, nor anything you can do to guarantee it. Which makes “write a best seller” a false goal, because you can’t control enough of the process to ensure success. Some people state goals such as “I’m going to write 20,000 words per week each and every week this year.” And then they fall way short of doing that. This is probably an example of an overly ambitious goal, but also, I suspect, it is simply not what most writers really want to do. 20,000 words per week? Almost 3,000 per day? Really? You want to sit on your butt and scribble, key, or dictate for all of the hours it will take to pull that off?

You know what? Creative people don’t respond to that sort of situation very well. If you’re creative, you probably have a desk that would drive Miss Jones (or whatever your English teacher’s name was) crazy! You can probably find whatever it is you need in a few seconds, but anyone else would be well advised to simply leave the room. Am I right? And your time is the same. It’s messy. Heck, you may write 30,000 words a day. Once. And never again. And you may go thirty days without so much as a thousand words. Not too often, but it will happen. Because your real goal is probably what you perceive as the “lifestyle” of an author, meaning that you get up when you want to, write what you want when you want to, eat lunch when your stomach growls, and submit your completed manuscripts to grateful (you pick) agents/publishers/readers. I’m right again, aren’t I?

If that last paragraph describes your “real” goals, take heart! The problems with that set of goals are simply that, in order to get to that point, you have to write a lot, take a lot of criticism, and become your own best marketing department. You can do that first thing, right? And you can learn to accept and give useful criticism, heck, anybody can. That third one? Well, might be more problematic, but bigger word nerds than you have done it, because marketing is a teachable/learnable skill. There are entire departments dedicated to marketing in business schools all across the country.

In other words, that goal, even though it sounds like the fuzziest and wimpiest of the three I’ve offered above, is the most realistic. Because that’s the sort of goal a creative person can get behind, and stick to. Don’t delay! Start working toward your goals today! Can’t wait to seeĀ  you on Ellen!

*** If you’d like to learn more about marketing, check out the Las Vegas Writers’ Group meeting on June 21st! Click this link for more details.