The Difference Between Dreams and Goals
by Kathryn Purdie
Another January is here, and writers everywhere are making resolutions for the new year. “I’m going to get an agent! Sell a manuscript! Hit the New York Times Bestseller’s List! Win a major award!” Easy there, writer. Those sound like dreams, not goals. The difference between the two is vast and important, but both are vital for success.
Dreams give us passion. They are the driving force necessary to pursue our goals. Dreams help us get back on our feet when we experience setbacks. But while dreams are powerful motivators, achieving them is almost always beyond our control. After all, we can’t make an agent or editor invest in us, force readers to buy our books, or demand critics to enjoy our work. What we can control, however, is accomplishing specific writing-related goals, which will hopefully move us closer to realizing our dreams.
As far as the realm of traditional publishing is concerned, writers should only be pursuing goals within two categories: education and writing. Why? Because no one can take away what you learn, and no one can take away the words you write. They are the only goals you and you alone control. The chart below lists suggestions for goals within each category.
This January and all throughout the year, make those vision boards, dream big, and keep your passion alive, but find satisfaction along the way through accomplishing goals YOU can control, and remember SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
Happy New Year, writers!
Kathryn Purdie is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the BURNING GLASS series (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins) and the forthcoming BONE GRACE. She lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and three children. Kathryn is a trained classical actress who studied at the Oxford School of Drama and was inspired to write her debut trilogy while recovering from donating a kidney to her older brother. In her spare time, she loves playing guitar, binge-watching TV, and devouring Peanut Butter Oreos. Find her online at www.kathrynpurdie.com