Every start of every week, every month, and every new year is exciting (especially if new week, month and year start on a Sunday, the first day of the week.). So you can imagine how exciting yesterday was for me. January 1, 2012! New Year starts on a Sunday! Woot woot!
This year is kinda cool. We have three Friday the 13ths and it’s Leap Year. Plus we have Project Don’twritecrapway coming up. And we’ll have a few writing marathons. There’s Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers. Sigh. I can almost smile about what’s coming up!*
I’ve talked before about what I think of goal making. I’m kinda crazy about setting goals. I like to writing a million things down. I like to scratch things off the list.
Example of one of my lists.
1. Make goals.
2. Break big goals into little goals.
3. Make sure that each goal is small enough to achieve.
4. Make sure even unattainable goals are attainable.
5. Have no fewer than 236 goals for the year.
So, you get the picture.
Two weeks ago I started writing down my goals. I had end-of-the-year goals. Goals to help-me-be prepared-for-the-New-Year’s goals. Last-week-of-the-year goals. Last-three-days-of-the-year goals. Last-day-of-the-year goals. I’ve made quite a few but I keep losing the papers I’ve written these on. This is distressing. But then I remake my goals and . . .
Here’s what dictionary.com says the definition of a goal is:
1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
2. the terminal point in a race.
3. a pole, line, or other marker by which such a point is indicated.
Writing is a race, right? We’re headed toward the end of our novels, and we hope to get the work done in a timely matter. It’d be cool if we won some awards for our work. One award, of course, is selling what we wrote. Another awards might be actually winning awards for what we write.
Rick Walton gave me great advice many years ago– “Make goals you can achieve, Carol.”
What?! Winning the Newbery isn’t a worthy goal?
Sure it is! The problem is, you don’t have that much control over making sure you win awards–unless you have friends in high places.
Kahlil Gibran said, “The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain.”
Hmmm, it’s starting to make sense why I have so many goals.
Here are a few more good quotes. I’m trying to make them all about me.
Here’s what someone said, but we don’t have his name because he didn’t leave 85 lists around the house with this written on it: “In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.”
Translated, that means this–”Know where you’re going in your novel–have just a bit of an idea. Otherwise your writing may take a wrong turn and you’ll not reach the goal of finishing your book.”
Here’s Chris Crowe’s favorite presidential quote (I think he loves Roosevelt because Chris met him!) “To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.” Franklin Roosevelt
Well, I collected a lot of these inspiring quotes, but I just want to get on with my own WRITING goals. (Yes. I have MANY kinds goals. Think about maybe trying to learn how to love running. Cook–maybe even every day. Read the scriptures with the family–together. I have a goal category for Health, Finances, House, Spiritual, My Kids and What I Want Them to Do–my list of lists goes on and on.)
1. Read fifty terrific novels.
2. Finish NaNo book.
3. Rewrite the DD and Fine.
and here’s one more–4. write a rough draft of at least one more novel (either killer book, or scary book–or maybe that one funny book).
The deal is, Ann Dee, Chris, Kyra and I all want you to succeed, so feel free to log your writing goals here. In the middle of the year, I’ll re-post what you’ve written so you can check in and see how you’re doing. Have fun writing your attainable goals. And you don’t have to only have three or four. But maybe just stick to writing.
Here’s a quote to end with: There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second.
(Logan Pearsall Smith)
I’d change this up just a bit–Get What You Want–But Be Nice About It.
There are too many people who get what they want in the publishing industry and then they start acting ugly behind the scenes.
I swear–if I sell a begillion copies of my books OR win the Caldecott, Newbery and Prinzt awards for one of my books, I swear to still be nice. No! I’ll be even nicer!
Happy New Year!
* Cheri is convinced we don’t need to worry about the world ending Dec 21,2012, so I’m feeling even better about the New Year.