Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Goals - Wants - Goals - Wants...No, it's Goals

I’ve been thinking about goals and what mine are for the coming year. When does it become a goal or when is it really a want? Are the two the same thing? I don’t think so.

A goal is something you write down and purpose to work hard to achieve. A want is just that, something you want. Oh you might work for it a little, but if it becomes hard to get will you continue because you want it, or will you stop, saying, didn’t really want it all that bad anyway?

For me, the one of the biggest differences is the wants are usually the things that are not so easily obtainable. Not only do I want to have my book published, I want it to go to auction, and I want it to make the NYT best sellers list. Whew…I don’t know about you, but that made me tired just writing it.

It is not that any of those, or for that matter all of those things above could happen. Will they all happen first time out the gate? Probably not, but they could. The bigger thing here is; what am I willing to do to make them happen.

Okay, I can not make editors go to auction over the book and I can not make the book hit the NYT list (unless I want to fly all across America and spend lots of money). So, those are wants, not goals.

What I can do is this. Write everyday or at least almost everyday. Work on the edits of the current book, like I have a deadline with an editor. Send it out to the requested agent and editor (from back in July at conference). Then start on the next book. Again, write everyday until it’s finished and then edit and do it again.

Learn something new about the craft or business each month this year. And read more books than I did last year.

Those are goals, those are things that I can do and not fail at. OMG, did I just say that. My goal needs to be something I can’t fail at? Yes, it does. Does it need to stretch me? Oh yeah, you bet they should, but if they are so hard that I quit, then what was the point of making it.

Now, that I’ve said all of that, here is the other thing. Write them down. Type them, it doesn’t matter, just get them down and in front of you. Speak them out loud, at least once a week. And don’t just speak them. See yourself making them happen.

No, this isn’t some crazy mumbo jumbo, for those of you who think it is. This is believing in yourself. The words said out loud have power in them. More than you think. If you can believe it…you can do it. Yeah, I know, there is a song sort of like that, but it’s true.

Here’s the thing. My mom always told me to reach for the moon, because if I didn’t make the moon, I would make the stars.

So, my 2008 wish for all of you is that you will stretch yourself, writing, editing, and sending it out. That you will read your goals and believe you can do them. But you will also, realize that to make the wants a possible reality in your life you will have to work to do the goals. That and lots of moon and star landings!!

How about you?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,


Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thanks, Vicki! I sooo need to hunker down and make myself some actual, concrete writing goals. I'm so much more motivated when working towards a goal. goal is to make my New Years' goals in the next couple of days. ;) (Good enough?)

Patricia W. said...

I'll be writing and submitting--at least to contests--this year too.

Blogging about my goals later today.

Jill James said...

Vicki, neat way to differentiate between goals and wants. I want to be published. So, my goals are to finish one wip and write another one for this year. I will enter one contest per month with my finished manuscript and the other one once it is finished. I will relax and have fun at RWA in SF this summer.

Erica Ridley said...

Great post, Vicki! You can do it!!!

Julie S said...

I'm going to work on my goals this week. I love establishing goals - that part is fun. It's the achieving them part that's tricky...:-)

Bill Clark said...

Speak them out loud, at least once a week. And don’t just speak them. See yourself making them happen.

I agree! Visualization works!

Bill Clark said...

P.S. Speaking of visualization, I've added a pic of Aidan atop his giant shark to my blog. Check it out!

Vicki said...

alyssa - you'll do it. You've had great reasons to be away from your writing. Kids and family at the holidays are very important!!!

Patricia - you go girl! I'm really so proud of how much you have done this past year. Hey, we still need to do lunch.

Jill - Thanks. When I started to write down my goals I realized some of them were more wants, and so the post was born. Totally with you on relaxing and having fun this year at RWA. I can't wait!

Erica - Hey, I'm so glad you're back and so sorry I missed the GNO.

Julie - Have a great time on your vacation, you'll have your goals soon enough. And hey, we can help keep each other accountable this year if you would like. A good kick in the virtual pants is helpful sometimes. :)

Bill - Love the pic. I went to your blog first. And yes, I do believe that visualization is a key part of making your goals happen.

Everyone - If you haven't checked out Bill's post then by all means go and read it. The story is amazing, but then our scribe writes great, doesn't he. :D

Carolyn Jean said...

I think those are great goals, Vicki. Thanks for reminding us also about the importance of taking our own goals seriously.