Monday, March 19, 2012

Mentor Monday: Goal Setting

Greetings! I’m writing this just a few days before I leave the wintry world of New Hampshire and head for a week in the Caribbean. By the time you read this post, I will just be getting back to the real world.

Anyhow, even though this is a vacation, I have set some goals for myself. I’m going to catch up on my sleep. I’m going to read at least one whole book. I’m going to swim in the ocean. And, I hope to go snorkeling at least once.

Sounds weird, I know, setting goals for a vacation. But the truth is, we all set goals every day. We might call it something else, such as “our plans,” or “our to-do list.” No matter how you label it, most of us live a life of daily goal-setting.

We do the same as writers. When we start out, our goal is probably to make a living as a writer. In order to do that, we must first accomplish smaller and smaller goals:

12. Sell a manuscript.

11. Get published (sometimes #11 and #12 are reversed. Many times, however, we see our names in print without seeing an accompanying paycheck. One of my early by-lines appeared in a church newsletter. I was still thrilled).

10. Submit the finished work to an appropriate editor.

9. Study the current market.

8. Finish the manuscript.

7. Revise the manuscript.

6. Write the story.

5. Commit to writing time.

4. Decide to write the story down.

3. Come up with an idea for a story or a book.

2. Plan to become a writer.

1. Read a lot.

And, like a never-ending grocery list, once you’ve accomplished all 12 goals, get ready to do start over and do it again. I guess that’s number 13.


I'm Jet . . . said...

I hope you accomplished all your vacation goals, Mur!


Mur said...

I did! Snorkeled with sea turtles. Read "The Art of Racing in the Rain," Jack Gantos' "Hole in My Life," and started the Mark Twain autobiography. Napped.

Check, check, and check. :)

Karin Huxman - Romance Author said...

Your list looks a lot like mine, both the vacation and the writing. :)

Brody said...

Enjoy your trip! (or hope you enjoyed it if you're back already). I like to set goals every day, but every once in a while I like to just completely let go and act on pure impulse for a day or two. You definitely need to stay disciplined as a writer though.