I have been thinking a lot on hopes and dreams recently, and thought that I would have a wee chat about it.
Some of you know that I keep a ‘Hopes and Dreams’ book, where I write down all my hopes and dreams for my life. Not just my writing life, but also my life well outside of the writing world.
Some of the hopes and dreams written down in there are very specific to my writing goals, as one would expect. Most writers I know would like to quit the evil day job with the determination to become full-time writers, obtain publishing deals, and live the writers dream. The sad fact to this, is that many writers never actually get there.
And just to show how much like other writers I am… I pretty much have the same hopes and dreams as they do.
The difference I think though, is that I like to try to turn my ‘hopes and dreams’ into ‘goals and reality’. (Not that I’m saying they don’t or anything….)
Every six months I review where I am at, and I set new goals for the next six months. I was meant to do another review of these goals back in October, but I didn’t get round to it for a multitude of reasons. I’m alright with that though, since I haven’t met many of the goals I set back in April, that I wished to achieve by September. I think that I’m going to review those goals in December, so that I can leap into some planning for 2012. By that time – I should have ticked a few things off the list, and have a clearer idea about where to from there.
If all goes well, I will be able to possibly plan a few writing endeavours for when I’m on Maternity leave between February and July. Oh, I am more than aware that I will be introducing a child to the big wide world during that time as well, but I would like to actually achieve a couple of other things while I’m doing that enormous task. And who knows – it may not pan out. This child could be more demanding that I expect, or it might be the easiest child in the world (one can only hope and dream ;-))… or I might just be able to achieve a few things that I would like to get done.
My goals, are smaller steps within the bigger hopes/dreams scope. So, to become a full-time writer – I know that I need to have some of my bigger manuscripts published, and preferably more than once for me to justify quitting my evil day job. If I can’t do that, I do have the potential to work part-time, which would suit me just fine… however, this loss in money would have to be offset by royalties (pfft) etc. It would need to be worth my while to take that sort of risk… and all risks in my world at the moment are pretty damn calculated.
In the meantime – I need to keep building and maintaining my networks, reviewing (been a bit slack on that lately), and maintaining/developing my authors platform. On top of all that, and most importantly – I need to keep moving forward with my writing, by editing and writing my little heart out.
So… that’s the big scope of what I would like to achieve over the next couple of years. I always said that 2013 would be the year that I went into writing full-time. This may be blown out due to Bumpkin arriving in the world. But when you set goals, they should never be concrete, and they should always be living so that you can accommodate other wonderful things that happen in your life.
Remember – nothing is ever set in stone. Here are a few of writing goals of mine that I would like to achieve in 2012 (if I can):
- I have three thrillers that are partially written that need to be finished off. Two of them are close to completion.
- I have another thriller planned, which is based in Mexico that is begging me to write it. I’m pretty tempted to start in January on this, actually. This is the first book of a potential character based series that I would like to work on.
- There is a dystopian novel sitting in my head that I would really love to plan out properly. I dreamt about it once… and it’s been bugging me ever since.
- The third and final installment of the urban-fantasy Talent trilogy still needs to be written. Once this is done, the whole trilogy will undergo some pretty serious editing and revising, and then just perhaps – I might shop it around to publishers. Maybe. Will happily wait till 2013 to do this though.
- I would like to get a publishing contract for The Mediterranean Source.
Here are a few other great posts that you may find interesting or helpful on the subject:
- Kathy Steffen: Creative Goal Setting for Writers
- Terry Odell: Resolutions, Dreams, and Goals
- Michelle Muto: Goals and Dreams
- Advanced Fiction Writing: Your Hopes and Dreams file
And as a parting note – I found a couple of quotes on goals that I would like to share. Who knows – they may inspire you:
“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” ~ Albert Einstein
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~ C.S. Lewis
So now that you have read through this post, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
- So where are you going with your goals?
What have you achieved this year so far that you are proud of?
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I hope you meet your goals. Keep up the good works and keep us informed.
I have two nearly complete and the one I started for NaNoWriMo. Would like to finish a 20k word novella and get it queried this year. Those are my goals.
And they are good goals to have! Any movement forward to good in my books… because we only learn by doing.
I hope you meet your goals. I think a Hopes and Dreams book is a brilliant idea. I keep a list of mine – both writing and life – taped to a dry erase board in my room, as well as a list of short and long term goals. Focusing on what I want to achieve someday helps keep me moving towards those dreams. You’re right though, goals shouldn’t be set in stone. Life happens and sometimes you have to reevaluate. I think it’s about time I go back over mine and see where I am at.
I think we all have to take stock of where we are at, and where we want to go. Nothing should ever be set in stone 🙂 These things, while they need to be achievable – also need to be fluid. There is life that sometimes rudely interrupts at the most inconvenient times… Life never stops though, and we just need to be flexible 🙂
Good luck with an easy and happy-go-lucky Bumpkin!
My goal this year was to complete 50/90 (50 songs in 90 days) and I aced that with 56 songs. So, new goal is to record an album of those songs (working on that now) and release it to the wide world, along with some EPs of other songs.
Your blog is so inspiring 🙂 I hate that I so long between reading posts…
Hahahaha – I have no doubt that motherhood is going to be the rollercoaster ride of a lifetime! If Bump is happy-go-lucky, then I’ve won the lottery! 😉
I’m glad that Parchment Place inspires you!! Thank you! That’s an awesome compliment!
You have some awesome goals, Miss Kahiwa 🙂 I have always admired your drive and passion for any goal that you set yourself. You, my darling, are a true achiever. You live life to the full, and you don’t take no for an answer, and I love you dearly.
AND – congrats on meeting your song writing goal. Duper duper cool 🙂 Can’t wait to hear them.
I just read off some other blog, which had linked it to another author’s blog, that these days, publishers are seeking shorter manuscripts from newbie authors. That saddened me a whole lot for two reasons. I’m not a short writer, and whatever happened to enjoying a good book?
Love your goals, Leigh! I hope you succeed! I am hoping to write a few more novels myself and get them edited and reader-tested within the next year or two before I begin shopping around for publishers as well. Super-exciting but also nerve-wracking. Eh, well, haven’t gotten there yet!
Hope you’ve had a great week of butt-in-chair edits.
Butt in chair edits are complete!
Super duper exciting in my world at the moment, and I’m ridiculously pleased with myself. I love the elated feeling like this… when I have been working hard on something for so damn long, and to finally finish it.
I think that each writer, blogger, and publisher are welcome to their own opinions. I doubt that publishers are looking for short manuscripts… I know that some publish novellas, etc, but like you – I don’t write anything short either. I think that publishers will publish whatever they think will make money for them. If we, as writers, give them that – then they will publish the work.
Absolutely right, Leigh. I am still reading in Writer’s Market about publishers and agents taking long novels, and I’m glad to see more publishers taking novellas, too. There was a time they wouldn’t. Seems it’s all over the board now. This is good for writing and for reading.
Congrats on the butt-in-chair edit completion. Those are hard. I remember.
Right now I’m doing the hard yards on the story writing, but it sure is nice to see the pages adding up. 180 this month alone, maybe more. At this rate you get a 150K word novel written in three months.
Have a great week.