Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sorry this is a little late. I lost Internet service most of the evening.

A Word about Goals--   

IN GRRWG as in many areas of life, we tend to set goals for ourselves to use as mile markers to measure our progress.  That’s wonderful.  Everyone should have goals.  However, setting wrong goals could prove to be a detrimental rather helpful to our success.

What do I mean by that?

Well, awhile back someone – I think it was Chel -- did a great presentation at our meeting about setting realistic goals.  It was a wonderful, informative presentation, but as time passed, I think we sometimes forget some of the important points of that presentation.  We need to set goals that are realistic and achievable. When we don't do that, we could feel like a Failure with a capital F.  That negative feeling can spread and grow until you begin to feel that you’ll never succeed or, worse, you were never meant to be a writer at all.

That’s why it’s important to make sure your goal is REAL and ACHIEVABLE.  Sometimes, that’s a hard thing to remember when you read the goals of other writers or here how someone in the group cranks out thousands of words month after month.  Just because those authors do it does not mean you should set a goal to try to match theirs.   You need to ask yourself what is a realistic and achievable goal for you. After all, what’s going on in your life may be vastly different from what’s happening in their lives.

If you don’t, you could set yourself up to fail.  Feeling like a failure is something we all want to avoid.  So make sure your goal is achievable. Even if it is as simple as saying “I’ll write at least once a week.”  Notice that goal does say how many words or paragraphs or what day of the week, it just says that you’ll write.  
And what do you do if a houseful of company, mandatory overtime, a family illness or some other unforeseen event  prevents you from achieving even a simple goal like that?    

Then keep in mind what I said earlier: goals are mile markers to mark your progress, just like the ones on a highway do.  You certainly wouldn’t cancel your trip if you ran out of gas, got a flat, or someone needed to make a rest stop before you reached a certain mile marker.  After all, the marker will be there waiting when you get back on the road.

Your writing goal is the same.  It’s not a one-time event. If you miss it today or this week, you can shoot for it tomorrow.  Goals are meant to challenge you and give you a sense of accomplishment when you complete them.  They should never make you feel like a failure if you don’t hit them. Your gift and abilities are too precious to allow that to happen.  Just by sitting down and putting pencil to paper or fingers to a keyboard, you are accomplishing something that most people will never attempt. Don’t let some artificial measure blind you to that fact.       

Try to think of goals as a journey not a destination. Sometimes you rush along the journey, sometimes you take the scenic route, sometimes you detour for an interesting side trip. So make yours fun...

And enjoy the ride!

1 comment:

Kelsey St. James said...

All very good points, said the girl who felt like a total failure at meeting July's goals. ;)