A goal without a plan is just a wish. ~ Larry Elder
The realization that we’ve entered the final quarter of 2012 prompted me to pull out my 2012 goal list and review it. I haven’t hit all of the goals on my list, but I’ve managed to nail a lot more than I would if I hadn’t set some goals for the year.
Reviewing that list made me wish I’d set a realistic, attainable annual goal list a lot sooner and consulted my list monthly, perhaps even weekly.
I can’t help but wonder how it might have impacted my life if I’d stopped procrastinating and giving into fear all those years.
I can’t press rewind. (If I could, boy would I have loads of advice for my younger self.) But I can make a plan to move forward. As writers, we must create goals and a solid plan to achieve them. More importantly, we must be resolved to take the action required to achieve our goals.
Recently, Jonathan Gunson tweeted the following:
Simple. Brilliant. True.
The same applies to getting published. To paraphrase Jonathan:
Secret to Getting Published: You stop dreaming of getting published. You stop talking about getting published. Stop wishing you were published. Take the needed actions to get published.
- Learn more about the craft of storytelling through craft books, workshops, online classes, etc.
- Join local or online writing groups to learn more about the business of writing.
- Learn as much as you can about traditional, digital-first, and self-publishing options.
- Write some more.
- Finish the darned story!
- Read books in your genre and others.
- Join a critique group to improve your manuscript.
- Revise and polish said manuscript until it shines.
- Research potential agents/publishers that are a good fit for your story.
- Learn about query and synopsis writing.
- Send out queries to your selected list of appropriate agents and publishers.
- Work on your next project.
- Self-publish, if this is the best option for you. (Many writers feel that it is and have been quite successful at it.)
Whatever your goals are, whether they involve writing, getting published, or something else entirely, remember to write them down, consult them often, and share them with others.
I have lots of items left unchecked on my list. This weekend I will sit down and create my plan for achieving them.
Perhaps you’ve got a few goals you’d like to tick off the list this year, too. Here are a few exercises to get you started:
Feeling courageous? (I know you are!) In the comments below, share one goal you plan to achieve before the new year so we can cheer you on.
Photo 1 credit: Paul Foot. Some rights reserved.
Photo 2 credit: Sebastien.Barre. Some rights reserved.