Monday, January 08, 2007

More on goals...

I've been doing a lot of reading about setting goals lately. One thing that caught my attention dealt with setting goals we have no control over. For example...I want to sell my dragon fantasy to Tor this year. Well, that is nice but it is something I have no control over. Someone else is in charge of buying for Tor. A better goal would be to submit my dragon fantasy to Tor this year. That is something I do have control over and a goal I can accomplish.

But we also need to break our goals down into bite size pieces we can chew easily. So, using my dragon fantasy novel for example, I have to look at it and decide what it needs before it can be sent to Tor. It most definitely needs some revision so if I revise just one chapter a week, it will take approximately 9 months.

I also need a synopsis, cover and query letter. That should be doable in a month. So, in ten months I should be able to accomplish the goal of sending dragon fantasy out.

By breaking down the "overall" goal into smaller pieces, I can see when I'm ahead of schedule, or behind and what I need to get done.

The most important thing about goals though...make them realistic. With my schedule I can't revise a chapter a day. Setting that as a goal is setting myself up for failure.

So, the point of my blog post is this: Take a look at the goals you set the first of the year. Are they something you have control over? Are they realistic for your situation? Do your goals need to be revised?

I posted a Writing Goal Workbook link at StoryCrafters today in the Potpourri section. It is a spreadsheet thing that is way over done for the way I work but maybe you can modify it or use bits and pieces. Check it out...check out your goals and get writing:--)



Cheryl said...

The all knowing Troll offers wonderful wisdom once again. I have to agree with you 100%. Setting a goal you have no control over is like deciding that you'll find a new job right away. Yes, you can fill out applications immediately, but you still have to wait for someone to call you for an interview. And then you have to impress the person more than the many others she interviews for that one position.

Last week, I broke my monthly goals down into weekly ones because seeing an entire month's load of work is overwhelming to me. Taking it on a week at a time is much easier, and so far it's worked.

Thanks for more great advice Speck. You always have great thoughts to ponder.


Lorib said...


Good advice,

Those big lofty goals look real nice on paper then become prickly thorns in no time at all.

When I first started to schedule my work, it was with long lists that were impossible to finish. Now I still schedule for the month but then I break it down to weekly tasks.

Thanks for helping us keep it real.