“The only thing you can control is your own effort.”
–Theodora van den Beld
When I listen to writers discuss their goals, I’m always surprised by some of them.
- I am going to publish a book in the next three years.
- I am going to sell to five new magazines this year.
- I plan to win a contest.
Really? How do you plan to do those things? You can submit, you can apply and you can hone your craft, but you can’t directly compel these things to happen.
Maybe I’m being defeatist, but I set goals that I can meet. What can I control? My own efforts. So my goals are things like:
- To submit to two new markets each month.
- To write 6000 + words per week.
- To have 6 book manuscripts out by the end of the year.
- To try at least one new type of writing (script writing, poetry) per year.
See, I’m working toward the same kinds of goals as those mentioned above. To publish in a new magazine, you have to write and submit so a word count goal alone wouldn’t accomplish it.
When you set goals, and you should be doing this, set long and short term goals. You want to write a novel. Check one for long term goals.
Now start setting short term goals. Chose which novel idea you want to pursue. Outline novel. Write one chapter a week. Workshop with Novel Metamorphosis by Darcy Pattison. Rewrite in two months. Those are short term goals.
What kinds of goals are you setting for your own writing career?