What goals have you set, what do they mean to you, and why are they important?
Okay, so from a total shrink’s point of view, whenever therapy/treatment is initiated, the first 1-3 sessions are devoted to outlining goals. Obviously, people show up at my office to “feel better.” Well, the definition of that varies from person to person…and it can vary A LOT. That’s why it’s important to really be concrete about it. Otherwise, how would you know if you’ve met a goal?
When I first started writing, my goal was to get published. (Original, I know.) Even then, I figured it was a long shot. I mean, really, I had no formal “writing” training, I had devoted 12 years of my life to medicine/psychiatry, and I picked up this writing thing on a whim. Who was I to even think I could “make it?”
In my sometimes random ignorance of logic, I decided to shove the “goal” from my mind. I told myself, “So what if you don’t get published? You still like to write, right? So, it doesn’t matter.”
Let me confess to y’all right now, that is a total and complete lie. I totally would NOT be investing so many hours, weeks, months, and years if I didn’t think it would end somewhere.
So the goal of being published remains. Far, far, far, far, far, far away in the distance. So far, I can’t even see it from where I’m standing.
Great. Now what?
The nice thing about goals is that they can be broken up to many, smaller, more manageable goals that lead closer to “the one.”
(I’m getting to my point, I promise.)
My goal now is to revise the hell out of my current WIP to the point of getting it “agent worthy.” It has taken me months so far. And it’ll probably take me months more. But this goal feels manageable to me at the moment. So I’m sticking with it. And making improvements to my writing gets me closer to publishing, right?
Ah, internal consistency.
So, what do goals mean to me? Well, they are an marker or a standard for which I can check myself. Getting from goal to goal lets me see my progress. It tells me I’m making an effort. It shows me I’m ALIVE. (Cuz, ya know, in my opinion, if you’re not striving, then you’re not living up to the definition of human.) Ha, well then, goals are pretty important, no?
Tell me, folks, what are your goals for writing? What do they mean to you? What makes them important?