Bob Mayer wrote a post this week called True Grit As a Writer – a definite “must-read” post – and it got me thinking. Bob always gets me thinking.
One of his comments back to his readers stood out to me:
Bob Mayer says:
There is much you don’t control. But never stating a goal in the first place is the big mistake most people make.
For many years, that non-statement of goals was one of my biggest problems as a writer. If I didn’t state it, no one but me would know that I was too pansy-scared to chase my dreams. None of my fellow ROW80 participants have that fear problem, right? *clutches sides laughing*
We all state our goals using the SMART method:
Just to hedge my bets, I also made out a Life List where things could be a bit more esoteric. The goals are still specific and measurable, for the most part, but many of them deal with work/life balance rather than a page count.
You know what I noticed about some of my Life List goals…particularly the ones I want or need the most? I used wishy-washy language.
I’ve corrected a few (below in red) so you see what I mean.
- Finish the polished first draft of my high-risk pregnancy memoir by July 31, 2012.
- Take the first Warrior Writer course offered by Bob Mayer in 2013.
again when I have time to devote to it.
two coursesWriting Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist and Deep Editing: The EDITS System, Rhetorical Devices, and More from Margie Lawson’s Lawson Writer’s Academy by the end of 2012 with the goal of attending her Immersion Master Class in 2013.
Do you see the difference? Do you see how my fears of over-extending myself and succeeding helped hold me back? I wasn’t “going for it” when I wrote my life list. With the changes above, now I am. I’m going to go back and update all my goals with strong language.
ROW80 is about chasing dreams, and dreams take work. And GRIT. Don’t forget that part.
Stating your goals for the world to see takes quite a bit of courage.
What if we go for it…and FAIL?!
What if we go for it…and SUCCEED??!
Holy Cowbell, what do we do then??
We put on a NEW pair of titanium undies, make some new goals and chase those. We’re writers, dammit! Writing isn’t for pansies. Writers have GRIT.
- Write 1 hour a day on my WIP, no matter what – that’s 7 hours a week. Report the number of pages completed at each Sunday check-in.
- Walk 10 miles per week.
- Lose 10 pounds by the end of the round. Since taking off weight feels like chiseling a cement block these days, this is a very lofty goal, but it’s time. Hopefully the gluten-free eating will continue to help.
- Get Baby Girl into pre-school by the end of May and work to make sure the transition is successful (and try not to cry over it).
- Teach my first online course before the end of May. Teach three by the end of this round.
- Read Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat! and James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure by the end of the round.
- Encourage my fellow ROW80 peeps every Sunday – minimum of five. Click here if you’d like to encourage your teammates too!
Though my goals might change a bit each week, these are the biggies for the round. I’m making a big career transition right now and the list above will help move that along.
Have you used strong language with your current list of goals? Which goal are you most excited about? Which one scares you the most? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here are More Cowbell!