When will you have succeeded? If you close your eyes and envision your life, what is it that you see yourself doing or being that shows you that you’ve met your goal? That you’ve achieved your dream?
Be honest. Be concrete. Be specific. Then figure out what it takes to get there.
I have given the above advice at least three times in the last 2-3 days to different people. They are asking me different questions. But they are asking me about the nebulous world of writing. About their creative goals. About work.
If you keep a reminder of that goal visible, and if you check in with that goal regularly, you will be able to make solid baby-step decisions toward it along the way. Each action should move you in that direction.
I also recognize that when I find myself in the pattern of repeatedly dispensing the same advice that it is something I, myself, need to hear.
I think, perhaps, some of my goals are shifting.
Not my book. My goal with my writing is to hold my book in my hand. My definition of success – I will know I’ll have “made it” when I see it in a stranger’s hands on a plane or train. Or when I see it on the shelves of a bookstore. That’s my real goal. You see, with that specific definition of success in mind, why I chose trad pub over self pub. You see why I keep plugging away.
I’ve not been writing much these past few months. I’ve only just gotten back on it. But the goal is still there, and now that I have some more brainspace, it feels like the writing is there and ready to happen. Words are flowing again. It feels really good.
I don’t think I need the bigger house anymore. Not since we rearranged the furniture a bit. My real goal there was to have a sewing room and a corner to read in. I have both of those things now. Do we really need to move? Probably not anytime soon.
I’m going to have to think pretty hard about my goals for my physical goals. I’ve been working a lot on them, and they definitely feel like they are in flux. I couldn’t tell you what that real, concrete “sitting in the future” goal looks like, right now. It’s hard to make decisions when you don’t know where you’re headed.
As for the other, smaller, more manageable things? Yeah, sure. I’ve got those in the bag. I’m speaking at a conference next week. I’ve been sewing and getting woods time. Blah blah blah.
Don’t get distracted by the little crap. There are only the biggest, most important heart’s desire goals. Go after those.