Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Goal Setting. Keep it to yourself? Or share it with the world?

If you have three and a half minutes, watch this little video. If you don't, proceed with my discussion afterwards.

When it comes to goal setting, the internet is full of conflicting information. It seems apparent that people who write down their goals are more successful in achieving them than those who do not. However, as Mr. Sivers explains above, research shows that sharing your goals with others - with the purpose of making yourself accountable - might make you less likely to succeed. Apparently, talking about your goals approximates the thrill of actually meeting them and removes your motivation to take action towards them.

Maybe that explains why my self-imposed deadline for completing the revision of my manuscript - as declared on this blog - has inched forward, week by week, month by month. Sigh.

This excerpt from 10 Creativity Tips from Donald Miller has been useful:

"I think half the battle of a creator is in finishing their projects. I wonder how many of the world's greatest creators never created anything great, because while they may have had the intelligence and even the skill, they weren't finishers. Finishing is part of the art.

A guy I met once ran into Norman Mailer at an airport and asked him what he was working on. Mailer politely declined to answer the question, saying that when he talks about a book to too much, it steals his motivation to write it. I agree with Mailer, and I also think it was a brilliant way to get out of answering a question most writers are asked 50,000 times a day! Regardless of his intention, it's true that when we talk about our work, we give ourselves the feeling that we are working on something when truthfully, we aren't."

Do you write down your goals? Do you keep them to yourself, or share them with others?


Monday, I submitted my application for PRO status in Romance Writers of America. To qualify, one must have completed a manuscript of at least 40,000 words, and either have a publishing contract OR a rejection from a recognized literary agent. I sent in a CD with my (unrevised) 70,000 word manuscript and a copy of one of my email rejections. Woot! Woot!

This morning, I revised another twenty pages of the manuscript. By the end of the month, I am determined to have the revision complete and ready to query to other agents and editors. As Steve Martin said, "I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper." But now I am ready to put it behind me. Yes, it is the book of my heart. But it is also my FIRST book. I have many more stories to tell. And now that I have some experience under my belt, I believe I will do a better job with the next one.

Regardless of where my journey ends, I am happy to be on the road.

"A year from now you may wish you had started today." ~ Karen Lamb

Where do you want to be a year from now? What is preventing you from starting today?


unstoppablestart said...

A year from now, I want to be sitting at my dining room table, popping a bottle of champaign, nibbling on strawberries, celebrating our successes! Cheers to many wonderful years, and successes, to come!

Pam said...

Lindy, I'll drink to that! :-)

Julee J. Adams said...

Absolutely, sister! Just another step down the road. I look forward to rejection, because it means I tried and learned. I just have to find someone else who will love it and be prepared for success.
Where will I be in a year? Lifting a glass to our successes too!

Pam said...

You have a good attitude about rejection, Julee. It's gonna be quite a party next year, isn't it? :-)