I have goals. Goals I set when I start a project. As I go I check to see how I'm doing, adjust my course and keep going. I have goals for everything. Work, physical health, my art...writing.
Since this is a writing blog, I'll talk about that.
My writing goals look something like this.
Get a novel published--check.
Get a novel published in print--check.
Get an agent--working on that one.
Get into a large publishing house like St. Martins or Penguin Press.
The ultimate goal--get on a bestseller's list.
Though lofty, they give me focus, help me to keep my eyes on the ultimate prize. I recently realized I've passed my halfway mark and I'm still in shock. Four years ago I wouldn't have believed I could get a novel published, much less the three novels and five short stories I have published today. I plan to continue with two of my series. Slipping the Past and Blown Away. For these two series, I have three novels going at the moment that are 3/4 way finished.
I believe in babysteps. Four years ago I started from the other end of my list, sending out query letters to agents with a story that wasn't ready, bombing time after time. Discouraged, I almost gave up. But a chat with a friend convinced me to change tactics and start small. I wasn't ready and I'd tried to bypass some of the important stuff in my impatience. I've learned to slow down and take baby steps. Thank God for friends who aren't afraid to give you a kick in the ass when you need it. I'll aways be thankful for mine.
2011 brings challenges, the biggest for me will be the next step. The story I plan to send out is almost done. I've been writing it for four years, coddling it, tweaking and playing with it. Though not the same story I tried to sell before (I've hidden that one under the bed), it's one I started the day I changed my tactics. So as I get ready to take my next step, I smile. Maybe this year will be my year, maybe not, but at least I'm moving forward and that alone gives me reason to celebrate.
Here's wishing everyone the best for the new year. May we all achieve our goals and heart's desires.
D L Jackson