Reading: I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson
Listening to: Gin Wigmore
A few days ago Anna wrote about New Year's resolutions. I don't set any as they'd never make it past the first twelve hours of January 1st. But I am a big fan of goals for my career. Goals help keep me focused and on track throughout the year. With goals I achieve far more writing than if I leave it all to chance. If I know I've got a year to write a book it will take me a year and I'll write most of it in the last couple of months. Whereas if I sign a contract to do three or four in a year I will do them. My contracts are part of my goals.
I think I've always set goals, whether it's been to score high in professional exams, to get a promotion or study further. But I find as a writer working from home I need those goals to get me sitting down at my computer daily. It's too easy to be distracted, especially at the moment when the water's sparkling and calm, and the kayak looks tempting. So I have daily, weekly, yearly and five yearly targets. Not to say I always reach them. Not me.
Years ago while working in real estate I wrote up goals, one of which was to fly the Alaskan Highway. One of our top salesmen asked me when I intended doing this and I told him "when I've sold x number of houses". His reply, "That's a dream, not a goal. To be a goal you need to have a finite date." He was right. Ahh, and I've never flown that highway.
I belong to the Blenheim romance writers group and at the beginning of every year we hand in a list of our writing goals for the coming twelve months. The best bit about this is in December when, with cocktails at the ready, we open the envelopes and have a darned good laugh.
Do you have goals? Do they keep you focused?