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  1. #1

    Default A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline

    GOAL SETTING


    “Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.” Louis Pasteur


    You might not have a 1 year plan, a 3 year plan or a 5 year plan for your writing career (although, ideally, you should have all three), but I’m sure you have dreams. And dreams can be easily converted into goals, then step by step action items that you can follow to make sure that you reach those dreams. After all, dreaming is lovely, but living your dream life is even better!


    So what’s the difference between dreams and goals? “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Napoleon Hill had said, and he gets partial credit.


    Good goals are SMART goals.


    Specific
    Measurable
    Attainable
    Relevant
    Timelined


    Specific: Instead of saying, “I want to write more,” say, “I will write ten pages per day, Monday through Friday, and will have a 300 page manuscript by Jan, 15, 2011.”


    Measurable: Instead of saying, “I’ll improve my writing skills,” say, “I will take 2 online writing courses this year, will read The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman and Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Mass, will attend one writers conference and take as many workshops as possible, will find a critique partner and will enter my writing in three judged contests to measure my progress via feedback and placing in those contests.”


    Attainable: Plan for things that are achievable by you. Instead of saying, “I will get a publishing contract,” say, “I will submit my polished proposal to twenty agents I’ve thoroughly researched.”


    Relevant: You should care deeply and passionately about your goals. Your goals should be about what you want for yourself, not what others want from you or for you. If your goals are not important to you, it’s unlikely that you’ll put in the effort necessary to achieve them.


    Timelined: (All right, Mr. Hill, here we go at last.) Goals that don’t have a deadline tend to be put off indefinitely, so make sure to set firm but achievable deadlines.


    How big should your goals be? As big as you can handle, but don’t set goals that will so overwhelm you that you won’t even be able to start. As you’ll see below, my personal goal right now is to do everything in my power to make the Borders Bestseller List with my next book, THE SPY WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS. After two dozen published books, I feel that this is doable. Would I like to hit the New York Times Bestseller List? You bet. But I’m saving that goal for a little later.


    On the other hand, make sure that you don’t set goals so small that they will fail to inspire you! When scientists examined the behavioral effects of goal-setting, they concluded that 90% of laboratory and field studies involving specific and challenging goals led to higher performance than did easy or no goals.


    Here is a quick tip to make sure you achieve your goals:


    You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you publicly commit to your goal/share it with a support group. So please post your goal to this thread and share with others here!


    Personally, I find goals motivating. Each time I achieve one, it’s proof positive that “yes, I can handle this.” So set achievable goals to make sure to give yourself positive experiences. Then when you meet with a difficult challenge, you can look back at all the obstacles you’ve already conquered and know that you have what it takes to rise to the challenge. If you have self-confidence, you will take advantage of opportunities you might have let pass before. You will find that you will exceed even your own expectations.


    Writing a bestseller sounds daunting right now? Write the first 10 pages of a book and enter it into a writing contest. You will get feedback from the judges, the attention of agents and/or editors if you’re one of the finalists, and who knows, down the line it might lead to a contract for that book that could be your first bestseller!

    Goals give you short-term motivation and long-term vision.


    “Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” Fitzhugh Dodson


    Exercise 1
    List your writing goals. Make sure they are very specific and measurable. You should be able to answer the following question for each goal: “How do I know when that goal is met?”



    Exercise 2
    Number your goals according to priority.



    Exercise 3
    Break down your top priority goal into manageable tasks that are necessary to take you to your destination.


    Exercise 4
    Put your tasks on a timeline. (See my sample goal chart at the end of this lesson.)




    Next: Now that you have a timed plan for reaching your priority goal, repeat these exercises for all your goals.


    The assignments in this lesson will take some time if done right, so I'm going to stop here. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions. And don’t forget to share your goals with the class!


    Have a fabulous week,
    Dana
    http://www.facebook.com/DanaMarton
    http://twitter.com/danamarton
    http://www.danamarton.com


    “Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.” Elbert Hubbard


    EXAMPLE

    My priority goal right now is to promote THE SPY WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS with the hopes that it will make it onto the Borders bestseller list.

    Here are my steps toward that goal:


    TASK




    WHO NEEDS TO DO IT




    BY WHEN




    NOTE




    Take Beth Barany’s online Social Networking Class




    Dana Marton




    Sep.




    Done




    Take Marcia James’s online PR class




    Dana Marton




    Sep.




    Done




    Build following on Twitter




    Dana Marton




    daily




    Post reviews, quotes




    Build following on Facebook




    Dana Marton




    daily




    Post cover, reviews, excerpts and quotes





    MySpace



    Dana Marton




    weekly




    Post cover, reviews, excerpts and quotes, Q&A, fun facts, etc




    Notify existing readership of my new release via newsletter




    Dana Marton/assistant




    Oct. 1st




    Mention cover, reviews, excerpt, link to book stores, link to my Facebook and Twitter, reader contest




    Reach new readership via a blog tour




    Dana Marton




    Sep. – Oct.




    Post, cover, reviews, excerpt, link to book stores, link to my Facebook and Twitter, reader contest




    ARCs (advanced readers copies)




    Assistant




    Sep.




    Send to reviewers then make sure to send thank you notes once the reviews come out




    Update web site with new release information




    Web Master




    Sep. 1




    Done





    Last edited by Karenne; September 13th, 2010 at 09:53 AM.
  2. loricrawford's Avatar
    Just Finished Reading: Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy by Lindsay Moran
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    #2

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    This task is great! It's really helping me take the focus off the trivial.

    Exercise 1
    List your writing goals. Make sure they are very specific and measurable. You should be able to answer the following question for each goal: “How do I know when that goal is met?”

    Three more published novels
    Promote writing career
    Submit 5 novels a year
    Become a Disney Fellow
    Become a Television Staff Writer
    Sell feature films
    Sell television pilots
    Become a showrunner
    Complete all open projects


    Exercise 2
    Number your goals according to priority.


    1. Three more published novels
    2. Promote writing career
    3. Become a Disney Fellow
    4. Become a television staff writer
    5. Sell television pilots
    6. Sell feature films
    7. Become a showrunner
    8. Complete all open projects
    9. Submit 5 novels a year




    Exercise 3
    Break down your top priority goal into manageable tasks that are necessary to take you to your destination.
    1. Three more published novels

    Submit Royal Opposites to Lyrical Press
    Finish query - within next week

    Submit Jaylyn and Zeke to Amira
    Find a title - by end of Sept
    Finish honeymoon scene - by end of Sept
    Get critiques and polish it - by end of Oct.
    Write query - by end of Sept

    Submit Thwarting Cupid to Amira, Lyrical and Samhain
    Finish first draft - by end of Nov.
    Get critiques - by mid Dec.
    Revise and polish - by end of Dec.
    Write query - by end of Dec.

    Exercise 4
    Put your tasks on a timeline. (See my sample goal chart at the end of this lesson.)
    Combined with exercise 3 for the time being.
  3. #3

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    This is excellent, Loribeth! Sounds like you know what you want and have clarified the steps necessary to reach your goals. Ambitious plans, but we need big goals to inspire us. I certainly think this is doable. Good luck!!!
  4. loricrawford's Avatar
    Just Finished Reading: Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy by Lindsay Moran
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana Marton View Post
    This is excellent, Loribeth! Sounds like you know what you want and have clarified the steps necessary to reach your goals. Ambitious plans, but we need big goals to inspire us. I certainly think this is doable. Good luck!!!
    Thanks! I'm so much better at starting than I am at following through.
  5. Tristy's Avatar
    Reading: Solar
    Just Finished Reading: Dead ion the Family, The Summoning,Redemption alley, Flesh circus, Immortal: love stories with bite
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    #5

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    Ok goal setting.
    So I've finished the first draft of my first novel, my goal is to get it into good shape, hopefully publishable. To do that I am doing several thing including these free seminars and trying to do the homework, even if I don't post it all. I have also purchased some of the books that you mentioned Dana (on your website). I've read a lot of information from other published authors and a few really helped me to finish my first draft. Once I've done some more reading and given my first draft a chance to rest (I'm leaving it for a month), I am going to start revising. Then I am going to look for a critique partner. My goal is to have my novel polished up in three months.

    I have some short term goals as well that include writing some short stories and submitting them into a competition I've found some on Writer's Digest. If any one else has any suggestions I'd love to know.

    My big goal is to have a novel published and I've given my self five years (from the start of this year) to do this.

    My novel is a young adult urban fantasy.

    Tristy.
  6. #6

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    Let me apologize if anyone is annoyed by all the smiley faces. I didn't put those in. Have no idea what happened there with the formatting. On the other hand, if you like them, then I'm happy.
  7. #7

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    Wow you look like you're on a roll...this is so good.


    Satisfy Your Desire..Indulge The Temptation
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  8. #8

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    Tristy, YA urban fantasy is hot right now. I would recommend you don't put off submitting too long. You know, you can do the edits/revisions with a critique partner, working through chapter by chapter together. And as far as contests go, how about submitting the beginning of your novel to a couple of RWA contests? It's never too early to get your book in front of editors and agents.

    Good luck with your 5 year plan! Sounds like you have the steps mapped out and you're on your way.

    Dana
  9. vrleavitt's Avatar
    Reading: How to Raise your Spirited Child, Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls
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    #9

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    Great lesson. I know personally, I have scads of dreams, but have not as yet focused them into goals...ah, the missing link. :-)

    Ok, here goes:

    1. Finish final draft of, "Shaping Fate."
    Finish rough draft of "As of yet Untitled Faerie Story."

    2. 1. Shaping Fate
    2. Untitled Faerie Story


    3. Shaping Fate - Put my butt in the chair and just do it. Use feedback from the contest I entered last year as well as feedback from writing group and just edit the darn thing. It won't bite. LOL Take two or three chapters a day until it's done.

    Faerie Story - Turn off inner editor and just write it. Try for a chapter a week. It's pretty much written in my head, so a chapter a week shouldn't be terribly difficult for a rough draft.

    4.
    TASK




    WHO NEEDS TO DO IT




    BY WHEN




    NOTE




    Finish final draft of SF



    Rough draft of Faerie Story

    Vanessa




    Vanessa
    December




    February
    Open




    Open
  10. #10

    Default

    Wow, lots of progress is being made here! Thank you for posting your goal list vrleavitt! Looks perfect. Doable so you won't be overwhelmed, but serious enough to be inspiring. Good luck!!
    Dana
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