Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Evaluating Your Writing Goals

Lately, I have been in the process of evaluating my personal writing goals. This has been an ongoing thing, perhaps, the last month or so. These internal deliberations have been made much harder because I've been involved in the launch of a publishing company. This fact itself is a major factor that may determine what I plan to do in the long-run. I have been over this territory enough to know that freelance writing is still something I have an interest in but it is certainly not first place. There is a tug-of-war between publishing and freelancing. The pertinent question is this: Why am I telling you all of this?

I think this sort of thing is something that will happen to every writer eventually. You will enter a drier period where the writing comes much harder and you may be wondering if you're getting burned out on the whole gig. (I know I've asked that question in the middle of the night.) You may be wondering if you should quit writing and explore new work options. Then again, your thinking may not be so extreme. You might just have the idea to re-evaluate  your current goals for your writing career. It could be as simple as setting new goals that reflect your current values and aspirations.

Making The Choices

No one writer's evaluation necessary reflects a need in other writers. It is more likely to be a combination of personal reasons - and thus, personal choices that need to be made. Most of you want to make good decisions by forming the right sort of goals for your individual circumstances. That just makes sense. That all of us desire from the outset. Still, it can be hard.

Maybe, you are dealing with outside personal issues that are having a direct impact on your writing life. Perhaps, you're at a crossroads where writing needs to take on some added dimension. This could mean moving from ghostwriting to credited freelance gigs in magazines. Then again, your freelancing could be taking on a different role overall. For me, writing is still a necessary source of income for my household. We need the money I bring in to pay the bills. It is hard for me though since, I would rather be putting my talents to use in service to Founders House Publishing.

The choices you make about your writing goals must have certain characteristics.

1. They must be based on your larger plans and goals both personally and financially.

2. They should be realistic or reasonable, meaning they are attainable.

3. They should reflect your desires for your craft.

4. They must be specific. You cannot afford to be vague about what want as a writer.

Getting Motivated

If you haven't realized it by now, if you want to evaluate your writing goals, you must be motivated to take this important step. Maybe part of your current crisis is wrapped up in your feelings of motivation (or a lack thereof)? It takes a lot of determination in order to confront irrelevant goals and change them for the better. Are you ready to get on with writing or have you already decided that you are done? You have to have an answer for this question. Depending on this answer, you can then at least take a step to look for something else or get busy planning the future of your writing career.

In  Closing...

It's tough, friends. I will be the first one to tell you, but you must take goal evaluation seriously. Don't let yourself fall into a routine that is going nowhere just because you won't take a little break to see what is you are doing. Why do that? Life is just too short. If writing is still something you love, treat the opportunities you have with the right mixture of sobriety and appreciation. Take it easy. Let me know if you have anything to say. I'm listening.

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