Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Writing In 2015 - Understanding Control

Down to the last couple of days in this year and I am getting ready to gear up for something different. This writer is writing again and, with some effort, I won't stop again. I've been thinking about goals. Here's a quote from writer, James Scott Bell:
"Why set goals? Because you can either control your own destiny or hand it over to circumstance. I'd much rather be acting than reacting. I'd rather have a plan than have time and tide devour me."
I really like this. Bell's quote cuts to the heart of matter for me. It's a succinct way to express the concept of control. As with everyone else, writers have dreams. We want accolades or to hit bestsellers' lists, or maybe get a big publishing contract with traditional publishers. Or maybe we want to hit a home run with a book or series, selling hundreds of thousands of copies, getting our stories optioned by Hollywood, and so on. The thing with dreams though is that we basically have zero control over them. 

I have dreams too. But, I can't make big sales happen. I can't control that. However, I can control how much I write. I can control how many books and short stories I get published via my publishing company. These are things that can be controlled. So what does this have to do with goals?

Goals are things that you can control. They can be used to build the road to your dreams. Goals are acting on plans with an end purpose or dream in mind. The work of setting and accomplishing goals doesn't guarantee you achieve your dreams, but they can get you on the right path to do so, given time, patience, and perseverance. That's what I'm learning anyways.

Dean Wesley Smith is talking about this same subject on his blog. The latest post, New World of Publishing: Control, unpacks these same ideas with Smith's trademark wisdom and wit. He gives you some important steps to help you plan and set goals for your writing in the new year. I find that I need to revisit some of the steps relate to setting production goals. 

There are issues of strategy too when it comes to what I do with my finished stories and novels. I think mixing it up and sending stories to outside markets and publishing books and collections through Founders House Publishing still makes sense. I have to work out the details. But I have steps I can take so that's really more than half the battle for me. 

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