Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Little Tip on How to Put Your Year in Perspective

I had this entire blog written out about goals and submission and rejection but in the end, I was too chicken to post it. Do you guys ever do that? Tell me I'm not alone.

Anyway, I thought it was more fitting to write about a different topic, especially since the new year is just around the corner (and since this is my last blog post until next year).

Last year around January, one of my good friends told me to write 10 things on a slip of paper that I wanted to focus on achieving throughout 2013.

"Then you put that tiny slip of paper in your wallet or another place where you KNOW where it is, but you won't lose it," he explained.

So I did. I wrote things that seemed achievable for me at the time--personal goals, financial goals, fitness goals, writing/publishing goals, etc.

"After you write those things, tuck that piece of paper away for the year," he explained. "Then at the end of the year, take it back out and look at the things you wanted to accomplish and compare it with the things you did accomplish."

So I did. It's December now. And even though it's a bit early, I opened it up today.

Before opening it, I was just like, ugh. This year wasn't as rad as I thought it'd be. In fact, it was the very opposite of rad at some points. I DOUBT I hit any of my "goals."

As writers, we have big dreams. We tend to set big goals for ourselves. That's not a bad thing! It's good to work toward something, but it's also important to realize that achieving that One Big Dream maybe won't happen in a year's time frame.

I thought I would be disappointed after opening my list. But you know what? After reading it, I realized I did hit some of those little goals I'd set for myself. And it made me realize that those little accomplishments matter too. 

Why the list? I mean, yeah I guess you can write out a list of 10 goals and slap 'em on your refrigerator so you're reminded at what you should work toward every single day. But I think the point of this was perspective. Because even though you're not consciously thinking of hitting those 10 goals every day, it's really great to be a little surprised when you look back and read what you wanted to achieve for yourself and what you DID achieve for yourself. 

Anyway, I thought I'd share it with you guys because it helped me focus on what I did achieve versus being disappointed on what I didn't achieve. I guarantee you'll at LEAST achieve 1 of those 10 things you write down for yourself (unless you're listing stuff like, WINNING 1 MILLION DOLLARS! which, I mean, you never know, but if I were you I'd make the list realistically achievable ;)

Writing is TOUGH, y'all. It's a hard industry. People don't lie when they say you have to have thick skin. But this list? It's just a little reminder of how awesome you are :)

I hope you guys have a great holiday break and an even happier new year!

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*Sidenote: I won't be blogging on here for the month of January due to traveling/moving, but I have some really great stuff lined up for you! I hope you enjoy it, and I'll see you all in February!

Farrah Penn enjoys staying up way too late and making up for it in large quantities of coffee. On top of her love for reading books with memorable characters, she also enjoys internet memes, yoga, and her adorably bratty dog. When she’s not rushing to complete marketing projects at work, she’s writing and daydreaming about traveling the world. Farrah writes YA and is represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary.  

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2 secret replies:

  1. Great idea! Part of what helps with achievable goals is to be specific. Instead of something vague like "get published" maybe it's: complete X manuscript, submit to agents by May, revise existing project, submit articles to x publication... etc. Also a variety of things can be beneficial, like attend a writing group or guest post on a blog. Those are easy enough to try out and even if you don't keep on with the group or blog regularly, you've done something new and opened up to the experience.

    I'm trying to be more specific about my goal setting. I'm envious of those who write out five year business plans.

  2. Indeed. That One Big Dream has little chances of happening in a year, maybe it needs more years. That's why it's important to have little goals to achieve that is doable in a year so you won't feel stagnant.
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