What Are Your Goals?

Even if you love to drive, just for the sake of driving, you probably have a destination in mind before you start the engine of your vehicle. There’s a certain feeling of accomplishment,  safely completing a journey. If you don’t have a destination, then all you’re doing is driving around in circles, wasting gas. If you’ve never thought about what you want to achieve through writing, perhaps now is the time to consider this important issue. Here some questions to consider:

Do you want to be a professional writer or are you content to keep writing as a hobby? There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, because no one understands your life better than you do. Although my goal is to become a full-time, professional writer, at the moment leaving my job would be unfair to my family. That’s why I start and end each shift at the warehouse with the Writer’s Daily Affirmation that I wrote in the first blog entry, to remind myself that I’m a writer, not a forklift operator.

Are you willing to write for free to get started?  It’s often been said that the worst thing that can happen to a writer isn’t being criticized, it’s being forgotten. One reason to write for free, especially when you first start writing, is earn credits that you can list in your profile.  One important thing to remember, however, is that once a story, essay or article has been published, even on your own blog, it will much more difficult to get it published again. Some editors won’t even consider previously published material. If an article or short story has been published for free, you may never be paid for it.

Do you have one project that keeps working its way into your thoughts?  Great story ideas are like marbles in a tin can, they just keep rolling around in your mind, and the rattling won’t stop until you start writing.  The most important decision you can make is to actually start writing. You can read Writer’s Digest, watch author interviews on YouTube, visit author’s websites and read blogs about writing, but never actually sit down and write. If your intuition it telling you it’s a great story idea, it’s time to start writing.

Have you ever written your goals down? Take a few minutes to write down the goals you want to achieve through writing and record dates by which you plan to achieve those goals. You don’t have to worry about whether you can finish the projects before the self-imposed deadlines, their purpose is to help you focus and avoid procrastination. The main thing is that you’re moving towards your goals.

During the first week of July I had one editor reject a short story I had submitted, and another editor publish an article I wrote. While I’m waiting to hear from several film companies I submitted screenplays to, my eBook, What If? A Collection of Short Fiction by J. Paul Cooper has been added by several libraries. Writing really is an emotional rollercoaster.

J. Paul Cooper