Making My List and Checking It Twice – The Importance of Setting Goals

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
“Were do you want to go?’ was his reponse.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’ “

Image result for quote if you don't know where you're going

When I am writing, I prefer an open-ended approach, and for that reason, I resist titling my pieces until the end. I don’t want my titles to bind my wiriting, and I want to allow myself to explore and to go where my intuition leads me, as I write. I realize, however, that this type of lollygagging is not the way to approach my entire career. I understand that if I want to get my writing published, I must jump into another gear.

Writing is easy for me, and I suspect that the open-endedness of my approach helps. Editing, however, is the kiss of death for me. I detest it. I do not like projects that require a harsh focus and that prevent my skipping about. I also detest the business of writing–the submitting of my work to an editor. I don’t want to be rejected, and I realize that this is one of the reasons that I resist submitting. My greater problem, however, is that I simply don’t want to shift from the creating part of my work to the noncreative business end of the process. But if I want to be published, I must learn to swallow the bitter pill of the business part of things, and I must edit my work and I must submit it. In order to be published, creating is not enough.

Setting goals helps me to take care of all of the chores necessary to write, edit, and publish my writing.

Deadlines help writers and artists set goals.

There are several places to find writing contests and other funds for writers. The magazine Poets and Writers has a great list of opportunitiesHere: 

I have searched through the opportunities available, and I have created my own chronological list, and I have highlighted the deadline date Here.

Actual deadline dates are a way that I force myself to shift to the business part of getting myself published, but the dates themselves are not enough. I also need to establish some sort of contract with myself. I need to do something more to encourage myself to acknowledge the deadlines that I have established.

It doesn’t sound like much, but a promise to myself goes a long way toward encouraging me to stick with my goals.

On New Year’s Day, I made a resolution to write every day of the coming year. I became sick part of the year, and I was not able to do what I had promised, but several times throughout the year, something within myself has whispered that I had made a resolution. Something nudges me and tells me that I need to do what I had said that I would do. While I have not written everyday  in 2016, on several days, I wrote more than one article. I feel that I have averaged writing something everyday.

Another New Year is coming, and my resolution for the coming year will be to edit something for at least one hour every day. Yuck! It’s a dirty job, but if I want to get published, it’s something that I have to do.

The other part of my resolution is that I will submit at least 52 things for publication during 2017. That will be an average of submitting something once each week.

These are my promises for 2017, and I have already begun whipping myself into shape. At the very least, we, as writers, must always look ahead, and we must have some idea of where we want to go–and then, we must walk in that direction.

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
“Were do you want to go?’ was his reponse.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’ “

©Jacki Kellum October 12, 2016



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