by Annie Cronin Romano
It’s a word that’s thrown around quite a bit, isn’t it? We are always supposed to have a plan. We need to know where we’re going. We have to visualize the finish line.
At 24 Carrot Writing, our primary focus is to keep you motivated and on track via solid goals and self-recognition and to give you the support to do this. The importance of goals and the skill of goal setting has been the thread of this month’s blogs. But what if the idea of setting writing goals makes your stomach churn? What if you are one of those folks who won’t make New Year’s resolutions for fear of breaking them? You’re probably not about to set any specific writing goals because you may not meet them. Setting writing goals can be intimidating. But it is a vital step in the writing process, because it sets the tone of accountability.
So if you were not planning to set any writing goals this year, I urge you to rethink. Don’t be afraid. We are not going to let you out of it. Strive to be realistic in your goals. As Amanda Smith wrote in her blog (“Doing the Necessary” January 12, 2018), look carefully at where you are now in your writing journey and what is a realistic next step.
And I am going suggest one additional step for those fearful of the goal setting process. Add a forgiveness clause at the end. Yes, you read that correctly. Forgiveness clause. This clause should state that if you do not completely meet any of your goals, you will not self-flagellate, wail, or grind your teeth. You will not put yourself down or state that you should give up on writing because you’d have better success selling steaks to a vegan grocery. Basically, this forgiveness clause will cut you some slack for any twists and turns that may take you off your intended path and keep you from sitting down on that pity pot.
You may not meet all your writing goals. I may not either. But if you don’t set them, you have no plan. No direction. You won’t know where the finish line is. And that can make starting the race pretty disconcerting. So give yourself the gift of a plan for your writing this year. Do your best to stay on track. But know that even if you don’t meet every writing goal you set, you are moving closer to the finish line by drawing yourself a map of how to get there. And that is a key step in your writing success.
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