I have a friend who set up an online vision board. And another friend suggested that I make a vision board in order to encourage myself to go after my goals. It’s a creative and fun process.
The most recent Advanced Fiction Writing E-Zine suggested making a yearly plan. Here’s an excerpt:
1. What’s the one fantastic thing you’d like to achieve next year that’s actually in your control?
2. What sort of outcome do you expect from it? (That is, will it likely earn you money and if so, what’s a reasonable amount to expect? It’s okay to guess here.)
3. How much time and money will it reasonably cost you to achieve this goal?
4. Do you actually have that much time and money available in the year? If you have time and money left over, then go ahead and repeat the above questions as many times as you want, until you’ve run out of time or money to execute them all.
That’s your annual plan for the year, in a nutshell. It won’t hurt to write it up in a document. It won’t hurt to put your major goals on a sheet of paper and post them over your computer, so you see them every day.
Goals. OMG. I am so not a goal-oriented person. In my discussion with my friend who mentioned making a vision board, I realized that most of the time when I set a goal, I self-sabotage it. I fail. It’s frustrating and disheartening. I used to be a planner. Huge planner. Planned everything out with as much detail as possible. My stress level went down immensely when I stopped being a planner. I used to throw elaborate events with lots of people in attendance and lots of variables that could go wrong. Sometimes the events wouldn’t be as planned but most of the time things went correctly – but regardless of the minute details, everything happened. It was like the cartoon visual of a small snowball rolling down hill and growing into a huge snowball that takes out the village. Once I did some basic planning, I could let the rest of the things sort themselves out. The village would be destroyed at the end regardless of the individual details.
So, I stopped planning. Today, I plan for the day. Maybe I plan a little for the week, and because the world won’t let you not plan ahead when traveling, I plan a little for a month or two ahead (airline tickets and checking on what day falls when for holidays). Having a writing plan for the year is not something I want to do. Will I be writing? Yes. Will I be successful? Meh. Will I go to work every workday? Yes, if possible. Will I pay my bills? Yes, I hope so. I’ll pay my yearly taxes. I’ll do the everyday things like buying groceries, gas, books. Those are a given – no plan needed.
If you are a planner, I wish you successful fruition of your plan.