Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Jan

7

2014

Goals: You Have to Talk Nicely to the Universe Before You Disturb It

Filed under: Community, Pondering, Publishing, Writing, Writing for Children, Young Adult (YA)

In typical fashion, the new year kicks off conversations about goals and fears–particularly the fear of not achieving said goals. I imagine this to be true for the majority of folks that breath, but I KNOW its a hot topic for writers. Writing and selling books is like asking people to expose their soft spots to the world and then letting everyone take pot shots at them. Sometimes you get high fives, but mostly you get snickers and frowns. Sometimes you get worse. Even when everything is handled professionally, being critiqued can cause a bucket load of insecurities to rise to the surface.

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In a recent conversation with some of my closest writing buds, I reminded everyone that we had to go into 2014 with the right attitude. Some people may think it’s hokey, but I believe there is a difference between saying…

a) I want an agent.

and

b) I will get an agent when my writing and my understanding of the publication process is good enough.

In one sentence, the universe hears you say want and you get WANT, which wasn’t really what you were after with that statement. In the other sentence the universe hears WILL and that is a whole different animal. You’ve planted a seed. Now you have to give it time to grow roots. I’m a big fan of deadlines, they motivate me to stop procrastinating and get things done, but I’ve learned to never attach deadlines to the aspects of my success I’m unable to control. There is a difference between saying…

a) I will sell a new book every year.

and

b) I will continue to sell books. I won’t stop writing and I won’t stop trying. Good books will sell, so I need to write good books.

One of those sentences is a lot more attainable than the other.

I also try to remember that the next new thing is always a freaking weird thing first. What the heck am I talking about? Hindsight is not so easy to spot the first time around. All the GREAT new books and authors–the break-out stars, whether they were overnight successes or years and years in the making–came from an uncomfortable uniqueness that most people anticipated would be a big pit of failure. The very same weird thing that makes writers impossible to see coming, is what also makes them visionary. Everyone is looking for the next NEW thing. New is the operative word.

There is a big difference between saying…

a) I’m going to be the next Laurie Halse Anderson

and

b) My name is Kimberly Sabatini and there is not another person out there that can write the books in my heart and my head. My goal is to have a long and successful career, like Laurie Halse Anderson, where I  write award winning books and where I’m an advocate and role model for teens, librarians, teachers and my fellow writers.  I want to WILL help Laurie disturb the universe. <3

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That’s MY story and I’m sticking to it. I know it works because it’s gotten me here so far. Take a moment and think about your goals for the future and if you haven’t already been doing it…

*phrase them in the positive.

*take off all the crazy deadlines that run the risk of making you think you’re a failure. If you have big plans–give them room to unfold.

*know  your role models and separate who they are from what the do.

*understand what it is that makes you freaking weird and then then ride that pony to the finish line. No one else has YOUR voice. Use it to disturb the universe.

You’ve got this!

 

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