I’m sure everyone has a relative like my dad, some who was great with one-liners. I remember him saying, “If you aim at nothing, you always hit you target.” And another time, “Too many people have climbed the ladder of success only to realize they placed it against the wrong wall.”
In other words, if you have no goals then you will never succeed, and some people try to succeed in some field or by some means only to realize it’s not true success. Think of this as a Writer. Knowing what for you is success and how you will accomplish it can give you bucketfuls of confidence.
Where Do You Want To Go?
You will begin the path the success as a Creative Writer if you have clearly defined goals. These goals should be evaluated periodically. With the accomplishment of one goal, another may come to mind. And let’s face it. What we want changes over time. We need to give our aspirations a good scrub every one in a while.
Based upon where you are in your writing development, you might want to stagger your goals. Have some more immediate goals that can be reached fairly easily, a few more a bit further off, and some large term goals. There goals need to be as concrete as they can be so there is no confusion as to whether or not you really have achieved it. Also these goals need some kind of payoff for you. Reward yourself for your success. Maybe the most important aspect of goal-setting is establishing clear and realistic deadlines. These push you to act and move toward your goals.
A goal without a deadline is just a wish, but with one becomes a challenge (tweet this comment)
What Is Important To You?
The formation of any goal means nothing if you do not then establish priorities. For example, let’s say a goal of yours is to publish a short story. How will you go about doing that? If you have yet to do so, you might want to take a creative writing class. You can study articles online about short story composition. You should see what sells today in this market. So may other things can be added, but you get the idea.
Maybe you want to start your own creative writing blog. Great, is it okay if I guest post sometime? You should read other blogs and network with other bloggers, especially those in your niche. You need to create and editing calendar so you’ll not only know what articles are posted when, but also so you don’t sit there at your computer the day before a deadline and cry, “What can I write on?”
Possibly you want to take on a novel. Good for you! Now, how are you going to do it? Preparation is key here. What goes on before you write is more important than the writing. Spend time structuring your plot and developing your characters, and by spend time I mean several months. This is more vital to novel writing than short story composition.
If you want to read some good articles on plot and character development, consider these:
- “What Is Your Story About?” (11.22.12)
- “David Lean: A Cinematic Novelist” (1.11.13)
- “Solving The Mystery Behind Good Mystery Writing Solving: Part One – Plotting The Tale” (2.4.13)
- “Solving The Mystery Behind Good Mystery Writing: Part Two – Growing The Characters” (2.11.13)
- “Our People’s Pastimes” (3.11.13)
- “The Mob As A Character: A Character As The Mob” (1.14.13)
- “Lessons In Character Development From The Godfather” (12.10.12)
- “Layers In Character Development” (10.4.12)
I also recommend these written by some friends of mine:
- “Why You should Steal From Other Authors” by K.M. Weiland (She also has a pair of books I highly recommend, one on plot outlining and another on character development)
- “Six Lies About Creative Writing You Should Never Believe” by Nick Thacker
- “The World Needs More Artists” by Jeff Goins
- “How To Write A Book In Nine (Not So) Easy Steps” by Joe Bunting
I hate to mention this, but you can get by without a schedule if you are writing a short story (I don’t recommend it, but it can be done). No so with the novel. You need a strict daily schedule. If you live with others, family or roommates, let them know of these schedules and how vital it is that you have this time to write. Some burn out a first draft as soon as they can and others edit as they write. There is no right way but what is most effective for you. Either way you will need to edit your work even after you finish a first draft. Join a good writing group and get feedback.
Even before you begin writing, you need to figure if you want to go with traditional or independent publishing. If you like traditional, research agents as you write so that you’ll have a leg-up when you’re done. If you want to go indie, start marketing now (I highly recommend my friends at the Self Publishing Team for all the help you’ll need – http://www.selfpublishingteam.com/).
So if you are a Creative Writer, find a wall, make it a good wall, make it the right wall, set your ladder of success against it and climb. For both of our sakes, I hope to see you at the top!
If you found this valuable, Share this article with other Writers you know. And let me know how you climb the ladder of success in the Comment section below.