Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolutions, Goals and Dreams - Writers Need These To Survive

It's 2014 and now people are launching into post after post on Facebook and other social media outlets of their resolutions for the coming year. As I watched many fly across the internet, I noted an interesting thing. It seems like many seem to really have the idea of resolutions, goals and dreams confused. For writers (and yes, this extends to others as well), knowing these and following through with these ideas is crucial for success.

Let's look at each. 

RESOLUTION: a decision or determination; a resolveto make a firm resolution to do something
In the case of a resolution, this is a promise you are making to yourself to do something. This has to be 100% you and cannot involve other people who might somehow shape that goal in another direction. Therefore, there are some of you with the resolution to be published by the end of the year. This is not a resolution, simply because to be published will require someone else making that happen.

What you can do is to make the resolution that you want to finish writing that book. You want to resolve to read more books, take more classes or go to workshops. These are things you have complete control over.

GOAL: the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
When it comes to goals, again, there are a lot of writers that are missing the mark on this one. Again, many of these have to be realistic and something you have the control over. We also have to remember that goals can come in two forms - short term and long term. Those short term goals might be on a monthly basis and maybe up to a year. Think of these as benchmarks. "By the end of January, I will be at X place in my book." The long term ones are going to only be achieved by reaching each of those smaller goals. "My goal is that by RWA Nationals, I have a story to pitch as well as 3 others planned."
DREAM: to think or conceive of something in a very remote way
These are those intangibles. These are things that we "hope" we can do. There is nothing wrong with having dreams, but you have to remember that many of those "dreams" might be something that never happens. Still we need these. In writing these might be the "motivations" that your characters have. To reach a certain point in their life.

As you think about what you want to achieve in 2014, I recommend you really think these through. They are powerful tools to achieve greatness, but also items that can bring a person down fast!


  1. Thank you so much for breaking this down, I too was misleading myself in my Goals, Resolutions and Dreams now I will revise the error and post it by my laptop so that everyday I look at it and work at it. Wishing you the best for 2014.

  2. Nice distinctions. I always enjoy your posts.