Monday, December 10, 2007

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart...” –William Wordsworth

Being a writer is amazing. Carving stories out of thin air… making substantial the dreams and speculations within our hearts. Yet most of us here want more. It’s not enough to doodle vague ideas onto paper. We yearn for accomplishment. To write not just a sentence but a complete story. To see that story magically bound with a glossy cover. To know that complete strangers read our words and are engaged, amused, transformed…

Which takes us beyond carefree imaginings and into the realm of practical endeavors. *Grin*

“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk.”--J.C. Penney

Whether the goal is to write one page or one hour. To reach a desired word count or flesh out a scene. To edit, revise or outline... All goals matter. Without a destination in mind, we are merely wanderers.

There’s an old saying by Lloyd Jones about failure and success that always appealed to me:

“Those who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed.”

Hah! Yet there’s more to striving than simply setting goals. We must push ourselves always to go a step beyond our comfort zone. If success were defined only by doing what is easy, we’d all congratulate ourselves continuously for walking and breathing on a daily basis. *wink* Remember as a child, how even while playing the silliest of games we strove to better our past record?

Hopscotch or jump rope, foursquare or dodge ball. Heck, even on the swings we always wanted to fly higher and higher. Our human instincts impel us to reach for the stars. As adults, and particularly as writers, we must not let go of the instinctive urge to best ourselves—to continuously update and expand our definition of achievement.

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” –Michelangelo

As writers, we must strive to maintain a balance between pushing ourselves too much and not pushing ourselves enough. And the truth is, we may be all writers, but each one of us is an individual as well. Part of your personal journey is to find what motivates you. Some thrive with far-reaching goals that would make others blanch. Find your rhythm, find your own theme music, discover what dance steps you require to get the blood pumping and then crank up the energy and let those fingers fly!

And remember…

“Failure is the path of least persistence.” –Anonymous

*wink* *grin*

During the holiday season, time is at a premium. Few will have the extra minutes (much less hours) our hearts desire to pen a few words or edit our WIP. Yet this is a lovely time to begin contemplating our future goals. The year is nearly at an end. A new one bursting with potential beckons from the wings.

For those who have the time and will to write this week, what are your goals?

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