It’s time to dust off some forgotten dreams, review met and unmet goals listed for 2011, and decide where we want to put our writing energies next year.
As you mull over next year’s plans, I want to challenge you with this question: ARE YOUR WRITING DREAMS BIG ENOUGH?
SHOOTING FOR THE MOON
I’ve been reading about famous inventors (like Edison), famous businessmen (like Ford), and famous entrepreneurs (like Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg). They lived in different historical periods and pursued different kinds of projects. But they all had one thing in common. They did NOT set “reasonable and achievable goals.” They dreamed bigger dreams than anyone thought they could achieve. And then they achieved them–and more.
Edison (who only had a few months of formal education) decided to try to invent a light bulb in less than three years, even though far more intelligent scientists had spent more than 50 years so far trying to do the same thing. An outlandish goal! But he ended up inventing it in two years!
When Ford started his auto company, the other 250 American automakers were turning out 12 to 300 cars per year. A reasonable goal for Ford to set would maybe be 150 cars per year. But his dream was to produce cars that the average family could afford–not just the wealthy. And he ended up producing 1,000 cars per day off his assembly lines. (That’s per DAY, not per year.)
Because Spielberg and Gates are present-day phenomenons, you’re probably already familiar with their stories. They became such huge successes for the same reasons Edison and Ford did. They dreamed of doing what others said was impossible.
IGNORE WHAT “THEY SAY”
Partly because of our struggling economy, the naysayers in the publishing industry are thicker than ever. “They say” you have to write what will sell instead of writing what you have a passion for. “They say” you can’t expect to sell your first novel to a big New York publisher–you should probably settle for a tiny publisher and no advance, or publish it yourself. “They say” you can’t get a good agent–you need to settle for someone with no experience that no editor will work with.
I’m big on goal setting. And I’m not trying to set you up for a big fall. However, I sometimes wonder if all of us achieve less simply because we start out with “reasonable, achievable” goals instead of reaching for the stars.
When you’re writing down your goals for 2012, I really encourage you to stretch and dream bigger. Go against the odds. Reach higher than you can even imagine reaching. The results a year from now may just be astounding!