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Monday, January 09, 2012

Why Do You Write?

"Goals. There's no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There's no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There's no telling what will happen when you act upon them."—Jim Rohn

What are your goals? Can you state them clearly? Holly Lisle's last two newsletters were about goals in a way. Not the kind like "I want to lose 10 pounds" or "I want to complete a novel", but more general type goals. Since my focus this week isn't about concrete action-oriented goals so much as it is about a mindset I need to accomplish those action-oriented goals, Holly's newsletters struck a chord in me.

Her first question was "What do I want to get OUT of my writing? What's in it for me?" The easy answer is usually "I want to publish." That's a freebie. But what is it that drives you to want to write in the first place? Have you thought about it? I need to remind myself of my reasons, of what I want to get out of writing. I'm still pondering the question and my answers to it.

Holly's second question was "What am I willing to put INTO my writing?" Her angle wasn't about time or effort, but about how much of yourself you're willing to put on the page. How naked are you willing to be? I think I'm pretty willing to be naked on the page most of the time. For a long time I wasn't. That's why I chose fiction. Hey, they're made up stories, right? It took a number of years and a look back at my early writing to see just how clearly I showed up on the page, between the lines. Fears, dreams, fantasies, worries, probably prejudices, too, if I'm honest.

When you think about your goals, think about the answers to Holly's questions. Set real, concrete goals, S.M.A.R.T. goals—specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, time-limited—and aim for them. But don't lose sight of your original reason for wanting to write.

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