Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Belated Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone

Sorry for the delay in posting this entry, but I hope you had a wonderful festive season and are settling into your goals and targets for the new year.

As some of you know, I spend every New Year's Day going over my achievements for the previous year and setting new goals for the coming year. These goals not only deal with my writing ambitions, but also with personal things like weight control and relationships and financial things like earnings and savings. I usually end up with around 100 different goals, some minor, some major, and of course I never achieve them all, such is the dynamic of shooting for the stars and only reaching the moon.

One thing I discovered recently is the difference between Goals and Targets. Goals are those things over which you have control. Think of picking up a 60 lb bow, stringing an arrow to it, pulling back the bowstring, straining against everything as you aim. Targets are those things you don’t have control over, though you may have some influence on the outcome. Think of the target at which you’re aiming the arrow. The wind might shift when you loose the arrow, movement of a bird might distract you as you loose, and your arrow might not strike the bull’s eye. Of course, the more you train, the less likely this is going to happen, but in most things, there is always an element of outside influence.

For example, I may want to have a manuscript accepted by a major publisher this year. That’s a Target. I have no control over the editor’s feelings the day she reads it. I have no control over the gaps in her publishing program. All I can control is the completion, presentation and submission of my manuscript pitch. These I can do to the best of my ability. These are Goals. The rest is, as they say, in the lap of the gods.

So, I have one major writing Goal this year—to finish the next draft of my dark ages novel, which I hope to accomplish during my Wales residency. Once I finish the draft, I plan to submit it to beta readers and an independent editor, and then prepare it for submission to a publisher. I would love to have it accepted by the end of the year, but that of course is a Target. Wish me luck.

Meanwhile, for those in Melbourne, Geelong and nearby areas, I hope you might be able to attend an event for which I am one of the feature readers.  The details are below:

Many Voices from Many Lands: a celebration of our diversity
Director: E. Reilly
Poets: Earl Livings, Julie Maclean, & Geelong Writers members
Chanteuse: Marie Goldsworthy
When: Wednesday, 25 February, 6.00pm for 6.30-8.00pm (gold coin entry)
Where: Geelong West Library, Pakington Street, next to former Geelong West Town Hall (parking at rear)
Also … the launch of Azuria #4, Geelong’s independent literary journal.
Participants & audience are encouraged to wear national costume.

I wish everyone a productive, successful and joyful 2015. If you have any interesting ideas about Goals and Targets and your processes for developing then, I hope you’ll share them with us in the Comments section.


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