The Importance of Setting Goals,
Timelines and Deadlines
By Julie Fern
Let me start by stating that I am not a Publicly Published Author, yet. My profession has been in the world of big business until a few years ago. However, I find that several of the rules and habits I formed in business writing and composition remain best in class.
How many times do you hear the question, “Are you a plotter or fee writer?”? It is a valid question. Although I personally find that it is an empty question. Perhaps the better inquiry would be, “Do you write every day?” or maybe, “Do you set word count goals on a regular basis?”. You see we all do! Some more formally than other but all none the less. A creative vice we all carry as thinkers and word Smith’s is the need to know where we are going on a project thus we mentally plot and plan. Everything we do is outside of the box and yet there is an organization to it that most likely only other authors can or would recognize.
As professional authors it behooves us to keep records, plan out a lifeline for our endeavors and be able to learn from mistakes and benefit in the future from well made choices. No matter how many novellas, novels, compositions or manuals we write and collect royalties on, if we are lucky, we can all learn and grow from introspect and review of what we have already done.
One of the best ways to create this Artist Morgue of reference is to keep written goals, timelines and deadlines. Basically make contracts with ourselves to be the best we can be. Create expectations of our own work and work habits thus making us hold ourselves accountable. In this accountability we are able to be in charge of our own destiny as authors and shape the impact we have on future generations of creative people.
No it is not easy at first! The trick, as in creating any new habit, is to see the value in it. For me it is like purchasing a baby book for each creative project. Setting expectations as to when the first roll over will occur or the first tooth will pop makes the journey exciting! But in the end it pays off in rewards like being able to review, knowing you have done your very best, being able to look at your ‘child’ and see all the things you did correctly and even the things you now know you could have done better.
The value of expectations, Timelines and Deadlines is pride in your work! It is knowing you are the best you can possibly be! Most of all it is continuous growth and the strength of our personal characteristics day by day that make us who we are!