Ya gotta have goals!

Posted: 14 January, 2012 in Goals, writing
Tags: , , ,

I love Saturdays. Not just because it usually signifies a sleep in (in contrast to the days of the week I used to have to get up early), but it also means I get to enjoy my Saturday paper.  For all the news nerds out there (and I know I’m not the only one) there is one paper a week that we love more than all others. Mine is Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald. My favourite part of the paper are the promotional liftouts that focus on the arts, music, books, author interviews, in-depth news features, opinion pieces and my all-time favourite – The Essay.

It hit me today that my number one big-time goal is to write an essay that is published in that section.

I have thought about it for so long that I have forgotten to set it as an actual goal.  It’s always been a thought in the back of my mind – “One day I’ll have an essay published in the SMH.”

But the thing about goals is that they have to be more real than that.  Using the SMART method of goal setting here is my number one publishing goal for the year:

Be SPECIFIC: I want to have an essay published in the Sydney Morning Herald’s weekend edition of Spectrum.

Is it MEASURABLE?: What are the steps I need to take to take to reach my goal? First, I need a great topic to write about. Then write a draft. Give my draft to my friend Jane to proof and comment on, correct any errors and rewrite if necessary. Once I have a final proof I will prepare a submission and send it off. If it’s not accepted, I’ll go back to step one (taking on board any feedback I received from the editor).

Is it ATTAINABLE?:  I’m going to say, yes, it’s attainable.  I’ve got all the submission details, I know they take freelance submissions and I know the style of the publication so I know what the editors want. Even though I know there are days when I will think it’s impossible, I have to keep it in my head that it is possible.

Is it RELEVANT?: Absolutely!  This goal is definitely relevant to the direction I want my life to go in this year.

TIMELINE: I would love to have achieved this by the end of the year.  The Essay is published once a week and the liftouts work a few issues in advance so that give me about 10 months to make submissions.

Having put this out there I’m surprised at how nervous I am. That’s the thing about goals – they can be daunting when other people know about them because I’m suddenly accountable, but without them I know I will be stuck in generalised thinking that gets me nowhere.

But it is exciting to have a goal, something to work towards.

Now, if only I had a great idea to start with.


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