Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Creative Writing 101: Setting Goals aka The Drunken Epiphany

Note: the above is not me, but it could have very nearly been!

     What an own goal, seriously. I have to apologise for the lateness of this blog, it’s my own fault. First night off (during the week) in a long while, and I went a tad crazy. I’m a country boy, me, born in Wales, so the big city o’ London is still a zoo and a playground. Hence the eight hours of bar-hopping, shot-downing, dancefloor-tearing action of last night.

     But when I was out last night, I had an epiphany (that or the tequila packed more of a punch that I thought). I was standing at the bar, chatting as you do, doing my usual drunken ‘I love you man! What’s your dream, come on, what’s your goals? You could be anything!’ with one of my guys mates.

     When he asked me the same question I responded with writing.

     He laughed, not meanly, more from surprise I think. ‘How’re you going to do that?’ he asked between what felt like the hundredth shot (I can still feel the two-hundredth rolling about now), ‘and you’re talking of self-publishing – you won’t be able to do it all!’

     Won’t I?

     I likes a challenges does me (as proven by the shot race last night *bleugh*) and I’ve already started cracking away at the whole ‘self-publishing’ fiasco, whilst entertaining the traditional route.

     To be published is my goal – to write for a living, and earn enough to support not only myself, but my girlfriend too, in whatever she decides to do. This is my goal. There are many other goals like it… (ok, ok, I’ll cut the rambling there!). To succeed in this goal, however, there are other milestones (read: GINORMOUS BABYSTEPS!) to tackle. But, because I have a goal, I’m more determined.

     I think writers should have goals, little and large. I mean the overarching goal could be to finish your novel, the smaller being to write a chapter/paragraph/line a day (I was going to put word, but you’d struggle to fill a picture book in a year at that rate – what with title, name, blurb etc.).

     As a writer, I’ve defined my goals, divided into 2: social networking and writing.

     Here’s my example.

*1 day = write 2000 words (to he kept to Monday-Thursday, Friday-Sunday are recharge days).
*1 week = write 8000 words and have a good outline for the following week.
*1 month = write 32000 words.

Social Networking
*1 day = gain 1 twitter follower.
*1 week = gain a facebook friend.
*1 month = find another person who could potentially review/blog/help promote my work.

These goals don’t sound like much, but at the end of the year, potentially, I could be looking at:
*660,000+ words written.
*12 ‘promoters’.
*52 Facebook friends.
*365 Twitter followers.

Ok, so with the editing and time off the word count is ambitious, and we all know how easy it is to meet people on facebook and twitter, so I’ll likely have more connections than that, but it’s a start!
So come on then, what’s your goal?

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