Sunday, June 3, 2012

Aim for Writing Success

Aim for Writing Success

by Karen Cioffi

Writing success can mean different things to different writers. Some writers may simply want to get a book or article published; others may want to be on the New York Times Best Sellers List; still others may want to make a living writing; and there are those who may be seeking wealth and fame. The key here is to dig down and really know what your perception of writing success is.

Once you are certain what you are aiming for, take the necessary steps to become the writing success you dream of. Sounds easy, right? Well, we all know it’s not, if it were, there would be no struggling writers.

The first problem we seem to run into is actually realizing how we perceive success, or what we want from our writing efforts. According to Jack Canfield, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, the number one reason for being stuck and not realizing your potential or goals is the lack of clarity.

Step One: You Must Define Your Goals and Your Perception of Success

It’s not sufficient to state you want to be a published writer; you need to proclaim the specifics. You want to be a self-help nonfiction author of published books and magazine articles earning an income of $100,000 per year. You can even get much more specific than that—the more specific your goals and intentions are the more likely you will attain them.

Step Two: Prepare a Plan

When you finally have a break through and know exactly what you want from your writing efforts, you need to prepare a detailed plan. Your plan, just like your goals, needs to be very specific. Think of a recipe: You plan on baking a cake, but you’ll need more than just the ingredients, you’ll need the exact amount of each ingredient, the proper procedure for mixing them together, the baking temperature, how long to bake it, how long to cool it before removing it from the pan . . . you get the idea.

Now you’re on your way . . . you have specific goals . . . a detailed plan . . . but . . . you’re still not achieving success.

Step Three: Take Action

Think of the first two steps as the foundation of your house. To move forward toward success, you need to build the house. This takes action; it actually takes more than just action, it takes ongoing action and perseverance to carry you through to completion.

Step Four: Projection

You have the other steps down pat, now picture yourself attaining your goals. According to motivational speakers, you will have a much greater chance of making it happen by projecting success. This step encompasses a number of strategies such as envisioning, projection, projection boards, and affirmations.

Take aim . . . shoot.

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  1. Good morning, Karen, and thanks for the helpful tips! I love the suggestion to make your writing goals very clear, and setting out a specific course of action will help our writing dreams became a reality much, much sooner.

    If my ultimate goal is to have my writing in the hands of every kid under the age of 12, I also set baby-step goals that are reachable faster, so I don't get too discouraged baking that cake you talk about -- Baby-step goals could be getting a magazine article in print, making a section of my website or blog kid-friendly, and getting another manuscript on an editor's desk.

  2. Hi, Suzanne. That's absolutely right. If your goals are too broad and are unattainable chances are you won't reach them. With any writing or marketing strategy, it should be done in steps.

  3. Dear Karen,
    Thanks for the tips on goal setting and action taking. Celebrate you today.

  4. Hi, Joan, Thanks for stopping by!