Friday, July 20, 2012

What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?

I have been researching a book about time management for writers. Researchers have uncovered many techniques we can use to work more efficiently. Writers can adapt these techniques to be more productive in their writing careers.

I’ll be sharing more about time management in upcoming blog posts. Before discussing any tips or tricks to improve productivity the time management experts say we need to be certain of our goals.
Think about your goals as destination points on your journey. More accurately, think about them as destination points on the many journeys you make in your life.

The experts say we need to consider three types of goals: Long Term Goals, mid-range goals and short-term goals. Success in achieving your long term goals depends on achieving your mid-range goals, which, in turn, depends on completing your short term goals.

Likewise, the goals become less specific as they go from short term to long term.  For instance, a long term goal might be to become a full-time freelance writer in five years. Your mid-range goal might be to sell at least three pieces of writing a month for a total of at least  $500 in two years. Your short term goal might be to write at least 10,000 words a week (about 1500 words a day).
This makes it a bit overly simplistic, though. You will have multiple mid-range and short-term goals supporting the long term goal. It is like a pyramid.  One long-term goal may be supported by five mid-range goals which are supported by 20 or so short term goals.

Unfortunately, it is sometimes easy to get focused simply on the day to day activities of life and lose sight of those long term or what I call “Life Goals.” This doesn’t mean that those long-term goals once set are chiseled in stone. Long term goals of necessity change.

 When I was in high school my long term goal was to become a teacher. Later that narrowed down to becoming a college professor. Happily, I achieved that goal and taught at the college level for close to 30 years. But now, I have entered retirement, and I am redefining my long term goals. I’m only 60 and have quite a few years still ahead of me.

 One of my retirement goals, though, is to develop a full-time writing career focusing on “long-form” writing meaning novels, short story collections and nonfiction books. I began preparations for that more than a year before I retired. But, it was largely a vague goal, now I’m going to be refining that goal and defining my mid-range and short term goals to get there.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be looking at goal setting and you can follow me as I begin to set my new life goals. In the meantime, your assignment is to set fort at least one long term goal. If you want to share that goal (and any mid-range or short-term goals you can think of), you can in the comments section below.


  1. Since I'm in the middle of soul searching about my writing career, I'll be looking forward to your posts. They might help me get back on the horse after I've better determined the horse I want to ride, I think.


    1. I am doing the same right now. So, it's going to be a bit of soul searching for me as well. Monday I'll be discussing setting or perhaps better discovering long-term goals, but the core question I ask is what would my life look like if I was to acheive this goal.

  2. I'm always looking for inspiring, motivating articles on the craft, Terri. I'm looking forward to your posts:)

  3. I have the hardest time with narrowing down my goals and sticking to them, I think thats why I try to rush everything and get nothing done. I can't wait to see more

  4. Terri, It's so true that the everyday 'things to do' can often get in the way of our goals, or at least sidetrack them.

    And, from all the information on obtaining goals, one the the key elements is to keep the goals front and center and to review them daily. I think this is so important.

    I look forward to your future posts.

  5. I have no problem setting long term goals it's more of a problem sticking with it and accomplishing it


I invite comments. However, please be courteous whether responding to my comments or the comments of other. Also posts with profanity, advertising (aside from a link back to your own website) or abusive language will be deleted.