Goal setting is important in an art form like this. Usually, in writing, we come in with a couple long term goals, like finishing a book, or getting published, but those… those are built on a couple other goals.
It’s taken a lot of effort to come to this point, but I’ve been sitting at home wondering what is it that makes me happy, and I realize now that it’s goal setting that does it for me. If I set a goal, then I feel good if I complete it. But I realized I had my goals too broadly made.
“Okay Peyton,” I started, “You’re going to sit down and write a book.” That’s an insane idea. And it stressed me out when months would pass and I wasn’t doing it. I wasn’t “writing a book,” I was putting words on the page and looking away for a while. It was then that I realized I needed to change something in how I set these goals.
There’s a difference in short and long term goal setting. But what I haven’t seemed to acknowledge until recently was that it’s a lot better, and preferable, really, to have a long term goal and break it down into short-term ideas.
“Okay Peyton,” I started, “You’re going to sit down and write a chapter for your book.” It was a lot more bite sized, and getting that chapter done made me feel success, and happiness.
As a college student, you don’t have many goals besides getting a grade you’re happy with, and doing whatever paper comes your way when they occur. You go to class, listen to a lecture, and you may read a passage or study for a few hours before showering, going to bed, waking up, and doing it all over again. Because I feel success due to goals, imagine my feeling when I had no goals to do, nothing set in stone, nothing to really focus on. It’s draining. So, when I decided to make some changes for myself, and set these bite size, achievable goals, I realized an uptick in my happiness.
It goes beyond writing. I aim to read chunks of a book, not a whole book, or I try to exercise every day. It’s made me happy.
I think that if you’re struggling in feeling good about yourself, try taking a step back and thinking about if your happiness is found in completing goals. You don’t need to overload yourself, especially if you break something down into chunks. This may also lead to progress, success, and personal pride.
I have some announcements to share with some things I’m quite proud of:
1.) I’ve been working with a few of my friends for a superhero anthology book, consisting of about three stories. One of those stories is mine, and I am really excited that it is now complete. I used this goal setting idea by looking at this long term goal, and then breaking it down into sections. The short story came out to be 9,300 words, and I genuinely had fun doing it and I’m so excited to talk more about it when the time is right.
2.) My novel, Fleischerville, is also going swimmingly. I completed two chapters, totaling five out of the twenty two I have planned being done. I’m excited to start looking into a literary agent as well, but that is a goal later on down the line. The main goal is getting this done first.
3.) I’ve been writing short stories lately! They’re not short stories I can share, as one is for a literary magazine, another for a contest, but after they’re out know that you can find them in My Writings. I’ll make a dedicated post about them of course.
I leave you with a final message for today:
Take pride in what you do, smile more, and keep your head up. I’m proud of you, and there’s plenty of others that are proud as well.