Monday, November 3, 2008

How to turn a Writer's Dreams into Reality

All writers have dreams of becoming best-sellers or full-timers. Here's a simple four-step plan to make your dreams come true.

Writers are many things but, above all else, they are dreamers. We spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about issues, creating characters and developing ideas.

But what about the dream ~ the writing dream?

Whether you dream of being a bestselling novelist, an in-demand freelancer or making a full-time living from the written word ~ the first step to achieving it is to conceive it.

Now, think about the last time you resolved to do something. Maybe it was at midnight on December 30 with the traditional New Year's Eve resolution.

Can you still remember what you resolved to do? More importantly, have you turned that dream into a reality?

For most people, their New Year's resolution is either forgotten or broken by the end of the first month.

It's a shame ~ it happens every year ~ but it's a good example of what does and will happen to other resolutions you have, if you don't back them up with action.

The second step in achieving your dream is to develop a road map. That is, setting goals and deadlines that work toward you achieving your desire.

Here's a simple strategy to get you moving in the right direction:

1. Define your goal

Get specific. What do you really want to achieve? Where do you want to be in one month, or in one year? Yes, you could write this in one sentence but try for a page or more. How will it make you feel? Sell yourself the features and benefits of achieving this goal. The more detail you have, the better.

2. Outline what you need to do

If your goal is to go pro this year as a writer, what do you need to do to make it happen? Break your goal down into stepping stones or mini goals which are easy, achievable and will bring you closer to attaining your dream. This may mean setting mini goals, such as study to prepare yourself for business; developing a business plan; identifying markets for your work or making important business contacts.

Make sure that each of your mini goals directs you ultimately to achieving your overall goal. Be aware of your overall goal, but don’t focus on achieving it. Keep your mind on one mini goal at a time, working toward its completion.

3. Attach deadlines

A goal is merely a dream unless you attach a deadline to its achievement. When you have a deadline, you become serious about your goal. By continually being aware of your goals and their deadlines, you generate a sense of urgency within you. You need a target otherwise it is too easy to drift off course.

4. Live your goal

Now we’re making progress. You have a goal, you have broken it into bite-sized goals with reasonable deadlines for achievement. Now, think about your overall goal, picture it in your mind, dream about it ~ 'see' it already in your life. 'Enjoy' the benefits it brings in your imagination.

Visualization is an integral part of meditation, and an important tool for achieving goals.

I have made this a part of my every day life, and you can too.

Get used to 'day dreaming' about your goal. Imagine that it's already a part of your life and, by methodically working on your mini goals, it will be sooner than you think.

There's no magic wand to setting and achieving goals. It takes a small investment of time up front and a commitment to its achievement.

Think about all of the things you have already achieved in your life ~ they all came at a cost ~ a commitment from you. But each was worth it, right? Well, the same applies here.

Here's what four other writers had to say about dreams . . .

"A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline." ~ Harvey Mackay

"Most people never run far enough on their first wind, to find if they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got, and you'll be amazes at the energy that comes out of you." ~William James

"You see things and say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were and I say 'Why not?'" ~ George Bernard Shaw

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born." ~ Dale E. Turner

Remember, it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. And, there's no better time than right NOW.

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