Monday, February 1, 2010

Taichert on Dreams, Goals and Getting Published

Pari Noskin Taichert, author of The Socorro Blast and regular contributor to Muderati, blogs about the foolishness of setting a goal of "getting published." Excerpts:
During the recent holidays, I met many people who told me their goal for this year is to "get published."

That ... [makes] me think we should discuss the distinction between dreams and goals here.

To me, dreams are hopes and wishes. They should be grand, marvelous, BIG. They should make you feel good when you think of them, smiling with the giddiness of magnificent possibility. ...

Goals, on the other hand, are the nuts and bolts. They are the steps that help you walk toward your dreams. The key here is that YOU have total control over whether you achieve your goals or not. No one else does.

So . . . I have a real problem with the idea of "Getting published" as a tangible goal.
Read the whole thing. Taichert dissects into three parts the problem with pledging to land your writing in a periodical. First, it's an end over which we have no control. ("Someone else judges your work and decides.") Second, neither acceptance nor rejection are infallible measures of quality. ("We've all read enough really crappy books to know that just about anything has a chance of publication no matter how awful.") And third, those of us who love to think up stories also love to discover doom and gloom in the littlest of slights. ("The problem is that we humans spend a lot of our time inferring. Writers are particularly bad about it.") Her suggestion? Keep on dreaming, but set your aim for something you yourself can hit -- bolstering your writing.

(Picture: CC 2008 by
bogdog Dan)


S.D. Smith said...

That's really helpful. Thanks, Loren.

It's easy to find a scapegoat and surrender to woe.

But, as in most areas of life, we can focus on the things we do control.

Much obliged.

Loren Eaton said...

I thought it was a good article, too. I'd be less than honest if I didn't confess that I'd set that particular "goal" in the past.