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It always surprises me how little planning I do for my life. While the minutiae of the day are planned out in detail, it’s very rare that I have a weekly plan, or even a monthly or yearly idea of where I’m going. A part of that is probably because I realize how quickly circumstances can change and I want to be able to roll with whatever punches life throws my way. However, there’s one slight problem with that idea. Sometimes going into life without a plan can really backfire.

Right now, I’m at a bit of a crossroads where I need to begin making actual progress with my goals rather than building up the resources available to me. To be honest, I’ve never gotten past the point of building up what I have. For the past couple of months, I’ve been waiting for that ‘Gotcha!’ moment, but this time it doesn’t seem to be happening. And that’s good. But it’s also strange because it means that I have to move forward now.

One of the areas in my life that this is most apparent is in my writing. July was a really terrible month for me writing-wise and it really didn’t have to be. I neglected my story and this blog because I didn’t have a plan or a goal to work towards. I got discouraged and flustered about what to do, so I didn’t do anything.

Some of this, I know, is growing pains. I’m finally reaching the point in my work where I’m beyond the ‘crazily creating all of the things!’ part and needing to think about the rest of it. The editing, the proof-reading, the interaction with other writers so that I can get critiques and critique their work are all things that are going to be necessary in the future and they’re things that I’m not sure that I’m ready for.

To be honest, those things kind of terrify me.

And that fear is why I need goals to work toward. Because the fear of the empty page has become something that I know how to overcome, an annoying boulder on my way to the bridge. But the rest of the drafting process? The things that might destroy my writing and suggest that I’m not good enough to be a writer, that I’m just kidding myself? That’s the troll that’s waiting to grab my feet and pull me into the water.

So, I’m going to start by putting one foot in front of the other.

Goals for July 1st through July 7th:

  • Write 3,500 words this week
  • Read a book/short story and post a review
  • Work on The Prince’s Champion at least twice
  • Stretch for 15 minutes at least 3 times
  • Post this article

So, how have you overcome your fears? Does setting goals help you?