Middle of the Year Mulling
I can barely move, much less work, in the middle of the summer. Something about extreme heat and humidity makes me want to fall into a pool and make like a baby hippo. But even baby hippos can loll about, here at the halfway point of the year, mulling over 2012 writing goals.
Maybe you’d benefit from taking a look at where you are in your goals, too. So let’s grab a cool drink and see what you’ve got.
I’m going to digress for just a minute to say that the more specific your goals are, the better you’ll be able to assess your progress. But I don’t want you sweating any more than you already are. So for the sake of our exercise, let us say you wrote down some swell, specific goals. Like “Read the following books on writing…” And then you listed four lovely titles.
Now you can check your list quickly. But oh, dear. It looks like you’ve read only one of your lovely writing books. Even with a melting brain, you can see that by the halfway mark of the year, you should have read two. Take a few minutes to mull over this disappointing fact. Okay, now you must move on from mulling to actual thinking. Ask yourself, “Why am I not on task here?”
Perhaps it’s something obvious. Like elves snuck into your house and stole every single writing book you owned except that one book cleverly stashed under your pillow. If elves snuck into your house, you’re excused. But if the reason is something less obvious, like you didn’t quite get round to it, then sorry, but you must think even more.
Is the writing goal you set necessary and/or effective in relation to what you want to accomplish?
The thing is, we make smaller goals to help us achieve bigger goals. And so taking the time to consider the pros and cons of any goal is absolutely worth it. At the beginning of the year, we have one perspective; at the halfway point, we may have a completely different perspective based on what we’ve achieved—or hope to achieve.
So, thoughtfully consider where your writing is right now, where you want to end up, and what you must do to get there by the end of 2012. And after you’ve done all that thinking (and please remember to write down the important stuff!), give yourself a pat on the back. And while you’re at it, give yourself another cool drink, one with a little umbrella in it. ‘Cause you (and even the baby hippo) have earned it!