Writing Goals and Focus

22 Aug

003And a very Happy Thursday to all of you.  What do you have going on in your writing world? What projects are you working on?  What goals do you have?

I guess that’s the topic for today:  goals.

Let’s start with a quote and move on from there.


When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

Or, if you don’t like that one, how about a quote from my man Thoreau:

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
Henry David Thoreau

So, which of those do you like? I’m kind of partial to the Confucius quote only because I have seen so many people over the years give up on their goals because they did not reach them, when in fact their logical next move would and should have been to adjust their approach to their goals.

I don’t like seeing people give up.  I always tell people not to give up a minute before the miracle happens.  I am a believer in hard work, and I’m a believer in being goal-oriented.  I do not shuffle aimlessly through life; I know exactly what I want in writing and everything I do is aimed at those goals. I also know that success in writing takes perseverance and a willingness to hang in there despite the odds…and that may mean hanging in there for years before the goals are met.

So….what are your goals in writing and how are you doing with those goals? Do you need to make some adjustments?


hoover dam

Write a creative introduction for a story based on this picture.  It will take you five minutes tops and you might find it to be a helpful exercise in writing introductions.


The British Columbia Arts Council has some grants available with a deadline of September 15th. For more information look here.


The Mighty River Short Story Contest has a deadline of October 1st and a $15 entry fee. You can read the submission guidelines here.


Hey, I’ve got goals, and I need to go work towards them.  How about you? Any goals for today?


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

22 Responses to “Writing Goals and Focus”

  1. Janine Huldie August 22, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    I admit, I am constantly looking at my goals and what more I can do to get to where I want to be. I think it is just who I am though and was taught at early age to put my all into something and not give up or quit when I was younger. so that is exactly what I do and how approach things I suppose. Thanks Bill for sharing and hoping you are enjoying this Thursday so far!

    • Billybuc August 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      Yep, it started at a young age for me as well, Janine. I am as focused a human being as you will ever meet and I always have my eye on the prize I’m chasing. 🙂 Thanks my dear and have a great day.

  2. carolee44 August 22, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    Goals are so important, even if they change as you go along. Rolling with the goal punches is very important. Going through a small slump and trying to stay focused. Starting the day with excitement is half the battle.

    • Billybuc August 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      Carol, good luck with that funk you are going through. How about a cup of coffee and relaxing in the garden for a little while?

  3. Shauna August 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Bill, I love today’s blog. It speaks to me. As you know, I recently stepped out of my comfort zone (how long have you been prodding me?), built my website and posted my first blog. I’d been putting it off because I didn’t know which niche to claim, I’m not tech savvy at all and my inspiration level had reached rock bottom. But I did it! I feel so much better now that I have conquered another hurdle (why do the hurdles always seem to be self-inflicted?). The best part is I’m smiling again and looking forward to writing again. I’ve written down lots of ideas and now I’m ready to spread my shaky wings and get back in the wind! I have you to thank for pushing me and never giving up on me.


    • Billybuc August 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

      Friends for life, Sha, and you can take that to the bank. I’m smiling now because I want you to be happy and to succeed….so keep flapping those wings my friend and wait for the next good gust of wind.

  4. Cygnet Brown August 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    I read something a couple days ago that I think is very profound that relates to this issue of goals. I have a tendency to make goals and then never finish them. It is not that we make goals that is so important, but it is in the achieving them that growth occurs.

    • Billybuc August 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      cygnet, I agree with that for sure…I fail often, but the times I succeed are good times and good feelings. 🙂 Thanks and good luck with your current goals my friend.

  5. Kelly Umphenour August 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Love that you said not to leave one minute before the miracle occurs….insightful! I wonder how many winners felt like losers just before they scored?

    • Billybuc August 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      Kelly, I’m guessing quite a few. 🙂 Thanks Missouri!

  6. marlenebertrand August 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    My goals are constantly changing. In fact, just this morning I decided to take a hiatus from writing because of all the family “stuff” going on in my life. It seems like every time my fingers hit the computer keys, something major comes up. So, I need to get some lifestyle goals settled first and then sit down to re-establish my writing goals. Your post today reminds me to make setting those writing goals a very important task. Thanks so much for pushing me in the “write” direction.

    • Billybuc August 22, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      Marlene, family comes first….no doubt about it.

      Love the pun at the end. 🙂 Thank you my friend and best wishes to you as you sort it all out.

  7. ruchira August 23, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    I like Confucious’s quote. Gotta change your strategy but not ever give up!

    Sending you wishes to achieve your goals, Bill. As you continue to inspire us 🙂

    • Billybuc August 23, 2013 at 12:20 am #

      Thank you Ruchira and I wish the same to you my friend.

  8. Randee August 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Bill, your posts always get me thinking. I started a memoir this summer and I am now motivated to continue working on it. My next step in the action plan may not happen until Thanksgiving Break (from school) when I have more time, but at least the fire is reignited. Thank you, Bill!

    • Billybuc August 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

      Randee, how are you? Good to see you again. Hey, I’m glad to hear your fire is ignited…good luck with that memoir and I hope to hear more about it.

  9. Melanie Chisnall August 25, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    My goals have changed a lot this past year!! But it’s all good…I’m a believer in things happening for a reason, for the journey. There’s a reason behind everything. Sometimes some things don’t work out because there’s something bigger just around the corner. Or you needed to take those small steps to get to the big thing. Just the way I’m looking at things right now. That picture made me excited now because next week I’m going to get cracking with the recipe book again….been way too long. Happy weekend my friend. It’s a beautiful warm, winter’s day here. Hope you’re enjoying!

    • Billybuc August 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      So glad you stopped by, Mel. Yes, things keep changing, and a writer must be willing to change as well. I wish you well as you head down a new direction. Summer is coming to an end here; you can feel the chill in the air at night….great weather and great time of year.

  10. Dee August 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Hope this post makes it, Bill. Wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your tips o these blogs. I do read them but sometimes don’t have time to leave a comment. Hope your day is going well.

    • Billybuc August 25, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      Dee, I appreciate it and thank you for following me….if it helps you at all then fantastic!

  11. froggy213 August 26, 2013 at 2:20 am #

    Hi Bill, Just wanted to share with you that I broke down and bought a website. I have created sub-domains for both Maggie and I and the main site has our books. I also created a strictly writing site too. I am going to put them here for you to take a look at. Comments and critiques are welcome:

    Thanks for all input my friend.

    • Billybuc August 26, 2013 at 2:33 am #

      Hey Greg! Thanks my friend. I’ll take a look at them tomorrow for sure. Have a great week!

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