Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#IWSG Goals versus Desires


Welcome to yet another monthly round of the Insecure Writers Support Group. Join us on a blog trip around the world looking at our hopes, dreams, and insecurities.



Join us!

Lately I’ve been thinking about how to make sure I enjoy what I’ve done with my writing—and at the same time keep improving, growing, moving forward.

I’ve noticed that no matter what goal I reach, no matter how much I think, “OH! I want that to happen!” once it does, I’m no longer as thrilled. I’m still excited and happy, but I feel like it’s not as cool anymore.

Then if I have a hope (desire) and it doesn’t come through, I’m bummed and feel like a failure (there’s a timing component to this post folks—two contests I’ve entered books in will be announcing their finalists in a few weeks ;)).

My ‘desire’ for awards, recognition, sales, etc. is threatening to drown out my ability to enjoy what I have achieved and why I do what I do.

As I’m looking into this I’ve realized there is a difference between goals and desires.

A goal is something we aim for and control. I can have a goal to complete three new books in a year. I control it (within reason, I do have a full time day job ;)). There are no other folks involved. I do it, or I don’t. I am solely responsible for controlling that goal.

Now a desire is that I wish for lots of people to buy and love my books. To be well off and be able to quit my day job and write full time. There are a LOT of other people (whom I have no control over) involved with that. The room for disappointment for a failed desire is HUGE!

If I don’t make one of my goals, it’s on me, and I regroup and figure out how to get back on track to make the goal. But if something I desire falls through, there is really nothing to do but feel bad. About something I had no control over. And that failed desire can negatively impact my ability to achieve my goals.

So, after this long talk with myself, we’ve decided to focus on goals (the setting and reaching of them) and avoid desire. If I want something to happen (such as a book contest) I need to make it a goal to meet the criteria to submit the book (my steps, my goal)—THEN forget about it.

I have a feeling this is going to be a work in progress ;).

What about you? How do you deal with goals and desires?

Happy IWSG day!


25 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Myself and I are working on it ;)

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  2. Focusing on goals and avoiding desire: that's mindfulness. The opposite of attachment is not detachment-- it is non-attachment :).

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  3. Awesome post! Yes, we can drive ourselves crazy letting those desires get in the way of achievable goals. Must be the dreamer in us . . .

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    1. Thank you! We're all dreamers, or we wouldn't be writers :).

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  4. You know, the first contest I won was like that. I entered and forgot. Surprise surprise when the deadline came along and I progressed to the next level, and then the next, and then the top. It was an amazing day, but only possible because I entered without caring one way or the other.

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  5. It's a constant struggle - truly. Good post for IWSG.

    DB McNicol, author & traveler

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    1. Thanks- it is--but will be worth the fight once I make it :)

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  6. Concentrating on goals is, I think, a good thing. It's too easy to let desires blind you from what you really want.

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    1. Massively! there are times I'm upset about not getting something, then realize I was upset about the not getting--not the thing itself!

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  7. It sounds like you and you (ha) have come up with a reasonable approach. Good luck!

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  8. Goals first~ desires second. Good Post!!

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    1. Thank you! Hmmm- maybe that line should be over my computer!

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  9. Sounds normal, for about everything in life. I'm swayed by "desires". Need that instant gratification.

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  10. good luck, I am sure you will figure it all out and be amazing!

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  11. Desires and impulse control. Lots of the former, not as much of the latter. :)

    I write down goals, lists, daily task sheets etc. It helps (but doesn't guarantee) staying on track.

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  12. It's sort of like the Serenity Prayer. Sounds like you have the wisdom to know the difference. Best wishes.

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  13. It's really tricky to curb our desires. Every writer I know dreams of making a good living, at least in order to be able to devote more time to writing.

    I try to use the desires to motivate me, and the goals to push me forward.

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  14. Maire, I received your book Warrior Wench as a contest read. I loved every single page of it. I hope you win. If not someone must have found something a whole lot better, because I gave it all I had.

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