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How to Stay on Track

Hey Writing Etc. Subscriber,

Last time we talked about what to do if someone hates your writing. Today we’re talking about keeping on track.

How do you keep yourself on track?

It’s really not that hard.

First, you must keep your goal foremost in your mind.

What do you want? What is your ultimate goal? What do you want to accomplish?

Do you want to create a best seller? Make six figures? Go down in history as one of the greats?

Each of those goals would require very different actions on your part.

You can assume you’ll face financial pinches along the way. You’ll enjoy a fair amount of rejection as well. And… yeah… you just may hit a few instances of so-called “writer’s block.”

It’s imperative that you keep your ultimate goal set strong in your mental vision.

This little vision will become your Polaris. If you walk towards it with unwavering faith, you will eventually reach your destination with fewer detours than if you wander aimlessly, unaware of what you truly want out of your profession.

But the key is to keep that ultimate goal in plain sight… unwavering faith… continual advancement towards it.

Because if you become sidetracked, you’ll soon find yourself nowhere near where you hoped.

I recently returned from a trip to San Juan Island in Washington State. My goal? Explore the island.

So, I (and my dear son) arrive and sure enough, we explore.

Renting a condo smack dab in the middle of Friday Harbor, we lived in the middle of the action.

Just a few steps from the bus route, we could go anywhere.

Anywhere, that is, that the bus route took us, assuming we wanted to go where they went, when they went there.

I felt rather satisfied until one day we missed the bus. I marched over to the car rental joint, plunked down fifty bucks and we took off.

Talk about freedom. Talk about unadulterated, unfettered exploration. I felt like a huge leash had been unclipped from my collar.

We raced from one destination to the next, rag top down, wind whipping our hair into a frenzy, woo hooing, arms raised, living our vacation on our terms… not a stuffy, sterilized bus company.

I haven’t had that much fun in a very long time.

It perfectly illustrates the difference between allowing others to define your ultimate goal and you taking your goal by the horns, enjoying every second of the journey, and proceeding forward on your own terms.

Believe me, that fifty bucks was the best spent money on that whole trip.

And the possibility opened because we opened our mind to the new experience and were “ready” to explore different opportunities.

Again, it was the perfect marriage between an opportunity that opened and our newly awakened mindset.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve personally spend far too many days spinning my wheels over one snafu, tragedy, bit of bad news. To make matters worse, I usually had absolutely no control over most of those situations.

I have a hunch that you’ll probably (as I have) come to the point where you realize you have to start living your dream or you need to forget about it.

And for many creative types, “forgetting” your dream is pretty much impossible. That’s the day it’s time to grab life by the horns and started guiding it where you want it to go.

You have to get very comfortable with the fact that not everyone is going to like you. They may not even like your writing.

Too bad, so sad.

There are plenty of others who will like what you have to say. They may even pay you for your opinion.

That’s when it gets fun.

But this only happens once you get your big ego out of the way, realize that the only thing you truly control is yourself, and always keep your ultimate goal first and foremost in everything you do.

We’ll talk about your next step in the August 15 issue of Writing Etc.

Onward and upward!

Beth 🙂

P.S. This was an excerpt from my latest book, Advice to Freelance Writers:  Insider Secrets to Effective Shoestring Marketing, Managing a Winning Mindset, and Thriving in Any Economy. We’re talking three volumes of hard core freelance information in one handy download (at a fabulous price to boot). I truly appreciate your incredible support for this project. 🙂

Just click below for details:

Writing Etc./Filbert Publishing News – August 1, 2012
ISSN: 1545-5580
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