In just over a week, I head to Nevada to start my mentorship with New York Times bestselling verse novelist, Ellen Hopkins. I’ll be developing my YA verse novel, Hating Ric (formerly Street Racer).
I’m attending a writing retreat at Lake Tahoe where I’ll meet all the fabulous mentors and mentees in the program, and I can’t wait.
The mentor program is by run by SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators ) Nevada, and I’ve been very lucky to receive funding from CAL to help pay for the trip.
I’m so excited to be going, but one of the things I’m most pleased about is that applying for and getting the mentorship is a writing goal that I have actually achieved:)
My very good writerly friend, Maureen (Mo) Johnson first put the seed in my head when progress on my novel had stalled.
It seemed like a really good idea, but also an impossible dream. Nevada was so far away from Victoria Australia, and expensive to fly to, and apart from that, there was no guarantee that my mentorship application would be successful.
Thanks to the encouragement and support of Mo and good writer friends Alison Reynolds, Sheryl Gwyther, Tania McCartney, Karen Collum and others, I wrote the mentorship boldly on my list of writing goals and set out in hot pursuit.
I attended every available seminar to find out as much as I could about putting together arts’ grant applications. (And blogged about it here). Then I set about applying for every available arts grant – no matter how unobtainable or obscure it seemed. I figured it was good practice anyway.
I’ve unsuccessfully applied for both mentorships and funding before, but this time it was different – this time I made the mentorship a serious writing goal.
Nothing comes easily in this business, but one of the many things I’ve learned from this experience is that it does pay to have writing goals – and it does pay to give them priority.
MY WRITING GOAL SETTING TIPS
- Set goals that are realistic
- Don’t be afraid to aim high
- Set goals that you want to achieve, not things you think you should achieve.
- Don’t compare yourself or your achievements to others – your goals should be ‘yours’.
- Set goals that you can achieve – that you have control over (you’ll don’t have control over acceptances or publication dates)
- Set a manageable number of goals
- Set goals that are specific but realistic achievements
I hope you achieve your writing goals. For me, they have helped me keep the dream alive.
I was also fortunate to have a book trailer made by an optimistic and very talented friend, Svetlana Bykovec. When I watch my book trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZs78xyveTQ, I feel that this book could be/will be published.
Book trailers are not expensive to make if you do it yourself – perhaps you can use one to help you keep your dreams and hopes alive – it could be one of your writing goals. If nothing else, making a book trailer is great for helping you understand the essence of your story.
If you have any tips on goal setting, we’d love to hear them. Feel free to share them in the comments section of this post.
My mentorship has been made possible thanks to the generous assistance of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund which provided me with Creative Industries Career Funding. http://www.copyright.com.au/cultural-fund