Yesterday, I googled for 'hot shoes'. A million and one pictures of trendy stillettos popped up...and one pair of shoes that would melt an eskimo's igloo. They were really, really hot shoes. Had I not known I was actually looking for the trendy shoes, I could've soooo gotten lost in those ugly, warm-toes shoes. But I knew what I wanted.
You know that old saying, 'those who want can't all have'? No? I'd never heard it until a few years ago when I started dating my now-husband. It was a phrase his grandmother said. A lot. It went along with whatever whining was going on in her house that day. Whine too much? You didn't get a kind shoulder and a little cheese...you got a 'those who want can't all have'.
But I found it funny, in a ha-ha mixed with huh kind of way. Because my own grandmother listened to us whine and gave us hugs...and, you know, grandmothered us. Not so, the DH's grandma. She was more of the 'buck up' grandma, the you got knocked down? Well, do something about it. She kind of scared me.
I'm a goal setting kind of girl - even before I was published I would set goals: finish the first half of the WIP by XX date, sent X queries to X editors/agents by X date. I had one year plans and five year plans and pie-in-the-sky goals...And thinking about that phrase helped me become more focused on the goals I was setting. Did I really know what I wanted? And was I willing to put in the work to get it done? That is when I started really developing my plans for what I wanted out of life - not just a murky image of a girl at a typewriter, but my face on a book jacket.
It's the same with search engines. Someone, somewhere is googling for 'hot shoes' and failing miserably because they haven't looked past that first page of trendy shoe results...
Here's my goal-setting list: First, visualize where you are when you're 'successful' - get detailed. Are you sitting in an office, surrounded by family, madly writing with so many deadlines your calendar is full of markings? Second, take a hard look at where you are now...and what needs to change to get to your visualization area. Third, make a list of things you need to do (finish the book, polish the book, query the book, etc. Again, get detailed), a list of things you're willing to do to accomplish this (getting up earlier, staying up later, skipping 'girls night' a few times, etc). Fourth, tell your loved one. Demand their attention and respect and start moving forward.
Do you know what you want?