When I took my job eight years ago, I was recently divorced, living with my parents, barely driving a run down car, and thousands in debt. Thus began my belief in the three goal plan.
It goes like this. You pick three goals. The first, Goal 1, is a quick goal. Like buying a reliable car. Goal 2 is a little harder to reach, such as buying a house. Goal 3 is the star burning in the distance. Possibly achievable, but like the stars,further out of reach. Publishing a book was, and still is, my star dream.
The theory behind the three goal plan boils down to achievement and hope. It’s important to have something for which to strive. Yet, if publishing were my only goal and never found achievement, my world could look like a pretty dismal place. It’s about not putting all your eggs in one basket. Hence, goals 1 and 2. I purchased a reliable car. Then, I bought a house. New goals are in place while I still gaze at the stars.
Goals without a plan are merely dreams. I’ve met many people who have “the best idea” for a book. They never make it past the first few pages. Dreams dont’ go anywhere without action and a concise plan toward achievement. Dreams are the plague of the world, holding people back from making changes within their lives and world. It’s easy to sit on the board of a non-profit organization with dreams of changing a problem. Organizing a clear, concise plan usually boils on the back burner while people wring their hands and talk about the problem. There is always a lot of talking.
There is more to writing a book than plucking out a pretty-happy-scary-lusty-sad story. It’s all in the editing. Watching other writers on Twitter, I believe I’m in the minority when I say that I dislike writing the story. It’s tedious. But editing? Oh, how I love the complexities of rearranging words. Then sentences. Then paragraphs until the story works just so.
What I’m finding as I highlight sentences in accordance to their purpose is that the first draft of my work is pure chaos. My brain is a bit scattered, which I don’t believe would surprise my son one bit. In one paragraph, I can have two…three…four…or even all five of the purpose sentences. Now that there is a visual representation of purposes, I see that simple rearrangement of sentences, putting likes with likes, creates clarity in the chaos. Paragraphs of action. A chunk of dialogue. A forray into thoughts. A vivid picture of description.
I have a clear plan of action toward editing “Dolly“, which I’ve never had before. It’s no longer a dream. I now have a goal working toward the star that seems just out of reach. And I’m having the time of my life.