Leisha here, and as you can see from the title, I'm talking about goals.
Now, don't start groaning.
Goals can be fun.
They make you happy.
And I'm not talking about the kind of goals you make on New Year's Eve. You know, the I'm going to lose weight, or the I'm going to write a novel goals. I'm talking about smaller ones. Let me give you an example:
I (shamefully) admit to being addicted to DragonVale. It's a simple little game app for the iPad, in which you raise dragons, grow food for them, and build them lovely little zoo-like habitats. Yes, I know, it's kind of pathetic that a grown woman spends some of her time trying to cultivate dragons.
But it's fun.
Why? Because at the beginning of the game they have all these goals for you. Things like: raise a lava dragon, build ten farms, raise a rainbow dragon, win a gold medal in a dragon contest... Just little stuff like that.
It might seem corny, but it's not. Here's why. The game creators didn't set a goal that said: Win the game. They set a whole bunch of little goals that are really achievable. They gifted the players with milestones.
And here's the thing, I went through the game checking off those goals like they were the yellow brick road to Oz. It gave me pleasure to strive for them and meet them. It kept me coming back each day for more.
And, when I reached all the goals, I kind of felt sad. I floundered. I lost all interest in the game. UNTIL the game makers, in their great wisdom, came out with new things for players to strive for. New dragons. New goals. Suddenly I was interested again.
Goals are powerful IF we use them right. They're like presents that tantalize us with shiny promises. They urge us forward. They offer a sense of completion. And I'm telling you, that in the novel writing business, where writing THE END doesn't come around that often, completion is a big deal.
I have this goal to finish my present novel. I've had it awhile. Sound familiar to anyone out there? Yeah, thought so. Anywho, this kind of goal is big. It's huge. It's amazing.
BUT, setting a variety of smaller goals isn't hard. It doesn't suck. And I'm not talking about just breaking your novel into scenes. I'm talking about turning the writing into an adventure. How so? Well, setting a goal to write a scene today sounds boring and sluggish and boring. Setting a goal to discover my main character's greatest fear is fun. Why? Because it's doable. It's different. It's tantalizing.
And guess what? I'll do that in a scene that magically gets me closer to THE END. Tricky huh?
Tomorrow I might set a goal to find out what might be worse than my MC's greatest fear. The next day, what it feels like to kiss an elf prince, or how flying feels, or what rotten fire peppers taste like. Anything that sparks that creative demon inside my soul into wakefulness.
Demons hate being bored. And so do I.
What goals are you going to set to wake your demons today?