I had the opportunity the other day to chat with an author I not only consider a friend, but someone I admire as an author and business person. when I first started out, she was one of the first people to offer a hand when I needed it. When I asked her about a project I'm considering, she was kind enough to say "just give me a call, let's hear what you've got." So, I did and after talking to her I came to a couple of realizations.
One, I thought I was a hard-worker. Determined, motivated (most of the time), driven. But, to paraphrase a character from one of Nora Roberts' books, compared to Dakota Willink, I'm a malingerer, a wimpy-ass cry-baby, a slacker even. We spent over an hour on the phone, discussing our various projects and what she has coming down the pipeline.
Have you ever gotten off of an amusement park ride, trying to see straight and catch your breath? That's how I felt after I hung up the phone.
Seriously, I have no clue how to she manages to do everything she does and stay sane. I'm in serious awe, even now.
The other thing I learned? She has a very defined vision of where she wants her career to go. We're talking about her having plans in the years ahead.
This was something, I realized, I do not have. In fact, I don't have a vision at all. And this realization surprised me, because I almost always have a destination or goal in mind when I set out to do something.
I published my first book in 2015. My one and only goal at the time was to do just that: publish a book. That was the dream and, therefore, my focus. I never thought beyond that, except to the next book or project. Here I am, three years and five books later, and I'm in the same spot. No definite goals in mind, other than checking off the next project on my list. I've been reactive instead of proactive, even though I know better. It explains the feeling of treading water this last year or so.
This needs to change. Of this, I am certain.
This year is almost over, but it's not too late to start working on plans and goals for 2019. I know I need to start out small and not set the bar too high. But, at this point, any goal is better than the nothing I've been striving for. I've already taken a step and signed up for a mentor program, with the hopes of being paired with someone who will guide me and push me to do better.
It's time to stop messing around.