Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BHAG--No, I'm not calling you names!

What is your BHAG?

What? You don’t know what that is? Geez. It’s only the most important thing you carry around with you as a writer. No, it’s not your laptop or the full manuscript tucked under your arm ready to be whipped out at a moment’s notice. A BHAG is what keeps a person motivated.

BHAG (pronounced BeeHag for those who don’t live in acronym world) stands for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. It’s that one big thing you are striving to achieve as a writer. It’s the “Climb every mountain and try not to fall off” goal that you’ve set for yourself in the not so distant future.

What? You don’t have a BHAG? And you call yourself a writer…

Seriously. Goal setting is important. As an educator, I’ve spent a great deal of my professional life setting goals for students, as well as, myself. Long term and short term goals give you something to work towards. One of the biggest problems fledgling writers struggle with is staying motivated and focused. Goal setting can help with that.

Now when I say goals, I’m not necessarily talking about landing an interview with Oprah. Sure, that would be great, but maybe setting a BHAG that is achievable in the next few weeks or months might be a little more satisfying. I like to set short term goals like finishing a short story by a certain deadline, writing a blog once a week (stop laughing at me, Doug McIntire), or having my second draft edited by Thanksgiving. This kind of BHAG keeps me on track.

I do set long term BHAGs, too. I admit that I harbor hopes of an interview with Oprah someday. And it would be nice to finally get that agent people are always saying we writers need. The quest for the perfect query letter still looms large in my life, too. And then there’s the long term goal of figuring out how the heck to write that damn one page synopsis…

So…what are you waiting for? Get off this blog right now and go set some BHAGs. But feel free to leave a comment first!

Good luck and happy goal setting!

1 comment:

  1. Does ruling my own city-state on Mars (a role funded by the vast number of huge best sellers I'm going to publish, of course) count?