Love the Journey, But Don’t Forget the Destination

I took a good look at my surroundings and realized I lost my focus.

I lost my goal.

I lost my Destination.

It got lost due to new plans, setbacks, mini crises, and non!hiatuses. I’m still determined and committed. I’m not out of the game, but now my writing and drawing is only for the sake of writing and drawing, with no end game in sight. Well, that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing…though without any purpose, I seem to have lost some drive.

In other words, my productivity and consistency are still lacking.

We’ve all heard the many different yet still wise quotes about how important it is to enjoy the Journey and how little important it is to obsess over the Destination.

But now I’m starting to believe that regardless of how less important the Destination is, it’s still pretty damn necessary to at least have one.

Thus, it’s time to recommit and clarify my Destination—my short and long term goals.

What a better way than to list them all here where everyone on the internet can see and judge me if I don’t complete them in a timely way! Oh joy!

Writing Goals:

  • Finish Prophecy of the Eternals First Draft Outline
  • Complete Studying THE BREAKOUT NOVELIST by Donald Maass
  • Complete my many writing courses I participate in online (HTTS, HTRYN, LRWG Novel Course)
  • Receive a Positive Rejection with Comments from an admired Literary Agent (BREAKTHROUGH GOAL)
  • Finish rewrite and final draft of Prophecy of the Eternals
  • Finish first draft, rewrite, final draft of Blood of the Eternals (Book 2)
  • Finish first draft, rewrite, final draft of Avatar of the Eternals (Book 3)
  •  Finish Eternals Trilogy (BG)
  • Acquire a Literary Agent (BG)
  • Finish first draft, rewrite, final draft of BEASTS (Book 1)

 

The list can pretty much go on forever when it comes to my writing goals, so I’ll just leave it there. That’s good for the next ten years or so. …Damn, mortality is a bitch.

As for my art goals, since it’s a more recent path I’ve chosen, I’m not exactly sure where I’m heading. So here’s just a few I can think of.

Art Goals:

  • Get a paid commission to do fantasy art.
  • Win Crimson Daggers Golden Boy Award on ConceptArt.org Forums
  • Finish Art School
  • Get accepted to do a page for GUTTERS webcomic
  • Get a Job storyboarding, doing concept art for film or television or art for a comic
  • Get a Job as drawing fantasy novel book covers.
  • Get featured in an art magazine like ImagineFX (BG)
  • Freelance for Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, Whitewolf, or similar (BG)
  • Get a Job doing storyboards or art for a major film/show or art for a major comic book or graphic novel (BG).

 

All of these are probably too far reaching, but honestly until I can think of small steps, I shall leave it like this for now.

Note: All goals are subject to change.

Nevertheless, the Journey is still the more vitally important of the equation. After all, we spend more time journeying than reaching the destination (and we might not even reach it in the end anyways), so we may as well enjoy ourselves as we go.

Perhaps then, the Journey should dictate the Destination.

Something like…

“Since I want to spend my life doing *insert activities and events I want to occur in my life on a daily, weekly or monthly basis*, then the best direction for such a life is *insert goal/destination*.” 

Like, since I enjoy writing, drawing and daydreaming about my own stories and characters, then having goals such as finishing and selling novels, and going to art school and being paid to draw, are goals that will allow me to have a life, a Journey, where I get to do the things I love on a daily basis, and not just when I’ve finally achieve a goal.

This is probably the reverse on how most people plan their goal lists. The common way is to have the goal, then figure out what you need to do every day in order to achieve it.

I’m saying do the opposite.

I think it’s a good way ( or at least makes it more likely) to create a satisfying life we can enjoy right now instead of in the future, where each moment become mini-destinations and bad days aren’t so bad.

Life is short and my goals are lofty. I doubt I’ll reach all of them or even most of them, but at least I can be happy, enjoying the moments leading up to the Destination…for the most part.

Tell me about your Journey and your Destination(s).

What are your goals and the daily activities you’ve added to your life in order to reach them?

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8 thoughts on “Love the Journey, But Don’t Forget the Destination

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  1. I really enjoyed this post.

    My current goals are pretty similar.

    Finish rewriting/line editing my current WIP: Chasing the Fox by 3/26/12

    Come up with a new list of literary agents that would be good for my type of novel.

    Snag said literary agent with an awesome query.

    Be happy at having accomplished that while bracing for the long road to publishing.

    Finish the large drawing I started in honor of two of my favorite characters in CTF a couple years ago.

    Paint more, as I have highly neglected my “art” aside from quick sketches since i’ve been in the revising process.

    And eventually start working on the first novel of the companion series of CTF (Legacy of the Fox), Scarlett sometime in Sept 2012.

    Who knows how it will actually go, but this is the plan.

    1. Good luck with your projects! Remember to focus on the writing part before tackling the publishing part, which is a bitch :-p

  2. This, I definitely know hehe.

    Have gotten quite a few rejections for the original draft of this story already maybe 10 or 12–no surprise now that I’ve realized what the big problem was. Hit me hard at the time though, so I ended up moving on to different projects, one of which was this companion series I mentioned above. Working on the first book of that series actually helped me out immensely, figuring out the problems in the original draft of my other book. So I agree, never just stop writing. Fortunately, most of the rejections I received had helpful feedback, and now I feel I’m on the right track.

    Actually now that I think about it, what severely pisses me off is when I was jumping the gun by sending my work in back in late 2006, they wanted the story more THEN than they did when I queried in 2007 and 2008. Looking back its like …. why….. lol. Anyway, I’m rambling. Needless to say i’m not looking forward to the querying process but I am more confident in my work now than I’ve ever been so that has to be a good sign. 🙂

    How’s your own going, if you don’t mind my asking?

    1. I might have nothing to do with you. I think agents respond a lot less now than they did before. I know i’d die for even a rejection that includes SOME comments. I’ve only gotten form rejections.

      But I know I’m not ready for queryign yet.

      My goals…well, I need to kick myself in the ass and get going. Being a perfectionist is definitely not a strength.

  3. Definitely agree about the journey being important, not just the definition.

    Have you thought about putting target dates on any of these? For me, having a specific deadline often helps focus my efforts, even if I don’t reach it. Come to think of it, I should probably come up with a deadline for the story I’m working on now…

    1. @ Brian

      Same here. I have target dates for all my “goals”, big and little, even on a weekly basis. Definitely helps keep me on track.

    2. Me and Deadlines have a rocky relationship. I never meet them! And when I don’t, it’s a huge blow to my motivation.

      I sort of have a tentative deadline for my novel outline, but I suppose by not fully committing to it in case I don’t meet it is just a sure fire way of NOT meeting and doesn’t help with focus.

      Perhaps I need to be more gun-ho ….

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