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    Naming and Claiming Your Writing Goals

    A while back, I read an article in one of the motivational ezines I receive that suggested a tactic I thought writers could use. In a nutshell, the author recommended that you give your dream or desired goal a name--and that once you name it, you're more likely to claim it as your own.

    Now I'm not talking about naming your writing career goals "Fred" and "Mabel"; although those are indeed very nice names, they wouldn't capture the essence of what you want to accomplish. Besides, getting up in the morning and saying "I'm going to work on Fred today" sounds more like you plan to hit your boss up for a raise, rather than delve into steps that will bring you closer to your next writing achievement. No, what you want is a name that truly describes your mission, a name you can embrace and remember.

    I took a fresh look at my own goals, and any roadblocks to them. Having attempted to freelance full-time in the past -- and having failed (i.e., I returned to the security of a full-time writing job) -- I consider being debt-free and having a financial safety net two extremely important factors that must be in place before I try full-time freelancing again. But the reality is, I currently carry a nasty "little" credit card balance, brought about by my impatient ("Wah, I want it NOW!") personality.

    So I put myself on a credit card diet. Cut up all but one, and literally froze the last card to have on hand in case of emergency (I filled a container with water, placed my remaining credit card in it, and stuck it in the freezer). Moreover, I vowed to go cash-only this holiday season, and I have learned to say "no" to myself on a regular basis.

    My goal is to eliminate my debt and build that nest egg. Although it is not a writing goal, per se, I am doing it to remove the roadblock that stands between me and full-time freelancing. I named this endeavor "Operation Fiscal Freedom." Moreover, I created a slogan to give this project even more focus: "Be debt-free by 2003!"

    And it's working. Whenever I waver and think about slipping back into my old buy now/pay later routine, I stop to consider whether or not the purchase would contribute to the success of "Operation Fiscal Freedom." By and large, this has made my decision-making in these matters a snap.

    The "name-it-and-claim-it" concept has also inspired me to escalate my search for more lucrative freelance writing and editing assignments. My hope is to apply most, if not all, of whatever I earn as a moonlighting writer/editor towards the elimination of my credit card balances. Do I have a mission now that inspires me to hop out of bed each morning? You bet!

    So, I urge you to give it a try. Name your writing career goal, your mission, your vision. Then claim it as your own, and dedicate yourself to it.

    Here's to your writing success!

    Copyright © Mary Anne Hahn

    Mary Anne Hahn is editor of "WriteSuccess," THE biweekly ezine of ideas, information and inspiration for people who want to pursue full-time writing careers. Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/writesuccess to subscribe.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from Amazon.com and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

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