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Monday, January 7, 2013

To Infinity and Beyond!

It’s the New Year.  A great time to take stock in how far you’ve come and plot how far you might go with your writing career.

Many monkeys aim at the low hanging bananas, fruit they can easily grab for immediate self satisfaction.  Often though, that easy satisfaction masks the effects of contentment and is the first step towards complacency.  With easy resolutions met, a nap quickly follows.  
NO!  Wake up!  Be an astronaut of success!

If you are a writer or illustrator, you fantasize.  I'm not talking about bare chested men in kilts.  You fantasize about making a living as an author or illustrator.  And if you already have a book published then you fantasize about it winning awards and topping a best sellers list.  

If any of this is true, why would you aim your rocket at the nearest ant hill?  Pretty sure that trajectory will not get you to the moon and that’s where the cheese is, Grommit!

Embrace your fantasy!

Fantasies are important.  Not what Google would have you believe: “the act of imagining things that are impossible.” (You can’t trust Google.)  Fantasies are dreams you have yet to take serious.


Cinderella sang “Dreams are a wish your heart makes....” She knows nothing!  Dreams are goals you have not scheduled.  Take your dream and drive a stake into the ground.  I will achieve this dream by xx/xx/xxxx! Now it’s a goal.

What next?

Well, goals are simply tasks you’ve yet to complete.  Break down your goals into achievable tasks.  Make these your low hanging bananas.  Big successes are built upon small achievements.  

Quick summary for the ADD:
  1. Embrace your fantasies 
  2. Take your dreams seriously
  3. Turn them into goals by assigning a target date
  4. Break down each goal into tasks

Nice list...but you’re still on the sofa in front of the TV.  So, take action.

One thing that is common to the astronauts of success, they all surround themselves with like-minded people.  Build your own team of like-minded peeps.  Join the SCBWI (duh.) Form a crit group.  Seek out other writers in your town.  Talk to your agent, editor, Intellectual Property Attorney or your life partner.  Don’t have those?  Then shouldn’t that be one of your goals?

To keep from straying off path, refer back to your nice list and review.  Check off those tasks you’ve completed.  Get a true sense of satisfaction from progressing towards your goals.

Lastly, state it publicly.  Say outloud “{XXXX} is my Dream!  {XXXX is my Goal}.”  Don’t be afraid to let others know.  How else will you know if they share the same set of goals?  Sure, you might fail the first time out but then you’d be in good company.  

Notable Astronauts of Success:

James Joyce: 20 plus publishers said NO to “Dubliners”
Richard Adams: more than 17 publishers said NO for “Watership Down”
Madeline L’Engle: 26 publishers said NO to “A Wrinkle in Time”
William Golding: more than 20 said NO to “Lord of the Flies”
J.K. Rowling: 12 publishers said NO to “Harry Potter”
Canfield and Hansen received 140 NO’s for “Chicken Soup for the Soul”    

So, be an astronaut of success.  Aim high, dream big, work hard and be kind.  Hit the launch button and go to Infinity and beyond...
I only ask that you remember me in your acceptance speech.  


  1. How empowering! I love being told to imagine the BEST instead of 'be realistic', 'don't get your hopes up' or 'don't bit off more than you can chew.' This year, I'm gonna take BIG BITES!

    1. I have found that when you aim high and dream big...even if you fail, you are closer to success than if you set "realistic" goals.

      Yes, this year is an all or nothing year.

      To infinity and beyond!

  2. But I like bare chested men in kilts ;-))

    Thanks for the great reminders and see you THERE.

    1. The "bare chested men in kilts" was directed at you, yes!

      I think you will be waiting for the rest of us THERE.

    2. And when we all GET THERE, we will have IPA and doughnuts!!

    3. Maple bars with bacon on them!

  3. Excellent post, Craig! My ADD self feels very inspired.

    1. Thanks Marilyn,

      i too have a short attention span...so much so that...