My DUMB Goals

Reading blogs inspires me, pisses me off, makes me think, and often gives me ideas for my own blog. I read two blog posts this morning that screamed for a followup.  One of the writers is someone new I  started reading through the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  The other writer is someone I have shared with you before and one of my best friends.  Both posts talk about one of the true loves of my life-writing.

I read Jan’s post first here.  Jan said, “Plus, I’m not really a writer. Not really. I just write blog posts. And sermons. And newsletter articles. And pastoral notes/letters. And a gajillion emails. And Facebook status updates and tweets. That’s about it.”  I commented on her blog and “fussed” at her for saying she was not a writer.  She is writer and a damn darn good one. She had not been published; not yet.   Published does not equal writer.

So what is this elusive thing called a writer?   I looked up the definition of writer and it simply said, “one who writes.”  Well, that wasn’t too helpful, but, then I thought about it more.  Maybe it is as simple as that.  I am a writer because I write.  I know Jan’s blog posts and sermons have touched many people. Comments from readers let me know my posts have sparked emotions in people. I don’t necessarily like all the comments but it means someone read my words.

Do I want to be published?  Of course I do.  Some writers live and breathe trying to get published.  Some will tell you it isn’t that important, but I don’t believe them.  (That should bring a couple of comments.)   I have submitted a few things to small e magazines or contests for exposure.  I did have one “article” accepted that will be used in a book and another submission that was published on a website, etc.  There is a new contest for a book proposal that I hope to complete.  But I have no real plan.

Then I read a blog post this morning called Forget S.M.A.R.T Goals-Set D.U.M.B Goals.   D.U.M.B. goals.  Dogged, Unusual, Mindless, but totally Believed-In goals. The writer says she didn’t recommend these goals but she saw them work.  As I looked at these words I wondered if my goals fit.

Am I dogged?  My friends would say so. In fact, some may tell you I spend far too much time and energy on this dream.   Is my goal unusual?  I spent so much of my life trying to fit into boxes others created for me and I failed.  Why do I have live in the realistic boxes?   My life prepared me to dream unusual dreams and have unconventional goals.  I had to think about Mindless.  It sounded bad at first.  Mindless is throwing caution to the wind, not worrying about consequences, or doing something without over thinking it.  I need to move towards being more “mindless” in my goal.

Seems we have come full circle. Do I have “believed in goals.”  Do I believe I am a writer? Do I believe it is what I am meant to do in this life?  Do I believe  God would give me a heart, desire, and love for something and not provide a way to achieve this goal?  Honestly, some days I wonder.  There are days I don’t believe I am worthy of having success or achieving this unusual, mindless, dogged goal.  Then someone will comment and tell me my words made a difference to them.  A friend will encourage me and remind me of my worth.  I will see a blog post, a picture or an article and know that I must write about it.

I am a writer.  I will continue to “see” my dream of being published and participating in book signings in amazing cities across the country.  My book will fly off shelves and soon be on Oprah’s book list.  My son Ted and friend Jan will be traveling to promote their best sellers as well.  We will have to coordinate our schedules so we are home at the same time.  Are these D.U.M.B. goals?  They sure are!

Note: This post is part of the 31-post Ultimate Blog Challenge. I will be posting 31 times during the month of July, 2012. Since that is a ton of content, I have a page on the blog where you can see all my entries.

18 responses

  1. Oh my goodness…I love the idea of DUMB goals because the concept of SMART goals always made me grit my teeth! I have come to understand that formulas (like SMART goals) doesn’t work for me…perhaps I have a bit of ADHD, perhaps I am just not wired that way. And as it pertains to writing, I have a good example. It was in seventh grade that I decided I wanted to be a writer. Back then (and even today) I imagined the process of writing a book. I would see myself sit down in front of a typewriter (or with a journal) and I type: “Page 1.” And then nothing. I couldn’t see beyond that. Over the course of my life I have made a good living as a writer (mostly as a plastics industry trade magazine reporter/editor). I have freelanced for years and have been published. But it wasn’t until I started my blog that I truly started to feel like a “real” writer. And the more I wrote, the more I started to see that I had the basis of a book. It wasn’t about having an outline and a SMART goal. It was about sitting down every day and writing. I didn’t have to type “Page 1” and then worry about what would come next. I published my book in March of 2011 and I am doing well with it.

    YOU GO GIRL!

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    1. Thank you so much. I loved the statement that you started to feel like “real” writer until you started your blog. That Page 1 thing had me stuck forever!!

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  2. Thank you for mentioning my blog! Sounds like a D.U.M.B. goal to me. You absolutely can do it. One thing I had to chuckle about. Last year, after a lifetime of dreaming about writing and publishing a book, I wrote and published FOUR! Now I don’t recommend that because I was so burnt out that I only just order a box for myself. But it truly was like having a child. I held my first book in my arms like a baby. But one of the things I am still dreaming about is having a book signing. That would be sooo wonderful. And on the createspace forum, I found that I”m not the only one with that dream. In fact, there was a whole thread about what type of pen to use for your book signing. So when I read about your vision of the book signing, I had to giggle. By the way, check out tomorrow’s post – it’s about the really important part.

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    1. Four books–OMG I will check out the post tomorrow. I love to giggle!! Thanks so much for sharing those DUMB goals with us. And thanks for the comment.

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  3. I don’t think anything is a dumb goal if it puts fire in your belly and keeps you hunkering for more.

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  4. I love the idea of DUMB goals! I’m going to definitely think some up myself.

    I’ve always considered myself a writer. I think “one who writes” is a good definition. Far too many people only talk about how they’re going to write some day. A writer is someone who actually sits down and writes things. Those things don’t have to be published novels, that’s what the term “published author” is for. A writer can just journal private thoughts, blog, tweet, write nonfiction, song lyrics, speeches, plays, anything we dream of. A writer doesn’t just dream though, but actually puts it down in words.

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    1. Thanks. Yes, published author is a dream but you can’t get there is you don’t write. 🙂

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  5. It’s like wondering when you can call yourself a runner. If you run, you’re a runner…fast or slow, long or short. Perhaps I’ll add writer to the list of things that I am.

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    1. If you read my friend’s blog that is the other question she asked and she just posted about that here: http://simplyjan.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/why-i-run/

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  6. I like the idea of DUMB goals… very different way of looking at things 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    And hmm… I never really thought I was a writer, but I guess I am… I’ve been blogging for quite some time now. Not published, and with a very small audience, but yea… I guess I’m a writer. Maybe I need to look at my blog and my writing and set some DUMB goals for them 😉

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    1. Love it..of course you are a writer. Thanks for commenting.

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  7. Loved this post. Going to put my own goals under the D.U.M.B. microscope today. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. […] Cathy’s Voice Now.  She’s authentic and I like anyone who is authentic, especially if they are also gentle. […]

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    1. Thank you so much!

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  9. I love the play on words–DUMB goals. And I agree with all who say if you write you are a writer. It is words on paper (or screen). Just that simple. And oh so hard sometimes.

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    1. Some days it is hard but even then there is so much excitement and joy when it is done!

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  10. DUMB goals will get you there! I love that. The concept of SMART goals always made me itchy. 🙂
    If you write, you are a writer. Maybe you are not yet a published writer or a writer on the best sellers list, but you are a writer. Repeat after me, “I am a writer.”. At the top of your lungs, several times each day until you are absolutely sure!!
    Thanks for this post, Cathy.

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    1. Thanks Cheryl, I am screaming loud and clear. “I am a writer.” Can you hear me? 🙂

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