Importance of goals

     I have spent the last few days at home doing a POV (point of view) rewrite for the book out in editing right now.  I wanted to continue on with the new book, but I feel i may be spinning my wheels there since I won’t have enough time to finish before heading back into the “real” world of nursing rotations and 12 hr shifts.  Who knows what my future holds.  I have waited 38 yrs to realize my dreams and I have this inkling that it will have been worth the wait, but I try and push that inkling down so as not to be disappointed.  Ever hear the saying,” If you have no expectations, you will never be disappointed?” I’m kinda there, but only because I loathe disappointment as much as the next guy.  That’s why I have small goals for now.  I said before that my happiness goal was to sell 500 books.  That goal is just for me personally; a self-satisfaction thing.  I have had over 1090 reads on my online book, “When I Thought I was Tough,” which is a great accomplishment and makes me smile to see that number continue to rise weekly, but it is much different than people actually buying the book.

     Don’t get me wrong, I like swag.  I walk by Wetzel’s Pretzels and take my free sample, and stroll through Costco on weekends for the sample lunch buffet, but it doesn’t mean I will purchase these items.  Selling 500 books will be a great first goal because people will hopefully have liked the product enough to purchase it.  It’s not a money thing: It’s a prinicple thing.  Okay, does money play a factor? yes, of course.  I would love to be able to make a living doing what I love most and be able to pursue that career full-time.  Selling 500 books will not be the financial downpour to make that happen.  At most, it may help pay for about half the original package cost, which is not something I will scowl at, but that’s it.  Not a profit point, just a happiness point.  I guarantee I will be happy dancing and if I ever get a viedo cam I’ll post my happy dance up for you all to see. On a side point: does anyone else look at the word guarantee and feel it is written incorrectly?

     Okay, my second goal is 1,000 books.  At 1,000 books sold I can officially say I hav sold the average number of books sold in the year.  I read an article that says for the year 2010 the average number of books sold per book printed that year was 1,000.  I know I wrote this before somewhere, but let me revisit this in more depth.  When you do averages it can be greatly influenced on both ends of the spectrum: the high and low ends.  Lets say on one end, Joe Shmoe sells 10 books and on the other end Nicholas Sparks sells 1 million.  the average between the two is 500,005 books sold.  So you can see how the law of averages doesn’t always make sense.  Saying the avergae book sale is 1,000 puts names such as Sparks, Patterson, Palahniuk, and Collins in a whole other dimension of sales.  But figuring into this average (I’m a numbers nerd), it would mean there was such a vast amount of books that sold far lower than 100 so the big sellers were brought down to a mediocre average.  Mediocre for them, anyway.  So my elated gool of 1,000 is a pretty lofty goal, but a goal nonetheless, and attainable if I market myself to the right channels.  Of course, it takes money to make money, and I’ve already invested ovr $100 in marketing materials from and expect to dish out more.  Now, will 1,000 books make it so I can retire from the medical field? Absolutely not, but, again, it will stipend the cost of production, but not put me in the black.  I will do the Icky shuffle and post it when I hit that mark.

     The ultimate goal; my ecstatic goal, is to be on the New York Times Best Seller list.  I don’t have to be number one, but it would be a grand moment if I got there.  I wish I could say it’s not about status, but I can’t.  What singer doesn’t want to see their song hit the top 10 or number one.  What actor/actress doesn’t want to be number one at the box office? It’s a feeling of accomplishment and recognition by your peers, not just a number.  What does it have to do with status? Well, when you’re in the spotlight it elevates your status, which elevates your name, which elevates your sales, which brings that sense of having “finally arrived.”  Not arriving at big money.  I was told by a script manager (or something) on the set of ER, that writers were destined to be poor.  Money was in movies.  So what? Who cares? I want to arrive at the dream, again not talking about Money, mansions, cars, and bling…I mean realizing my dream of becoming an accomplished author. 

     I suppose there are those who would call it vain, and say the accomplishment is in actuallywriting a novel.  To that  I say; absolutely.  But does the dream or goal end there? My goals do not end there.  It’s like seeing that big oldfashioned thermometer painted onto cardboard sitting outside a fundraiser.  They have areas marked off in huge black marker: 100, 200, 300, 400, 500…until it hits 1,000, their ultimate goal.  It’s exciting to hit the first marker, but then you get anxious to hit the next, and the next, and the next and hold your breath at 950 because you are sooooooo close.  Well, samething for me.  I wrote a book: I am thrilled.  I wrote a second book: still thrilled but need to hit that next goal.  It’s what keeps those butterflies swarming in my stomach.  A constant gnawing and ache to do better.  That is not vain.  It’s having goals and positive antcipation.

     I know everybody makes New Year’s resolutions, but don’t shoot for losing 100 pounds this year.  that is a goal killer.  Think of the thermometer, take pride in the small accomplishments then happy dance when you fill that meter up with red.  Start slow, 5 pounds, then ten pounds, then twenty, then forty and fifty and the HAPPY DANCE in a polka-dot bikini.  All too often people think so huge that the little accomplishments are overshadowed and the big goal seems unattainable.  Don’t be your own worst enemy.  And if you fall off the wagon, give yourself one day to sulk then jump right back on.  Nobody is perfect and everybody deserves the chance to see their goal be reached.  Make a goal chart and start today.  Here’s to 500 books then best seller!!!



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