Why I will not publicize my writing goals

Anyone who follows this blog knows one thing for sure: I want to write. Not only that actually, in fact, I want to be a writer. Yes, this is a goal of mine, but that—aside from the various writing-related quandaries I discuss so ebulliently with you on a weekly basis—is about as far as I’ll go. I will shed no light on my specific goals, nor will I enlighten you with the proverbial notion of where I’d like to be in five years. Why? Because despite Emma Bombeck’s adage, “It takes courage to show your dreams to someone else” it has never, ever worked for me.

In the past, publicizing my aspirations has lead to one of three outcomes:

  1. The corresponding person, in blunt terms, doesn’t give a rat’s shiny ass
  2. The corresponding person masks an envious expression, which leads me to believe that he or she secretly hopes I will fail.
  3. The corresponding person feigns support by smiling and nodding; this is where my ability to read minds comes into play. He or she is churning this perception around his or her brain: Yeah sure, like that’s going to happen.

Recently, I came upon number four on my list of “Clandestine Ambitions.” I commonly use talks from www.ted.com in my English classes. In turn, I regularly peruse the site for interesting lectures to entice thought in both my students and myself. I came across Derek Sivers’ three-minute speech, “Keep your goals to yourself.”

I’ll paraphrase. When one spreads the word of a new resolution, it is more likely that said person will not reach said goal. Why? Because, psychologically speaking, simply relaying the fact that I will learn French, or I will open my own yoga studio deceives the mind. It makes us feel like we’ve already accomplished something. In turn, the goal is never realized.

I recommend watching the clip. It’s ingenious, and it totally supports my argument.

I’m not saying that this works for everyone. I was born an introvert, and holding in my personal feelings has always come naturally to me. Sure, some need the motivation that comes from others. I am not one of those people. My intrinsic determination runs deep, and I know exactly what I want to accomplish. I have a clear-cut vision. I’m just not going to tell you what it is. (Sticks tongue out).

Agree? Disagree? As always, all comments are welcome.



Filed under Breaking the Rules, The Writing Life, Writing Fears

8 responses to “Why I will not publicize my writing goals

  1. Wow, this is interesting. I always thought verbalizing and seeing your goals helped manifest them.

  2. Hi Donna–it is interesting, isn’t it? Just a different way of looking at things…

  3. This is interesting. I recently started my own blog and while I made it clear that I want to be a published author one day, I haven’t really divulged the details of my book. I’ve jokingly indicated the heights of success that I’ve fantasized about in the past. I currently started something called a “Progress Report” where I tell my readers how much work I’ve accomplished in the last week.
    I like to think that it’s okay but there are times when I wonder silently if I’m sharing too much. Dreams are personal. It’s always scary to think you might get fun of. I certainly am afraid that I’ve put my dreams up on the internet for everyone to read and now it will look REALLY bad if I don’t achieve them.
    I don’t know…I guess it couldn’t hurt to be more cautious. I don’t know if saying them stops them from happening, although I DO believe in people sending out “negative energy” (Indian superstition) which happens when they’re jealous or wish you ill. Sounds stupid, but so does a fear of black cats 🙂

    • Thanks for your thoughtful reply! I haven’t revealed the premise of my book either…I just flat out don’t feel comfortable doing that.

      Then again, I’m preaching about hiding your goals, but in a sense, I’m doing it. Just not down to the gritty details. Who knows what’s true and what isn’t. I think we all just need to find a way that works for each of us. Telling people my goals has always backfired on me. So I’m just trying to keep it on the “down low.”

      I love black cats!

  4. Hi! I’m so glad I can comment here through Twitter. 🙂 If not announcing your goals works for you, I say go for it!! Everyone is different, and each is entitled to their ways, right?

    Gosh, I’ve sprinkled hints of all my wips on my blog, but it’s a risk I’ve chosen to take. But I know a few authors, whom I love dearly out there, who won’t even put a commenter feature on their blogs. Not only that, but the only reason one of them has a blog, is because she’s being forced to do so by her publishing house. LOL.

    It’s all about preference per individual. :))

  5. Hey! I’m glad you can respond via Twitter as well! You’re one of my best supporters! It’s true, everyone has their own agenda. I’m a big believer in do what’s right for you. Plus, I have a blog, Twitter feed, etc. all about my writing life, so I’m basically a fraud anyway 🙂

    One of my favorite authors of all time is nowhere on the Web…nowhere! So I know what you mean.

    Plus, I don’t just mean blogging and stuff, it’s who I discuss these things with in my daily life. In other words, when I’m out with my friends, I generally don’t talk about my novel. I save that for my writing group and online writing friends.

  6. i am one of those people who will tell perfect strangers details about my life. I love to talk, so a lot of information usually comes spewing out of my mouth. however, i don’t often reveal what could hurt me. my hopes and aspirations are just whispers insided my head. because like you, it usually backfires and i end up feeling like i’m a 6 year old with my pride wounded.

  7. Come on over to my place and get what you have comin

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