This blog was featured on 04/26/2017
What's your BHAG this year?
Contributor

It's a new year and if January is any indication, there's no slowing down! With all the changes we're experiencing right now, it's easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of our goals - especially the loftier ones that are sometimes tied to our writing. I loved this post by our She Writes Press publisher Brooke Warner - 5 Ways for Writers to "Dig In" in 2017. When you have a minute, click over to Huffington Post to see her full piece.

The way I see it, one month of 2017 has already gotten away from us, and shockingly it's already a full week into February! Many of our resolutions have probably already been laid by the wayside, waiting for next year and renewed vigor. Instead of setting your writing goals aside, I encourage you to grab ahold of them and go one step further by setting what Brooke calls a "BHAG" - a BIG HAIRY AMBITIOUS GOAL. She has some great pointers for what a BHAG should and shouldn't be:

Big but realistic

Although you're thinking big, it's important to make your BHAG realistic and not a pie-in-the-sky dream. Set a clear intention with a clear goal.

Out in the open

Goals without accountability are easy to ignore. I'm definitely guilty of this - having many single-sentence writing projects long filed away in Google docs! Once you've set your BHAG, share it. Put it out there, embrace it, nurture it. Sharing this goal allows other people to ask you about it. And knowing those questions are coming keeps you on track to have the answers you want to have, instead of excuses.

True to you

Your BHAG has to be true to you and true to who you are as an individual and as a writer. Remember, attainability is key here. Going from initial outlines to New York Times bestseller in a year isn't necessarily impossible, but slow and steady is what wins the BHAG race here. Just ask Rebecca Skloot, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. During our recent She Writes Press author retreat, she shared the story of her "ten-year overnight success." But her persistence paid off and TILOHL is now being produced by Oprah Winfrey, starring Oprah and Rose Byrne as Rebecca! But it all began with one BHAG after another - to build a writing career, to connect with the Lacks family, then to overcome their objections, and finally to create a story that was true to Rebecca's intentions. (Rebecca is kicking off SHE WRITES UNIVERSITY for us with a class on "The Game-Changing Power of Structure" on March 2. For a limited time, you can get the class for just $69 with code EARLYBIRD. Register here.)

So here's my BHAG for 2017: To make writing a routine. At least once a week, and maybe eventually once a day. It doesn't sound like much but with my current schedule and life demands, plus all the other passions I'm trying to embrace, I know it will be a challenge to commit to this and stick with it. I've got a passion project on my heart, it may not lead anywhere, but it will foster writing daily/weekly and may eventually be something that turns into another BHAG - publishing my work. 

What's your BHAG for 2017? Share it below with me and our community and let's keep moving forward!

 

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