This year I plan to complete the manuscript for my YA debut novel and also get two short stories published. Ambitious? Very. Crazy? Definitely. Achievable? That all depends on how much planning, hard work, and pure guts I'm willing to put into this year and beyond, all while holding down a full-time job and spending time with family and friends.
To some of you this might seem altogether impossible. The first thing that comes to mind is where one would find the time to achieve the amount of work involved in completing a manuscript and getting two short stories published. You know what? The problem is not finding the time. I think my problem, and something a lot of us share and can relate to, is using the time we do have efficiently and not wasting it doing inane things such as online browsing for no real purpose or traipsing off for another cup of tea or coffee.
If you need to do some online shopping, go ahead but find what you're looking for pronto and submit your order - just get it done. The same goes with updating yourself on news and other current affairs. I am a bit of a news junkie so I understand this particular weakness very well. Again, use a portion of your day to get some news in and then return to work. I have started to get a little better with this by dedicating a small portion of my morning and evening time to catching up on the news but using the greater part of my day for actual work.
Perhaps I am in the midst of a positive hangover from the start of the new year but I look back on my life and, honestly, there have been so many times the difference between success and mediocrity/failure has been because I didn't put in the time and love into what I wanted to achieve. It's not just simply about luck or timing or pre-existing circumstances. A lot of it is really on you. Your attitude and your state of mind first and foremost.
Everything starts with a dream or desire but we can solidify our goals by making plans and putting in the time and effort to get there.
What you need to do now:
(1) Find your goals/dreams;
(2) Make your plans; and
(3) Start taking steps and put in the work to get there.
It's that simple but most of us don't get past step (1), let alone step (2).
Dare to dream, set your goals, make your plans, and start now. Don't wait.