Hugh Howey on Goals and Dreams

“I paid careful attention to the distinction between my goals and my dreams while trying to make it as a writer. The constant reminder kept me sane, kept me hungry, kept me motivated, kept me from losing my zeal.” ~ Hugh Howey

Now that we’re into our fourth week of this blog series about getting serious about our writing, it’s a good time to review the question I first asked on July 13:

What would make you feel good about your writing on August 31, 2014?

Living the Dream, by Ben Grey
Driving the Dream, by Ben Grey (CC BY 2.0)

Has your answer changed?

Being clear in our own minds about what we want from our writing isn’t always easy, but it is important if we are to set goals that are both personally meaningful and ultimately reachable.

Hugh Howey, author of the the runaway bestseller WOOL series (part I is available right now for free on Amazon), gives us a good way to begin to think about the many layers of what we want by thinking about our writing goals versus our writing dreams:

“There are cynics out there who would have us not dream for fear of our feelings being hurt. There are also idle dreamers who would have us not set realistic goals for fear of having us limit our potential. The cynics go around telling people that it’s all luck and it doesn’t matter how hard you work or what you do. The dreamers say we can be whatever we want to be without explaining all that goes into overcoming the odds. Cynics say we can’t win, that the game is rigged. Dreamers say we shouldn’t keep score or everyone should have a trophy so we can all feel like winners.” ~ Hugh Howey (Read more)

His answer is that both goals and dreams are important for writers: “Lie in bed at night and enjoy your fantasies. And when the alarm clock stirs you, get up and tackle your goals.”

What are your writing dreams? What are your writing goals? How do they fuel and support each other?

1 thought on “Hugh Howey on Goals and Dreams

  1. I found some old stuff I’d written many years ago. I think it answers this question:

    Writer thou art, writer thou shalt be
    This curse is thine own, carry it with thee
    Imperfect, the mystic shall name thee
    Yet in perfection no freedom hath he
    Heed not the mystic’s vain call of thee
    Be true to thy course and lost all else be
    For to the heart none but thou hast the key

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