Okay, so I taught a class at the first ever Teen Author Boot Camp last weekend. It was loaded with awesome authors and awesome classes and awesome teens! (Special thanks to the people at Writers Cubed who organized the whole thing.)
Kiersten White was the keynote speaker. Besides her mad drawing skillz, she said some really great things.
The one I liked best concerned goals.
She said: Don't make other people your goal.
I've done this. It's not pretty. You can't count yourself unsuccessful because Author X is only 22 and published. Since you're obviously over the age of 22, you'll never be published.
Sounds stupid when you put it like that, right?
I liked this advice a lot, because often I compare myself to other people. They become my goal. And that's not healthy. I can't control what happens to them. I can barely control what happens to me.
What I can control is what I write and how hard I work. So those are the things that need to be focused on when setting goals. How much I write in a day. How many pages I edit. Which story gets my attention. That sort of thing.
So. What are your goals? Are you using other people to make your goals come true?