Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lofty Ideas

Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible. - Doug Larson

Each time the space shuttle blasts off, I'm amazed. Thursday's liftoff of Discovery was no exception. I thought to myself, this began as an idea.

The idea morphed into a goal. A plan was set in motion. Then came the hard work, the small successes, and the setbacks. Our nation rejoiced in the triumphs, and cried over heartbreaking losses.

It's amazing what can be accomplished when we set big goals. Your version of liftoff might be magazine publication, picture books, or anthologies. It might be novels, agents, and print publication. Whatever the goal, the process remains the same: create a plan, work hard, and have the guts and tenacity to chase the prize. There will be hurdles and disappointments, to be sure. But there will also be victories--which we should celebrate, no matter how small.

Determination goes a long way, whether you're pursuing publication or blasting to outer space--and it all begins with an idea. As Les Brown said, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

What's your idea of liftoff, and how close are you to achieving it? Or have you fulfilled your dreams and set new goals? I'd love to hear your story.

In the previous post, Writers: take a tip, leave a tip, you all left such helpful pieces of advice in the comments. I'm linking the post to my sidebar. Feel free to stop by any time and take a tip or leave a tip. And thanks for sharing your words of wisdom.

42 comments:

  1. I live in Central Florida, so I'm fortunate to be able to watch the shuttle climb into the heavens each time it lifts off. Each launch is an inspiration and never fails to remind me that if we shoot for the stars, we just might get there.

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  2. I feel like my goal is always changing to be honest. It began as wanting to write a novel, one that I loved and believed in wholeheartedly. Once I accomplished that, now the goal is to find an agent who will also fall head over heels for my characters. Last but not least, I'd love to see it on the shelves. Will my goals stop there - nope. I think they're just beginning:) Great post!

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  3. My idea is to partner with an agent who gets me and loves my work, then for us to partner with the right publisher. I'm hitting the conference and workshop scene hard this year to improve my craft and hopefully connect with the right people! Come on lift off!

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  4. I think my liftoff moment was when I finally listened to the voices in my head and brought them to paper. I had always shoved them aside and pursued a far different career. If I would've just listened and been brave enough do follow my bliss, who knows? At least I'm doing it now, I suppose.
    Good post, Julie.

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  5. I love the quote by Doug Larson. That's the name of my uncle, but I doubt that's his quote. ;) I think my goal is just to find the one idea I love and turn it into a book. Thank you for this, it's a bit of encouragement I needed. :D

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  6. Honestly? I love to dream BIG. So my goal is that one of my books turns into a blockbuster movie!
    And, well, I'm not at all close to that dream. LOL. But I'm trying here! :D

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  7. Thanks for the reminder!

    I gave you an award, you can pick it up here: http://vbtremper.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/award-thursday/

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  8. Julie,
    I was thinking after reading about the shuttle launch; remember growing up and it was plastered all over the news when the launch was taking place. Now it is so common that we don't really think about it much which is sad because it really is a great endeavor!
    thanks for the thoughts!

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  9. I wish I could've seen a space shuttle launch in person. It must be awesome!

    My dream is, of course, to get published and share my books with the world. :) I have a goal to finish my last round of revisions and begin querying no later than the beginning of May!

    Thanks for sharing this post. It's good to remember that everything started with a dream!

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  10. Can I set a goal of blasting into space with my book? And good idea with the tips.

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  11. Looking back, many of my "launches" in life came about because life through at me an un-wanted challenge. Overcoming hard things can take us to great places.

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  12. This post makes me want to get out of my chair and do something. But first I have to finish blog hopping LOL. I love inspirational, motivational posts like this, Julie. I'm going to RT it.

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  13. I love the quote!

    There are several goals I'd like to meet--but to stick to writing, then one of them would be having my book published and made into a movie.

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  14. My dream right now is to finish my final rewrite, query, and get an agent.

    Of course there are a series of dreams all lined up for when that one lifts off.

    love your first quote. I really take it to heart.

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  15. This is a great analogy for writing. I'm excited about this last trip as well.

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  16. I have experienced this moment that you speak of lately in my life in both teaching & writing. I'll get an idea, it sparks initiative, next thing I know, the project comes to fruition and is successful--its amazing to feel that accomplishment! And it all comes from having an idea...

    I'm a true believer in what you're saying.

    Next up? Get my novel done and out there!
    Julie Johnson
    busywriting.net

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  17. I wish I could have seen the shuttle launch, and now that was the last one. Thank you for this inspiration today, Julie.

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  18. Thanks for sharing the insight and comparison, Julie. I feel like lift-off occurred with each of my books being published, but the craft continues to need to be steered and directed to where it should go.

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  19. So far my goal has not changed...it has been write a novel and get it published!

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  20. We have to dream big! I've never watched a shuttle take off but it must be pretty incredible. My goal is to always be improving and hopefully it will pay off!

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  21. I wrote my story...published it in a daze and won a national book award. It started me writing....I've started an amazing writer's group in our home....and won a couple of short stories. I'm trying to write fiction now...much harder. I love writing....it's become my voice.

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  22. Well, my goal for 2010 was to get one fiction story published. Since I exceeded that goal my new one is to have a book of short stories published within the next few years.

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  23. Lift offs always give me a thrill - they're so full of imagination, hope, potential and they're aimed squarely at the future! Love it.

    Some days, my lift off is getting through the day and accomplishing everything on my to-do list! :)

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  24. I love that quote! Landing in the stars sounds so poetic to me. Yep, those rocket scientists know how to live! LOLOL ;)

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  25. Hi, Julie. You've probably seen this from me before, but simply seeing that novel completed and published was all of the goals for me! I'm blessed to have a second novel on its way to publication sometime early this year. Everything after this is gravy.
    I'd love to see these novels and their local storyline sweep through my home in the Central Valley of California, or perhaps to get paid for the other writing that I have been doing, but that would be more gravy. It may happen, but if it doesn't, I can't get disappointed. Things have been too good for that...

    -Jimmy

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  26. For me, the big shooting for the stars moment was when I said *officially* to myself that writing wasn't just a hobby, it was something I wanted to pursue SERIOUSLY. Which meant joining associations, and finishing my book, and editing it, and querying, and finding my wonderful agent. All things I'd never have done if I'd been happy to leave it as a hobby and never aimed higher!

    I always remind myself that the surest way to fail is to never try at all.

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  27. Love this! I've achieved some but am still setting goals. There's always a bigger and better dream ahead. :)

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  28. landing an agent, natch. As for how close? Dunno. Thought I was close at Christmas, but agent who requested revise & resubmit left the biz. Now I'm on #2 R&R agent... we'll see~

    Love that quote, btw. Thanks, Jules! <3

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  29. This post reminds me of my favourite Oscar Wilde quote: 'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars'. :)

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  30. I agree with you that determination DOES go a long way. I read once that when you've practiced something 10,000 times, you become proficient at it. I just wish I remembered the psych journal is came from so I could cite it!

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  31. "If you can dream it, you can do it." If we can have a real life Space Station orbiting above us, I believe that someday I will make a connection with the right agent.

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  32. Reaching the end of a manuscript at whatever stage--drafting ,revising, editing--feels like liftoff for me.

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  34. I love your blog, and all that you do with it.

    I’ve been without internet access lately, but hopefully that problem is solved.
    Thx.

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  35. My immediate goal is to finish writing my first book and get it ready for querying. My longterm goal is to find the right agent and editor, and fulfill my dream of becoming a full-time writer. The Doug Larson quote is great! Thanks for sharing it. :)

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  36. Well, once my goal was to finish a story. (I did.) Then a book. (I did.) Then get something published. (I did: some stories and poems.) . Now I seriously want to get one of my full length books commercially published and find an agent. Either order would make me oh, so happy.
    But, you are so right, Julie. It all starts with the first step.

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  37. Fantastic analogy to life. We see only the glory of the shuttle lifting off the ground, not all the guts of hard work that went into that one moment.

    I have two main goals for my writing this year: to have three submission-ready PB manuscripts by the end of June and to get an agent by the end of the year. Only one is fully within my control, but if I write the best stories I can, hopefully the agent will follow.

    Another big dream that I will realize this year is living abroad with my kids - we're going to Italy for the summer! I'm sure that will bring much inspiration!

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  38. Aim high--great thing to remember! It's so easy to lose sight of that and get bogged down by all the little bumps along the way. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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  39. This is so awesome and crazy because I had a similar thought this weekend: everything starts with an idea! Haha. It can be so easy to lose sight of that when we are bogged down in frustration. Love the quote at the beginning!

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  40. I'm sitting in the house that a year ago, I didn't think was in anyway possible for me to own. It's exactly what I wanted and where I wanted to live. No point not wanting what you want, like you say - it's the first step to getting it!

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  41. I hear so many people say they want to write. When I ask how often they write, some of them get antsy.
    There comes a time when the dreams have to lift off.
    And there has to be something down deep inside that compels you to write even when life gets in your way.
    Thanks Julie.

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