I had an interesting thought today. For those of you who don't know, I teach SAT and ACT prep at a local business. I love working with high school student. They have their whole future ahead of them. They can be anything.
In my capacity as a teacher at this business I have one focus and goal: help them improve their scores. In a world where lack of specialization seems to be rewarded it seems almost odd. To think that someone would spend an entire month preparing for a single, four hour exam is almost to much to think about.
But as I drove home this evening I started thinking about what these students are doing. They are looking at a goal [the test], they are setting a target date [the exam date] and they are doing all they can to put their best foot forward.
I've shared before in my blogs that we can't assume one book will make or break us...but do we face our writing with the same focus as we did standardized tests? [those of us who took them].
For me, the answer is no. I scored in the 96th percentile on my ACT test [I was in the 99th percentile for English] but I missed a full ride scholarship by ONE COMPOSITE POINT. I didn't know the scholarship even existed so I decided 'good enough' was good enough. Now I am finishing up my TENTH year of paying student loans on my B.A. and I'm STILL not done!
What other opportunities do we miss because we don't take the time to find out what is available to us? Are you so focused on one aspect of your writing that you're in the 99th percentile there...but still one point away for reaching your goal because you don't know what it is that you don't know?
I've been in writer's conferences where groups of writers were singularly focused on contracting their first book. As if that were the goal.
That book contract is the FIRST STEP in the adventure...but it is by no means the destination [ask any published author].
So where has your focus been? And are you missing opportunities that could exceed your expectations simply because you're letting 'good enough' be good enough.
I'm talking about slow money as part of your writing plan at my other blog. Maybe I'll see some of you over there.
Thursday, February 7, 2008