I believe in having goals for your writing or other creative activity, but sometimes it blinds you to opportunities that are not obviously in synch with your goals.
On the Big Think site, former Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman said she did have a career plan but her success came from taking advantage of opportunities.
These days things are changing so fast that the ability to improvise may be more important than the ability to plan. Just a few examples of the developments that have derailed many goals relating to writing (sometimes for the better, sometimes not):
- self-publishing as a viable option for almost all writers via ebooks
- the decline of newspapers and some magazines
- the success of cross-over Young Adult novels
- the ability to shoot high-quality movies with low-cost equipment
The challenge is to find a good balance—to have a goal you care about but also to be alert to opportunities that were not foreseeable when you set your goal.
(For lots of great tips on how to use your time effectively and move toward your goals get my book, “Focus: how to use the power of targeted thinking to get more done,” published by Pearson and available from Amazon and other book sellers.)