Let’s talk about your BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS WRITING GOAL!
A BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS GOAL (or BHAG) is a concept developed in the book Built to Last. A BHAG is a goal that’s clear and compelling and once that requires building for the long term and creates a sense of urgency.
So what’s a big, hairy, audacious writing goal?
I think it’s that writing goal you have that’s so big it scares you. The one that’s so ambitious that you’re afraid to tell anyone about it because you think they’ll laugh at you. Or maybe when you think about the goal you laugh at yourself.
That was me less than 2 years ago. I secretly wanted to quit my teaching job to be a full-time freelance writer. I have other BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS GOALS and I knew that being a full-time freelance writer would give me the flexible schedule I needed to pursue them. But I was convinced that there was NO WAY I could make enough money to pay my bills and maintain a comfortable lifestyle on freelance writing income.
But guess what? I’ve done exactly that for over a year — in spite of cancer and in spite of a global pandemic that has rocked our economy.
There are three things that I think helped me achieve this goal.
I can give you 101 tips for achieving goals, but at the end of the day, nothing will work unless you do. I’ve had a successful career as a full-time freelance writer because I worked hard to build connections and gather gigs before I quit my teaching job.
Juggling those assignments with teaching was tough. It required meticulously planning my days so that I could squeeze in research and interviews for stories and waking up early so I could write before heading to my classroom.
But my hard work paid off.
No matter what your goal is, you’re going to have to flex your creativity muscles to achieve it. For me, this not only meant doing my best to turn in copy that would impress my editors, but it also meant being creative about how I would get gigs in the first place.
I used my blog and the See Jane Write brand to build buzz about who I am and what I do. And this helped me land LOTS of writing gigs. Most of the gigs I have landed in my lap simply because editors heard about me and asked me if I’d like to write for their publication.
Writing is a communal act. Building relationships with other writers has probably helped my career more than anything. Other writers have helped me build buzz about my work. Other writers have introduced me to editors (and I’ve been sure to pay it forward). Other writers have encouraged me to keep going.
What’s your BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS GOAL?