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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

GUEST AUTHOR: Helene Young - "Setting Goals - Are You Game?"

Are you someone who has a game plan? Do you set goals – short term and long term?

Helene Young
In 2008 I typed up a large sign that said ‘I will have a publishing contract by the end of 2008’ and stuck it on the office wall. I forgot it was there and Christmas rolled around with its string of visitors.

With the house overflowing, friends used the office to get changed into swimming togs.

‘What’s with the sign?’ one of them asked.

‘The sign? Oh, the sign… Umm…’ I struggled for words, feeling my cheeks heat up. Then it hit me like a smack over the ear. I needed to say it out aloud.

By going public with my goal it became more real, more urgent. Up until then I was pretty much working alone at something I aspired to achieve. Once I’d articulated that dream it became something I couldn’t back away from.  By the middle of 2009 I had a contract with Hachette.

A few months ago I stumbled across a blog that caught my attention – http://thepilotswife-thepilotswife.blogspot.com.au/

The writer was married to a pilot who works for the same airline as I do, although I’ve never met him. Her blog was about motherhood and pregnancy - not topics I usually follow closely - but there was something compelling about her writing, her voice and her use of words that kept me sporadically reading. Then one day, she came clean. She was an aspiring writer with plans to finish her first book. Bravo, I thought, and I left a comment to that effect because she’s taken that first step to treating this writing gig as a goal, something serious she will achieve.

I now have a new goal, and it’s nothing to do with writing. By the end of 2012 GW, Zeus and I will be living aboard a yacht. There, I’ve said it out aloud and now I just have to make it happen!

So, are you with me? Do you have goals you whisper to yourself when no one else is around? Here’s your chance – put it out there in the universe and get going! Tell us what it is you are going to achieve.

You’ll go into the running for a copy of the last goal which I turned it reality – BURNING LIES – and yes, I’ll post anywhere in the world!!

Find Helene at http://www.heleneyoung.com
Follow her on Facebook.
Tweet her on: https://twitter.com/HeleneYoung 

“Lies, all lies. It didn't matter how attractive he might be. She didn't really know this man . . . He was living a lie and she didn't know why.

Kaitlyn Scott is searching for the truth about her husband's death, even if that means revisiting the most painful day of her life. But what she uncovers is a criminal willing to stop at nothing to keep his secret.

Ryan O'Donnell, an enigmatic undercover cop, is investigating arson attacks when he is drawn into Kaitlyn's world. He tries to fight his attraction for her, hoping the case might put his own demons to rest, but it only threatens to push him over the edge.

With Kaitlyn and Ryan on a collision course, the arsonist seizes the chance to settle some old scores. As the Atherton Tableland burns, the three of them are caught in a fiery dance of danger and desire, and not everyone will come out alive.
Set in Australia's tropical far north, this is an explosive story of peril and passion by the author voted by the Romance Writers of Australia as the most popular novelist of the year, and by the Australian Romance Readers Association as the most popular romantic suspense novelist two years running.


  1. I am a goal-setter and I agree that by setting them goals do become more real. I set both short-term and long-term goals and break those down into steps. It motivates me even more when I see each step met. I realize that some goals I may not meet but it's important for me that I have a direction to go in :)

  2. Na, it was interesting during a recent meeting for the Training Department at work I was the only one who admitted to setting goals. I'm sure many of the others do as well but they tend to keep that information close to the chest.

    It is all about direction isn't it. Having a road to follow even if there may be t-junctions we don't know about yet!!

  3. My goodness, Helene, you're everywhere today. :) I just saw you over at Fleur McDonald's blog!

    As for goals, I believe I mentioned to someone once that my goal was to have a publishing contract by the time I reached a certain age. Still a little while to go. For smaller 'goals' I prefer the term 'objective'. Just a mind game I play with myself, for some reason they don't seem so daunting then. Go figure...

  4. I agree Helene goal setting is a wonderful way to get where you want to be. I'm a big believer in vision boards and visualization. Last year I entered the Hachette Manuscript Development Program and around the same time I designed a book cover for my novel, complete with the Hachette insignia and blurb on the back. I wrapped it around a book from my shelf and sat it on my desk. I am excited to say that my novel Blackwattle Lake is being published by Hachette this November! Good luck with your sailing goal.

  5. Objectives are just fine, Sandy!! They're the building blocks of goals and just as important as the end game.

    And yes, I'm a social butterfly this week:)

  6. Pamela, huge congratulations on your Hachette contract. The QWC/Hachette manuscript development programme has certainly launched some wonderful writers into the world! The title 'Blackwattle Lake' sounds intriguing!!

  7. Hi Helene,
    I've always set goals but they're usually in-my-head goals. Since joining RWA, they've become a bit more visual in that I do write a list that's usually related to finishing stories by certain deadlines (e.g. contests, conference) but mostly it's still in-my-head. Maybe I need to make a sign and make it real.

    Here goes - I need to finish editing my story before the conference pitch. I'd love to have a contract before the end of 2013 and a publishing career.

    Good luck with your sailing goal. I think living on a yacht would be an incredible experience.


    1. Well done, Catherine!! Good luck with your pitch - it's the start of that 2013 publishing contract!!

      Thanks for your good wishes. I'm looking forward to bobbing on the water :-)

  8. Helene,
    I am very goal oriented, and if I don't articulate them specifically, I usually inflict them on everyone in my environs anyway. My goals of late have been aimed at health and family: swim 1000m in one hit again and homeschool without angst. My writing has taken a hit with our new lifestyle: cruising and homeschooling, so my writing goal is to carve out an hour a day for writing, and to get back to regular morning pages. Oh, and finish my latest wip,
    I'm not too clear on the details of these, except the swimming one, which is probably why they are not yet happening.

  9. Yay, for you Sarah!! You're already living my next dream!! I think you're perfectly entitled to write up a sign telling the rest of your tribe that between the hours of 'X' and 'Y' you are a writer and they must be self-sufficient :-)

    I have a similar goal for exercising again and that needs to go up on my fridge or it will never happen...

  10. I did the same thing. Set myself a year to get some good feedback from my writing...I was shortlisted for a literary award for emerging writer just two weeks shy of my deadline and had my first book published less than a year later....I am a firm believer in hard-core goal setting!!!