I had lunch the other day with Chad Allen. Chad is the editorial director for Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I know Chad from our dealings at work as well as his participation in the first Jot Conference. And I figured that if anyone could give me some advice on becoming the type of person that a publishing house needs, it would be Chad.
After arriving late, I explained to Chad that I was considering an MFA program in order to be qualified for a job in publishing. He echoed some of the comments from my post on the topic that very few of the folks at Baker Publishing have MFAs, so it really isn’t a prerequisite.
He asked what my goals were. I gave him some vague notions of working on the creation end of the book process rather than the distribution end. I really don’t know what that looks like though. He gave me this advice: set up some interviews with various people at publishing to see if you’d like their job.
I also told him that I enjoy writing and that I hope to be published one day.
He asked if I was familiar with Michael Hyatt’s SMART Goals. I wasn’t.
Michael Hyatt is the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, as well a prolific blogger, author, and writing/life coach. His post on goal setting is worth reading in full, but I’m going to spoil it for you here. A SMART Goal is:
- and Time-bound
Hyatt says that people are more likely to achieve these goals when the goals are few, you write them down, you review them frequently, and you share them selectively.
Chad told me to set some goals and keep in touch.
As I head into the New Year, I won’t be doing any resolutions (like I did last year), but I will be setting some goals. I won’t tell you what they are (Michael Hyatt points out that people who broadcast their goals are less likely to achieve them), but I will keep in touch with you too.
Happy New Year!