What Are Your Goals for Your Work? Write Them Down.
Updated: Jan 27
Hello dear readers! As promised, I've uploaded a new video to my YouTube channel today. You can find it here.
What am I talking about? I thought we should begin at the beginning. Each time I get a new client who says they want me to work with them on their book, I always ask them: What are your goals for your work? Occasionally I will get an author who knows exactly what they want to do. But more often than not, people will tell me, "I want it to be a bestseller!" and they can't articulate much more than that.
It is so important before you spend any money on your book that you know what your goals for it are. So I am challenging you to write down your top 3 goals for your work. Write them down on a piece of paper, a white board, anything that you will see every day. Put it in your office or your workspace. Ask yourself daily: Is what I am doing helping me reach that goal, or is it pulling me away from it? This will help you prioritize your work.
Make your goals attainable and realistic. Do not set yourself up to fail by choosing goals that are what I like to call "theoretically possible, but statistically improbable." As I said in my video, I can say I want to be the next Lady Gaga but that's not a realistic goal. Learning all the words to one of her songs and entertaining my friends with it over Zoom just for fun is a realistic goal, though. If you say you want to complete an entire manuscript by Christmas, but you don't have much more than a grocery list written, that is theoretically possible, but statistically improbable. A much more realistic goal is to say, "I have half a manuscript written, and I'd like to finish it by spring."
You can't get to where you want to go if you don't know where that is. I can talk all day about platform building and marketing and editing and design, but if you don't even know precisely what you want to do with your work, that won't help you. So once you define your goals, then we can come up with the plan to help you meet them.
I feel that one of our goals should always be learn more about the craft of writing and the business of publishing. If you want to be the best player on your team, what do you do? You practice. So why wouldn't you invest in a writing course if you want to be the best writer you can be? Why wouldn't you set aside time each and every day to write? If you want to learn more about the publishing business, this is easily accomplished in so many ways--read Publishers Weekly, follow Jane Friedman, watch Free Advice Friday every week with New Shelves Books, subscribe to Writer's Digest. If you want to build community with other writers, commit to following at least a half dozen new writers on Twitter each week; attend an industry conference, like this one.
So get cracking, folks--write those goals down. Next week, we'll start to tackle how you can achieve them! And if you have any questions along the way, drop them in the comments on YouTube, Tweet me @Cincy_Bookworm, or email me!
As always, happy reading, keep writing, and stay tuned!