Goal Setting for Writers

Goal Setting for Writers

By Natalie Bright


Happy New Year!

A New Year-A New Start

It’s a new year which means it’s time to think about your writing career and where you’d like to be professionally in twelve months from now.

For writers, I think visuals are important. Keeping logs on word count or article submissions provides a tangible, measurable accomplishment. Putting pen to paper is only part of the business of writing. Think about promotional and social media goals as well.

Be establishing long term goals, you are able to visualize the big picture of what you hope to achieve.  Can you see yourself as a successful, published author?

Goal Setting Worksheet

Our critique group uses a worksheet. Make your goals simple and specific, things that you can actually visualize yourself achieving. Making the New York Times Bestselling list is probably not realistic if you’re a beginning writer, however it’s a goal that is achievable in the long term.

3 in 24:

Finding time to write is something I struggle with every single day. No, the entire universe did not come together to prevent you from putting words on a page, but it sure seems that way. Identify 3 times in a 24-hour period to Write, and do it.

For example:

1. Wake-up one hour early and write.

2. Skip lunch with coworkers and write only new words on WIP Monday-Thursday.

3. Stay up late at least one hour on Friday, Sat., and Sun. to work on edits or blogs.

Study your list. Can you visualize yourself actually accomplishing these tasks? Can you see yourself with pen in hand or typing at the keyboard at the times and places you’ve chosen? Setting achievable goals equals success.

Realistic Attainable Goals:

Make a list of at least four goals you hope to accomplish within the next year.

Achievable goals would be defined as something you can definitely complete, to measure your progress and give you a sense of accomplishment that your writing career is moving forward. This could be things like writing and polishing an entry for a contest, or completing a submission for an anthology. Be specific; what contest? Don’t know of any? Find one and list it on your goals sheet.

Dreaming Big

Add to your worksheet one “dream big” goal. List something you hope to achieve that seems totally impossible. Go ahead and put the “NYT Bestselling list” here if that’s what you want more than anything.

Expect the Unexpected

Keep an open mind to opportunities that might come your way in the new year that you never expected. Sometimes saying yes opens doors to bigger and better things.  So I didn’t win a SPUR award this year, however I did gain a few publishing credits along with finishing another middle grade novel. All in all it was a productive year, which leaves me with only one option—work even harder in 2014.

What about you? Please tell us about your successes this past year.

Thank You

Write, submit, onward we go! Good luck and Happy New Years, and thanks to all of you who have followed Wordsmith Six during the past year. We really appreciate you.

Sending out our best wishes that you achieve your writing goals in 2014!


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