Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Writing Business: Making Goals

Every good business has goals.

If you're viewing your writing as a business (i.e. you want to sell your writing some day to make some type of monetary income from it vs just giving it away...) then you need them!!!

And the new year is a GREAT time to make them.

Goals can come in all shapes and sizes, and highly depend on where you are at in the process.

Are you still a newbie, working on that first manuscript? So maybe a daily/weekly/monthly word count goal would be a appropriate, or a date to finish your first manuscript by.

Are you past that, looking to find an agent/next step? Then maybe make a list of some good concrete steps you can take toward that. Query X numbers of agents. Attend X number of conferences. Read X number of craft books (we can ALL do that one!)

Or maybe you're already published, so your goals will include actual sales numbers or # of books to write or steps to growing your "tribe" or network or platform, whatever you want to call it.

But what makes a good business goal?

Here are my tips --

1.) Be specific. "Write more" is a good goal if writing is your hobby. But it's not a good business goal. "Write 1,000 words a day, 4 times a week" is an example of a good, specific business goal. The numbers are going to vary for each of us.

2.) Be attainable. "Write 5,000 words 6 days a week" is not really an attainable goal. Most of us have 5,000 word days, but not 6 days a week throughout the year. Setting unrealistic goals sets you up for failure.

3.) Be aggressive. Yes, you want attainable goals. But puny goals  will equal puny results. A good rule of thumb is to figure out what you are doing NOW, and plan an increase. Are you writing about 300 words a day now? Shoot for 500. Are you writing 500? Shoot for 750 or 1000. Are you writing 2 days a week, maybe go for 3. Setting your expectations TOO low is self-defeating.

4.) Be flexible. Regardless of how you set your goals, be flexible. Things may happen to change them. There is nothing to say you can't revise your goals to reflect changes in life or reflect God's leading. Because goals are great and wonderful, but nothing can replace the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Find yourself spending too much time on writing and God urges you to focus on family? Revise those goals accordingly. Don't be so focused on your goals that you tune out the voice of God. This goes for ALL goals in your life!

So, how about it? Have you made writing goals for 2015? Feel free to share!!

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Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and author of Sandwich, With a Side of Romanceand A Side of Faith. She blogs about finding JOY in the journey of LIFE at http://www.kristaphillips.com. She is represented by Sarah Freese of Wordserve Literary.

2 comments:

Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination said...

I agree that making goals specific is extremely important because without specific goals, I don't think I would ever accomplish anything. Specific goals give me something concrete to work towards and they make me more committed. Setting attainable goals is also really important because setting goals that are too difficult only makes me overwhelmed and less productive. Another thing I like to do with my goals is break down larger goals into smaller steps. It makes reaching my goals so much easier and less overwhelming.

PD Workman said...

I write 5,000 words per day 6 days per week during my drafting months...