How many writers do you know? If you’re anything like me, probably a few. But how many writers do you know who are also professional about their writing and actually do the work?
How many writer do you know who get up earlier (or sleep later) to write to a schedule that ensures they finish their work on time and achieve their goals?
How many of them even set goals?
Well, if you count me into the number of writers you know, then I’d say the answer is: at least one. I set goals.
I can’t always claim to achieve them but I set them. Also, I don’t call them goals. I call them ‘objectives’.
This is a bit of an overhang from my day job where setting and achieving objectives is the order of the day…sounds boring? Yes, I get that.
And yet, I shall spend the next few hundred words or so advocating for goal setting and objectives.
Why? Because it totally works! If you want to write and earn some money doing it, then the jury is in: you need to define your goals.
To help get you get motivated on that front, I have come up with three good reasons why defining your writing goals is totally worth the sweat.
1. Beat Overwhelm and Writer’s Block
Many of us feel overwhelmed every so often. We want to keep churning out awesome words but somehow things aren’t going our way. We are feeling anxious, stressed, confused or in one word: overwhelmed. This is normal. It means that with all the things you have got to get done every day, your brain is full up and your creativity levels are down to zero. Defining your goals can help prevent this. If you know where you want to end up, you can figure out how to get there. You can plan. And plans are safe. If you decide upfront what you are going to do (and when), then all you have to do is keep following that plan and overwhelm (and writer’s block) become much less frequent a problem.
2. Get to Know Your Writer Persona
Many of us writers go through years of struggle, never really knowing who we really are – that is, what type of writer we are. You feel like you have to try things out and struggle along all by yourself. With tons of choices to make (indie or traditional publishing routes, genres, story structures, formatting options, cover options), we get disheartened. We convince ourselves that we will never find the thing that’s right for us and even if we found it, we wouldn’t know it was the right thing for us. Right? Wrong! First off, you want to set your goals. Knowing what you want the outcome to be, can help make the choices that are right for you as your goals will tell you a lot about what type of writer you are. So, If you want money more than anything, then you will see that there are choices that would suit you more than others. If you want to only write and have somebody else take care of your marketing (for a handsome cut in royalties), then you might need a traditional publisher…better start querying. Get to know yourself and get successful today.
3. Dough and Immortality
Sadly, this doesn’t mean that defining your writing goals will make you a vampire or any other of your favourite immortal creatures. You also won’t magically turn into the Cookie Monster, nor will Ben and Jerry’s supply you with a lifetime free voucher for one of their most beloved ice cream flavours. What I mean is: you’ll make money and leave a legacy with your books. You might never get rich but if you could make what you make from your current job by writing books instead…wouldn’t that be awesome? I certainly wouldn’t be complaining about that.
So, have you been setting yourself goals or is it time to sit down and start defining what you really want to get out of your writing? Let me know in the comments below and good luck with figuring things out.