How you define success, establish expectations, and prepare a marketing plan depend on your objectives.
So as you plan the new year and make writing resolutions, take a moment to consider your objectives as an author.
Here is a sample of writing goals:
- To master the craft of writing. Spend more time writing, of course. Also, spend time reading classics and the kind of writing you wish to master. Seek feedback from readers. Search for writing tips.
- To share your writing with others. Post writing on your blog. Publish a book. Publish poetry, short stories, essays, or articles online or in print. Market your written works to your specific target audience.
- To support your writing hobby financially. Research which kinds of books you are a good fit to write, where there is a significant demand. Perfect your book to improve your prospects for good reviews and recommendations. Seek a traditional publisher or design a highly marketable cover, blurb, and look inside. Learn how to market your book effectively. Look for related jobs that you may excel at, such as editing or cover design.
- To have fun. Write in your spare time as a hobby. Enjoy it. Be creative. Devote more time to writing and less time to marketing and other related activities. Find fun and creative ways to do those other activities so you can keep the focus on enjoying your writing. Don’t get caught up in stats or reviews.
- To leave a legacy for your children. Involve your kids with your books. Make up stories for them at bedtime. Write special stories or poems just for them and publish them privately. Encourage your kids to assemble books and publish those privately. Mention your family in the acknowledgments or dedications section of your book. Specify how royalties will be awarded and distributed in your will, and provide information that will help your heirs understand and manage your books and author platform.
- To gain accolades. Master the craft of writing and storytelling. Focus on perfecting your book idea and the book itself. Enter contests. Learn from your experience and enter more contests. Create a fan page and include a link to it at the end of your books. Interact with your fans. Attend writing conferences. Build connections among writers, agents, and editors. Develop a very thick skin because there is much criticism on the road to praise.
- To try out a new genre or writing style. Don’t view it as an experiment. Have fun with it, but also take it seriously. Research what you will be writing thoroughly. Motivate yourself to master the new art. Do your best, as if it’s the only way you will ever write.
- To share your knowledge or help others. Master the material you wish to share. Master the art of explaining ideas clearly. Master the art of teaching effectively. Research your specific target audience’s learning styles and background level. Perfect your article or book. Post relevant free content on your website. Post relevant content on other websites to reach people who aren’t already in your following. This can be an online article or a YouTube video channel, for example.
- To get published traditionally. Research books that are highly marketable which are a good fit for you to write. Master the craft of writing your book in a way that will please a specific target audience. Make connections with agents, editors, illustrators, cover designers, and publicists. Receive advice from experienced, successful publicists and agents at the outset of your project. Subscribe to magazines and newspapers that are a good fit for your writing. Read and study those articles for several months, then submit your own articles for publication. Research how to write query letters and book proposals. Find a literary agent. Post your rejection letters where you will see them every morning to fuel your motivated self-diligence. Strive to improve. Never give up.
- To become instantly rich and popular without any effort. Don’t write at all. Get a full-time job. Be frugal. Spend every spare penny on lottery tickets. Hope. Pray. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t pan out.
I started this blog to provide free help with writing, publishing, and marketing. You can find many free articles by clicking one of the following links:
Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.
I define success in my writing as in making a tremendous difference or positive impact for at least one person’s life as I encourage them, share my own similar struggles or inspire them in motivation.
I honestly do not know what to expect from this blog or my domain, as this is all new to me, and I have no marketing plan other than a “.org” of my own.
Very nice list of goals pertaining to writing! I would love to publish something!!! I want to write a book but I just can’t see myself going on for 300 pages or what not. Right now I cannot make any money from my work due to a particular predicament that like several others I am in. However, someday I would love to get into Freelancing!!!
I must say, nice blog-very informative and motivating!!!
I like the way you defined success. 🙂
One thing a blog allows you to do is explore. You can try different things and find a blogging style that suits you. Building a following and online platform now can help you down the road when you’re ready to publish or freelance; it will serve you as to strive to create buzz, and when you need support.
Thank you for the kind remarks. Happy 2014. 🙂
My goals are numerous for 2014 but include publishing my children’s chapter book, editing & revising my NaNo novel and publishing two novels on POD. I also want to improve my freelance opportunities.
Good luck on your goals, and may you have a happy 2014. 🙂
A Happy & Successful 2014 to you too, Chris.
You cover a nice wide range of reasons to write, and goals to work toward. One I would add, for myself at least, is to feed a creative soul. The need to write comes from deep inside. Stories itch to be let out. There is no greater feeling than writing and sharing.
That’s a great goal indeed. I wish you a happy 2014. 🙂
Same to you!
Great list I am a big fan of setting goals. It is critical to success because you need a target to aim at. Since you didn’t list mine, I will add “to rule the world through the written word.”
If I fail and have to settle for being the next Tom Clancy, I guess life will still be okay.
But as I think about it, winning the lottery seems much easier. Maybe I will try for that, ha ha.
Thank you for hosting this amazing collection of posts. It is so helpful. Happy New Year’s to you and your family.
The written word is very powerful, so perhaps it’s the right tool to use for your goal… I’m glad you think it’s helpful; that’s what I aim for. Happy 2014. 🙂