A Word On Goals
Updated: Feb 28, 2021
As 2018 draws to a close, I have been thinking about my goals for 2019. I won’t call them resolutions, because I feel I’d have to break them after two weeks just to keep up my streak. Rather, these are what I’d like to accomplish next year, especially as it pertains to my writing.
So, what do I want to accomplish next year? Like so many aspiring authors, my initial response was, I want to have my book picked up by a publisher, published and read by millions! My second thought was, woah Brandie, slow down! Not because that wouldn’t be a great thing to happen, but because it’s not a great idea to make my goals something I can’t directly control. I can’t make a publisher buy my book, and setting goals that I can’t directly affect is no good. For example, last year, I signed with my agent, but signing with an agent wasn’t my ‘direct’ goal. I couldn’t make an agent sign with me, but I could take steps to work towards that. Instead, my goals including things like sending out a certain number of query letters, meeting agents at conferences, and following up with agents that I had created relationships with. Notice how the latter items are action items that I could manage? That way, even if I didn’t sign an agent (as had been the case in 2017), I knew that I was doing everything I could to be working towards that goal.
With this ‘action’-oriented mindset, here are my goals for 2019.
· Assist my agent with anything he needs to pitch my manuscript to publishers. I can’t make a publisher buy my manuscript, but I can make it more likely by working with my agent. Does he need a summary? A pitch package? A marketing plan? Anything that makes his pitch to publishers stronger helps the likeness of the book being looked at, and hopefully, eventually sold.
· Write the first draft of the new book I’m working on. I don’t want to only write one book. I want to be an author of many, and that won’t happen if I don’t actually write them.
· Focus on my platform. I don’t (yet) have a book to promote, but I still have a social platform and knowledge worth sharing. I plan to post to this blog more regularly with writing tips, book reviews, fun facts about mythology, and more.
· Continue to learn as a writer. Everything I learn helps me to be a better writer, so I definitely plan to continue attending critique groups, conferences (the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society conferences are already on my list), listening to podcasts on writing (right now I’m listening to Writing Excuses) and read books on both the craft of writing and books in the genre I write so I’m familiar with what’s out there (Goodreads is a great way to keep track of the books you read so you can refer back to them later).
· Be kind to myself. I hate to admit this, but I often struggle with this. I’ll fall into the trap of feeling like I’m not good enough, and I have a plethora of reason I can invent to support this false notion (I haven’t had a book published, I am a fake writer, no one will want to read my work…) but I need to work on quieting that obnoxious voice of doubt in my mind. Instead, I will try to remind myself of the accomplishments I have done (I’ve written books, plays, I volunteer with writing groups…).
Do you have goals for 2019? List them in the comments below!