Posted on January 18, 2023 at 2:30 PM by Guest Author
Do you want to make this your best year yet? Then you need to take steps to further your career. Learn how to set author goals for yourself and achieve them.
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Why Every Author Should Have Goals
Writing is just like any other profession; if you want to succeed, you need to have goals. Figuring out what you want to accomplish — and then creating a plan — allows you to move forward. Ultimately, setting author goals can determine whether you continue leveling up in your career or remain standing still.
It’s worth noting that this applies to all authors. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing your first book or publishing your sixth. If you want to achieve more this year than the last, you must start by setting goals.
Here are a few benefits that come with having goals as an author:
It can help you stay focused.
It’s easy to get distracted by other things when you should be writing, managing your social media, etc. But the great thing about goal setting is that it helps you stay focused. By knowing where you want to go, you can prioritize the tasks that will take you there.
It can keep you from getting too overwhelmed.
Writing a book is a massive undertaking on its own. When you pile on all the other things an author needs to do, it can get overwhelming. However, having goals — and breaking them down into subgoals — can make everything seem much more manageable.
It can give you some much-needed motivation.
It’s not uncommon to experience setbacks or just lose momentum. In fact, it happens to every author at some point. But goals can get you excited again and give you the motivation you need to push forward.
How to Set Author Goals for Yourself
To set your author goals, you need to decide what you really want to accomplish this year. Think about what you’ll be proud to say you did, achieved, or gained. What are some benchmarks to reach on the way to becoming the author you want to be?
The idea of writing success varies from one author to the next. So, you need to start by figuring out what that looks like for you. Once you visualize that, you’ll have a much simpler time setting goals for the year.
One thing to keep in mind is that you should focus on creating SMART goals.
That means coming up with goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Here are some examples…
Finish your latest book in the next eight months.
Add 100 new readers to your email list by September 15.
Get 25 new Instagram followers each month.
Increase ebook downloads by 25% by December 31.
Guest post on three relevant blogs this summer.
Attend two genre-related conferences this year.
Write 50,000 words during the month of November.
Setting author goals that meet these criteria ensures that you know exactly what you’re working toward and can measure your progress easily.
5 Tips to Achieve Your Author Goals
Once you’ve set author goals for yourself, how do you go about achieving them? (That’s the question, isn’t it?) Fortunately, we’ve put together some tips to help increase your chances of checking off your goals this year.
CONSIDER THE ROADBLOCKS YOU MAY ENCOUNTER.
One of the best ways to increase the likelihood of reaching your author goals is to consider potential obstacles. Start by thinking about what roadblocks you may encounter along the way. Then, determine how you’ll overcome them.
What if something prevents you from hitting your daily word count?
Have a backup block of time during which to write. Or, make up for lost time by writing more over the next few days.
What if your social media growth stagnates?
Look at what’s working and what’s not, then go from there. Focus on what has brought people in and kept them engaged. Explore other avenues to reach readers, such as new hashtags, groups, and influencers.
What if your guest post inquiry is rejected?
Simply thank the blogger for their time and consideration. Then, move on to the next one on your list. The more options you have, the greater the chances someone will say yes.
CREATE A PLAN WITH CLEAR STEPS.
Even if your goals seem attainable, it can still be hard to achieve them without direction. That’s why it’s important to create a plan for how you’ll reach them. Break each goal down into more manageable steps and jot down all the resources you’ll need.
CARVE OUT TIME EVERY DAY TO TAKE ACTION.
Accomplishing your author goals requires action. So, it’s worth dedicating time every day to complete tasks that will get you closer to the desired result. Carving out this time will give you structure so that you’re more likely to do what you need to do. It’s especially helpful if writing isn’t your full-time job (yet) and you have a busy schedule.
CHECK PROGRESS MONTHLY & REASSESS.
Depending on the deadline you’ve given yourself to complete a goal, you may want to review your progress more frequently. But if you’re trying to achieve something by the end of the year, a monthly check should suffice.
Look at whether the steps you’ve taken so far have yielded positive results. If you’re on track to meet your goal — or even surpass it — great! If not, reassess whether it’s truly realistic, requires more time, or warrants additional resources.
GIVE YOURSELF AN INCENTIVE.
Achieving goals that will further your career as an author may be enough motivation for you. But just in case, consider giving yourself an extra incentive. That way, when you accomplish your goals, you can celebrate with something special.
Here are some examples:
A weekend trip
A computer upgrade
A writing space makeover
A first edition of your favorite book
Of course, this all depends on your budget, likes, etc. Just think of a possible reward you’ll be especially motivated to work toward.
A year may seem short, but it provides ample time to take your career as an author to the next level. So, if you haven’t already done so, create a few author goals for yourself right now! Use the tips provided to help you along the way.
(Is your goal to get more downloads or add more people to your email list? Promote a free ebook with The Fussy Librarian!)
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