Embracing the Importance of Setting Clear Goals
The fabulous life of an author. We envision it as a world filled with creativity, untamed imaginations, and the freedom to weave tales that transcend reality. But in order to be successful with our imaginings, we need to have structure. And for a lot of authors, setting clear goals can be a difficult thing to do. It’s not as fun as building magic systems and searching for reference photos to build our casts of characters. Still, it is necessary to do.
There are several points in your writing and publishing journey where you will need to have a plan. Think of it as a map you’re building, one that has a big red X on it and reaching that X is what pushes you to the next step.
A Map in the Wonderland of Writing
Writing is a journey, much like wandering through a wonderland of ideas and stories. Yet, even in a land where imagination knows no bounds, a map is essential. Setting clear goals in writing is like having a treasure map, guiding you through the process and helping you uncover the gems of your story. That big red X… got it? Yeah… okay, moving on!
What writers need to understand here is the importance of setting specific writing goals, and I’m not just talking about word counts. To some people that goal is far too daunting. Maybe for you the goal needs to be chapter completion, hours worked, or even character developments. All of these can act as signposts along your literary journey. They not only keep you on track but also provide a sense of accomplishment as you reach each milestone. These goals offer a structured path without constraining the magic of your creativity.
Navigating the Publishing Sea – because nautical, am I write?
Once your manuscript is polished and ready to set sail (please tell me you went through revisions, and had an editor…please), the publishing phase comes into play. It's like boarding a ship to navigate the vast sea of publication. Don’t ask me why a person with thalassophobia would use this as a reference point, because I’m not getting on anyone’s boat. But moving on.
Again, this is another point where we need to set clear goals. The first to establish is HOW you want to publish. Which honestly should have been established long before you get to this point. If you’re Indie, you need to get your marketing plan down. You need to set up all of your dates including but not limited to:
Publishing Platform Setup: Set up accounts on platforms like Amazon KDP, IngramSpark, or other relevant platforms.
ISBN and Copyright: Obtain ISBNs and register for copyright if necessary.
Pre-Orders and Release Dates: Set up pre-order options and decide on a release date for the book.
Marketing Materials: Create marketing materials such as blurbs, author bios, and book descriptions.
Author Website Setup: Develop an author website or update the existing one to promote the book.
If you’re going the traditional route, you should establish timelines for querying agents or publishers. (There are so many more steps that I (an Indie author) am not versed on but you know… here is a link to an articale on Writer’s Digest that may help with that:
The thing to take away here is goals act as the guiding stars, steering you through the publishing process and bringing your creation to the shores of readers' hands. Okay enough of trying to clever with this, its hurting my brain a bit.
The Art of Marketing Adventure
In this digital age, your adventure doesn’t end with publication; it extends into the realm of marketing.
Identifying your target audience, devising marketing strategies, planning book launches, and establishing a robust online presence are essential for an author's success. Setting specific targets for engagement, sales, and expanding your readership forms the treasure trove of your marketing plan. These goals transform the nebulous world of marketing into an exciting and achievable quest.
The Comfort and Inspiration of Goals
Clear goals aren't just a set of rules; they’re companions that accompany you through this odyssey. They offer comfort, inspiration, and a sense of purpose. With each goal achieved, there's a rush of motivation, fueling your journey further.
Moreover, they provide focus amidst the boundless expanse of the author's world. Goals are your allies in staying on track, enabling you to channel your energy and creativity toward tangible outcomes.
The Understanding of Shifting Goals
One thing that I want authors to understand is that your goals may change as you do. Year after year, I’ve found that I’ve had to modify my plans because what Jessica three years ago hoped to achieve, no longer aligns with my current needs or path. That is okay.
Just like the stories we write shift, and change, so do we. Like the tides our imaginary boat has been on through this post, our goal will ebb and flow. Our goals must align with our current path or we will find it difficult to stay afloat and achieve anything at all.
Setting Sail Toward Your Literary Horizon – (I thought she was done with this nautical stuff!)
In the wondrous realm of writing, clear goals act as your compass, guiding you through the intricacies of the author's journey. They don’t confine your creativity but rather enhance it, providing structure and direction in the quest to share your stories with the world.
So, dear author, embrace the art of setting clear goals. Let them be the North Star that leads you to your literary horizon. Enjoy the journey, relish the process, and let your goals be the gentle wind that propels your boat forward on this delightful voyage of writing.
I think its time for me to go write about pirates and mermaids again!