© Cheryl Wright – All rights reserved
talked about setting goals, and sticking to them. I thought it appropriate to revisit this topic and see how you’re
First of all,
did you print out and complete the goal worksheet? If not, why not?
If you did complete
the worksheet – congratulations! Well done! Once completed, did you display it somewhere visible for your family and
friends to see and read?
You may recall
that being accountable is one of the main motivators. So having your goals prominently displayed is an extremely important
step in the process.
is a step-by-step progression. You won’t go from A to Z in one giant leap. It takes lots of planning and baby steps
along the way. And of course, patience. (You know, patience - that annoying little creature that all writers must possess
if they’re going to make it in this industry!)
Because I really
want you to achieve your writing goals this year, I’m going to walk you through my goal worksheet.
do you want to achieve?
My goal for 2006
was to complete two books – one fiction, one non-fiction. I also wanted to double my writing income.
date do you want to achieve your goal by?
were mid-April, mid-July, and 31 December 2006 respectively.
were needed to achieve that goal? Write down each necessary step.
Since two books
needed to be completed, I worked on one at a time. (Trying to write more than one book at a time has been my downfall in the
The novel needed
immediate attention, so I started on that. Writing 2,000 words every day moved
my word-count up quickly. That yielded 20,000 words in two weeks. (Ten working days.)
is around 20,000 words, so that meant the book needed to be finished by mid-April at the latest – including editing
book had a deadline of September and already 18,000 words were written. I started on that book as soon as the novel was completed,
and wrote at least 2,000 words per day, it was totally written, edited, and polished by end of July.
To double my
writing income, I needed to do more freelance work. To this end, I sent out a number of queries to both fiction and non-fiction
magazines. I targeted national (Australian) magazines. Apart from the name recognition
factor involved with these, the payment is generally higher.
obstacles would stand in the way of achieving your goal? List them in the table below.
1) Due to the
state of my health, pneumonia is always a possibility.
2) Family issues
with either my elderly mother, or my small grandchildren who live with me.
3) Being disorganised.
can you overcome these obstacles? List the steps you’ll take to overcome
1) Resting often
could be achieved by incorporating relaxation techniques (i.e. Yoga) or exercising for at least several minutes per day.
2) This was not
something that was predictable, so I just had to keep ahead of my projected word-counts in case something unavoidable came
3) My plan was
to organise my workspace on a daily basis. Twenty minutes per day for a week or so will get the space sorted and workable,
then ten minutes per day should keep it that way, and keeping away from sick people. De-stressing will also help.
convicted are you to meeting your goals? (i.e. Very, not very, not at all.)
difference will it make to you and your writing career to achieve those goals? List the end result/s.
Meeting my goals
made a big difference to my writing career. To start with, the novel was started before I became very ill. I wanted to finish
it as I believed it was a worthwhile project.
book was a boon to my career because of the publisher involved.
In regard to
doubling my writing income, this is more personal satisfaction. If I’m more organised, I’ll put out more work,
which is turn means more sales, which then means more money. It all works in sync.
a list of each step needed to achieve what you’ve set out to do, including anticipated time frame for each.
1) Finish novel
– by mid-April (In my case).
2) Continue with
non-fiction book. Finish by mid-July. (Which was done)
3) Send out regular
queries, and write more short stories with a view to selling more regularly.
* * * *
guarantee the plan would work, but I was sure ready to give it a shot. I sent out several queries and introductory letters,
and have so received a few positive response.
I was writing
a minimum of 2,000 words a day, endeavouring to finish my novel.
I wanted to hear
back from other markets, all of which had three months or more response time, and I had a number of others bookmarked to contact.
is not as time-consuming as it sounds, and if you work this into your daily schedule it can help a lot. (And the more you
send, the easier it gets.)
days for tasks and you will be more organised. For instance, Monday: website update day. Tuesday: send out queries, and so
is not a task only for January, it’s a year long process, and needs to be monitored and reviewed often.
about the goal/s you have set for yourself, ask this question: "Where will I be in one year’s time if I don’t
reach my goal?"
Only you will know if you need to continue.
About the author: Cheryl Wright is an award-winning Australian author, freelance
journalist, copywriter, and editor. In addition to an array of other projects, she is the owner of Writer2Writer.com and the
Writer to Writer monthly ezine for writers. Her publications include novels, non-fiction books, short stories, and articles.
Visit Cheryl’s website www.Writer2Writer.com