Because New Year is my favorite holiday, I thought I would talk a little about goal setting for writers. What can I say? I’m a goal junkie, and I plan to push my goal drugs on you.

Paper cut outs of the number 2020 and lots of confetti

Original photo by Evie S. 

Goal setting for writers is important for a number of reasons.

Setting goals gives you a direction and keeps you on track. And most importantly, it keeps you from playing in the sandbox too long.

(When I say sandbox, I mean it keeps you from playing around in your story world. Or writing nonsense poetry. Or just making unnecessary edits.)

Basically, as a writer, you’re in full control of the direction your writing career goes. So it’s important to set goals, or else you can feel like you’re spinning your wheels.

Goal Setting for Writers

Before we get too far into this, I want to make it clear that your goals don’t have to look like everyone else’s.

It can be easy to play the comparison game, and it can be easy to try to do what some other writer is doing just because you think you should.

But at the end of the day, I think it’s important to build a career that works for you. And it’s important to remember that what one writer did to achieve a certain level of success probably won’t work for you.

But at the end of the day, I think it's important to build a career that works for you. And it's important to remember that what one writer did to achieve a certain level of success probably won't work for you. Click To Tweet

And if you haven’t already, make sure you read this post on setting goals and defining success as a writer.

I can’t do what Stephen King did. He already did it, and the market has changed so much since he started, not to mention the industry.

So, instead of thinking how others did what they did or do what they do, I like to focus on how I’d like to build my career.

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This is the great thing about writing. You get to do it however you want. So I make it count by doing things that I actually care about and that I want to be a part of my life.

I know I want to continue to extend my online empire, and since I’m no longer teaching, I know I need to continue monetizing the things I do and building up my freelancing.

Goal Setting for 2020

So. Let’s discuss goals, now that we know which planner I’ll be using to help me achieve them.

I mentioned in my last post that I was definitely going on a self-improvement journey through 2020. And if you watched my journal set-up video, you know that 2020 is going to be my hermit year, per the tarot.

I wanted my goals to reflect these things a bit, while still allowing me to continue making progress on building my online presence, and living up to my 2020 mantra of “Witness me!”

Back in November, I had a really quixotic thought. (This is a trap you shouldn’t fall into when it comes to goal setting for writers.)

My idea was based in simple arithmetic. Since it’s 2020, I should add those both together. That makes 40. That means I need 40 goals, right?

(I thought I did for a long time.)

But here’s the thing. I’m burnt out. No one leaves a teaching job and immediately feels ready to tackle the world. I need some time to chill out and get back into the swing of fiction writing.

Even though I have been writing, I haven’t been making a lot of progress on projects because I’ve been too tired at the end of the day to do so.

So this year, in the spirit of the hermit, and honestly, the spirit of the hanged man, one of the cards for 2019 that has taught me so much over the past couple of weeks as like, a late 2019 cram sesh, I’m slowing my ass down.

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With that in mind, here are my goals for 2020:

001: Write 10 guest posts.

If you’re a blogger, you know the real SEO magic is in the guest post. You need them back links, and it’s a great way to expand your audience. Because I’ve been thinking about this for the past two years, I already have like seven planned out.

So, as soon as those guest posts get published, I’ll be sharing them on social media and with my email subscribers. You can subscribe here, if you’d like to be notified.

And yesterday I announced my project to write 52 personal essays on Medium. So make sure you’re following me there.

002: Create 10 passive income products.

As I continue building this little entrepreneurial endeavor, I’m cognizant of the things that I could be earning money for.

It’s not because I’m a money grubber. It’s because I spend a lot of time on this blog and my YouTube channel each week. That takes away time from freelance writing I could be doing. And I’ll be honest. All work should be paid.

So, while I don’t expect all of you to buy any of the planners I create, or any of the upcoming eCourses, I know some of you will. And that helps keep the lights on and frees up more time for me to create more free stuff down the road.

For that reason, I’ll continue creating products in 2020. I have five more planners/journals in mind, and at least one eCourse. So, keep your eyes peeled.

003: Do 5 speaking gigs.

Last year, I set the goal to do 5 speaking gigs, and I actually did 6. I was kind of shocked, especially since public speaking isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. And, for a while, I thought I should set my goal at 10 speaking gigs for the year.

But I ultimately decided that I didn’t want to spend that much time researching potential gigs, nor did I want to take that much time for travel to said gigs, since that’s time away from writing. So, I’m setting my sights on 5 this year, and this is actually the most stressful of all my goals, especially since I don’t think I’ll be repeating any of the past events.

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004: Enter 5 writing contests.

I have been meaning to enter more writing contests, and this year, I’m making it a priority.

I’m not incredibly picky about which ones, and I’ll be honest when I say there is no writing contest too small. So far, I’ve entered the first 25 pages of my current novel manuscript into a contest (so I’m ahead of the game on this one!) and I’ll be entering multiple pieces to the OWFI contest before the month is up.

If you hear of any writing contest that you think may be for me, just slip into my DMs or email inbox and let me know.

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005: Get The Paper Man into querying shape.

The Paper Man is the tentative title of the novel I’m currently working on, and I think it has a fighting chance with some agents. So, this year I’ll be submitting it. I’m really excited to keep working on this one, and it’s been fun getting to play with these characters so far.

Will I ever go back to Deep Dark Mystery Club? Probably. Will it be in the immediate future? Nope.

What do you want to accomplish this year? Do you have some big writerly goals? Click To Tweet

What Tips Do You Have When It Comes to Goal Setting for Writers?

What do you want to accomplish this year? Do you have some big writerly goals? What is important to you when it comes to setting goals for writers? And let me know in the comments the planner you’re using this year!

4 Responses

  1. I think I am going to aim for writing 2 pieces a month. I’m getting the itch to get back to writing after *checks calendar* about an 8 month hiatus. Probably won’t share online for a few months but we’ll see. I need to first get into the habit of writing regularly. With all the quiet time I have in the mornings there’s no excuse for not writing.

    1. Do it! I love just writing for me, and it’s a great way to get back in the habit. And eventually, you’ve got so much to work with that you can publish it if you want to.

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