writer wednesday

Writer Wednesday: Goals Part 2

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Welcome back to Writer Wednesday! I hope you’re having a great holiday season. I know I am.

Last week’s Writer Wednesday post discussed looking over 2011’s goals and seeing how you did with them. This week, we’ll continue with goals but focus on planning for 2012.

First of all, one thing I’ve learned is that I don’t do well with having like 16 goals on my list. I tend to only accomplish half of them, no matter what they are. Maybe I should’ve been more fierce about my goals, but I think more often than not that I just dump the kitchen sink onto the list and decide I’ll figure out what I’ll do. Not a great way to go about goal setting. *grins*

This year, I’m going to write down only what I really want to accomplish. If I accomplish more than what’s on the list, that’s awesome! But I think it’s important not to get sidetracked. Like I said last time, things may come up that we don’t expect, and if they do then adjust the goals and continue forward. For example, I’d had in mind that I would write, edit, and query a few novels this year, but I was accepted to Changeling Press and instead have been writing novellas.

So, how do we figure out what goals we should be working toward? That’s pretty simple. Where do you want to be a year from now? Five years from now? Got that picture in your mind? Good! Now plot how you’ll be able to get there.

For example, if you want to be published, it’s important to learn your craft, write a book, find some good critique partners, do research about the publishing industry, write a query letter, and query agents (and/or editors). That’s not something you can accomplish in an afternoon, so then you’d break it down into steps.

  1. Read three books on writing.
  2. Finish a book by (insert date here) by writing X words a day.
  3. Join a writer’s organization (like RWA) and meet other writers to become critique partners with.

… and so on.

Here are a few links I’ve come across about goal setting. Enjoy!

Getting Out of Your Own Way – Goal Setting for the Writer by Theresa Meyers

Marrying Marketing and Writing Goals by Monica Valentinelli

From NaNo to Submission: a 90-Day Plan by Suzanne Johnson – True, this one doesn’t necessarily fit into goal setting, but I think it’s useful to see other people lay out their goals.

What are your goals for 2012?

Writer Wednesday: Goals Part 1

(Since it’s so close to Christmas, I’m cross posting this and Part 2 with Castles and Guns. :-))

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I know it might be hard to think of this, especially if you’ve still got some Christmas shopping to do *raises hand*, but the end of the year is almost upon us. One of the things I’ve begun thinking about as New Year’s Eve approaches is what I’ve done this year, how effective I was, and what I’d like to do next year. I’m getting a jump on my goal setting since one of the things I’ve learned about myself is I’m better with a plan.

I honestly think it’s important as a writer to have goals and to know where we’re heading. Sometimes you just might not end up where you’d planned, which has been the case with me. There are quite a few things on my 2011 Goals list that I didn’t accomplished, but then again, there are also several items not on there that I did. I could easily say that if I’d stuck with what I’d planned, I probably wouldn’t be where I am, but that discussion is for a different day.

So, what’s first? I’d suggest going over your 2011 goals list and see what you’ve written down. Where are you in comparison?

  • Look at where you are goal-wise today. Are you unpublished and finishing up your NaNoWriMo project or polishing a query letter? Published and working on a proposal for a new book? Right now, I’m an author on an upcoming deadline.
  • What’s something you have accomplished this year? Did you finish your first novel? Find a publisher? I’m published and slowly getting the hang of social networking! 🙂
  • What’s something you haven’t accomplished that you wish you had? For me, I didn’t read as much as I’d have liked to, and I ended up not working on a couple projects I was looking forward to.
Now that we’ve looked at that, we can start thinking about next year. What are we hungry to say we’ve completed in 2012?
What goals have you accomplished this year (or are on track to complete)?

Writer Wednesday: Marketing

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Happy Hump Day! No, no… Not that kind of hump day. *grins* I hope you’re all having a great Wednesday. Just a few more days until the weekend. Today I’m introducing another new column, Writer Wednesday. I’m still toying around with all I want to do with it in the long run, but here’s we go.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fairly new published author, not published, or even multi-published, being diligent with marketing is so important. That’s one of your ways to connect with readers. No, seriously. And while it can be hard to find other things to say besides from “buy my book” or “here’s something else about me,” which trust me is important since how else would they know to buy your book, but there has to be a balance. You need to also provide something to your reader as another person or friend instead of being a salesperson all the time. No one wants that.

I can’t say I’m the greatest at this aspect of the business side of writing yet, but there’s one thing I have learned recently. It is really helpful to team up with other authors you trust and are friends with. If someone else is talking about your book/contest/review/etc., readers stand a greater likelihood of saying, “Ah ha, I have to check this out.” There is strength in numbers, after all! You’re providing great information to your readers, and your friends are providing the same for their readers. You’re both able to reach more people than otherwise possible. Win-win!

Here are a few great links about marketing I’ve found this week:

  • Marrying Marketing and Writing Goals – I do have a goals edition coming up soon, but I figured this would go well here since now that it’s less than two weeks until Christmas, it’s important to slowly begin thinking about the New Year. For me, I know marketing will be something I’m going to try to work on in 2012.
  • Use Your Enewsletter to Brand Yourself – I’ve had an e-newsletter for a while, but this really pinpointed some good advice on why you should have one, how they help, and some of what e-newsletters should contain.
  • How to Use the Twitter @Reply – This is an older post from Nathan Bransford (former agent and author) who is such a wealth of knowledge. I seriously didn’t know about this, and I’ve been using Twitter for almost two years.
  • How to Network Without Networking – This is another great read from Nathan Bransford that sums up how networking without the mercenary outlook. He notes that it should be about making friends.
What tips do you have about marketing and/or networking? Any subjects you’d really like to see on  an upcoming Writer Wednesday?