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Monday, February 19, 2018

Organization Tip - Writing Goals #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


At the start of each year, and sometimes each month, we create goals for our writing and publishing. A couple of my goals for the year are to set up a blog tour for Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication and submit the final book of the Disaster Crimes series to my publisher. These are some pretty big goals.

I often tell writers to take their big goals and break them down into smaller, more manageable goals.

For my blog tours, I figure out all the steps I need to do to make sure the tour goes off without a hitch, such as writing out guest posts, finding tour stops, and emailing the hosts. Part of figuring out those steps is knowing when I need to complete them, so I don’t have to rush last minute. For more information see this post: Organization Tip: Release Day.

For submitting the final book of my series, I first need to write it. Haha!

Writing and submitting a book to your publisher/editor in a year could be a daunting goal if you don’t break it down.


Here is a break-down of goals if you need to write and submit a book this year:

1.    Write a chapter a week. 

For a book with 25 chapters, writing a chapter a week would have you finishing it in about 6 months. If you're able to write more some weeks, you'll finish sooner! 

Thinking about writing one chapter a week is a lot less daunting than telling yourself you need to finish your book in X amount of time. Remember, managable goals. Goals that won't stress you out!

TIP: Plotting out the story helps, even a little plotting if you’re a pantser. The key is to always know what you need to write next. So plot out a chapter at a time. You can Do this before the start of each new week.

2.    With a weekly goal, you can devise a daily goal, such as to meet a specific word count. Chapter lengths vary. They can be long (20 pages) or short (5 pages). They can even be longer or shorter depending on the story.

No cheating by having a bunch of tiny chapters, though. Something needs to happen in that chapter. Check out Dan Brown. He's a pro at exciting, short chapters.

What your daily goal is will depend on you and any time constraints you have. I aim for 1,000 – 2,000 words a day. It changes, though, as it should. Some days I write more, some days I write less. Both are fantastic. Any words written should be celebrated.

3.    The above goals will help you write a book, but if your goal is to submit it, you need to do more, such as revising. Again, this will depend on your story and when you feel your story is ready. I typically revise for a couple of months. Some writers take longer. Try to anticipate how long you'll need to revise it before beta readers.

4.    Using beta readers or critique partners should also be a stepping-stone to your goal. Allow them a month to give you their notes.

5.    Are you self-publishing? Then your next goal will be to hire a freelance editor.

6.    If you're aiming to traditionally publish, once you implement necessary changes based on what your critique partners and/or editor said, create the query letter and synopsis.

7.    With your manuscript, query, and synopsis ready, your next step is to find agents/publishers. I like to use Writer’s Market, Manuscript Wish List, and Writer’s Digest.

8.    Now, submit away! Follow all guidelines and cross your fingers.

Whatever your goal is, no matter how big, chip away at it until it’s a bunch of tiny goals.

What can you do each month to reach that goal?

What can you do weekly?

And what can you do daily?


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