[Tipster] Make Your Writing Goals Concrete for 2023

tipster post Jan 03, 2023

I wasn't a goal setter early on in my career.

I was 39 when I started my first small business.

And suddenly, I had to make plans for the year. Or I wouldn't make my house payment.

Goal setting became existential for me.

Today, I set three goals for five key areas of my life:

  • Business;
  • Marriage/family;
  • Spiritual health;
  • Physical health; and
  • Personal.

My writing goals fit under "Personal," and here are my three for 2023:

1. Publish the audio book for The Fly Fisher's Book of Lists: Life is short, catch more fish.

My writing partner and I published this book through Journey Sixty6's imprint, Big Snowy Media, in 2017.

We sold the book through our podcast, primarily, and the email list that we accrued from our blog.

But we did not do an audio book.

That's my goal for this year; we'll record the book and publish it on Audible.

2. Secure the audio rights for Death by Suburb: How to keep the suburb from killing your soul.

I published this book with Harper Collins in 2006, before the advent of audio books.

I am currently back and forth with Harper to get the audio rights reverted to me. They've initially agreed to this, but we'll see if it happens.

Hard to get anyone in that publishing Leviathan to respond.

Once (and if) I land the audio rights, I'll record the audio version and publish via Audible.

3. Complete two chapters of my next book project.

2022 was a series of writing starts and stops for me.

I wrestled with the type of book I wanted to work on next.

I've made the decision to write on my life in the outdoors (fly fishing, primarily). The book may take the shape of a series of short stories or perhaps even a novella.

How about You?

There are many principles when setting goals; here are four:

1. Write them down. People who put their goals in writing, achieve their goals.

2. Make them concrete. Don't let yourself off the hook by being too abstract. Be specific.

3. Put a timeline to your goals during the year. At least on the front end, it helps you take baby steps.

4. Be realistic. I think it was Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, who said we humans tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and way underestimate what we can do in ten years.

Ideas for 2023

Some of these may be goals, others may be more of an item for your to-do list on the way to a goal:

1. Join a supportive writing community that lifts you up as a writer.

2. Take an online writing class.

3. Recruit three readers for the book you're working on.

4. Put together a realistic budget for self-publishing your book.

5. Create a plan to start building the audience for your book.

6. Write an article for your industry rag or nonprofit that you support.

7. Write a book proposal.

8. Create a research plan for your next book.

9. Draft a set of questions for your research plan.

10. Attend a writing conference and meet with an editor or agent.

Now, buckle up and commit to at least one writing goal for 2023!



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