Thursday, September 8, 2011

Set Your Goals

In a recent newsletter (which, btw, is free; go sign up now), I asked readers what their writing goals are. After all, how can we measure our success if we don't know what our objectives are?

Here are some of my favorite responses:

K. Dawn Byrd: Thank God I have a job that pays the bills and don't have to worry about when the next royalty check is coming in the mail. I write for a couple of reasons. The number one reason is that it's more than a mere hobby; it's a passion! I turned in a book to my editor on September 1 and by September 2, I was itching to start another book. Another reason I write is that it's so much fun! It's my cheapest form of entertainment and costs virtually nothing since all communication for me is via e-mail. Lastly, I write because it's cheaper than paying a therapist for therapy.

Steven M. Moore: I'm not a poet, but some of my muses are Irish, and the Irish love to spin a good yarn. I wrote my first novel the summer I turned 13--a disaster but similar to the movie City of Angels. It ended up in the circular file, of course, but over the years, I have developed many stories that I just have to write down. I'm not in this to make money but to entertain readers. I'm an avid reader myself as well as a reviewer--today, it's a reader's market.

Terri Huggins: Publish my opinion piece about why I don't believe in college. Travel to an exotic country and write an earth shattering article about it. Be able to live comfortably as a writer. Have a syndicated column about higher education. Make enough money to be able to donate to all of the organizations and causes I support and feel strongly about. Publish a book before I'm 30. Be a recognizable name in the writing world. Get published on Write an article for Win an award for my writing.

Deborah Jeanne Sergeant: From the time I composed my first poem (around age 5), I knew I wanted to do this the rest of my life. Perhaps part of it had to do with my being the youngest of six (the four nearest in age all brothers). When I wrote something, people paid attention to what I had to say! For the past 10 years, I have met my writing goal: making a full-time living freelance writing. I have turned down staff writer opportunities. Whether it's Web copy, marketing materials, articles for trade or consumer publications or the occasional poem, I enjoy the flexibility, creativity and challenges of freelance writing.

Kathy MacMillan: My loftiest goal is to write something that will make people forget to eat dinner and stay up late to keep reading even though they have to get up early the next day. In more practical terms, my goal is to get published and have my book do well enough that I can get published again!

Courtney E. Carter: I am 16 years old and have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first book when I was in 2nd grade, which of course was filled with princesses and mystical creatures. At 15, I wrote my first novel that I am currently trying to get published. My goal as a writer is to write inspirational and moving stories that will encourage and touch my readers. I hope to take my audience on a ride filled with excitement, tears, and of course, smiles.
Personally, I always have several goals, including publishing a novel, full-length collection of poetry, snag a National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize in Literature, and more. Heck, I can't think of a goal that I don't have when it comes to my writing. But the most important one is to always keep writing.
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And check out these links that may help with your writing goals:


Pam Hogeweide said...

What perfect timing for this post as I was having an old-fashioned "what's the point of writing" meltdown yesterday.

This was just the medicine I needed to break the fever.

I'm a new subscriber and I am enjoying your posts on writing and publication, which reminds me, I need to renew my Writers Digest sub.

gotta go..!

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Yes! You definitely do! ;)

I'm glad my posts are helping.