Have you defined what your writing goal is?
If you want to be a professional writer (get paid to write) then it’s a good idea to think of it as a business. Having a goal is important.
Business Plans are a structured description of your idea, how you will manage it, how you will finance the idea, how you see it growing and expanding, the risks involved, how to minimise those risks etc.
We write goals when we start a business, to help make a clear path, to allow us to see when we reach our Break-Even point (when we are actually becoming profitable).
So really shouldn’t we be doing this for our writing too?
Maybe not in so much detail but if you want to be a serious writer having some clear goals and a plan can certainly steer you in the right direction.
So, What’s Your Goal?
Important to know why the hell you’re doing this.
- Is it just a hobby?
- Something fun for you?
- Is it sometimes you want to do eventually as a full-time career?
- Do you just want to write and sell a few books but not need to make it full time?
By identifying what you want specifically, you can plan for it properly.
If you decide you want to be a full time published writer, then you need to think about how you’re going to get there. Writing the book is just one part of it.
While you’re writing your novel, you’ll need to pay the bills somehow. So then it becomes are you going to get a job that pays really well but gives you little time to write?
This is fine, but it will mean that you may take longer to reach your goal. So make sure to plan it.
I’ve seen people claim they will finish their novel in 6 months while working two jobs and caring for an ailing family member. They don’t manage it (understandably so) and then lose heart.
Remember, sent up a goal and then set realistic/workable paths to reach it. We would all love to spend hours each day writing.
But depending on your family and work commitments, that’s not always possible.
Do you really need a daily word count?
The fact that Life does get in the way, is why I’m not a big fan of daily word counts. I find it can hinder rather than help.
If you’ve ever had to work overtime, come home exhausted and then had to sort dinner, do chores etc you know that sometimes, you just won’t get those words done.
You could push through it, mentally exhaust yourself further… but is it necessary? No, write often but every day is not necessary.
And if you can write every day, lose the daily word count and just write. Maybe one day you’ll manage to catch 10mins another day 2 hours… any writing done is good.
The Writing Plan
So, here are a few things to think when creating your Writing Plan:
What is your singular writing goal?
Identify it! Do you want to be a best seller? Do you want to be a full-time writer? Do you simply want to get this one book written and published? Do you want to dominate the Horror genre?
What is your current idea you are working on?
Get it down, a clear description of your manuscript and why you are working on that one.
Who is your target audience?
This will help you determine how you market yourself.
How much time in a month can you dedicate to your writing?
This can be an estimate, then you can track it and see where you can gain more time.
What is your short-term goal?
Such as when do you want to finish your first draft, when do you want to get your work critiqued and beta read.
If you try and create realistic timescales you have sometimes to aim for and can figure out if you are on track.
What is your long-term goal?
If you want to be published will it be self-published or traditional? Do you want to be a full-time writer? How many books do you think you need to write in order to get there?
(PS there is a typical suggestion that most traditionally published authors need 5 books before they can write full time. But then again, this is on average and it does depend on your writing skill, idea, publisher, marketing etc)
How will you finance yourself?
For a writing plan, I would see this more as analysing your job. Does it give you time for writing?
Would you be willing to take a less paid job if it meant fewer hours working and more time for writing?
These are just a few things to think about that will help drive you towards your goal.
Do you have a Writing Plan that defines your goal?