Welcome to a new series of blog posts titled “Authors’ Tips – A to Z of Writing”. Authors Devika Fernando, Preethi Venugopala, Reet Singh, Ruchi Singh, Adite Banerjie, Saiswaroopa Iyer and I — will be posting on a multitude of subjects related to writing.
Topics will be chosen alphabetically and each week we propose to cover at least one or more subjects characterised by the Alphabet of the Week.
Here I am to talk about Goals.
Big goals. Small goals. Crazy dreams that become goals. Goals are what keep us going. I grew up dreaming of a life writing books. As I got older, my dreams transformed into goals. So now, instead of saying, I WISH to see my name on a book cover, I told myself this: Sue, it’s time to do some research and see how I can get my stories out there. So I started networking — that is how my first two traditionally published books took birth. Fast forward a couple of years, and my goals started shaping into something else. Why? Because life keeps on changing and with the changes, you change as a person and realise what you want. And what we want, can change too.
So now, I wanted my stories out in public, but I also needed to make money. Plus, I was ready to be more independent when it came to my publishing schedule and production process. In other words, I wanted to shift my writer’s goal from being an Author to an Authorpreneur. With new goals, comes new responsibilities. Being authorpreneur meant starting to treat my writing life as a small business, including the marketing aspect. Being authorpreneur also meant creating a schedule that would allow me to release books consistently for my loyal readers. Phew!
When I got time to reflect recently, it became clear to me that my goals all stemmed from my one original dream of being a published writer. In fact, most people’s goals are the result of years of yearning, longing for a life of one kind. For me, it was always about reading books, writing books, and being in the world of books. But nothing happened in days. Dividing your main goal into baby steps is a great idea. For example, if you are looking to publish traditionally, you could start with writing your first draft, then reaching out to beta readers, then polishing your draft, researching literary agents in your genre, maybe participate in Twitter pitch events (making sure your manuscript is ready by then). These are small steps but very important steps that help you get there.
If your goal is to make money self publishing, reaching your goal will involve reading up lots on Amazon Kindle keywords, social media marketing, connecting with beta readers and freelance editors, finding a nice cover designer in your budget, and more. As you go along, you’ll feel closer to your main goal and you’ll learn A LOT. Oh, and there will be people on the path who will think your goals are too big and crazy but don’t let that stop you. You be you.
Are you into non fiction writing? Then how do you propose to get your book into the right readers’ hands? Are you taking the right steps like speaking at networking events and the like? Are you taking that big step that requires you to become an authority in your field so that your books sell?
Weekly goals? Yearly goals? What works for you? I’m prone to anxiety, so I stick to daily goals. One small chunk at a time toward the big goal.
And like I said before, your goals can change a little bit here and there. That’s fine. We all grow. Just stop wishing and dreaming and chart your path to your writing goals.