Welcome to a new year!
If you are like many writers, publishing a book is probably on your 2021 to-do list. Perhaps you even marked it down as one of your New Year resolutions! Hopefully, despite everything happening out there in the world, you’re feeling refreshed, inspired, excited––maybe a little scared or overwhelmed––and it’s likely that you’re hoping your dream won’t become another failed resolution that gets pushed to the back burner after the thrill of the new year wears off. (And after only two weeks, many of us are past the honeymoon phase already.)
Well, we are here to help. Throughout January, we will offer you tips and tricks to help you accomplish your goal of publishing a book this year––and afterward, of course, I personally encourage you to continue reading my posts throughout the year for inspiration, advice, and news that will help you become a successful author.
So let’s get started.
The first thing you must do if you want to accomplish your goal is break it down into smaller, more manageable and measurable tasks. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed, getting side tracked, and losing inspiration.
I find it helpful to have a calendar in front of me when I complete this task, to help with setting deadlines and factoring in events that may impact my writing goals. I’ve also found it useful to separate my writing life from my bedroom and living room. Setting up a dedicated space for writing may prove difficult, depending on how your household is set up at the moment, but physically getting off of the couch is already a huge step in preparing me mentally for planning such a monumental task.
Now, let’s ask ourselves these questions:
- How much time do I need to dedicate to writing each day, week, or month?
- When do I want to start the publishing process?
- How will I fund my project?
- When do I want to complete my first draft?
- How much time do I need to edit my first draft?
- What tasks besides writing (i.e., researching, marketing, etc.) will I need to complete?
- What will help me be successful?
Using our answers to these questions, we next need to write down small, measurable goals for our projects and put them some place we will see them often. If you need a bit of support in defining measurable goals, I can’t recommend NPR’s Life Kit podcast episode from December featuring BJ Fogg, who works at Stanford in behavioral science. (Check it out HERE.) We also have to make sure to periodically check our progress and adjust our goals as needed. I’ve been making use of both digital and offline methods to remind me of this, including sticky notes and calendar reminders on my phone.
I’d love to know, what are your 2021 writing goals?
You are not alone. ♣︎