Monday, January 14, 2013

Setting Goals for the New Year

by Sue Viders

Yep, it’s that time of the year again...
Once again a new and untried year has been born.

And once again we make new year promises, that even before they are written down are doomed to failure.

Why? Why are all these great writing goals going down the drain with the days dish water?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I do know how it works for me.
The biggest problems I have had in past years are:
  the goal(s) were pretty vague, such as

  I’d like to get the mystery story published this year,
  or change “published” to finished this year
  I never write the goals down

  which means I never printed them out
  which means I never saw them

Just the other day, my publisher/agent called. She was in the midst of writing up a contract for my Weekend Writer series of guides that I am developing. One of the first questions she asked me was “Sue, where do you see yourself in the next five years?”

Ohh, how to answer that? Hmm, lots of thinking. Pondering.

Now I could have answered with wonderful sounding goals such as

  I’d like to have five new books published or
  Maybe 10 new books up on Kindle
  A speaker on a national tour. No. Scratch this one. Been there. Done that. And it’s not worth the time, energy and constant traveling problems.

So minutes later the gray cells got their act together and I told her frankly that all I wanted was the money.



But honest.

As I have been published before, (two writing books with Random House) I wasn’t concerned about getting published, I was and am concerned about how much money I will make. The royalties I have received so far have given me a few new clothes and a couple of fancy dinners. In other words, not much.
To be brutally frank, for the time and energy that goes into producing a book, I want some decent financial returns.

Forget the fame, there really isn’t any.

Forget the adoring audiences, they are few and far between.

Forget the money, there isn’t much.

The bottom line, as in any business, is... what is the profit? And writing is a business. After the expenses are paid, the monies that go out to the cover artist, the copy editor, the formatting computer guru, the reams of paper that I printed and those expensive cartridges for the new printer, oh yes, the old printer gave up the ghost...had to buy a new one... after all the expenses are calculated, is there any profit?

I want enough to cover these expenses and then some to cover the time it took to write the damn book. And two or three dollars an hour for my writing time isn’t enough.

Everyone gets paid for the work they do, why not writers? At a decent rate. Even minimum wages would be great.

So back to my goal for 2013.
Simply stated it is “Money.”

So my goals for the year are very specific:

  Get and sign the damn contract
  Set a deadline for this
  One week from today and if she hasn’t called, call her
  And if that doesn’t come through, find another publisher
  Finalize or at least set in motion a detailed marketing plan for the guides
  Have them written down in detail
  Set up a calendar with cover artist
  Set up a time table with copy editor
  Get the first guide finalized and up on the web
  Set a date for this
  Decide on dates for the rest of the guides

Set up a huge calendar on the wall that had the above data in large red  print and lesser dates and deadlines in pencil. The penciled in dates being deadlines I would like to achieve, but because they involve other writers and people, sometimes they have to be moved around, therefore they need to be erasable.
So... that’s my list of 2013 goals.

Are they achievable? I think so, but then life always happens so we’ll just have to wait and see.

But meanwhile, back to the computer to finish up another section in one of my guides.

Setting writing goals are easy, one just has to sit down every day and write.

It’s the other goals that surround the actual writing that are more difficult to set and follow through on.

I’ll do my best. That’s all anyone can do. However, writing them down, printing them out, tapping them up on the office wall, does help me stay focused.

Okay, enough venting, back to the computer. What about you? Any goals for the New Year?



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