Thoughts on Establishing Writing GOALS

It is proven individuals with goals are significantly more successful than those without.

Think of your writing career as writing a book. Do your characters wander around a story doing nothing? Nope. Your characters have purpose, a story goal. If a character’s goal is to be the president of the US, she will have to do some things, have a plan, take steps to reach that goal. What happens in a book is plot. What happens in your life is planning. As authors, we want to write the best book possible, be published, have bestselling books so we take steps and make plans in order to be successful. Ding, ding, ding. GOAL.

What’s your plan to reach the goal of writing that great bestselling book? This is important. It’s said that the main reason primary goals fail is because there are no secondary goals made. By this, I mean if your primary goal is to write a book your secondary goal could be to put your butt in the chair and write so many words every day. You may say, “well, duh, of course.” But, you will be amazed at how many people do not make secondary goals. To me this is same as saying you want to go to Paris and standing on the curb in front of your house expecting a private jet to land and take you there. To reach your primary goal and keep you on track develop daily, weekly, monthly, yearly goals. Be realistic. Be honest. Don’t say you’re gonna write 5000 words a day when you know you barely have time to write 500. Remember life can and does reach out and head smack you.

Decide what it will take for YOU to reach your goals. Warning. Do not fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Unless those ‘others’ are living a mirror life to yours, forget what they are doing. You are unique.  

Reaching your goals may very possibly mean change. You may find you need to give up something. How many times have you said you don’t have time to write? Examine how you use your time. Perhaps cutting down time spent cruising the Internet or, hours watching TV.

Knowing your motivation for writing and being published helps when establishing your goals. What we want and why can define goals. Do you write for fame? Fortune? To be labeled a successful author? Because you’d die if you don’t write?

If it is fame and fortune take a step back and define what fame, fortune and successful author means to you.  Is your motivation to see your print book on the end display at a brick and mortar store?

Goal. Research editors and publishing houses.  

Motivation. You want to prove to all the naysayers who said you couldn’t write a book that you can and did.

Goal. Save money to rent a billboard and take full-page newspaper ads to say nanny-nanny-boo-boo to all of them.

Motivation. You promised your dear great-auntie you would write and publish the family history and self-publishing is the way you’re going.

Goal. Find a good editor. Learn about e-reader formatting and research cover artists.

What I’m saying is, different motivation requires different goals. Motivation keeps our eyes on the goal.

No sugar coating here, writing is hard and staying focused and motivated is extremely important.

What are my secondary goals? They maybe are a bit different. They are health oriented. See, when I’m aching, paining and having pity parties for myself I don’t write. So, secondary goals are:

Drink more —water that is. I have vision problems. When I don’t drink enough water my eyes hurt. Eyes hurting means less computer time. And plenty of water helps my joints.

Exercise 15 minutes a day. Getting up to get more water and going to the bathroom because I’m drinking more water doesn’t count.

Sticking to eating what is right for me. No carbs. Right now I am on an ‘almost’ Keto regime. I feel so much better. More energy and less joint pain leads to a positive outlook and for me, more writing.   

What Secondary Goals will help you reach your Primary Goals?


Rita writes suspense, thrillers and short stories and loves every second of the process. 

13 responses to “Thoughts on Establishing Writing GOALS”

  1. Awesome post, Rita and so timely for those preparing for the Ruby Winter Writing Fest.

    Since, I don’t ever see myself not writing, I know my one of my goal is to make my next book better than the last, so my secondary goal is study craft. Reading/listening in the genres I write is include in that effort.

    Thanks for posting your wisdom today.

  2. Your post is a great motivator, Rita! My goal is to finish the damn book during the WWF. My motivation is it’s already six months overdue!

  3. Excellent post, Rita. I’m very goal-oriented so it’s easy for me to break my goals into pieces that I can accomplish – but harder to accept the things that are out of my control… like waiting to hear back on proposals. Oh, the impatience! 🙂

  4. Loved this, Rita. Thank you!

    2017 forced me to take several steps back from writing, but I’m hopeful I can resume a writing habit in 2018. I’ve learned not to set my expectations too high until I can build up my stamina again. 🙂 So my goal is to spend an hour a day writing, and not worry about word count.

    I’m excited about the sprints coming up during the Winter Writing Festival. Hoping that will get me back on track. ;D

    • Rita Henuber says:

      I’m a little over the word count thing. Granted I don’t want to sit at the computer for 4 hours and write 50 words but word count isn’t everything. Will be in the sprints also. See ya there.

  5. Addison Fox says:

    Rita – what a great post. I love the blend you’ve got here of goals AND health. They are so intertwined and it’s essential to take care of ourselves as we’re working towards being all we want to be.

    I’m getting SO excited for the WWF!!! See you all in the chat room!


  6. Kate Parker says:

    Great post, Rita. I need to work in silence – SQUIREL – so I can’t do sprints, but I love the Winter Writing festival for the comraderie when I come up for air. And I’m all about goals, so I’m right behind you. Goals, especially health goals, are so important.

  7. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    Fabulous post, Rita! And you are right…writing is hard! Goals seem to make things go a little more smoothly for me…I like crossing things off once I’ve completed them – helps to motivate me more.

    Great points on those secondary goals! I’m a firm believer in taking care of self. A couple of my secondary goals are to take time to exercise daily in the AM (it truly helps me get “unstuck” sometimes both mentally and physically). Another is to plan a spa day…can’t afford to go to one but a long soak in the tub loaded with some bath salts along with a candle, a good book and a glass of wine or a cup of tea…does my brain and body good as well.

    Enjoyed the post:) Thx!


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