Posted by: nancyisanders | July 6, 2013


Are you a goal-setter? Are you a goal-oriented person? Are you a goal-oriented writer?

If not, I recommend that you start setting goals, no matter how small, for your writing.

For example, 2 years ago I decided that for personal fulfillment as a writer, I wanted to learn how to write chapter books for kids. (Think early chapter books, middle grade novels, and YA novels.)

That was my goal.

So then I thought about the steps I could take to set out on a journey towards my goal.

I didn’t really want to just start this journey alone, so I decided to have a writing class meet in my home for 4 weeks. I also decided to teach this class (I learn so much when I have to prepare to teach something!) but I could easily have invited a writer friend to teach the class if I didn’t want to. All it takes is some digging around and researching how other writers write chapter books and then sharing the information to teach about what you discover.

And then we met for 4 weeks and we each wrote a chapter book/Middle Grade Novel in 1 month.

That was a short term goal and yippee!!!! I reached my goal of learning how to write a chapter book for kids. (Afterwards I recorded that very same workshop as an audio teleclass and it’s available for sale at the Working Writers Club.)

So then I added a new short term goal to my goal of learning how to write chapter books for kids. I made it my goal to repeat the steps in the workshop again by myself and write another middle grade novel.

So I wrote my next one. And then I submitted that one to my agent and she accepted it and started to shop it around. (No takers yet but we’re still shopping!)

And somewhere in there, I heard about a callout for a publisher looking for a writer to write chapter books for them. So I submitted my sample writing per their guidelines and landed the job! Since then I’ve written two chapter books under their contracts and am just starting on my third for them.

Now I’m writing chapter books for the goal to earn income where I’m signing contracts before I write the books and working with editors and really having a blast.

So…how does that relate to your own writing life?

Are you setting goals? Are you a goal-oriented writer?

If not, start today. And it’s okay to start small.

Start with setting a new goal for your personal fulfillment as a writer. Is there a skill or technique you’d like to study? Is there a certain manuscript you’ve been carrying around on your heart that you’d like to start…or finish?

Do you want to do the journey alone? If so, set small practical steps that you can do this week and next week and the next to work toward your goal.

Would you rather have other writers join you in your journey? Then contact some of your writer friends! Invite one or more of them to teach about the skill you want to learn or volunteer to teach it yourself. Then embark on your journey together. It’s fun! Plus, it’s very very satisfying as a writer to actually take your own progress in your own hands and move forward along your journey.

Go for it!

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