One of the best books I’ve read on goal setting is by Debbie Macomber’s Knit Together: Discover God's Pattern for Your Life. In this short, readable book, Debbie outlines how she has used goal setting throughout her writing career to keep herself moving forward. This has been essential in times of obstacles to help her persevere, and in times of success, to raise the bar. It’s one of my all-time favorite motivational books.
What I’ve learned about goal-setting from this book and others like it are a few simple but crucial rules about effective goal setting: 1) write down your goals. It doesn’t matter whether you ever look at them again or not, but write them, get them out of your head and onto paper…this gives them a greater reality. 2) revise your goals. As you accomplish your goals, create new ones, so that you always have a sense of forward momentum and accomplishment.
With the publication of my second book, God Loves You. –Chester Blue, and my first children’s book, I find myself re-evaluating what my writing goals will be going forward. Writing Chester Blue has made me realize how much I enjoy children’s literature and wish to add it to the genres that I will continue to write in the future. Knowing how much books meant to me when I was a young girl, deeply motivates me to provide that joy for a future young reader.
Short-term Goals: In the next twelve months…I want to re-write and self-publish the rest my unpublished ‘back list’, which includes five children’s books and two women’s novels.
Long-term Goals: I’ve got the beginnings of a romance-foodie three book series I’d like to write next. And beyond that distant horizon (let’s say the next 12 – 36 months) I’d love to try my hand at historical romance since I’ve become such a big fan of the genre.
Most of all, the ultimate achievement of all of these goals is to find readers who enjoy my work enough to keep reading each book that I produce. Which is exactly the other side of every writer’s coin….we come to this avocation because we feel a burning desire to share a story, or perform on the written page. But like any performance, an author finds their sweetest satisfaction in discovering that their story is enjoyed and shared by an audience of readers. And like any other performer, we are only as good as our last entrance onto the stage!