Setting Writing Goals

Recently, I self-published my first book, A Freelancer’s Tale. And although it was a bit of a time-consuming process, I’m now a bit addicted to it. So, my writing goals for 2022 are going to include more publications.

Not that I plan on making tons of money from my books. The whole process of self-publishing is more for my mental state than anything, to be honest.

Why Focus on Self-Publishing for Writing Goals?

I often set goals for myself every year, usually, it’s something lofty while keeping myself realistic. For instance, I always aim to write one million words every year, but the primary goal is to just do more than I did the year before.

This next year, though, I am going a bit deeper. Why am I prioritizing self-publishing over just a blanket goal?

Seeing My Name in Print is Motivational

If there is one thing my first book has done for me, it has been to vastly improve my motivation to write more. Especially since I’m one of those types of people who often have a hard time finishing anything.

My first book was proof to myself that I can, indeed, finish a project. Now, all I want to do is write.

Though, this can be a double-edged sword for me. Yes, I love to write, but it doesn’t pay the bills at the moment. I still have a mortgage payment to cover, which means I still need to work on client stuff first.

Building Momentum as a Published Author

Part of getting that motivation also involves building momentum to keep publishing more books. While I doubt I’ll be able to crank them out as fast as Stephen King or Danielle Steel, getting more than a handful published would be nice.

Then again, I never thought I would be where I am today when I started writing with Textbroker in 2012.

The hard part is writing something people will want to read. You can’t just slap words together on a page and cross your fingers. It’s all about telling a good story that can grip an audience.

In a couple of months, I’m going to find out.

Because I Love Being Creative

Being creative is one thing I was missing in my career as a freelance writer. Sure, I would write one to two million words per year working with content mills back in the day. But it was virtually all non-fiction.

Don’t get me wrong, authors can still make a massive impact with non-fictional works. My issue is that I’ve always been one to envision elements from my imagination.

Even when I was a very young kid in grade school, I would often get swept away visualizing some spaceship or sailing the high seas while in class. It was one of the reasons why my teachers sometimes thought I was learning disabled.

Until I took a test that showed I was actually far beyond what the teacher was trying to teach. In other words, I often got bored in class.

But, that’s a tale for another time.

Boosting Expertise and Authority

Trying to build a YouTube channel and blog is tough when you don’t have the authority to back you up. Sure, I get a lot of traffic thanks to the Textbroker articles and videos, but not much else.

Setting writing goals for self-publishing will give me the experience needed to create content to help other writers. This is mostly because I don’t create content about things I’ve never experienced.

I’m not like a lot of those other “experts” out there who just regurgitate trends for the clicks and views. I don’t believe in blowing rainbows and sunshine up anyone’s ass.

The next thing I want to perfect for myself is self-publishing. This means I need to put in more effort to do so.

Practice Makes Perfect

Like the adage goes, “Practice makes perfect.” If I want to hone my skills as an author, I need to keep working on improving myself. It’s the same principle that made me such a success while using content mills.

It’s all about constant development and being in a perpetual state of learning.

I want to learn and perfect every aspect of self-publishing for myself as well as my audience. After all, my primary goal is to help other people learn how to do what I do.

What Kind of Writing Goals am I Working On?

So, a lot of my goals are often broken down into smaller, and often more elaborate, formulas. For instance, sometimes I like to calculate how much I make per hour if my writing career was a traditional 8-hour job.

That’s because I’m a geek with a spreadsheet.

Anyway, I have an elaborate spreadsheet in place that gives me an estimate of what I do throughout the entire year. This helps me stay focused while making sure certain goals are met.

As simple as it is, I’m really only focusing on three major goals for writing in 2022.

Words Written for Novels

Because I break the data down per project, I can see how many words I’ve written throughout the year specifically for novels and stories. Then, part of my data compares the two years and shows me how much I need to write on any given day to meet my goals.

You don’t need to go to such extremes, though. As I said, I’m a bit of a data dork.

The idea is to make sure I write more in 2022 than I did in 2021 in terms of my novels and books. This shouldn’t be too difficult since I only took myself seriously towards the last half of the year.

Time Management

Another goal I am constantly working on is time management. Because I have so much on my plate, I need to find ways to keep myself focused throughout the day.

Otherwise, I tend to slack off and be quite unproductive.

This is another element my spreadsheet tracks. At any given moment, I can see exactly how many minutes I’ve spent working on various projects on any given day.

If you’re following along, any time spent towards improving your writing is worthy of goals. For example, I track the time I spend researching, whether it’s reading a blog post or watching a YouTube video.

Now, when I say “researching,” that’s exactly what I mean. So, YouTube videos that don’t have any bearing on me improving my blogging, writing, or freelancing career are not counted.

Watching cat videos is not part of growing as an author, blogger, or freelancer. Well, unless you make cat videos and want to find ways to improve your content.

Publishing at Least Three Books in 2022

One of my major goals is to publish at least three books in 2022. Of course, this is more of a “lofty” goal than anything. A lot of things can happen that prolong how often I publish.

The length of a novel, the editing process, and much more can affect the overall outcome.

Still, I’m putting in the effort to publish those three novels in 2022, which means setting specific deadlines for myself. These deadlines are front and center in my spreadsheet.

Not to mention that I enjoy using the NaNoWriMo website for tracking my progress.

Do Writing Goals Really Matter?

The trick to creating goals of any kind is to make sure you’re creating ones that you can actually accomplish. If you set your sights way too high, you set yourself up for failure.

This often leads to frustration, which can quickly tap your motivation to continue.

Smaller and more obtainable goals can help you build confidence while providing that motivation to see your plans through. This could include taking those big goals and breaking them down.

For instance, looking at a one-million-word goal for the year sounds kind of massive. But if you break it down per day, that’s only 2,740 words.

Now, you don’t want to make the goals so small that they are too easy. The purpose of a goal is to push yourself to become better than you are. Just make sure you’re not making them too grandiose.

Case in point, my only concern for my writing goals in 2022 is to simply do more than I did in 2021. Even if it’s just by one word or one more minute working on projects, it’s still an improvement.

Sure, I want to do more, but remember, I am keeping things realistic.

What Are Your Writing Goals for 2022?

Are you gearing up to take 2022 by storm? I know I am, and I’m excited to keep traveling the path for self-publishing. While I still need to learn a lot about marketing and such, it’s been a fun road.

Let’s make 2022 the most epic year across the board.

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Chris Desatoff
2 years ago

Man, 3 novels in a year is one heck of a goal, but I know you can do it. Just a matter of making an effective plan and sticking to the plan.

The hard part will be when life smacks you upside the head and derails you and you gotta shake it off and get back on track without losing too many days.

Frickin life, man lol

My writing goals for 2022? Still working on that. I know for sure that I want to publish blog posts consistently, at least one per week, EVERY week. Beyond that, not sure yet.