Choosing Goals That Get You Going
Set literary and financial goals for your book and your career. The more clearly you see your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. You can create a portrait of yourself and your future by summing up your short- and long-term goals and how you will reach them by answering these 14 questions. When possible, start answers with the word I.
1. Why do you want to write?
2. What literary forms–poetry, novels, nonfiction, screenplays–do you want to write in?
3. Which books are models for what you would like your books to be?
4. Which authors are models for whom you would like to become?
5. What do you want your writing to communicate?
6. What do you want your writing to achieve?
7. What groups of readers are you writing for?
8. What advance would you like for your book? $_________
9. How many books do you want to write a year? _________
10. How much money a year do you want to earn from your writing? $_________
11. How and where do you want to live?
12. How involved do you want to get with the writing process? Do you want to write the book yourself, work with an editor, collaborate, or hire a ghostwriter?
13. Do you want to self-publish, pay to be published, or be paid to be published?
14. How will you support your writing until it supports you?
Put this list on the wall where you write, and read it if you get discouraged. You may answer these questions any way you wish and change them whenever and however you wish. The two primary goals of the list are to:
* Make sure you strike a realistic balance between writing for yourself and writing for the marketplace If you want a million-dollar advance for a no-holds-barred look at cotton candy, think again. Learning about how well books on your subject and their authors did will help you.
* Keep you motivated to do everything you can to write and promote your book.
Your goals will affect what you write and how. Your efforts to write and promote your book must enable you to achieve your goals. If they can’t, reconsider your goals or your idea. Share your answers with your writing network to make sure you’re on the right track. It doesn’t matter where you are, only that you’re going in the right direction.
Adapted from How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen.
Michael Larsen-Elizabeth Pomada Literary Agents
Helping Writers Launch Careers Since 1972
Members: AAR / 415-674-0939
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.larsenpomada.com
1029 Jones St., San Francisco, 94109