The beginning of a new year always makes us think of resolutions and goals for the next twelve months, for many this will involve diets and maybe the search for a new job, but for an author (or those who want to become authors) it fills us with the inspiration that this should be the year of publication.
They say that we all have a book within us, so what’s stopping you from completing yours?
But the key in starting any resolution or goal is in keeping the momentum and making it past a very enthusiastic first week, as with those who take up a new form of exercise, the first couple of weeks is full on, then you tire, lose interest and go back to sitting on the sofa watching TV.
So, trying to complete your book in a month (unless you absolutely have to) is not always the best idea, overburdening yourself when you may well have a full-time job or others to take care of is a fast track to failure. And this is important to remember when you have other priorities, if you can’t write full time, don’t try to.
This is all about setting realistic goals for yourself, there is a great method of goal setting with the acronym of SMART it stands for Specific, Measured, Achievable, Realistic and Timed, this standard of goal setting is used within the business world and is done so for a reason….. It works!
But how would a SMART goal look for an author? Below we have a great example that you might want to consider for yourself.
This is what you want to complete, for most authors it will be the obvious of wanting to write a book and then have it published (either through traditional means or by yourself and print on demand). Set your Specific along the lines of ‘I want to publish a book on ………….’.
This is how you’ll acknowledge if you’ve completed the goal or not, your measurement here will be a target of having a book of no less than 60,000 words (or however many words you want as a minimum), having this book edited, formatted, proofed, a book cover designed, advertising created and published. This section should be of elements that you either complete to achieve your goal or don’t to miss it, setting tangible measurements puts things into black & white, you either complete them or you do not, making it very clear on what needs to be done.
Having a goal which is achievable is so important, there is nothing worse than setting an unsustainable target, if you overburden yourself you will burnout and your goal will not be achieved. So be realistic, if you can manage to write for just 30 mins per day then commit to that (or to a time frame to honestly suits YOU), it may take a little longer to write your book but you will get there.
This is similar to the Achievable target, you should look at the goal your setting and honestly ask yourself if it achievable for YOU, yes you should definitely push yourself and be optimistic, but if you set a target of writing eight books in one year that will all make the New York Times Best Sellers list you may be setting yourself up to fail, so set clear goals that (with focus and work) you have a chance of achieving.
Set yourself a deadline for your book, you don’t have to tell anyone else (although if you do it will increase your chance of completing it), but set a specific date when your book will be complete, now you may set this date for when the draft is ready and this is fine, just set a date and then stick to it.
Setting SMART objectives do work, we use them ourselves and have done for many years, so why not give them a go and let us know what your goals for 2020 will be.
Book cover designers.