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Strategic Goal Planning

Every January we at BookEnds sit down to discuss our goals and objectives for the year. For me though, goals are a monthly and weekly endeavor. Just because we have the big meeting in January doesn’t mean it ends there. If we really want to achieve big things, we need to be constantly working on big things. As the season changes and the year winds down I’m already taking a look to 2018 (as well as setting goals for the remaining few months of 2017). In some cases this might mean creating new goals, in other cases, it means redefining the ones I still hope to meet.

If you’ve followed the blog you know that I’m incredibly goal-oriented. I strongly believe that making a plan and writing it down lead to greater success. Recently I’ve changed the way we at BookEnds look at goals. Goals at BookEnds are actionable and achievable steps toward our objectives. In other words, if my objective is to represent a bestselling domestic and psychological suspense novel, then my goals will be to do the following: #MSWL more frequently about domestic or psychological suspense, cull my queries to answer psychological and domestic suspense submissions at a faster rate, work with the suspense authors I currently have to hone their work into the best it can be, reach out and connect with editors of suspense who I don’t already know and continue to build my connections with those I do… And the list goes on.

When you sit down to look at your goals start with your objectives. What do you really want out of your writing career not just in the next year, but in the next five years or the next ten years? Think big because success comes to those who put it out there. Do you want to be a bestselling author? Where? What list? Do you want to quit your day job? What about support your family? Write every day? Have a dream office? When you envision yourself ten years from now what do you see and want? Write it all down. Then, take a look at those objectives and work backward. If you want to be a bestselling writer what do you need to achieve that goal? For some, it might be as simple as finishing a book in 2018. Some might need to submit to agents. But “submitting to agents” isn’t enough of a goal. Dig deeper. To how many people and how often? To which agents? With what query letter? Maybe your goal is to draft and finalize the perfect query and then it’s to submit to five or ten new agents a month. Actionable and specific.

I’ve always believed that goals are the key to success and if you dream big you need to set big goals to achieve those dreams. Things won’t just happen unless you put it out there and make it happen. That’s what goals are, goals mean putting your plan and your dreams into action.

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One comment

  1. I’ve said it before here, but I love goals. I have always set goals and find I achieve more when I do. This year has been a big year for me goal wise as the goal posts have changed a number of times throughout the year. The rest of the year will be a scramble to fulfil them all but if I can achieve my key goals I’ll be happy. About 2 weeks ago I worked out my 2018 writing goals and they are stuck on the wall in front of me.

    Jessica, I’d also like to thank you for your inspirational idea to “block time”. I tried it, found peace in the chaos and have now adopted that into my goal setting/planning.

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