Writers need to understand that writing is a business. Successful businesses are born out of careful planning. Every writer should create goals for a successful writing career. One way you can get on the road to success is with a clear business plan. A ship without a rudder will wander aimlessly. The same goes for a writer without a plan. How does a writer create a good plan to move forward? The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a guide to writing a business plan. It includes templates to help you create a sound plan for your writing business. Start by creating a mission statement. What is the core idea behind your writing? Summarize what you have done so far in pursuit of a writing career. Next, summarize your long-term goals. A bullet list of specific goals can be helpful. Remember that this is a working document that you will want to revisit every year.
A good way to be successful is to make marketing goals, such as how you intend to target the publishing companies that may generate the most success for your book. You also might want to set a goal of investigating how others succeeded in publishing to help determine your best marketing path. For writers, this means reading as much as you can to get an intimate sense of the breadth of the market. Widening the scope of your research will help you create goals for improving sales presentations (i.e. queries), networking with other professionals, and looking into public relations management.
Creating a business plan will help with the business side of your work, but writing isn’t just about the business side; it is also about production. You should have a plan that keeps your writing production on track. It’s important that your basic writing goals are actionable. That means you must have goals over which you have control and that you can implement.
For example, some writers may need to focus on technical details like grammar, novel structure, or characterization. Your short-term actionable goals may include studying a craft book, attending a writing conference, or taking a course. Other writers need to work on creating a lifestyle that is more conducive for bringing forth masterworks. A popular program is “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. A third area of goal setting common to many authors encompasses time management. Other examples of actionable goals include reading Kelly L. Stone’s “Time to Write” or investigating time management software like Harvest.
Write your business plan, make your goals, and watch success come your way
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