Writing down your goals and creating a plan of attack (tasks you can accomplish on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis) will keep you focused, allow you to see results, and provide a strategy to attain what it is you endeavor to achieve with your writing.
Step 1: Define Your Goal(s).
A goal should be specific, measurable, and have a deadline - such as “I will complete my nonfiction manuscript by the end of October.”
Step 2: Determine What Tasks are Necessary to Achieve the Goal(s).
Create a list of all the necessary tasks associated with achieving the goal(s). If the goal is to develop a book proposal package to pitch to publishers the tasks involved might be: analyzing similar books on the subject, conducting market research, creating a promotional plan, writing an author bio, building an author platform, designing a chapter outline, writing a sample chapter, investigating nonfiction publishers in your genre, crafting a query letter, etc…..
Step 3: Organize the Tasks and Develop a Strategic Plan to Achieve Your Goal(s).
Goals are easier to manage when they are broken down into small chunks: three-year, one-year, monthly, weekly, and daily. Start with your big goals and break them down to smaller and smaller tasks. You want your detailed plan to be realistic for your lifestyle. If you maintain a full-time job and have two small children and a dog to care for, it may be difficult to fit two hours of speaking-your-book into each day. Set yourself up for success by creating a practical plan. If you record one hour a day (after the kids go to bed), five times a week - or five hours one day a week (on Sunday when the kids are at grandmaʼs house) – thatʼs 50 pages of recorded material each week.
You can outline your goals and plan using a simple word-processing sheet, a more complex spreadsheet, or a calendar-planning tool. Your outline may look something like this….
“I will be recognized as the expert in my field by the end of 2022.”
Goals for this year, which will help achieve the long-term goal:
“I will self-publish my business book by December 15, 2021.”
Monthly tasks necessary to attain the one-year goal:
January: I will create a detailed book outline.
February: I will record the chapter content using the speak-your-book method.
March: I will polish the material and hire a professional editor to review the manuscript....
Weekly tasks necessary to attain the specific monthly goals:
Week 1: I will investigate and evaluate comparable competitive titles.
Week 2: I will collect and review my source material.
Week 3: I will brainstorm my topic to divide the material into sections.
Week 4: I will create a detailed outline with sub-topics and separate chapters....
Daily tasks necessary to attain the specific weekly goals:
Tuesday, October 12: I will record 60 minutes of content.
Studies show that people who write down their goals and develop a strategic plan to achieve them are more likely to succeed. So, make a commitment to yourself and your writing career - develop a plan and put it into action. Before another year flies by, you could be a published author.
(To help you create your calendar you can also use the “Book-Writing Tasks and Timeframe Checklist” and the “Author Timeline Calendar Template” included in the Expert Author Workbook.)