3 Steps to Create a Plan to Achieve Your Writing Goals for Your Self-Help, How-To or Business Book

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….

Long-term goal:
“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.)

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