PDA

View Full Version : 01 The Scariest Part of Marketing and How to Overcome It



kayelle_allen
May 2nd, 2011, 06:19 PM
What is the scariest part of marketing? Each of us will have a different answer, but for most of us, it's goal setting.

:nah: No! Don't click that back button! Keep reading. Like I said, this is how to overcome that scary feeling. Here goes.


<!--><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> When I wrote this lesson, I thought of a line by one of the most memorable characters in movie history: "It's all part of the plan." The late Heath Ledger said it in the Dark Knight, a film about Batman vs. the Joker. Everything the Joker did was calculated to destroy Batman, and all his actions revolved around that one goal.

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff217/RandyOrtonThaLk/the_dark_knight_joker.jpg (http://media.photobucket.com/image/the%20joker%20dark%20knight/RandyOrtonThaLk/the_dark_knight_joker.jpg?o=10)

In the same, yet far less eerie way, everything we do should revolve around the ultimate goal of our marketing plan. If we know what we want to accomplish, and who we want to reach, then we won't waste time or money telling the wrong audience about our books.

If you wrote a children's book, would you hand out flyers at a biker bar? If you write science fiction romance, would you advertise it in a gardening magazine?

Consider the exceptions to this. You hear about a biker club that is hosting a family day to show the community they care about kids. Your children's book is about a family who takes fun trips on motorcycles. You might be one of their "sponsors" in exchange for a link about your book in their ads. Suppose the gardening magazine is doing an edition on gardens of the future, and your book contains aspects of herbal lore or a character works in a ship's garden. Not only would the ad appeal to the magazine's readers, it might earn you an interview.

These are highly targeted ads. How do you know when these things are happening so you can take advantage of the opportunity? By knowing who your target market is and where they are. That comes from research we'll be doing. Finding the right market takes work.

It's easy to keep doing what we're doing. The problem with that is that we'll keep getting what we've been getting. If we're satisfied with the way things are, why change? If we want more, then it's time to make a change.

Like the Joker, we must have a plan, and everything we do must further that plan. Another word for plan is goal.
There are two simple rules to getting your ducks in a row.
http://i1140.photobucket.com/albums/n567/Merwok/Gaia/twoducks.jpg (http://media.photobucket.com/image/two/Merwok/Gaia/twoducks.jpg?o=14)
1. Have a plan.
2. Work the plan.
Every dime we spend should be geared toward furthering our goal(s). We don't take out an ad in a national magazine that does not reach the people who read what we write. We don't spend hours chatting on groups that our readers don't attend. Again, how do we know which groups they like?
Research. Word of mouth. Figuring out what other authors in your genre are doing. Studying their tactics to see what works. Trying new angles. And -- yes, sadly -- making mistakes and learning from them.

Your assignment is to sketch out your goal as an author. You'll refine it as you learn, so don't feel it has to be perfect. If you don't have a specific goal yet, this is a good time to make one. If you've already honed yours and know exactly what you want, you are miles ahead.

How do you make a good goal? Let's use the acronym SMART. You can read more details about these at this site:
http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/smart-goals.html
S - specific, significant, stretching
M - measurable, meaningful, motivational
A - agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R - realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T - time-based, timely, tangible, trackable

http://i611.photobucket.com/albums/tt194/sally_bucket/achieve.jpg (http://media.photobucket.com/image/achieve/sally_bucket/achieve.jpg?o=10)

Example of one that isn't S.M.A.R.T.
"I want to be a best selling author and have lots of money."

Sure, that sounds great, and I'm all for it. But how will you know when you've become a best seller? Will you make a specific list, such as the NY Times? How much is [I]a lot of money? If you're broke, a hundred bucks is a lot of money. "A lot" is not measurable. It's like losing some weight. Is a quarter pound enough? Fifteen? A hundred? Be specific. When do you want to accomplish this? Before you die (hopefully) , within five years, by the end of the decade, before your ___ birthday, at the end of the third quarter next year? Is this a realistic goal that you can achieve, or does part of it hinge on other people's activities? Can you require readers to buy your book? Maybe, if you write a textbook and it's adopted by a school district or a college.

Here is one of my one-year goals: <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> <o:TargetScreenSize>1024x768</o:TargetScreenSize> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->Research material for, and outline a non-fiction book on marketing for writers by December 2012.

Will I know when I've completed it? Is it time-specific? Does it depend on anyone else's input? Is it something I can do? If the answers to these questions are not yes, then I need to revise. Is it easy? No!

The truth is - nothing about the writing business is easy. If it was, anyone could do it. I've been published since 2004, and I can tell you there are many people I've known over the last seven years who are no longer writing. If you plan to write as a career, you must treat it as a business. Planning is an essential part of every aspect. In marketing, this is especially true.

Please share your goal with the group. If you have several small goals, that's fine. I'll be looking for your message.

While it's great to have a plan, working the plan is what makes success happen. Break out your calendar and take a look at what you have scheduled through the rest of 2011. This is May, and the tendency is to think there's plenty of time. But remember in December when you looked back at the year and thought "where did the time go?"

Some of you will be able to smile at this homework, dust off your hands, and relax. Others may look at their blank calendars and wonder how in the world they will ever fill one up.

SAMPLE CALENDAR: http://calendar.yahoo.com/sempervians
Take a peek at my calendar. I make it public so readers can find me. Anything personal is noted as such so it doesn't show up, or it's listed as busy. My readers get birthday emails from me each year, and their info is private as well. This may give you an idea of how to set up your own calendar. Pick any month of the year and you'll find I'm scheduled somewhere. Planning ahead is the key.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p206/kayelle_allen/yahoo/homework.jpg

HOMEWORK:
1) If you have a book coming out, choose the month in which that occurs. If you hope to have a book coming out during a certain time of the year (summer, fall, winter), pick a month during that time period.
2) Join this yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Promotion_Loop_Schedule/ Every author should be a member here. It's a schedule that shows on what days which groups allow promotions. Ever wondered if you should post a message on a certain day? This is how to find out. There are no chats or messages here except a daily reminder of what events are occurring and where you can post. I forewarned the owner to expect a stampede. :)

3) Take time to look at the promo group's DATABASE section, noted on the left of the homepage. Pick one of the groups listed there, or in the list for a day when you'd like to hold your promo, contact the owner or moderator (as designated on their site) and ask for a chat, interview, author day, or to hold a contest on their group on a date within your time period. FYI: It's always a good idea to check the group's calendar first. Their info may have changed but may not have been updated on the promo loop. (I sent an update for mine today.)

NOTE: if you have a yahoo group of your own, email the owner of the promo loop and let her know what days you accept guests or outside promos, and she'll add you to her database of authors who allow promo. That is a good way to get promo for yourself. Other authors who see your group listed will ask for time on your group, and then tell their own readers to meet them there. Suddenly, readers who had never heard of you will be aware of your presence. If that person writes in the same genre as you, their readers are far more likely to be interested in what you write. Two birds: one stone.

Tomorrow, let us know where you'll be and when. Be sure to provide the URL.

kayelle_allen
May 2nd, 2011, 06:21 PM
FYI - This is Tuesday's lesson! I posted it early so you can start on it when you're ready.

J Q Rose
May 5th, 2011, 10:13 PM
I apologize for posting my homework late. I was gone all day Wed on a field trip with my grandson. Fun but exhausting!!

I looked at the database in the promo group, but is it alright to just contact them cold turkey? Shouldn't I participate in the blog a little before deciding if it is someone who fits? I made the mistake early of agreeing to be a guest on an author's blog, then I had to back out since it was an erotica blog...not my genre. After looking at the loop, I did send a review request to Alternative-Read, but did not contact anyone....yet, for a guest spot.

I have some promos coming up the end of May and into June. I did an interview on Karen Cote's last week. She does a virtual interview using an animated avatar..Really cool...Here's my link from April 25.

http://www.karencote.tv/?page_id=134&preview=true

Sorry

kayelle_allen
May 6th, 2011, 02:58 AM
I apologize for posting my homework late. I was gone all day Wed on a field trip with my grandson. Fun but exhausting!!

:kittydance: I'd go too! No problem.


I did an interview on Karen Cote's last week. She does a virtual interview using an animated avatar..Really cool...Here's my link from April 25.

http://www.karencote.tv/?page_id=134&preview=true


I had a great time checking out her website. I want a talking avatar too! What fun!

Patricia Bates
May 8th, 2011, 06:04 PM
I just had an interview on Sorcha's blog - in regards to my book Firecracker which comes out this month. It was a simple Q&A but a lot of fun.

As for a Goal? Hmmm....

A smaller goal I have is to have my current Vampire romance Hunting Sin written, edited, and ready for submission by May 30th. To ensure my success I've set myself a goal of 2-5K per week - with four days writing.

Is it doable? Yes. Is it going to be easy - not so much.

kayelle_allen
May 9th, 2011, 01:14 PM
Is it doable? Yes. Is it going to be easy - not so much.

The ease of a goal should be considered in how long you'll allow for it, and how much effort you'll apply. Some goals are time consuming and difficult, but if you apply the SMART principle, any goal that fits within those parameters can be accomplished.

If you want it badly enough to work for it then a goal is merely steps to achieve the end result. That said, the ease isn't part of the equation - the steps needed to accomplish it are. Make sense?

Patricia Bates
May 9th, 2011, 01:56 PM
The ease of a goal should be considered in how long you'll allow for it, and how much effort you'll apply. Some goals are time consuming and difficult, but if you apply the SMART principle, any goal that fits within those parameters can be accomplished.

If you want it badly enough to work for it then a goal is merely steps to achieve the end result. That said, the ease isn't part of the equation - the steps needed to accomplish it are. Make sense?


Makes perfect sense. For me, the measure of sucess is actually opening and writing on the file - if I'm short one day I can make it up the next day - but I don't set out to do it that way. As long as I set myself the time each day to write and meet that 5K at the end of the week I'm happy!

And I reward myself for the completion of a goal - chocolate is wonderful!

kayelle_allen
May 9th, 2011, 02:53 PM
And I reward myself for the completion of a goal - chocolate is wonderful!

smilies/cloud9.gif Dark chocolate is my friend.

I also treat myself by buying a new book, going to a movie, getting a pedicure, or taking an extra long break and relaxing with a good book or favorite TV show. Food rewards can lead to the need for other goals such as weight loss and exercise, so I've learned to balance those. That said, I find a way to sneak in dark chocolate multiple times a week. I am very very good indeed. Innocent?

Patricia Bates
May 9th, 2011, 03:23 PM
A bit off topic here but I wanted to say thanks again for hosting this seminar. Its the kick in the pants I need to really get serious about promoting and marketing my brand. Without that my sales are going to tank and if I want to reach my goal of retiring from having to work outside of the house within the next two years - I'm going to have to a serious and brutal look at my marketing for my personal books - I seem to have no problem coming up with goals and plans for others - just me. :popcorn:

Doreen
May 9th, 2011, 06:06 PM
My goal is to get my current WIP done and revised and to have the first draft done on #2. i've been at work one far too long and get sidetracked by sequels. Now I'm trying to knuckle down and work on that one.(also, this weeks goals included catching up on the past assignments here,-now one more goal met(lol) Dory

karensromance
May 9th, 2011, 10:53 PM
I hope you received my email Kayelle because My Goal is connecting with you to appear in The Lounge for an Avatar interview...Saw your remark Kayelle on lovely J Q's posting. She was fabulous and fun. My iPad calendar is filled weekly with author interviews and beginning 6 weeks prior to October I've scheduled my book tour with other authors. Would like to know how to schedule supporting other authors in a routine schedule. Also schedule a minimum two hours a day to write but no less. Of course more.

kayelle_allen
May 10th, 2011, 11:06 AM
I want to reach my goal of retiring from having to work outside of the house within the next two years - I'm going to have to a serious and brutal look at my marketing for my personal books - I seem to have no problem coming up with goals and plans for others - just me.

We often see what others need and miss it for ourselves. It's easier to look outward than inward.

Each aspect of a goal bears its own scrutiny. For example, retiring: decide how much income you need to replace, what you are willing to give up if necessary, and also what benefits you will gain. Then look at your royalties on each book and figure out how many book sales it takes to reach that amount. Consider whether sales will remain constant (they won't) and whether you will need to write more books (you will).

Income is like weight. How much is "enough to quit my day job?" If your income is supplementary to another source (your spouse, partner, trust fund, annuity, etc.) then your writing-income needs will be different from a person's who is the sole breadwinner for five people. Use the SMART goal measurement to determine each aspect of your various sub-goals.

Sound like work? :err: So is laboring for others year after year with no clear idea whether you are able to quit yet.

For me to leave my day job and write full time, and my husband to go back to college, we gave up our home, moved in with friends, and cut back in multiple areas. Two years later, we're coming up on the end of school for him and I'm able to write full time.
Easy? Noooooo. Worthwhile? :rockon:

kayelle_allen
May 10th, 2011, 11:11 AM
My goal is to get my current WIP done and revised and to have the first draft done on #2. i've been at work one far too long and get sidetracked by sequels. Now I'm trying to knuckle down and work on that one.(also, this weeks goals included catching up on the past assignments here,-now one more goal met(lol) Dory

Go, Doreen! Cheerleader

I hear you on the sidetracked by sequels and one book taking too long. I wonder if there are writers who haven't had that problem... Don't forget to include word count or chapter count, and setting a time goal (I will complete X-item by Y-date)

Good job. ^_^

kayelle_allen
May 10th, 2011, 11:28 AM
I hope you received my email Kayelle because My Goal is connecting with you to appear in The Lounge for an Avatar interview...Saw your remark Kayelle on lovely J Q's posting. She was fabulous and fun. My iPad calendar is filled weekly with author interviews and beginning 6 weeks prior to October I've scheduled my book tour with other authors. Would like to know how to schedule supporting other authors in a routine schedule. Also schedule a minimum two hours a day to write but no less. Of course more.

Oh, I would love to appear in the Lounge, Karen! I'll look for that email. I watched J Q's Avatar interview and loved it.

To schedule people on my Romance Lives Forever blog http://tinyurl.com/rlfblog I make use of Yahoo's calendar and group system. I schedule appearances on Romance Lives Forever group http://tinyurl.com/rlf4ever so that my readers know who's appearing when. Then I click the completed entry and click "Add to my calendar." Since the calendar is part of my Yahoo email, I can then set up reminders, and have one sent to the appearing author as well. I set them for 4 days ahead and 12 hours ahead. That gives me time to reschedule if needed and for the author to get busy and write the blog if they've forgotten.

Of course there are occasional bugs, too. I set up my email filter system to catch anything with "blog" in the subject and send it to a specific folder. I had a conflicting rule for info from one person to slide into another folder. Because of the way Yahoo routes info, it slid a blog message into the wrong folder and I didn't realize it. Missed a due date completely. Alas, I proved that any system can have bugs.:oops:

Others who schedule guests on their blogs are more than welcome to chime in with their own advice. We can all use good ideas.

J Q Rose
May 10th, 2011, 08:22 PM
I am going to look into the yahoo calendar..do I just go to yahoo.com for the info? I need a better system than writing it on the paper calendar. Would you believe I left my calendar in FL? Hopefully my blog/review spreadsheet is up to date...!! I like the idea of a reminder.

Since starting this seminar I have made the goal to actually write on my WIP every day. AND to spend at least an hour every night on promotion...

Thank you for hosting this seminar. It inspires to me to get going in this writing adventure.

Good for you,Kayelle, on making the tough sacrifices and carrying them out. Congratulations!!

kayelle_allen
May 12th, 2011, 01:36 AM
I am going to look into the yahoo calendar..do I just go to yahoo.com for the info? I need a better system than writing it on the paper calendar.

If you have a Yahoo email you already have access to it. It's part of the email package.



Since starting this seminar I have made the goal to actually write on my WIP every day. AND to spend at least an hour every night on promotion...

Thank you for hosting this seminar. It inspires to me to get going in this writing adventure.

Good for you! Thank Karenne, the webmistress here at CTR. I gave this seminar in a slightly different format in February on Marketing for Romance Writers http://tinyurl.com/mfrwgroup - Karenne is a member there and asked me to come do it again on the forum. I'm thrilled to be here!

Patricia Bates
May 12th, 2011, 02:53 PM
Hi Doreen, I wish you all the best with it. Sounds like you know what you want and are on your way to getting it! Bravo!

Patricia Bates
May 12th, 2011, 03:02 PM
Personally, I love yahoo for many things but not scheduling. I use google exclusively. This way if the calendar is public then my guests can see as well as I do that there's something coming up. I filter everything the way yahoo does with google and it allows me to go back through messages that have been archived.

Its always nice to have a reminder though - in the form of a calendar on my desk with the person's name, email, and date of appearance.

Doreen
May 12th, 2011, 03:27 PM
Patricia: Thank-you, for the encouragement. Doreen

Patricia Bates
May 14th, 2011, 11:32 AM
You're very welcome Doreen.

kayelle_allen
May 16th, 2011, 11:35 AM
Personally, I love yahoo for many things but not scheduling. I use google exclusively. This way if the calendar is public then my guests can see as well as I do that there's something coming up.

Yahoo calendars can be public as well. Click here to see mine.
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->http://calendar.yahoo.com/sempervians

They are using a beta form of the calendar right now, and more features will be upgraded soon.

Cher Green
May 17th, 2011, 07:15 AM
Obviously, I came in late and started out backwards, lol.

Goals: I would like to one day work fulltime as a writer/editor. To produce and promote myself as a writer.

Specific goal- research marketing and use the learned knowlege to promote my upcoming novella release.

kayelle_allen
May 18th, 2011, 02:06 PM
Obviously, I came in late and started out backwards, lol.

Goals: I would like to one day work fulltime as a writer/editor. To produce and promote myself as a writer.

Specific goal- research marketing and use the learned knowlege to promote my upcoming novella release.

It's all good. Applying the info is more important than getting it in order.

Let's see if your goals are SMART.
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> S - specific, significant, stretching
M - measurable, meaningful, motivational
A - agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R - realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T - time-based, timely, tangible, trackable


"I would like to one day..." How about setting a time goal for this so you have a specific time frame? If you say "In five years I will..." then you can divide the time into smaller portions and make short-term goals to help you reach that point. Or, use a sales amount to determine when you will work full time as a writer/editor. "When book-related income equals *portion amount* I will work full time."

Each goal we make requires other ones to help us reach it.

Sometimes, they come sooner (or later) than we expect. In 2008, a serious illness forced me to take several months off from my day job. Upon returning, I realized the stress of the job exacerbated the illness. At the time, my husband and I felt we could afford for me to leave my day job and write full time, which I did. I had anticipated waiting another five years. Sometimes, what seems like a setback (I was unable to write while ill) turns out to be a step forward. Having a plan B helped me make the most of the situation.

Rather than plan your time down to the nth degree (6:01p = prepare dinner, 6:33p = set table, etc.) make time frames loose enough for wiggle room but specific enough to know if you missed it. "I will spend evenings with my family between prep time for dinner until the children are in bed, and then write from then until thirty minutes before bedtime."

Cher Green
May 18th, 2011, 06:30 PM
Kayelle, :) I guess that's my problem in setting goals, not knowing what can be accomplished - How would you know if it would even be possible to achieve this in five years? But, I guess it's just a process of guessing the big goal, and breaking it down into managable pieces to do you best to reach the goal.

kayelle_allen
May 23rd, 2011, 11:05 PM
Kayelle, :) I guess that's my problem in setting goals, not knowing what can be accomplished - How would you know if it would even be possible to achieve this in five years? But, I guess it's just a process of guessing the big goal, and breaking it down into managable pieces to do you best to reach the goal.

That's a good question. When I was first published, a mentor told me that it took 3-5 years to establish a name as a writer, and that the best promo was to write another book. Those two things have proven true. While I am by no means a household name writer-wise, I have seen a marked increase in website hits, facebook activity, and so on.

I wrote goals for a five year plan, and met all of them within three years. Each year, I rewrote my one-year goals, and added new things to my five year goals. Unless rewritten each year, the goals dwindle down to a no-year plan, so to keep it current, it helps to go back and add to it.

One goal for 2011 read, "<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> <o:TargetScreenSize>1024x768</o:TargetScreenSize> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->Blog, tweet, or otherwise post on a social network at least twice a week." I've easily beaten that one each week, in part by scheduling myself as a guest blogger throughout the year and keeping up with friends on Facebook.

Experience will show you how long things take. If your goal says you'll accomplish X in 6 mos, and you're not even close to that, then alter it to add more time. If you finish it in three weeks, you definitely want to reconsider the level of difficulty. Was there a fluke happenstance that made it happen so quickly? What factors were involved? Can you count on those repeating the next time?

All these things lead to creating goals that work for you. A goal is like the target where you aim an arrow. If it doesn't matter where you strike, then no goal is necessary. But if you want to strike a certain spot, it takes, aim, practice, enough arrows, bow, knowledge of wind strength, and the willingness to work. Apply that same concept to a writing goal and you will have a winner.

Goals don't have to be perfect. They are to help you aim in the right direction. Adjustments help you get there -- eventually.
:rockon:

J Q Rose
May 28th, 2011, 10:18 PM
A goal is like the target where you aim an arrow. If it doesn't matter where you strike, then no goal is necessary. But if you want to strike a certain spot, it takes, aim, practice, enough arrows, bow, knowledge of wind strength, and the willingness to work. Apply that same concept to a writing goal and you will have a winner.

I love this thought I copied from your post...not sure how to do the quote thing yet. Goal setting is difficult, but you gave me some comfort on having room to wiggle on that target. Thanks.

kayelle_allen
May 29th, 2011, 03:09 PM
I love this thought I copied from your post...not sure how to do the quote thing yet. Goal setting is difficult, but you gave me some comfort on having room to wiggle on that target. Thanks.

To do a quote, when you open the post, you should see a small button at the bottom that says Quote. If you click that, it puts the marks around the first person's text. That's all there is to it. :)