The Write Goals

January 2, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Everywhere you turn people are buzzing about their new year resolutions:  “I’m gonna do this”  “I’m gonna stop doing that.”   As writers, we need to have goals as well. To improve our craft, to reach more readers, to gain knowledge about the world around us and the soul inside us.

penonbook

What are your writing goals? I keep hearing “to get published!” “To write a book!” “To become famous!”  All are very valid and exciting goals. However, you need an action plan. Steps to follow to help you achieve those goals, get you across that finish line, so to speak.

Let’s take the “get published!” goal.  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do you want to publish? A short story? A book review? A school newspaper article exposing the cafeteria’s secret ingredient used in Thursday’s chili?
  2. Once you decide what you want to publish, you need to figure out who will want to read it. Is it a story about aliens sucking out the brains of 4th graders? You’ll need to find a science fiction magazine that publishes these types of stories. You read a fantastic piece of fiction on the relationship between a horse and his master? You might want to try an equestrian magazine or website whose readers should know about this great book!  And if you have  a knack for uncovering truths, journalism may run in your blood and your school newspaper or club’s newsletter would be a great starting point.
  3. After deciding on what you’re writing and for whom, you need to seek out the publications that may be interested in your story. But, do your homework. Don’t be an amateur and send your story out to the editor “blindly,” read what they’ve already printed, read a few issues to get a feel for their “tone.” Are they serious, humorous, do they use quotes from other people? Find the writers’ guidelines and follow them!  More on this later.
  4. Now, you have a few tasks ahead of you. Make a list of things you like to write, another list of who would enjoy reading them and another list of where similar stories would be in print.
  5. Then, write a rough draft and come back here soon for more tips!

You’re on your way to achieving a goal!

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Entry filed under: Get published, Ideas, Research. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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