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Opinion: How to Avoid Indie Author Overwhelm by Setting Solid Goals

Leila Dewji

Leila Dewji shares her top tips on goal-setting for authors

It’s all too easy for indie authors to feel overwhelmed at the enormity of the tasks involved in self-publishing books, quite apart from the stress of actually writing them. ALLi Partner Member Leila Dewji, co-founder of I_AM Self-Publishing, shares her top tips to help you achieve your author goals without tears.

Indie authors are busier today than ever. You may find that your precious ‘author time’ is thinly spread across many tasks, some of which you’re learning on the fly.

I’m not just talking about the writing process (planning, researching, drafting, revising, editing, etc) but also:

  • blogging
  • building your social media following
  • growing your mailing list
  • creating content for your newsletter
  • and so on…

The list can sometimes feel endless. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and run out of steam. You might feel like you are only making tiny steps of progress in lots of areas, which may not seem worthwhile, rather than a lot of progress in one area.

Why Set Author Goals?

rocket taking off

(picture credit: Kakisky at www.morguefile.com

Wherever you are on your writing and publishing journey, the best way to succeed is to set and work towards clearly defined goals.

Top authors and entrepreneurs do this to ensure they are focussing their time and energy on whatever they really want to achieve.

It’s easy for authors to get pulled in different directions, or get distracted when they sit down to write, so having a strong goal will keep you on track.

Define Your Author Vision

Close your eyes and imagine yourself where you want to be as an author. It might be a certain position in the charts, it might be having reached a certain number of sales, or it might even be about recognition.

This is your vision; the ultimate end game.

Now we need to make sure your goals get you closer to achieving this.

Get SMART about your author goals

Set a bad goal and you’re setting yourself up for failure. Don’t rush into setting ambitious targets that sound great without considering what it really means to you, what you are prepared to sacrifice, how committed you are, whether it’s realistic, etc.

When you’ve got an idea for a goal, use the SMART system to test it out. Is it:

  • Specific: think carefully about what precisely you want and why
  • Measurable: something like ‘get better at blogging’ is a good idea but a useless author goal, whereas, ‘create two new posts for my blog, and one for a guest blog every month’ is much better
  • Attainable: think about where you are right now and be realistic
  • Relevant: each goal that you set should contribute to your vision, e.g. if it was to be a best-selling author, then make sure all your goals feed back into that
  • Time-based: committing to a deadline will help focus your efforts. Break the larger time-frame down into smaller chunks, e.g. months or weeks

Ready, Steady, Goal…

So now you have a SMART goal or two in mind, it’s time to take it to the next level and build an action plan. This is the nitty-gritty of exactly how you are going to do this, what changes you’ll need to make, and how you’ll overcome your obstacles.

Good luck, whatever you are working towards. Accountability is a big part of goal setting, so be brave and share your goals in the comments below. You can do it!

#Authors: how to set realistic, achievable #selfpublishing goals - by @IAMSelfpub Click To Tweet

Image of free download bookI_AM Self-publishing offers a free downloadable workbook covering goal-setting theory and practice, with worked examples and worksheets to help you organise your time and priorities, plus tips on mindset, motivation, rewards, and how to cope with setbacks to keep you on track when you feel demotivated: Author Goals: your guide to achieving more.

 

 

 

OTHER POSTS TO INSPIRE EFFECTIVE GOAL-SETTING

The Psychology of Creative Success: Orna Ross

Writing: Setting Good Creative Habits from Orna Ross’s Go Creative! Show

How to Set and Meet Effective Creative Intentions for your Writing and Self-publishing in 2017

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2 Responses to Opinion: How to Avoid Indie Author Overwhelm by Setting Solid Goals

  1. Sue Wickstead January 30, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

    My self-publishing goals involve sharing my book in each school I visit as a Supply Teacher.
    It is great to share the story and to know that the children not only enjoy it but also get to, unexpectedly, meet an author!
    Not that I feel I am an author, but I suppose i am.
    Most of all I tell the children that I am just me….
    In terms of next step; hopefully the next book will be out soon and then promote the two books.
    I enjoy sharing my story but have no aspirations to take on authorship on its own,
    I still love the teaching and the unexpected visits along the way!
    Maybe that could be a different story one day?
    The children are the ones I write for and they love both the story as well as the back story.
    (The fact that my bus was once real)
    Getting children’s book reviews are tricky the children comment but do they have access to post their review?
    Re my books and stories:-
    I am riding a bus journey which has a few storps and starts along the way!
    It is not a speedy Ferrari, but neither is it an orndinary bus ride!
    So for now I will keep plodding along. at least it is forward.
    Even if at times there are long waits and queues at the bus stops! Lol

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