Hey all! Shannon here!
It's conference season in the writing community and all three of us are about to hit the road! We're teaching at various conferences across the country and we'd love to take you all with us.
But seriously. You know the best thing about a writing conference? The panels! A group of authors or editors or agents all at one table--all answering the same questions and giving the crowd multiple perspectives on a single issue.
Thinking about these panels gave us a fantastic idea.
For the months of June, July, and August, we thought it would be fun to take a writing-related question and have all three of us answer it. But the part we're really excited about is hearing from YOU! Once you've heard what we have to say, we'd love you to use the comments section below to answer the question as well. This way, we all get to learn from one another!
Sound fun? We thought so.
Do you set career-related writing goals, like earning a starred review from a major reviewer like Publisher's Weekly or landing on a bestseller list?
Well, I certainly hope for those things, but I can’t really do much to impact those other than to write the best book I’m capable of and spread the word to the best of my abilities.
My goals tend to be more about building systems so that I’m slowly improving over time. So instead of a goal like, “I want to hit the NYT bestseller list!” I might make a goal specific to a piece of my craft and a piece of my marketing that I want to improve.
Wouldn’t we all love those things? The only career writing goals I ever had was to be traditionally published and to find an agent. I did both of those, so I feel pretty good about that.
I think it’s dangerous to get too caught up in setting bestseller list or award-type goals because if it never happens, then you will have set yourself up to feel like a failure, even if you’d written a hundred mid-list novels and had a very successful career. I much prefer to write strong novels that my readers like and consider each one a milestone of its own.
Of course, I’d like to hit bestseller’s lists and I’d love starred reviews from all the review magazines, but I think the thing that would excite me most is to carve out my own place in the industry.
I want to have the kind of career that has quality books hitting the market consistently. The kind of career that allows me to plan ahead a bit, to experiment with ideas, to travel and research. That’s the kind of writer I want to be, so I do my best to work and write with that goal in mind.
What about you guys? Do you set career-related writing goals?