You can say you’re going to write a book soon. You can get all pumped up and tell everyone about it.
You can also read blog post after blog post about writing a book, editing one, and the self publishing process. Each day you soak in knowledge, you think, you’re more prepared to get started when you do.
But knowledge alone is not going to get you anywhere. The results of someone who doesn’t have any drive, and someone who wants to do accomplish something but doesn’t take action is the same.
Reaching your writing goals requires action. You need to plan, then execute—both require work.
Sure, reading and knowing the right steps to take is important. My point is that reading and building your foundation is pointless if you don’t put it into use. It’s actually a waste of time if there’s not any effort behind it.
That’s why I’m going to tell you how to set your writing goals and then (most importantly) help you achieve them with the action steps below.
Step 1 – Set your writing goals
Before you can start crushing it, you need to know what you want to crush.
Do you want to write a book in three months? Do you want to write three books this year? Do you want to write a blog post three times a week? These goals are all different, so make them clear, specific, and reasonable.
Writing your goals down is proven to help you accomplish them, so write them on a post-it note that you’ll see every day.
Setting these specific goals also ensures you don’t finish your book in 14 months when you could have finished in three months.
Step 2 – Consider all of your commitments
With your day job taking up 9 am to 5 pm, can you write in the morning, during lunch, or after work?
If you have meetings at 7 am on Tuesday and Thursday, are you going to write at night?
During your vacation next month, will you be able to get extra writing done or get zero done?
Is there a work trip where you’re going to be non-stop busy from morning to night?
These are all things to think about and consider before you make a solid writing plan. If you don’t, you risk setting aside no time during the day to write. That can derail every goal you have.
Now some things randomly come up so you can’t plan for everything. However, it only helps Step 3 when you know all of, or most of, your commitments in advance.
Step 3 – Plan out your calendar
With your goals and commitments in mind, get a calendar (physical or digital, both work) and track out mini-deadlines leading up to your ultimate goal.
It’s also helpful to decide what days and time during the day you’re going to write in your calendar using your commitments from Step 2.
If you know you’ll be swamped with something one week where you can’t write, take that week off and then go hard on the weekend and write for three hours each on Saturday and Sunday. You can adjust and recover when you plan in advance.
If you’re writing a book and write every day, your calendar may look like:
- Research and pick your book topic—week 1
- Write the first draft—weeks 2 to 5
- Write the second draft—weeks 5 to 7
- Make last revisions before hiring an editor—week 8
- Final edits between editor and you—week 9 to 10
- Hire a formatter—week 11
That’s around two and a half months in this example.
If you have blogging goals, this may look like: research blog topics for two months out, write the title of each post, come up with the SEO keywords, and find the images for all of the posts, with a deadline attached to each task.
Putting these mini-deadlines in your calendar is going to make a world of difference compared to no plans.
Step 4 – Outline before each week
You know what you need to get done this year, month, or week, but how are you going to make it easier on yourself so you can put yourself in position to succeed?
What I do on every Sunday is outline my four blog posts for the next week. I write the introduction, create the paragraph headings, and write the conclusions for all of the posts.
So when I sit down to complete a post on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, I already know what the main point is I’m trying to convey and it’s easy to get typing. This is efficiency at its finest!
This same approach works for book writing, too. Outline what needs to be done next week in terms of chapters and content you want to include.
Outlining will change your life.
Step 5 – Start writing!
As I said in the introduction, all this reading and knowledge doesn’t do you any good if you don’t put it to use.
If you did do the first four steps, those are positive actions that will make a difference in your life. Yet the ultimate step, and hardest, is to get your writing done! That’s the whole purpose of this exercise.
So show up each day to write for a word count or amount of time and you’ll make more progress than you realize. Think of each day you write as another step closer to building a huge blog platform or publishing a book.
This exact strategy outlined above helped me write three books. And if I can do it, so you can you. Just stay consistent in following this plan and there’s no doubt you can accomplish what you want!
Want the exact roadmap and an accountability partner to ensure you become an author in 12 weeks? You can hire me as your author coach.
What are your writing goals?