Planning Your Writing & Publishing Career

I’ve been writing fantasy and science fiction since I was a little dreamy brat in 5th grade. But when I seriously sat down three years ago and decided that I wanted to be a novelist, I had to set some guidelines for myself. A timeline for my writer’s career, if you will. I decided that in my lifetime I wanted to:

  1. Incorporate my own independent press that catered to publishing and increasing the presence of women in science fiction & fantasy,
  2. Write and independently publish one 9-book sci-fi series, a noir / dark fantasy series, a cyberpunk series, and a children’s sci-fi series,
  3. Use innovative methods (such as resurrecting the illustrated novel) to bring a different twist to my work,
  4. Make a living off of writing and selling novels, and
  5. Become a go-to source for all other sci-fi & fantasy authors, indie press owners, and others for tips on successfully writing, publishing, and marketing their works.

As you can see, these goals are quite big, and succeeding at each one is going to take some calculation, some serious creativity, and of course, a heckuvallotta elbow grease. You have to sit down and decide the same thing. You need to ask yourself:

  1. What are my personal goals as a writer?
  2. What kinds of books do I want to write and in what genres?
  3. How many books do I want to sell?
  4. Do I want to make a living off of my books, do I want to supplement my current income with my book sales, or do I just want to write and publish as a hobby?
  5. How many books do you want to sell per year? Per month?
  6. Which audience am I trying to reach and where are they?
  7. How much time do I want to dedicate to my books and to my writing per day? Per week? Per month?
  8. Do I have a creative vision for my projects? If so, what is the best way to realize that vision?
  9. What do I want to achieve in my first year of writing? In five years? In ten years?

Answering these questions will help you decide how to craft your own personalized writing and business plan. It provides a foundation upon which your goals can grow and upon which you can measure your own progress. For example, if you plan on running a mile, but you have no clue what your starting point is and what your ending point is going to be, it will be difficult to measure your progress during the journey. Same with writing. No writer should be without a “writer’s career plan”, no matter how light or heavy! 🙂

So, how about you? What are your goals as a writer? What is your “writer’s career plan”?