We all dream of success as a children's author. If you have sackfuls of self-discipline and organisational skills and,
most importantly, an airtight memory, you're in luck. If you're anything like me, you may want to read on. Setting
long term goals is necessary but listing the short-term goals or objectives to help you achieve these goals can
move you more quickly and directly toward your target. (Working through them helps as well.)
Set a long-term goal that is attainable. Becoming the next J K Rowling is a pleasant dream, but is possibly just that
– a dream. Reaching millions would be wonderful, but touching the lives of a few can have just as much meaning.
Think about where you want to be in three years, maybe five. Everyone is different. If you have responsibilities such
as family or work, your five-year target may stretch to ten.
Long-term goal – Five year-plan:
1. Make an income from my writing.
Once you have decided on a measurable goal, list what you will need to do to get there and break your plan into
manageable steps. These are your mid-term goals. They can span six months or maybe only one. These will be the
steps that move you toward your long-term goal.
Mid-term goal – Three-month plan:
1. Write the outline of a young adult novel and develop the main character.
2. Continue to improve skills in writing.
3. Research various writing lists and newsletters and decide which to join.
4. Find a critique group.
5. Research alternative paying work in the writing field.
Short-term goals are broken down into specific, bite-sized chunks and are the vital stepping-stones toward your mid
term goals. They can be scheduled daily or weekly. You can also break each day into chunks of time with
objectives for each. These are the steps needed to achieve your mid-term goals.
Short-term goal – One-week plan:
1. Fill in character analysis sheet for main character and one secondary
2. Start a journal. Write about anything for fifteen minutes a day.
3. Subscribe to two writing newsletters (many are free).
4. Check out the SCBWI website.
5. Find three alternative ways to make money using your writing skills.
Goals are Flexible
Your goals will reflect your own lifestyle, personality and responsibilities. Be sure to make allowances for family
problems, illness and unexpected occurrences. Goals are not tattoos or etched in concrete. If they need adjusting –
adjust. If they need deleting – get rid of them. Be realistic. Too much pressure can be discouraging while low
expectations make a writer stagnate.
Make your goals realistic and measurable. Nothing feels better than brandishing that big black pen and ticking off