Erotica author, aka Elspeth Potter, on Writing from the Inside

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Writing Goals

What are your goals for writing?

I was thinking about this recently, and realized I needed to make some new goals. My first goal was sell a short story. I did quite a bit of that, all the while with the goal sell a novel. After I sold a novel, it was get a second novel contract, which I accomplished in April.

So what now?

I have a lot of ideas I'd love to turn into novels, but using those ideas doesn't really feel like a goal; they're just part of writing for me.

There's the money aspect, but I'm not sure that counts as a goal, either. Though I love being paid for my work, other factors are more important to me, and it doesn't seem useful to me to set a goal like earn X amount of money.

I don't actually have the goal of becoming a full-time writer. If some fortuitous event made me unspeakably wealthy, perhaps, but I don't see that happening. I don't want to worry about my contracts in the way I would need to, if they were my sole source of income. I prefer the stability of having a day job.

My only real goal at present, besides the immediate, finish the pirate novel, is to work on becoming a better writer, but that's more of a constant undercurrent than a goal. There's write what I want to write, which I am pretty much doing already, to my astonishment. It's not every publisher that will accept things like eunuchs and vengeful werewolf spies. And, of course, have fun. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't enjoy it.


  1. Congrats on the continual upward climb!

    You make a good point that there's career goals and then there's writing goals. Of course, my goal is to sell a book. :) But they say set goals that are achievable, so I suppose a better goal would be to send a second book to my agent. My writing goal is to write a novel outside of my current world so I can learn to branch out a bit.

  2. a better goal would be to send a second book to my agent.That's an idea. Maybe I should see if I can teach myself to write a new proposal while writing the current book. That is an important skill I don't have.

  3. Since I've finished my book and am presently querying, I'm taking a break to read everybody I promised to read while I was writing. I would love to be a full time writer and it is a goal of mine, but not to sound negative, I've found if I don't think about it that seriously and put too much energy on it, it just may happen for me. I'm writing more for a sense of accomplishment. I write all the time, so it isn't like my current book will be a one trick pony. But after being in the music business all those years and being disappointed with that, I want to see my book in print in the bookstore so I can feel like I accomplished something that's very hard to do. If that makes sense.

  4. It makes TOTAL sense. My "get novel published" goal took me at least a decade to accomplish, more if you count when I was just learning to write. And it was awesome when it finally happened. I'm still happy with that.

    Being relaxed about the goal is wise, though. Publishing is such a crapshoot sometimes. I don't know what to strive for.

  5. I know lots of authors move immediately into the Become a Bestseller goal stream, but that seems fraught with peril to me. As in, it becomes soooo easy to focus on print runs and publicity rather than on writing.

  6. Also, how can you MAKE yourself into a bestseller? That has often puzzled me. I mean, I know there are books and such that tell you how, but those things aren't GUARANTEED. And...I don't think they MEAN anything, really.