Writing Goals and Accountability

Writing Goals and Accountability

When we think of our writing goals, we often focus on what we actually have no control over.

“I want to be a bestselling author.”

“I want to be published with Harper Collins.”

“I want to sign contracts with this agency.”

Those are great dreams and I hope they all come true for us, but honestly, we have no control over what someone else offers us in terms of representation or contracts. We also have no control over our readers purchasing our books. What we can do, however, is set goals based on what we can control:

“I’m going to do x, y, and z marketing strategies to sell a huge number of books.”

“I’m going to send a proposal to Harper Collins.” (Check submission guidelines — this is just an example!)

“I’m going to query this agent.”

Attack your Goals the SMART Way

The SMART method assures that your goals are actually things you can accomplish.

Relevant, Realistic
Time-based (deadline)

There needs to be room for WOW, so make sure to hold on to your hopes and dreams!

We had several guests pop in and share their writing projects and goals, and I know I found encouragement (and some great ideas) from what they said! Below the replay you’ll find our guests’ goals and some of the action items they’re using. Enjoy!

 Our Awesome Guests



Have a book published at the end of the year.

Action Steps:

Randy segments his day into four different ways: edit, write/rewrite, learn, and plot in a room with no electronics and transcribes them into snowflake. Also writes 1500 words every week to a mentor who critiques it and sends it back.



(1) Working on a book launch with SCWI.

(2) Either start a new series or continue with her current one.

Action Steps:

Market to the parents. Homeschool groups. Maybe write some curriculum.



(1) finish writing devotions

(2) editing novel

(3) finish writing proposal

Action Steps:

Breaking her day down into 15 minutes and trying to get stuff done; continually editing



Working on four different projects “Serial Launch Program;” Has been a paid writer for over 10 years. Get the writing done.

Action Steps:

Three different guest writing opportunities. Stop calling her work a “project” — spending an hour and a half working with seniors telling their stories. It will be a training program. Been approached by a geriatric center to implement throughout West Virginia. Scheduled out the implementation for individuals, putting it on Udemy, and finishing the system for the facility.



(1) Protect time.

(2) Write a specific letter to a specific person a week.

(3) Main writing goal: have first drafts of book 3 and 4 in my series done.

Action Steps:

(1) Practice saying “no” and choose to do things that are in his gift-set and relying on his congregation to use their gift set. Through the end of the year, not pick up the stuff he’s let go of during the sabbatical. Have margin.

(2) From Lori Roeleveld’s class at Blue Ridge – Write letters of encouragement to younger people in your congregation – and let them be the best writing you do. It blesses someone directly.

(3) Book launch tonight to sign books. Indie publishing. Goal is four books, so will write the next two books together and publish within 4-6 weeks together.

Tips to Repurpose Your Blog Content

Tips to Repurpose Your Blog Content

When you spend valuable time crafting a blog or article, it should continue to be read long after you publish it. Most of us have tons of great content hiding in the depths of our blogs. It’s time to let it resurface and breathe the fresh air. If you repurpose your blog content, you can keep your writing fresh and in front of your readers.

Photo Editing Sites

Scheduling Tools


Books Made into Movies

It’s super fun to read a great book and then immediately watch the movie…something I did with Gone Girl, Twilight, Hunger Games, and the Hobbit. It’s also equally frustrating with the movie turns out to not live up to par.

In today’s Writer’s Chat, we discuss which stories are better as books, as movies, and which did a great job all the way around!

The Power of Critique Groups

Someone will critique your work – it’s inevitable, and you don’t want it to be your publisher. Today’s Writers Chat digs in to why critique groups can be helpful for your writing career.

Critique Group Tips

  • Keep critique groups small.
  • Find Critique Groups
    • Your local librarian should have suggestions. They know local authors and can link you to other writers.
    • Also Word Weavers International is a great place to start. They have local in-person chapters, but also have groups to join online.
  • Attend writers conferences.
  • Have “Early Readers” and what Bethany calls, the “Yes” Reader.
  • WATCH OUT for someone who tries to change your “voice.”
  • Have your critique group members be close to your skill level.

Watch the replay here:

Fitness for Writers: Get Off Your Seat!

Fitness for Writers: Get Off Your Seat!

Fitness and writers are two words that don’t often go together. A common joke among writers is “Q: How do you write a book? A: Bottom in chair.” Today we’re talking about how to get your rear out of the chair! It’s awesome to have April Carpenter with us sharing tips and resources to make sure we’re taking care of our bodies and not just sitting forever. Check out her Facebook page!


Exercise Pyramid

1. Stop sitting so much.

2. Choose the active way. Move 30 minutes every day. PLUS aerobic exercises each week.

Banish Excuses

“If you complain, you will remain.”

When I’m writing, I get on a roll and can’t stop.

What if inspiration strikes while I’m on a walk? I’ll forget it.

April’s Personal Tips

  • Flip-flop water and caffeine throughout the day.
  • Nibble in the mornings.
  • Yogurt every other day.
  • Know your triggers. Sit properly at the computer.

Top Ten

  1. Make Exercise a Priority.

    Schedule the time with yourself daily.

  2. Make NO Excuses – readjust when necessary.

  3. Combine your writing goal with your workout goal.

  4. Products & Tech:

    • FitBit
      • do FitBit Challenges with your friends! 10,000 steps is a good goal. Drink water!
      • Bethany’s: FitBit Charge HR
    • MyFitness Pal app – free
    • Stability ball instead of desk chair – works on your posture
    • Stress ball
    • Resistance bands – can stretch your shoulders at your desk
    • Use a recorder or voice memo on your phone in case inspiration strikes, can also type in notes.
    • Wear a running belt to run or walk to hold your phone and headphones
    • Massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors
    • Good shoes *Bethany’s tip*
  5. Prayer

    • What are you afraid of? Time? Muscle soreness? Losing inspiration?
      Fear and faith demand hope without seeing.
    • Rhythms of Growth devotional
  6. Develop Your Own Rule

    Example: For every 20 minutes, drink 2-3 oz of water.
    For every hour of writing, I’m going to ________________.

  7. Stretch.

    God’s called you to do a work. You must take care of your instrument.
    Long-term, we need to be stretching every day.
    You lose flexibility every day that you don’t stretch.

  8. Take care of the whole package.

    Mind, body, and spirit. Relax. Eat healthy and yummy snacks: Kind bars, Pop chips, Larabars

  9. Get accountable.

    1. Join a gym.
    2. Call a friend.
    3. Do FitBit Challenges.
    4. Join a class at a community center or church.
  10. Connect the Spirit

    Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and Walking in this World: the Practical Art of Creativity

    1. Take a weekly walk.
    2. Make a date with yourself.
    3. Create your brain dump list in the morning.
    4. God will use us and unfold us in different ways.