To kick off the new year with some inspiration, we asked our blog subscribers to share their writing and business plans for 2023, as well as advice for other authors. We received a wide range of responses, but one thing these authors all agreed on: Goals are important! No matter which goals you pursue or how you measure them, setting an intention for the year can help provide direction, motivation, and focus. We hope you’ll find advice below that resonates with you and helps jump-start your work this year. Enjoy!
Subscribe to the blog to download a high-resolution PDF of Goals for the New Year: Ideas and Advice from 52 Authors!
Here’s a small sampling of quotes you can find inside:
Set realistic goals
My plan for 2023: To take a big swing and listen to my gut. I don’t want to get swayed by other people’s voices, especially when I’m only imagining what they might say anyway! My best work has always been when I’ve just gone for it, followed my instincts, written what I would like to read and not compared myself to my peers.
My advice: Make goals actionable and entirely within your grasp. There are so many elements of traditional publishing life that are outside of our control, but there are some things that are all about us: the promotion we can do for ourselves, the events we can go to, the ways we can support other authors… And of course, the writing itself. Setting goals that are achievable is one way to feel a sense of control in what is a rather roller-coaster career.
—Holly Seddon, author of Try Not to Breathe
Dare to dream big
My plan for 2023: This year I’m aiming to connect with more readers and double the core readership for the Neighborly Affection series.
My advice: Don’t be afraid to go big with your goals. Say out loud what you really want, no matter how far away it seems, and then write up a plan to get yourself there.
—M.Q. Barber, USA Today bestselling author of Playing the Game
Break big goals into smaller steps
My plan for 2023: I have an online book group on Facebook of 26,000+ members, and they are such avid readers, so my big goal for 2023 is to meet as many of them as possible. I’m renovating a vintage Airstream and turning it into a cute bookstore and tiny coffee shop, which I will drive all over America in April and May when my new book, The Seaside Library, is released.
My advice: I’m very practical about goals. I decide what I want to achieve, and then I plot the path I’m going to take to get there. Nothing is too big if you break it down into very small steps and focus on each step instead of the mountain ahead.
—Brenda Novak, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Bookstore on the Beach
Prioritize and focus
My plan for 2023: Get focused and stop trying to do all the things. When I see an author do “XYZ” I think, oh I should do that. Then I go into the rabbit hole and leave the other stuff I was working on. So 2023 is focusing on three things that will benefit my business and not getting sidetracked easily. LOL!
My advice: When trying something new, give it a few months with focus and attention to see if it’s working. If it’s not working, make changes, but give it enough time to have data that can be measured.
—Tenille Bettenhausen, author of Maybe I’ll Be an Architect
Regularly reevaluate your goals
My plan for 2023: Deprioritize online outreach and focus on opportunities to interact in person — with fellow authors at conferences and with readers at book fairs and other book-centric events.
My advice: Don’t set and assess goals only at year-end! Review your goals more frequently — monthly works best for me — and adjust as needed. The world doesn’t stand still for a year, and neither should your goals.
—Matty Dalrymple, author of The Sense of Death
My plan for 2023: Plan for more regular time off to refill the writing and creativity well. It’s too easy in this business to work 12-hour days seven days a week. While I love this job, that’s not the way for me to have a healthy, happy life.
My advice: Not all of us are wired for SMART goals, nor should we be. Spend some time figuring out what kind of goals are right for you, not what society and productivity gurus say you should be doing. When I learned that I should not be trying to “write every day,” I actually became more productive and wrote better books than when I tried to follow the kind of writing advice that is out there for everybody all the time, but that didn’t actually fit me or my brain.
—Aidy Award, author of Dirty Wolf
Skim through the flipbook above or download the high-resolution PDF for more goal-setting inspiration whenever you need it!
Thank you to everyone who wrote in with their thoughts! Share your own 2023 goals or goal-setting advice in the comments below.
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