Setting Goals: First Steps to Getting Published

I began writing professionally to some extent over 5 years ago and have been writing off and on ever since, with some hiatuses longer than others (*cough*…haven’t written in the last two years…*cough*).

But as I continue to grow my family and continue improving myself as a professional educator I find myself holding fierce to my own identity as well. Because no, I’m not just a mother, teacher, wife, woman, sister, daughter, etc.

I’m a writer. I’m an ambitious writer and I need goals to make sense of my life.

Goal: Publish a book in five years

Five years seems like an incredibly long time to me. Hell, five years ago I was quitting my job to become a writer. But it seems doable as long as I stick to it and do it right.

In addition to writing my book I am simultaneously researching how to get publishes. I know there are great books-to-be out there under the weight of hundreds of other manuscripts in the slush pile of some publishing house – why didn’t they get published? And how can I be…not like them? These are the questions I’m trying to answer before I try and sell myself to an agent.

One of the things that keeps popping up in advise and general how-to articles is that agents and publishers are looking for authors with some sort of existing following.

They want to know there are people who want to read your shit. So…

Goal: Build Platform

I can write for me and I can write for an audience but there is something so smarmy about trying to get others to buy what you’re selling, so to speak. I feel so icky counting followers and retweeting/liking/commenting on something in the hopes of eeking a few more followers out.


If you look in the #writingcommunity you’ll see aspiring authors, acclaimed writers, award winning poets all with a nearly 1:1 ratio of following to followers. At first I thought this was a shameless “you follow me, I’ll follow you” scheme that would only serve to inevitably saturate my twitter feed, but now that I’m in it and reading posts I see a whole lot of support coming from people who barely know me.

And this is where I find myself now. Two chapters into a book. 75 followers on Twitter. 16 subscribers on my blog. These aren’t big numbers, but they’re real and they’re growing.

What are some goals you are setting for yourselves?

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