Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Tips to Plan Your Writing Career in 2021

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Our family celebrations often involve a game of dominoes. Me? I like lining them up (not the family members) and watching them fall one-by-one. 

Unfortunately, if writers don’t plan out their writing career for the year in January 2021, their publishing dreams may fall flat. Every writer is motivated by something, and when we lose track of why we embarked upon this wonderful journey, our dreams and ideas never hit a winning mark. In fact, they are destroyed. 

“Speaking from my personal experiences, setting goals, along with a detailed action plan, has actually changed my life from one cast in frustration to one of purpose.” ― Catherine Pulsifer

If we write when we feel the muse, edit when the mood strikes us, promote when it’s easy, and submit when we have nothing better to do, our careers are destined to fall flat. So how can we avoid a negative domino effect?

Here are ten ways writers can take charge of their career in 2021.

1. Understand priorities and stick by them. Life is filled with interruptions, and only we can decide which distractions are important and which ones are merely annoyances.

2. Establish a budget for conferences, marketing, promotion, how-to books, reading, electronics, business expenses, and other miscellaneous expenditures. 

3. Calendar writing project due dates that allow for extra time in the event of emergencies. If a manuscript is on spec, establish a personal deadline to finish and stick to it.

4. List the writing projects that need research and schedule that time on your calendar.

5. Determine social media goals: learn a new platform and work smarter on all established ones.

6. Analyze the many blogs available for the writer and the world of publishing. Select and follow those that are consistently professional with respected authors and information.

7. Evaluate current writing groups, online and live. Which one(s) allow the writer to learn and give back to others?

8. Create an “Idea” folder for every project. Writing ideas come from the world around us—from blogs to articles to book projects. 

9. Update author bios and include various lengths.

10. Take an honest look at your professional photo. Is it time for a new headshot?

Facing the New Year with a plan means writers are destined for success. Monitor how your dominoes line up this year and plan for interference.

How have you developed your writing and publishing criteria for 2021?


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. 

She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson. Connect here:


  1. This is a great list! It's always important to revisit the building blocks of a successful writing life.

  2. DiAnn, thank you for this very practical list for the business side of writing/publishing. You make it sound manageable - and that is truly helpful .... :)

  3. Thank you! I am going to try to stick to my schedule! ☺

  4. This is such a helpful list of practical ways to move forward this year. Thank you,DiAnn.