Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Set Your INTENTION to Achieve Your Goals as a Writer

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

We’ve all been told about setting goals. Which is a great exercise! Yes, we should know what we want. But all too often, we fail in achieving those goals. So, today, we’re going to see if we can tweak our world a little bit and come at the problem from another direction.

Most of us create goals that are completely unattainable. 

We have grandiose ideas of how much we can do in a day or what a goal takes. We even think we want one thing, when it’s actually something else that’s important and we just can’t make things happen. And then we beat ourselves to a pulp, feeling like we just aren’t good enough. Right? Does that sound familiar? 

If you actually do set goals and achieve them in a reasonable time, congratulations! You are probably 2% of the world’s population. Keep doing what you’re doing.

But if you’re in that other 98%, you may be struggling.

Let’s start with the goal itself. 

Here are some tips for setting goals:
  • Make them achievable. Setting a goal should be within your reach – can you make it happen? Are you expecting too much of yourself?
  • Setting smaller goals that lead to much larger ones are like taking college courses you may not be really interested in but which lead to a degree. Sometimes you have to lay that foundation before you can get what you really want.
  • Make them logical. Do you believe you can do it?
  • Be open to possibilities: Not THAT particular house, but a house like it. 
  • Use positive ideas: What you DO want, not what you DON’T want
  • Be willing to adapt: You can make different choices as you go
  • Create wonderful things! You are meant to be happy!

Once you’ve decided on a logical, reasonable, achievable goal, now is the time to set the intention.

An intention is what you will do to make the goal come to fruition. 

If your goal is to publish a book, for instance, you would first need to write one. Most people will never get that far. So, we’ll focus on the writing first. I’m not going to go through the dozens of steps this can include, since every one of us is completely different in the ways we create books. 

Some Suggestions 

Come up with ideas. They come from everywhere and most writerly folks I talk to already have dozens and dozens. 

Do research for genre and target markets. Find out where your story can fit so it’s easier to sell.

Read. Read. Read. Read in your genre. Read outside your genre. Read books you love and books you hate. The more you know what is and is not selling and the reasons successful books are successful, the more chances you have to sell yours.

Take classes. Read craft books. Join a writing group (Be wary! But there are plenty to choose from.) Talk to writer friends. You’re not alone!

Research the business. The more you know about how publishing works, the more chances you’ll have of publishing.

These intentions, actual physical things you can do to reach your goal, can raise your chances of getting published exponentially. And none of them are hard. They do take time and effort but are very worth it.

Bottom line:
Goals are amazing tools. But just setting a goal isn’t, by itself, probably won’t get you where you want to go. Take the time to really determine what you intend to do. Create a path to get there. And, become one of the 2% of folks who achieve them.

What are your intentions?


Sarah (Sally) Hamer, B.S., MLA, is a lover of books, a teacher of writers, and a believer in a good story. Most of all, she is eternally fascinated by people and how they 'tick'. She’s passionate about helping people tell their own stories and has won awards at both local and national levels, including two Golden Heart finals.

A teacher of memoir, beginning and advanced creative fiction writing, and screenwriting at Louisiana State University in Shreveport for over twenty years, she also teaches online for Margie Lawson at Sally is a free-lance editor and book coach, with many of her students and clients becoming successful, award-winning authors. 

You can find her at 

From Sally: I wish to express gratitude to the giants upon whose shoulders I stand and who taught me so much about the writing craft. I would list every one, if it were only possible.

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