Examining your Goals as an Author

Good morning!

We’ve got a small wilderness area with a river behind us, and the county is working to shore up the levy/create a salmon habitat/make run off areas. While it doesn’t directly impact us, the noise and occasional vibrations have made it interesting.

I’ve had a few people tell me later that I inspire them. It’s not something I went out seeking, but I’m learning to be okay with the idea that people see me as a role model of sorts. I can’t control what they think of me, in all honesty, and perhaps they’ve seen something in what I do or how I live my life that inspires them to do the same.

One of the things I think all authors really should be aware of is what your goals are. Are you looking to be at the top of the NYT best seller list? Retire early to a mansion in the middle of nowhere? Will you be willing to donate your time to a charity looking for a celebrity guest? Are you wanting to be surrounded by an entourage every where you go? Assistants to do everything but write and sign the books for you? 

If those are some of your goals, start saving now. Because that’s not going to happen overnight, and you won’t get it from the first day of your first release.

There is no real instant gratification when it comes to being an author. We spend months or years on a single project. Then, more time devoted to either finding an agent/publisher or going through editing/proofreading. It can take 4 years or more of real work to see a book go from idea to up for sale. And, for new authors, another 5 years before it’s discovered by readers. 

Being an author has a certain amount of celebrity status attached to it, yes. I’ve seen it on the faces of people when they find out what I do for a living. I’m one of the success stories. That person who stopped dreaming about writing a novel, and actually did it. 

But I don’t care if I top the NYT list. The mansion? Not my style. Celebrity guest? I could do that. Entourage? Now, that’s a funny one. Because anyone who I would include in something like that would keep my feet firmly on the ground. I’m surrounded by people that all know when, and how, to tell me my ego’s running amok. And that’s one reason I keep them around.

My goals as an author are far more simple. To write a story that engages the reader. To have enough success with my books to help our household budget. Maybe help out with college for my daughters. Give us some breathing room each month. 

Am I there yet? Not by a long shot. My stories, I think, are good. And the sales will find me. Eventually. I hope so, anyway. But I already got one goal I didn’t know I was even trying for. I inspired someone else to write, put thoughts to paper, and think about getting published. I can live with that.

Good news alert!

Do you live in the Portland, Oregon area? If so, come to Book Warehouse in Troutdale on Sunday, July 20th! I’m doing a meet and greet from noon-3pm! The books aren’t making it in time for the event, but should be in the store sometime in August. I’ll still be there, though! With postcards, doing a reading or two, and talking about my books and publishing. Hope to see some people there!


2 thoughts on “Examining your Goals as an Author

  1. BB – your goals are at the core of why we write. To engage, inform, educate, and entertain the audience. It’s all about the process like you said, I feel now a days in the time of instant gratification people forget about the process. Anything that happens after is just icing on the cake.

    Move forward openly with curiosity and amusement with your passions rather than demands and hopes. Don’t expect it to go as planned but know that the unplanned may lead to the best later.


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