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April 30, 2010

Writer Tip: Tawny Weber

“Goals and Goal Timelines

Writing goals are fabulous tools. They get us to put the words on the page, they motivate us to submit our manuscripts, they push us over hurdles when we’d rather give up. You’ve sent goals, right? Finish the first draft – or better yet, finish the first draft by XYZ date. Maybe even goals like pitching or submitting to a certain number of editors and agents before the end of the year.

But what about those ultimate goals we’re all striving for- the goal to sell a book? How can we set that goal when the decision is in the hands of someone (or someones, in the case of books bought by an editorial committee) else? Can we put a deadline on something like that?

Yes and no.

We can create a goal timeline. If the ultimate goal is to sell a book, make a list of everything that has to be done first. Write the book, polish it (maybe get critique partners or enter it in contests for feedback). Submit, resubmit, revise, use feedback and revise again. Realistically look at your time – do you work full-time? Have kids who take up time? Are you a fast or slow writer? Where are you at in terms of knowledge of your craft?

So taking into account where you’re at, what you have to learn, and where you want to go – how long, realistically, would it take for you to complete all the steps on the timeline? This is what you can control. This is the part to focus on. This is what your goal should be – to do all the things on your timeline. Then, after you’ve submitted the book, to do them all over with another book while you’re waiting to hear.”

Tawny Weber is usually found dreaming up stories in her California home, surrounded by dogs, cats and kids. When she’s not writing hot, spicy stories for Harlequin Blaze, she’s shopping for the perfect pair of boots or drooling over Johnny Depp pictures (when her husband isn’t looking, of course). In September 2010, her tenth Blaze, RIDING THE WAVES hits the bookshelves. Come by and visit her on the web at www.tawnyweber.com


  1. Maria D.

    Very good information …..so true about doing what you have control over and then while someone else makes a decision moving onto the next goal

  2. Suzanne

    Hi Shelly,
    Having goals in any profession is essential. I write up my goals each year, mind you, I’m realistic.
    I started with a ladder of six steps. I choose slow steps and I’m on my third step of six.
    Eventually I’ll get there. Well I hope. lol… :)

  3. Julia Smith

    An excellent post for me to stumble across this evening – thanks!