It’s Say Anything Saturday! And I totally got that title from one of my favorite Facebook groups (Thanks CLC!) Anyway, I think I’ll take Saturdays, occasionally, to talk about whatever I want to. Why not? It’s my own blog, and I love the excuse to do a theme!
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about goals lately because that’s something I do. I’m a Capricorn and I’m nothing without goals. Goals are good. Goals motivate me. Goals keep me in line. But remember what I said at the beginning of the year? That this would be the year I give no fucks? I’m here to say, THAT’S REALLY HARD. This is probably the hardest year’s theme I’ve ever set. 2015 was the year I said NO, and that was easy in comparison. I said NO to a lot of stuff that year and I continue to do so. But not giving a fuck? Man, that is tough. When I watch a book of mine fail, I want to give a fuck. When I lose money on ads, I’m giving fucks before I can stop myself. When I haven’t written anything in three months, I’m giving fucks like I’m drowning in them. Sigh. It’s so hard. This is something I’m obviously working on, and maybe it’ll be better by the end of the year.
I realized this past week that I’ve made a few mistakes in setting goals for my author career. What mistakes would those be? I had set several goals that I couldn’t control the outcome of, most of them in regards to sales or money earned. I can do my damnedest to write an appealing and enthralling story, put an awesome cover on it, market it to the best of my ability, and still, I may never sell a copy of that book. It’s just the way things are, and sometimes no matter what I do from then on, it may still never sell. So even though I accomplished a lot, I sell myself short for everything that came up to that moment: the writing, the editing, the publishing.
I listened to a podcast last night while taking care of the dishes, The Self-Publishing Formula Podcast, and their guest was the prolific romance author, Bella Andre. I loved all she had to say about writing and publishing. She was thrilling and full of good advice. At some point in the podcast, they mentioned that she has A LOT of books out, more than 50, and the hosts, Mark and James, were astounded by that. I have a few of her books myself so I jumped on Amazon and checked out her catalog and she had over 200 entries on Amazon (many of these box sets and what not) and 69 books published since 2007 (there may be more or less but it’s hard to tell on Amazon what’s a translation or a new edition or whatever). Nine years, seventy books. That’s 7-8 books per year! That’s amazing! Her best piece of advice and what she stressed in her interview was Write Your Next Book. WRITE IT…
And then the lightbulb went off in my head. I had been setting the wrong goals for myself! What I should be doing is setting a long-term goal I can actually work on and achieve. I turned 40 this year and I have already published seven books. Numbers 8 and 9, possibly 10, will be this year. What if I said…
I will publish 40 books by the time I’m 50 years old.
No goals for sales. No goals for money earned. Books, in this sense, will be anything 30k or more (if I bundle short stories, that can count as 1 book). And right now I will need 3.3 books per year to make that goal.
Is that crazy? It certainly feels incredibly motivating. I’m sure I’ll have some years when I don’t think I’ll make it because I only publish two books instead of three or four. But I like a really lofty goal, and if I came even kinda close, I would be really excited about that.
ETA (June 22, 2016): I changed this goal from 50 books to 40 books because that seemed like a more achievable goal!