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Organized Writer, Part 3: Your Intentions

Goal-kpMZ9VAre you on the road to getting organized? I hope the answer is “yes.” All of your effort to be organized is wasted if you don’t have clear intentions for your work. Ask yourself these questions as you organize your writing effort.

Have you set goals for your writing?

Organizations and individuals spend a lot of time developing goals and objectives to make their work more effective. A writer should have the same concern. If you don’t know what your goal is, you have no way to measure success.

Do you want to publish a book? The steps to publication for a published writer will be different from those of an unpublished writer. As you set your goals, be sure they are realistic. Miracles do happen, but it usually takes years, even decades, to see that first book in print. Attend conferences and learn what it takes to reach your goal. Then, set your sub-goals with your time constraints in mind.

For the Christian writer—do the goals you’ve set coincide with what God wants for your writing? The best resource on this topic is a book that is out of print. Published in 1983 and 1988, Mark Porter’s The Time of Your Life: How to Accomplish All That God Wants You to Do is not specifically for writers, but I highly recommend it. Porter outlines a time management method for Christians that includes several chapters on goal-setting.

Why do you write?

Every writer needs to know the answer to this question. Sandra P. Aldrich, a Christian writer was featured speaker at Kentucky Christian Writers Conference 2006, said, “I write because I have to.” She doesn’t write to make a living or to become famous. She writes because it’s part of who she is. Some writers who “write because they have to” are not concerned with publication. They might use their writing to encourage and teach others or to enhance a speaking ministry.

And for whom?

Writers want their work to be read by someone. Who are your prospective readers? For example, do you want to write for children, ages 6-10? Senior adults? Teens? The “market” you choose will determine the subject matter, language, and style of your writing. Publishing industry experts say this is possibly the Number One deficiency in the work of writers seeking publication. These writers have no idea that they are supposed to tailor their work for specific publications.

Readers, how do you answer these questions? You are welcome to comment on this post and share your thoughts. If you receive this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.

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4 Responses to Organized Writer, Part 3: Your Intentions

  1. Sue Tornai Loeffler May 20, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    I write for ministry. In response to God’s amazing love for me, I want others to experience His love and have a relationship with Him. Most important to me is that children get the message, so I write for the parents too.

  2. Emily Akin May 20, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, Sue.

  3. Tracy Crump May 23, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

    Great article, Emily. I’ve found goal setting for shorter pieces is different than for a book, but my reasons are the same—to glorify God. Since I find more satisfaction in writing short pieces, it may be that’s what I’m meant to do because I sure am having a hard time time finishing a novel!

  4. Emily Akin May 23, 2017 at 8:59 pm #

    The first one is the hardest, I’ve heard. I like the short pieces. My attention span is not very long.

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