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The Why Behind My Marketing Goals

Goals. Some people hate them. I love them. Me and goals are BFFs. My goals guide me throughout the year. They cheer me on when I pay attention and haunt me when I start ignoring them. When I achieve a goal, they throw me a party…an imaginary party that I make up in my head…but that’s beside the point.

The point is that goals are important to me. At the end of each year, I take a full day to reflect and determine my goals for the next year. As you can imagine, this is a pretty exciting day for me. I get to lovingly craft my goals and make them all sorts of promises about how I will lavish care on them, call them every day and rush over with chicken soup if they should get sick. This day is also a little scary. Some of the goals I make are big and scary. They loom over me like huge mountains, the kind you need sherpas and very hardy goats for. One of my big goals this year is to buy my first house. This may not seem like such a big goal, but if you look up real estate prices in Southern California, you’ll begin to understand why I might need to hook some ice picks on my belt before I start on this goal.

I like to break goals down by categories. Writing is always a goal category, so are Finances, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, etc… Once I create yearly goals, I break them down into quarterly goals and monthly goals to make them more manageable.

It’s easy to get fixated on a goal, whether it’s to complete one new novel by the end of the year, make a certain amount of money, or listen to one audio book a month (all goals of mine, by the way). This year, I did something a little different. Before I wrote my goals in each category, I took some time to ask myself Why is this important? I guess I just wanted to see in black and white why I was willing to work so hard.

One of my goal categories this year is Writing Marketing. I slacked on marketing my writing last year like it was nobody’s business, so I knew I had to enshrine some specific goals this year. I know many, many writers who fear or dislike marketing just like I do, so I want to share my little thought bubble on the topic. This is why behind my marketing goals:

One of my dreams is  to live off the proceeds of my writing. That won’t happen by itself no matter how good my writing is. Being a commercially successful author is about writing great and entertaining stories and also convincing people to read and talk about your work. It’s about creating excitement, which requires focus and action. Marketing is very challenging for me. In many ways, I am still uncertain and shy about promoting my writing. A deep, dark part of me worries that my writing isn’t good enough, that I’m embarrassing myself. Marketing also feels selfish and bad, so it’s easy to put it aside and to do other things instead (like write more). But I have to recognize that marketing is part of the self-publishing process and it’s a key component to commercial success. With that in mind, in 2014 I want to focus on creating a long-term and consistent marketing plan, as well as educating myself about marketing techniques. In the past, I haven’t consistently given time to marketing, and I haven’t kept up marketing campaigns. 2014 is the year to go all in. It will take work, time and belief  my writing. I can do this. I will do this.

I wish you the best of luck with your goals for 2014. If you don’t have any yet, start writing!

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