How to Plan Out Your Yearly Goals as a Writer

Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 118 titles published in the last 19 years, which have been nominated/won 134 awards, and has 39 more releases contracted, spanning many genres and formats.

She is the author of the new Writer’s Digest Books title BRING YOUR FICTION TO LIFE.


One essential tool for developing and maintaining momentum in your writing career is to write out your yearly goals to help you plan the projects you’ll work on during any given year. Write your yearly goals in the previous year (or sooner), so when the new year starts you know what you’re going to be doing month by month (and hopefully week by week, too, with your project goals projection). Your yearly goals should, above all, be flexible. Feel free to rework this downloadable worksheet throughout the year to take into account new projects, new sales, and new inspirations or life’s curveballs.

Your annual and multiyear goals worksheet will include accurate predictions as to when you’ll be researching, creating outlines, writing, revising, editing and polishing, and allowing time for each stage in the writing process. A more in-depth goals worksheet may be necessary if you like to plan further ahead than one year or if you already know you have several books scheduled for publication within the next few years. Writing out multiyear goals with a year-by-year breakdown of your tasks and objectives will allow you to allocate your time intelligently.

You need to play any vacation time, too, as well as your active writing time. And don’t forget to leave a little room for crisis (personal, career, or family sickness, etc.). I do that by adding a couple extra projects I may or may not finishing into my yearly goals. This gives me room to maneuver if I have to. You may prefer making your yearly goals much looser or even more demanding. Find what works for you.

Download a free copy of your Yearly Goals Worksheet here.

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