How to Plan Out Your Yearly Goals as a Writer

With this free worksheet from Bring Your Fiction to Life, Karen S. Wiesner gives you a simple outline for planning out your writing career, year-by-year, to accomplish any goals you’d like to achieve.
Publish date:

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.

Image placeholder title
Image placeholder title

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.

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

Image placeholder title

If you’re an agent looking to update your information or an author interested in contributing to the GLA blog or the next edition of the book, contact Writer’s Digest Books Managing Editor Cris Freese at

Image placeholder title
Poetic Forms

Rannaigecht Mor Gairit: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the rannaigecht mor gairit, a variant form of the rannaigecht.


The Writer, The Inner Critic, & The Slacker

Author and writing professor Alexander Weinstein explains the three parts of a writer's psyche, how they can work against the writer, and how to utilize them for success.


Todd Stottlemyre: On Mixing and Bending Genres

Author Todd Stottlemyre explains how he combined fiction and nonfiction in his latest book and what it meant as a writer to share his personal experiences.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Take a Trip

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character take a trip somewhere.


Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.


Stephanie Wrobel: On Writing an Unusual Hero

Author Stephanie Wrobel explains how she came to write about mental illness and how it affects familial relationships, as well as getting inside the head of an unusual character.


Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.


Precedent vs. President (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use precedent vs. president with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 554

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a future poem.