2012 New Year’s Goal Setting For A Writer’s Life

Happy New Year! I love the start of the year and I am extremely excited about 2012. It’s the best time to be a writer and we have many opportunities to take advantage of in a world where we can reach customers directly.

Someone asked me what my hobbies were the other day. I realized that writing and blogging have been my hobbies for the last 4 years but now this is my business as well as my passion. So I need to step it up in 2012.

I also don’t like resolutions. The word sounds like something you kind of aim for and quite often fail to achieve. I like goal setting in a specific manner so we can easily measure success by the end of the year. So these are my writing and business goals for 2012. I’d love to hear about yours in the comments.

Fiction Writing

  • Write 2 novels and a novella. At least one of these will be in the ARKANE series but I have a lot of other ideas right now.
  • Sell 50,000 copies of my fiction books by September.
  • Go on a weekend writing course/ invest in expanding my fiction skills. I have already booked a Guardian Masterclass for Feb and I fancy the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in July

The Creative Penn, my business

I am committing to improving the blog in 2012. You will continue to get the latest in writing, publishing and book marketing information that I can find. I already have interviews booked until March so more podcasts & videos to come. I also commit to sharing my own journey honestly in order that transparency can help us all. I hope you will continue to comment on the posts and email me questions as well as spreading the word if you find it useful.

My more specific goals are:

  • Update TheCreativePenn.com to reflect the business side in terms of courses and education. One of my favorite blogs is Copyblogger.com for their practical business help on copywriting. This year they changed their design to reflect that they are a business powered by a blog. This is where I’m heading in 2012.
  • Rewrite and relaunch the Author 2.0 Blueprint. It has had little updates but it needs a full revamp.
  • Release 3 new multi-media mini-courses including  “How to launch your book online”
  • Seriously study copy-writing and direct marketing from Copyblogger & other resources. I think I have the hang of brand marketing but now I need to focus on the direct side.
  • Financially, the income from the business (including fiction) needs to match my husband’s salary by the end of 2012. No need for figures here but suffice to say, I need to work smarter :) My income streams will be 80% scalable from book sales and online sales of courses. 20% will be based on my time – speaking and consulting.

Non-Fiction Writing

I always wanted to be a self-help author and it’s time to revisit that in 2012.

  • Revise and re-release “From Idea to Book” with material from the blog and my experience
  • Revise and re-release “From Book to Market” with material from the blog and my experience
  • Write Change Career Slowly, a development from my first book, How to Enjoy Your Job… Or Find A New One

Fitness and Personal Growth

I have lots of other personal goals, both individual and with my husband but I’m sharing these two because they also spill into my creative life.

  • Writing and blogging are highly sedentary. I’ve tried a stand-up desk but that didn’t last long. I’ve also put on 3kgs since I went full-time author-entrepreneur. That isn’t sustainable. No, this isn’t a weight-loss blog, but we must keep physically healthy in order to have a successful, long-lived creative life. So, I am putting it in writing this year (aarghh!) My goal is 63kg and you should see the difference in my cheekbones on the videos! See you on the treadmill!
  • Go on a silent retreat. I’ve been wanting to do this for years so this year, I will make it happen. If you have done this, please do let me know any recommendations for venues.

Ok, that’s me.

What are your goals for 2012? Please share them in the comments below and we can revisit them at the end of the year.


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  1. Keith Allen says

    Thanks for posting your 2012 goals, how motivating!

    I just put in for a business license with my state, so I will soon be my own “indie press”. Can’t wait!
    My goals:
    1. Have two novels from the same series out by next Christmas, as well as 10 short stories. Stretch goal of a third non-series novel. The first book will be done this week, atleast it better be or my publisher (me) is going to be very upset. I have some beta readers lined up as well as an editor. I’m looking at cover designers now. Lots and lots of good ones out there!
    2. Setup a writer website/blog and get started in social media, I’m thinking Twitter and Google+.
    3. I hear you on the health issues…my weight made a steady and unstoppable climb in 2011, I plan to reel it in in 2012. My goal is going to be less about weight lost, but more about hitting my daily calorie and movement goals.

    Best wishes in the New Year everyone!

  2. LKWatts says

    Hi Joanna,

    Your goals sound awesome but I’m not sure if I agree with the 50,000 books you want to sell. I don’t think this is a goal you have very much control over unless you’re well on your way to achieving that already. All your other goals sound achievable because you have total control over them.

    My goals? To have my second book completed by the end of the year. Hopefully it will be on sale by that time too but that depends on whether I can secure an editor by then, and I obviously will have to fit in with their schedule as well.

    Happy New Year to you.

    • says

      Hi LK, I probably needed to clarify that I have sold 16,000 of Pentecost so it is based on selling the same again of Prophecy and more of the other things I also put out this year. I’m also including 16,000 in the total (is that cheating?!) Sept might be pushing it, perhaps.
      I do think we have impact on sales figures through
      a) getting reviews which helps Amazon’s algorithm
      b) marketing efforts which increase sales

      All the best with your project and we’ll look forward to hearing about your book.

    • says

      Go for it Maddy! I’m going to start running again when I have got my weight down a bit so my knees don’t get stressed. I’m into Zumba and Body Attack classes at the gym right now!

  3. says

    Joanna, thanks for sharing your journey and goals with us. I hope you reach all of your 2012 ambitions!

    I’m aiming high for 2012. My goal is to sell 100,000 books. I shot for 10,000 in December and sold 9,000. Actually, I guess I’m projecting that I’ll sell that many this year based on my sales growth, and my goals include publishing the 3 books I’m working on and maybe more, to take my writing to the next level, and to continue with my social networking. I think my books are doing most of my promoting so I hope to focus on writing a really great novel.

  4. says


    It is hard for me to visualize any particular goals since I haven’t been very successful. I would like to learn more on marketing and blogging. I am in the process of updating my website in hopes of increasing my fan base. I have started two additional novels which I would like to complete…both sequels, and maybe write another historical fiction book.

  5. says

    It’s impossible to have healthy mind if you allow your body to fall apart. IMO, any goal to improve your health will always improve the work related aspect of your life.

    Personally, I simply plan to finish my own writing project and have it on the market by June. Until then, I’m setting myself on the path to learn as much as I can from fantastic sites such as this one. So STAY HEALTHY! I need your awesome information to be the best it can be so I continue to gleen information from it. 😛

  6. jd says

    Yes , goals. Something like ambitions. My goal once was to see my first novel being played out on the big screen with a cast of my favorite actors breathing life into my greatest accomplishment. Ah, well. So this year maybe the best goal would be to forget about publishing this first completed piece and to get started on the next one. There’s a bit of a backlog. Perhaps not forget about publishing, that may be the wrong mindset, but to work as you intend, on different sizes of books. I discovered recently a series of individually bound short stories in a local (Victoria, B.C.) bookstore. They were collectively labelled ‘Good Read’ publications. Is this idea new or just new to me?
    Thanks for your website. I’m glad to have found it. I need all the help I can get.

    • says

      Hi JD, I’d like to see my novels on the big screen too – but I think that is more a dream than a goal i.e. it is totally out of our control! I’m glad you find the site useful.

  7. says

    Joanna you’ve set smart, attainable goals. I don’t like setting resolutions either. But I did set numerous goals in all aspects of my life. Two of my main writing goals are to maintain a regular blogging schedule and to learn to not hate the revising process so much because it’s necessary.

  8. says

    I finally found something that we have in common. Up until I was 50 I was strong and fit. Since then I have gained weight at an alarming rate until now that I am considered morbidly obese. After several doctors, diets and attempts at heavy workouts, I find that weight loss isn’t easy and there is no magic pill. Not to be put off on my quest, I have just (over that last 7 days) attacked my problem vigorously with proper food and not so heavy workouts. 12 pounds so far….4-5 kg?. Anyway I wanted to run something by you. I have decided to write a book on my website and ask readers for their input as I trudge through it. My hope is to get more people interactive with my website and have some fun with another project. What do you think?

    • says

      Weight loss is ALWAYS something people are interested in. Check out Joe Konrath’s new project – 30 day beer diet.
      It’s gimmicky and smart with an angle – I have NO doubt he will be writing a book on it! I would hate that kind of diet myself but the point is, use your personality and not just the weight loss.

  9. says

    Joanna you have been and continue to be an inspiration to me. You gave me the courage this year to publish my picture books and think of myself as a business. I openly started freelance illustrating and now have 3 books I illustrated as well as 3 that I author/illustrated. I’m still holding out on my middlegrade series. I have a publisher still looking at a submission *fingers crossed* but if that is a no go I have plans to independently publish that series. I have goals to write one more book in that MG series and start on another series I’ve been plotting out over the last couple years. I also have 3 more picture books planned and I hope to have many more author clients. I live working with authors an illustrating brings me happiness. I love when kids look at my books and they tell their parents how cool it is to them. :) Best wishes and all the success to you Joanna and Ill see you next year. :)

  10. says

    Thank you for a wonderful inspiring blog! I managed to set all my coals and I surprised myself by publishing FOUR books 2012. Amazing! One of them in english. And the goal for 2013 is that I will release the book as e-book and printed book. And of course write more new book!
    Love Kim


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