IWSG Post 15: Reflection on Goals and a Five-Year Writing Plan #IWSG


[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]


I used to facilitate classes on goal writing. Looking back, it seems so long ago, me in a suit, standing at the front of a room pointing to charts, setting up videos, and providing my own personal examples to fellow business professionals what future personal and professional goals look like.

I’ve almost forgotten the feel of that environment. Until the December IWSG question for the month asked me to answer, “In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself in five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?”

The question/reflection made me nervous, scared and excited all at once. I do believe we all need goals, and some goals we set are better at getting us where we want to be. Plus for me, they give me a chance to check off little boxes (victory steps), or a chance to rewrite and reroute myself if I set a goal and life somehow got in the way of that time frame.


I’m both scared and excited. I’m scared because my publisher closed their doors this past fall and it’s been difficult and incredibly emotional to think about where to go next. I’m excited too, to think about possibility and my own personal gumption to achieve success.

Yesterday about 4:00 a.m. I sat down with my purple magic writing pen and my purple notebook to scratch down a few things in answer to this question. Here’s the picture of my notes, with all the swirls and scratches through the lines.

And here’s the typed version of what I came up with:

Personal 5-Year Plan Writing Objectives …

Long-Term Goal: In 5-Years, I aim to have a contract on at least one novel and at least one short story in a publication whether it be in print or digital form. Print of course would be my first choice.

My Short Term Goals To Get There …

  1. Complete my current edits on my manuscript in-progress by February 13, 2017 via pdf voice reader and Microsoft Word/Google Docs.
    • Write for an hour every day before work.
    • Review edits before bed three times a week.
    • Review favorite books by favorite authors to keep ideas fresh and seek out at least one new book this year, if not two.
    • Revisit goal at the end of December 2016 and again in January 2017 to reassess.
  1. Research and aspire to attend a writing workshop/conference in 2017, maybe 2018 if the finances don’t pan out, and develop a plan by the end of February 2017.
    • Build a leprechaun trap with my son and hopefully catch the leprechaun and discover his pot of gold 😉
    • Seriously now, I plan to join a writer’s guild again, maybe two to find out about workshops and conferences to meet other writer friends and agents.
    • Map out the costs of travel and finances to get there by April 2017.
  1. Dedicate two lunch periods a week to networking with other writers and authors. Hopefully I can find a writers critique group or circle in the same time frame.
  2. Set aside money to hire an editor for my manuscript by June of 2017 and while waiting, start a short story along the same lines as my next full length novel. I have three ideas to pick from. Maybe I’ll have my kids tell me which one they want to hear about the most.
  3. During the summer of 2017, work on a pitch for my manuscript and also complete any necessary edits.

So that’s my forecast into the next 5 years. Do you have one thing you’re hoping to accomplish in 2017?

Thank you for stopping in today, and thank you to this month’s hosts, and founder Alex J. Cavanaugh for all the time spent networking with us.

Jennifer Hawes
Jen Chandler
Nick Wilford
Juneta Key
JH Moncrieff
Diane Burton
MJ Fifield

About Erika Beebe

Author, dreamer, and a momma to a couple of wonderful kids, I try to live life everyday in hope and inspire others along my way.

Posted on December 7, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. That’s a detailed plan! Should have you teach all of us how to set those kinds of goals.
    Sorry about your publisher. There are always other options.

  2. Wow! Great detailed plan. I hope it works out for you 🙂 All the best for your writing endeavours.

  3. I love these goals. You are so organized to include the detail. I like the writer’s conference, just signed up for one in San Diego. There’s something about kindred spirits that I have been missing.

  4. Great plan. Good luck accomplishing all that you have set out to do! With such a detailed plan, I know you will be successful! 🙂

  5. Great plan! Very do-able as well.

    I’m really sorry to hear about your publisher. The same thing happened to me at the beginning of this year. It takes some time to work through those feelings, not to mention the logistics of getting your rights back, etc.

  6. I love victory steps! That’s one reason why I like to make checklists. 🙂

    I’m sorry your publisher closed their doors. That is scary. I worry about my own, but it can lead to something greater. I hope everything works out for you.

    Good luck with all of your editing! I’ll be do a lot of that myself next year.

    And thank you so much for signing up for my blog hop! I can’t wait to read your story.

  7. As many have noted, this is a wonderfully detailed plan. I like how you nailed down using lunch hours – keeping it real to your schedule in that spot. I have a somewhat detailed plan, but I don’t have that kind of detail written down. I just know how much time I want to spend on a given day – with the exception of IWSG day and the Thursday afterwards – I have a tendency to extend my social media time for those two days.
    Happy writing and best wishes on all of your goals! (I’m sorry to hear about your publisher)

    • Thank you Tyrean. It is so sad to think about small publishing houses closing. I haven’t been so great at social media myself and detailed goals hold me accountable. I feel like I am swimming without a bank if I don’t make a detailed plan. Thank you so much for stopping in 🙂

  8. That’s impressive, yo. I admire that you’re able to put together something that sounds pretty organic and obtainable. 🙂

    • Thank you Loni. It’s funny because I can only compartmentalize this type of organization…if you saw my desk you might run…chaos there but it’s my own organized chaos…lol

  9. An impressive plan you have there! And the goals are all achievable and measurable. (You’ll have to teach me how to make a leprechaun trap)

    • Thank you Lynda for stopping in today. I just ordered your book a few hours ago. I can’t wait to start reading it. And my kids and I have built traps the last couple of years. Those leprechauns are sure wiggly…lol…I will post pictures this year..:)

  10. I am sorry about what happened with your publisher, but don’t give up. You can and will find another publisher. I like the detail of your plan.

  11. Excellent goals, Erika, especially finding a leprechaun! Seriously, you seem to have some clear and achievable goals that will grow your skill as a writer as well as get some writing done. Good luck to you!

  12. I see a lot of the same faces at Roane Publishing. You may want to knock on their door when you’re ready. I love the words victory-steps and plan to use them starting now. 😉

    Anna from elements of emaginette

Leave a Reply to Alex J. Cavanaugh (@AlexJCavanaugh) Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: