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  • Cait Marie

Adventures in Writing: Part 14

Hello, and happy new year! One of my goals for 2022 is to get this series back up and running, especially with the new website.

Since I’m essentially starting over, at least as far as followers go… Adventures in Writing began back in 2020 as a way to talk about my experiences in self-publishing because I started this career kind of on a whim. I’m still going to do that, but I’m also going to share some tips and advice I’ve learned along the way about publishing, writing, editing, and marketing. As always, if you have anything specific you’re wanting to know more on, just let me know.

Regardless of what types of goals you set, my biggest advice is to write them down. Write down where you start and then where you finish, at the very least.

You might be asking, who is this girl and why should I listen to her?

Well, my name is Cait Marie, and I am a multi-genre young adult-new adult author, editor, and book blogger. While becoming an author was never my dream growing up, I have always loved books. I began writing and editing for an online platform (Coffee House Writers) in 2017, book blogging in 2018, freelance editing in 2019, and self-publishing in 2020. I’ve been on all sides of this industry, giving me a unique experience to share with you all. In the first 21 months of my author career, I published eight full-length books, had short stories in two anthologies (one of which I organized, edited, and did all the marketing for), four short stories on their own, and a collection of short stories and bonus chapters to go with one of my series. I have a bachelor's degree in forensic psychology and am graduating with an MFA in creative writing in May. I own/manage the book blog Functionally Fictional and work for YA Books Central. Basically, books are my life. I jumped in headfirst and never looked back!

All right, back to Adventures in Writing. This week, I thought I’d start with goals.

Do you set goals (writing or otherwise)? What kinds, and how do you set them? Do you track your progress?

In writing, some people like to aim for certain word counts each day, week, month, or year. Indie authors sometimes set a goal of how many books they want to publish. Others do not set any goals and just write in their spare time for fun. Whatever you choose is fine; there is no one right way to write. But that is a whole conversation for another day.

That’s the thing about goals: Not everyone is going to reach each one every time. Life happens.

For me, I have a number of books I want to publish in a year. I try to plan out my release schedule for an entire year; though, it’s been difficult to stay on track while finishing my master’s degree. Hopefully after I graduate, I can focus a little more on writing full time.

I set a word-count goal for the year, and I do track my progress, but I don’t have a specific number I try to reach each month or day. Correction: I aim for at least 1000 words per day. However, my main goal is just to continue writing every day. So, even if I only get a couple sentences in here and there, I count it as a win. Building up that habit is more important to me at this time, especially if I am to do this full time in the future.

To track word counts, I use a spreadsheet. I update it as I write. It’s nothing super special or complicated; it just allows me to see how much I accomplish each month and year.

I also set goals for social media, such as how many followers I want to have by the end of the year on each platform.

Regardless of what types of goals you set, my biggest advice is to write them down. Write down where you start and then where you finish, at the very least. This really helps see your progress and can be encouraging to keep going, or motivation to try harder if things didn’t go well.

That’s the thing about goals: Not everyone is going to reach each one every time. Life happens. Remind yourself of why you set the goals to begin with and what you hope to accomplish in the long run.

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