Do I truly reveal my evil genius grand secret plans and goals? Sure. Why not?
Susan Lakin (aka C.S. Laken author of 12+ novels) wrote the article “To Dream, Perchance to Cry” (http://www.livewritethrive.com/2012/04/09/644/) in which she talks about many of the unrealistic goals or dreams of new authors. Dreams and goals which when crushed under the weight of reality can cause real issues like postpartum depression. There is even a great self-help video clip of some of history’s greatest or most famous failures.
After reading the article I naturally did a little self-review to see if my goals were out of touch with reality. To be honest I don’t think so. Of course I have to reveal them to discuss them. As my first novel is about to be released in a month it seems a great moment to actually state openly my goals. Thus as my career and life progress I can come back and measure my actual results against the early expected or anticipated results.
What are my goals in writing? I started working on my books when I was a dreamy teenager playing a lot of role playing games like D&D, AD&D, Champions, GURPs, Car Duel Champions, Illuminati, etc. Over the last 25 years I have developed a lot of materials for the books in the form of modules for my own games. I have well over thirty books of materials actually thought out with outlines, characters, and even some rough chapters written with maps, etc. Many of my friends have suggested for years I actually publish this stuff as they thought it would sell. But, I had my day job of programming, my family life and kids to deal with so I only toyed with the idea.
This year I finally sat down and decided I was tired of waiting to do it and so I started doing it. Having already written smaller technical books I for conferences or training materials I knew it was going to be hard. I was right it was hard, but I found I loved it as much as I loved reading books. I had to do a lot of research and learning as I have worked my way through the process. All this is just a long winded way of getting to the list of goals and expectations for writing my own books. Now here are the great mastermind goals for doing this in priority order:
Goal: To finally do something I always wanted to do so I can at least say “I wanted to write some of my best stories into books and I did.” Expectation: I won’t run out of stories anytime soon.
Goal: To build a large enough fan base for my works that I can eventually make writing my full time job. Expectation: I will need to have at least one new book coming out every four to six months and should hit a reasonable income point around ten books published. As it takes about six months to write one book this means I am on a five year plan hoping I might be able to make it full time gig in 2017. In the mean time I have two jobs my day job programming and my night job writing and I have to work damned hard at both while also making time for my family. So I know this won’t be easy but, I enjoy writing so I hope it will work out.
Goal: To earn enough money on the first few books to let me justify going to fantasy/sci-fi conferences to do book signing events and write off the expenses on my taxes. : I expect each book to need under $3,000 to get it to published state (artwork, professional editing, marketing costs, etc.). Going to a conference will run about $3,000 to rent a booth, travel, and pre-buy my own books to sell there. Hence it is a hope that I can at least pull down enough to cover pre-publication costs plus $2,000+ on the first three books so that in 2013 I can do one conference.
Goal: To create some high quality role playing modules for the worlds I am writing about so that I can have the pleasure of running more games in them. Expectations: Modules and researched works are difficult to put together and take a lot of time in fact checking etc. I expect these will become my night job when writing becomes my day job. So this goal is entirely dependent on my second goal’s success. If that fails this fails.
After all that I get off into “gosh it sure would be cool if” dream land where my mind conjures up movies, a beautiful gaming store with lots of space for table top games where I can run my own RPG on a regular schedule and join in other games, and never having to mow my own yard again. But, those are dreams and I know that. I don’t know why I waited so long. Maybe it was I just didn’t feel I had the support I do now. My family is really being very supportive of my efforts. Still I have my fingers crossed.
Thanks for reading this far! I hope you can find and achieve your own goals. Good luck.