Tuesday Tips – The Importance of Writing Goals

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 9.04.07 PMIn just over a week, I head to Nevada to start my mentorship with New York Times bestselling verse novelist, Ellen Hopkins. I’ll be developing my YA verse novel, Hating Ric (formerly Street Racer).

I’m attending a writing retreat at Lake Tahoe where I’ll meet all the fabulous mentors and mentees in the program, and I can’t wait.


The mentor program is by run by SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators ) Nevada, and I’ve been very lucky to receive funding from CAL to help pay for the trip.

I’m so excited to be going, but one of the things I’m most pleased about is that applying for and getting the mentorship is a writing goal that I have actually achieved:)

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 9.07.09 PM My very good writerly friend, Maureen (Mo) Johnson first put the seed in my head when progress on my novel had stalled.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 9.09.03 PMIt seemed like a really good idea, but also an impossible dream.  Nevada was so far away from Victoria Australia, and expensive to fly to, and apart from that, there was no guarantee that my mentorship application would be successful.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 9.11.27 PMThanks to the encouragement and support of Mo and good writer friends Alison Reynolds, Sheryl GwytherTania McCartney, Karen Collum and others, I wrote the mentorship boldly on my list of writing goals and set out in hot pursuit.

I attended every available seminar  to find out as much as I could about putting together arts’ grant applications. (And blogged about it here). Then I set about applying for every available arts grant – no matter how unobtainable or obscure it seemed. I figured it was good practice anyway.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 9.07.36 PMI was overwhelmed to find that not only had I received a mentorship with Ellen, but I had also secured funding – so now I could definitely go.

I’ve unsuccessfully applied for both mentorships and funding before, but this time it was different – this time I made the mentorship a serious writing goal.

Nothing comes easily in this business, but one of the many things I’ve learned from this experience is that it does pay to have writing goals – and it does pay to give them priority.


  1. Set goals that are realistic
  2. Don’t be afraid to aim high
  3. Set goals that you want to achieve, not things you think you should achieve.
  4. Don’t compare yourself or your achievements to others – your goals should be ‘yours’.
  5. Set goals that you can achieve – that you have control over (you’ll don’t have control over acceptances or publication dates)
  6. Set  a manageable number of goals
  7. Set goals that are specific but realistic achievements

I hope you achieve your writing goals. For me, they have helped me keep the dream alive.

I was also fortunate to have a book trailer made by an optimistic and very talented friend, Svetlana Bykovec.  When I watch my book trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZs78xyveTQ, I feel that this book could be/will be published.

Book trailers are not expensive to make if you do it yourself – perhaps you can use one to help you keep your dreams and hopes alive – it could be one of your writing goals. If nothing else, making a book trailer is great for helping you understand the essence of your story.

If you have any tips on goal setting, we’d love to hear them. Feel free to share them in the comments section of this post.

Happy writing:)


My mentorship has been made possible thanks to the generous assistance of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund which provided me with Creative Industries Career Funding. http://www.copyright.com.au/cultural-fund

14 thoughts on “Tuesday Tips – The Importance of Writing Goals

  1. Sooo excited for you, Dee! Can’t wait to hear all your great tips, and follow your journey through to success. 😀 (Well – bigger success, since it’s already been a big thing to achieve what you have!)

  2. Inspirational stuff, Dee. I love your ability to go for what you want. No wonder you are off to Nevada. And thank you for sharing all this valuable information. Kaye

  3. When I set goals, any goals whether they’re writing related or not, I try to have timeframe. Otherwise you can put them on the backburner forever. For example you might say, ‘My goal is to finish my manuscript,” but if you don’t put a deadline on that you could still be working towards that goal in twenty years.

    I also try to be flexible. Maybe you didn’t achieve your goal. Why/not? Maybe it needs to be broken down. For example, “I didn’t achieve my goal of finishing my manuscript. Why? I didn’t even put the idea in my head down on paper. So, new goal – start writing manuscript.”

  4. Thanks Kat, I’ll definitely let you know how I go – and pass on my verse novel writing tips:) I can’t quite believe this is happening:)

    And I can’t wait to read your new verse novel.


  5. It’s really encouraging to read about your journey to Nevada Dee. I take courage from my writer friends successes and even sometime when they don’t quite make it. Thanks for sharing. I love the book trailer.

  6. very inspiring Dee. My goal is to get to one of your retreats in jan or feb… heheee.. and I KNOW thats going to happen 😉 Watching your journey keeps me going too. I look up to you, and i learn from you, but to see you learning and going places from sheer hard work and persistance keeps me inspired and willing to get out there too! Love ya Dee!

  7. Thanks Kel:) You know the feeling is mutual. I admire how hard you work and I know you will get where you’re going:)

    Will be fabulous to see you at one of the retreats next year – I’m hoping to post retreat dates for next year before I leave for US

    Dee x

  8. Have a fantastic time In Nevada, Dee. Your goal setting and achievements certainly are inspiring. I look forward to hearing about the mentorship and your experiences.
    Best wishes…have fun.
    PS Great book trailer too.

  9. Thanks Margaret, I’m sure I’ll have a fabulous time in Nevada.

    Glad you liked the Book Trailer. I thought Svetlana did a fabulous job of capturing exactly what my book is about.


Comments are closed.