What is your writing goal?

Every writing magazine and how-to book echoes the same theme: write, write, write. You must make time to sit down and write every day. Set a schedule, produce so many words or pages. A writer writes. Here are some exercises, some prompts, some ways to gather ideas.

But where is this leading you? If you’re churning out words just to be writing something, what is the point? Is it leading to anything?

Where do you want to go with your writing?

Well, why do you write? It is OKAY to write just for fun. We don’t all have to be professionals. It is also fine to do writing exercises, prompts or morning pages to get your writing muscles warmed up. But if you have a dream of making money or filling up a shelf with books that you have written, you need to set a goal and take steps to get there.

For example, I have three blogs that I believe are moving me toward my goals. Why three? One, Unleashed in Oregon, is for self-expression. I honestly just want to tell stories without worrying about markets or deadlines. I write another, Childless by Marriage, to build the platform for my upcoming book of the same name. I want to attract attention and gather loyal readers who will buy and talk about my book and my Childless by Marriage brand.

The third blog, this one, started out as Freelancing for Newspapers, promoting my Freelancing for Newspapers book. It morphed into Writer Aid when I got weary of talking strictly about newspaper writing. Now I hope it still continues to sell my book, as well as promoting other writing projects and my teaching and editing endeavors.

I have a schedule for blog postings, and I collect material to write about so when it’s time to blog, I have subjects in hand.

But blogging is just one arm of my business. Sometimes I write for self-expression, to capture and share life’s experiences, my only goal to keep doing it. But I also write to make money, to share information, to inspire, and to amuse. I want to keep publishing books, articles, stories and poems. I want them to be good, and I want people to read them. To that end, I always have several projects in the works.

What about you? Why do you write? Where do you hope your writing will take you? If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you ever get there? Try answering these questions for today’s warm-up exercise. I would love to hear what you come up with. Feel free to comment here.

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