Updated: Aug 22
by Zoe Wynns/SelfPublishingUS.com
When a person sets out to write, they often think they know what they want to accomplish.
“I want to change the world with my writing,” some will say. “I want to become famous and have people know my name and my work,” others will decide. “I want to write because I have to. I have creativity that can’t be kept inside,” even is an answer sometimes.
There are a thousand ultimate goals as an author. Maybe you’ll see your mindset on this list, maybe not. That’s okay! There’s no right answer for someone’s ultimate goal as an author.
The Expenses of Published vs. Self-Published Author Goals
In the old days, traditional publishing was desired because, even though the author did not own the rights to their book, there was no upfront cost. Today a self-published author owns the rights and royalties of their book. They have a higher income earning potential. If they go the traditional publishing route, they often find that they are not even considered unless they have a “list of followers” and are required to purchase x number of books, buy a website, and pay for some marketing expenses. The expenses of seeking to be accepted in the traditional publishing industry or to manage your own business via self-publishing can determine an author’s direction.
Let’s take a journey through some of the internet’s answers to “what is your ultimate goal as an author” and talk about how you can have healthy yet powerful goals for your own writing. Here are some of the top answers from Nathanbransford.com :
1. Become an author to quit my job.
“To be able to quit my detestable day job.” -crapshooter
This is the answer that I think most of us have when an author first decides to write a book. We have these visions of fame and fortune, and getting just to sit at a computer and write all day rather than trying to make a career of something we don’t feel interested in. This is a powerful motivator, and it really showcases the possibilities of a dream job and dream life that writing can open up for many of us. Gallup News says each American read an average of 12.6 books in 2021, which means over four billion books were read in one country alone in one year alone! There are people who will want to read your writing, and it’s possible to make a career out of it. It’s just a matter of hard work, persistence, and a little luck.
2. Become an author because I’m good at writing.
“I’ve always told myself stories. Sometime in early adulthood, I realized it would be healthier if I limited my characters to people I didn’t know. Not too long after that, I noticed how much I was spending on art supplies to scratch my creative itches. I started writing instead. When I realized, I wasn’t going to stop, I decided to get good at it.” – Stephanie Zvan
Some of us have all these stories building up in our heads at all times. Many people get these ideas out creatively through music, painting, dance, or of course writing. Writing is often the fastest, most effective way to get these massive worlds and beautiful characters out in a physical sense. This is a great goal of writing: just to get your ideas out and not have them stuck in your head! If you don’t have dreams of grandeur and you just want an outlet for your creative juices, you are still a writer. It can be a very fun hobby, and who knows? Maybe you can self-publish them online and make a few friends and fans from it!
3. Become an author so people know I’m smart.
“I’d have to say I write because ultimately I want people to like me. I want them to think I’m witty and clever. I want that feeling that the eight-year-old gets when he brings home a spelling test with one hundred percent on it and leaves it somewhere visible so Dad can discover it and gush about how smart he is.” – PDJ
This is a very honest answer, and one that probably many of us secretly think but don’t want to share with the rest of the world! If you’ve finished a novel, short story, or other project, and have shown it to gushing friends and family, you’ll know it feels pretty dang good. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to achieve that feeling of success and pride on a much larger level. However, you’ve got to be careful with this approach. Lean too much into writing for the ego boost, and at the end of the day, you might find that you forgot why you started in the first place.
4. Become an author because it makes me happy.
“Because I’m only happy when I’m writing.” – Alex Fayle
Self-explanatory. Maybe you feel this way, too. There’s a simple joy in creating pieces of writing that are brand-new. For many writers, curled up with their laptop, a nice coffee, a character sheet, and a blank word document? That’s their happy place, and they just can’t imagine ever stopping.
5. Become an author for myself.
“At this stage in my life I need to find my voice. It might be a form of ‘therapy’ that many use to explain why they write. But it’s not that I have to get something off my chest. Writers and readers all the time talk about voice; I feel I have lived my life and come to realize I haven’t got one. So, I am writing for me, to find my own voice. To find me in my head and learn to listen to myself better before it’s too late.” -Anonymous
This one is last on the list for a reason. Writing can be incredibly cathartic, and having the ultimate goal of writer just to get your feelings and thoughts out on paper? It’s a very admirable and beautiful one. Writing doesn’t have to be perfect. If you write an objectively bad story, but it helps you make sense of some kind of trauma, it’s a perfect short story. If you write a novel that won’t ever get published, but it brings you a peace and comfort that nothing else can, then it’s a perfect novel.
At the End of the Day, the Ultimate Goal of Writing Needs to Be Whatever Brings You Joy.
If you feel that writing has been a tool in your life to help you work through struggles, bring worlds to life, achieve your career goals, simply have some fun, or anything in between—you’re a writer. Nobody can ever take that away from you. So go out, put words on a page, and never lose sight of the beauty of this skill that you were given to create whole worlds with a simple pen.
Once you have a manuscript and are interested in self-publishing,
contact us to discuss your authoring goals.