It is suggested that when you own or are working for a company and in charge of a team, you clearly define (and write down) the company’s mission, vision, guiding principles, strategies, and destination points. Then you assure that all employees understand and want to nail these key areas.

As a writer, you are probably the main employee. Do you understand all these targets?

For example, your mission is to write, right? Are you? Are you doing enough? This is one of the biggest decisions you will make about your writing career.

What is your vision? Leaving yourself out of the equation, what are you hoping your readers get out of what you write? Inspiration, knowledge, entertainment or something else? Once you know exactly what you want to accomplish, your writing will be more focused, and probably better.

What are your guiding principles? I hope you have a core set of values and that you do not go against them in your writing.

Have you researched and decided on some strategies you believe will help you achieve your goals? Things like a certain amount of time or word count every day, a certain amount of editing every day, a certain amount of marketing, time set aside to plan, to check yourself for where you are right now and what you could do to improve that position. Do you have people who can help you–an editor, beta readers, a critique group, a cover designer and formatter if you publish your own work? Support from family, friends and other writers?

What are your destination points? How long do you expect it will take to write, edit and publish your next piece of work? Are you the type who has to work on only one piece at a time, or can you work on several at a time? If you don’t think you can work on more than one, have you tried it? How do you think you can you increase your productivity? Take a calendar and enter a note on the dates you want to have finished each project.

Finally, look at the big picture. Are you happy with your mission—do you love writing? Are you determined to keep your vision clear and your guiding principles pure? Are your strategies realistic for you? And have you clearly marked your destination points?

Clarity in all things is important, as is nailing everything down. With pen and paper in hand, list these objectives and make sure you are clear about each one. With them in mind, your productivity should increase along with the satisfaction of moving your career along.

Create like an artist; act like a businessperson. In today’s world, this is pretty much a requirement to get noticed by your target audience.

Good luck!