What Should I Do First if I Want to Write a Book? Three Goals You Must Set: Part II

In my last post, I discussed why it’s important to set goals if you want to be an author, and the first of three goals you should have for writing a book. In this post, we’ll cover the second of those goals.

But first, a recap.

Setting Goals is Key to Writing a Book

Simply sitting down to write can be helpful as a “brain dump.” You may even use that and turn it into a book. Still, as-is, a brain dump won’t make a best seller. Just getting it all out on paper won’t even make a book people want to read, except maybe family and close friends.

Want to make an impact?

You have to figure out what kind of impact you want to make! In other words, you need goal posts.

Think of target practicing:

Writing without goals is like hoping to get a bullseye by spraying machine gun fire over the landscape. You might hit dead center, but in reality, you’ll be lucky to even hit the target!

Writing with your goals in mind is like a careful aim at the target. You have a much higher chance of getting a perfect bullseye. Even if you don’t, you’ll get a lot closer, you’ll get a higher score, and at the very least, you’ll consistently hit the target.

How Does Your Book Benefit Them?

Setting this goal requires a deep dive. It’s not enough to say, “it will help them lose weight,” or “my story will inspire them to overcome the challenges of growing up in a multi-ethnic household.”

Those are good starting points.

Past that though, you need to think: why do they want to lose weight? What does overcoming the challenges posed by being raised at a cultural crossroads look like for them?

Things to examine:

Why do they want to read your book?

“They want to lose weight to feel better about themselves and be healthier.” OK, why do they want to feel better about themselves. Why do they want to be healthier?

Once you have those answers, question the “whys” of those answers.

I told you it was a deep dive!

What are their objections?

If you say, “I learned to be proud of my mother’s cultural traditions while choosing to adapt them to the culture I live in,” are they going to come back with, “Yeah, but in my family . . . ” or “I don’t think that is respectful?”

People may think their personal or environmental situation differs from you enough that what you have to say can’t help them.

Or they may think you don’t understand the topic.

You need to get around those barriers so they can see that they can trust you and what you are offering them.

To do that, you need to:

  • Think through possible objections. You can’t answer them if you don’t know what they are.
  • Analyze: where does your own experience answer those objections? Where do you need to find outside data?
  • Figure out how to include anecdotes in the book from people with similar experiences or people you’ve learned from along the way.
    That way if your story doesn’t address their situation, someone else’s might.

How will they move forward when they finish?

How should they feel when they finish reading?
What should they want to do on their own? (Can you give them some quick wins? Advice they can implement on their own? Worksheets/questionnaires included with the book?)
What should they want to do with you? (Hire you, follow you on social media, tell others about your book, buy your products?)

Sifting through your goals for your readers will give you a vision and help you write with clarity. Your reader won’t just be inspired by you; they’ll have good ideas about what steps to take. Not only will they trust that you understand them, they’ll trust that you can guide them.

The last point morphs into your next goal, which I will discuss in my next blog post: what do you want your book to do for you?


Are you hoping to help people by authoring a book? Fantastic!

To make sure you succeed, you need to understand how you want to help people. You have to get inside your ideal reader’s head a bit, and you have to figure out how to get them from where they are to where you want to take them.

Like any other journey, you need to plan your transportation.

This is post TWO of a series on the goals you need to set for your book before you start writing. For post one, click here: Want to be an Author? Why You Should Set Goals and Goal #1.

Stay tuned! On 15 August, I’ll be back to explain the last goal. For now, this is Judy Lane-Boyer, your friendly ghostwriter, signing off!

Want more information about how to write a book? Check out my post about How To Write a Successful Book: the 6 Things More Important Than the Words.

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