For some, I know the answer is to get published. Achieving that goal is easier than ever these days--there are so many more small publishers out there than ever before, if you have a good manuscript you'll probably be able to find a good match for it.
If you are already published, is making a lot of money what you're hoping for? I know there are some mystery writers who do very well financially. Unfortunately, the percentage of those compared to the rest of us is small.
When I add up how much I spend attending conferences, attending book fairs, and paying for things like transportation, food and lodging when I'm away from home, tools of the trade (computers and printers because yes, they do break-down and need to be replaced), and other writing expenses, I must confess these all come to a much higher total then my royalties and the books I've sold on my own.
So what is my writing goal? If it was just to make money, I lost out on that a long time ago.
Because I can't seem to help myself when it comes to writing, it's a habit or maybe even an addiction that I can't quit, then I have to look a bit farther to see what my goals really are.
First, to finish whatever book I'm working on and to make it the best I possibly can.
Second, to have a good relationship with my publishers. (Believe it or not, I've been reading lately about authors who actually have been making derogatory remarks about their publishers on-line. How dumb is that?)
Third, to promote each book when it's published to the best of my ability and in as many different ways as possible.
Fourth, to have become friends with people who read my books even if it is only an online friendship. (This is something that was not possible in the past, but so much easier to do nowadays with the Internet.)
Fifth, to be helpful to other writers when asked. I love to spotlight other writers and their books on my own blog: http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com
Okay, that's five goals. And, to be honest, sure I'd love to be making lots of money with my writing. I wouldn't mind having someone love one of my books enough to option it for a movie. It doesn't really matter though, no matter what, as long as I'm able I'm going to keep on writing.
So, tell me, what are your writing goals?