I’m a writer working on my first novel (a trilogy series) and my publisher recommended using OKRs to help me stay on track. Do you think this is a good idea? Would OKRs be a good thing to use for writing a trilogy novel series? If so, what would be a good way to write the objective?
Thanks for writing in! As a fellow writer I know how intimidating the blank page can be, so I’m thrilled you’re using OKRs to help you along the way. It’s a common misconception that OKRs only work for tech and finance, but we’ve seen them utilized beautifully for artistically minded folks time and time again. Whether you’re writing a novel, changing the way the world uses healthcare, or attempting to put a man on the moon, OKRs are the perfect tool to get specific about how you’re going to achieve your big, hairy, audacious goals (or BHAGs, as we like to call them).
There are multiple ways you can implement OKRs in writing a book-or three! What is your biggest hurdle at the moment? What’s the most important thing you need to accomplish in order for your trilogy to be successful? If you are struggling to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys, rather), perhaps you could use OKRs to help keep you on track:
Writing a trilogy novel series requires consistency and attention to detail—how would you quantify success in that area? Are there any literary traps you want to avoid? If so, you could write an OKR like this:
Is the series’ financial success important to you? Many writers define success as ‘making a living’—what does ‘a living’ look like to you?
Or, let’s say you’re an established writer. Success of this trilogy might look very different. Is there another trilogy series out there that you’d like to either compare to?? What metrics tell you whether your series is a hit?
Once you cut through the scary business jargon, you’ll see that the ability to articulate goals in a clear, concise, and emotionally-provocative way is crucial to writing good OKRs. So you, as a writer, are probably far better suited to them than you may think.
Thanks for writing in, Jason, and best of luck to you.
Billy from the What Matters Team
If you’d like to submit a question to Dear Andy, click here to submit your OKRs for review.