Last week we talked about the different kinds of writing goals:
(If you missed it, you can read the post here.)
This week I want to talk about setting goals. Particularly weekly ones.
I’m an accountability group leader on The Young Writers’ Workshop. I help a group of about thirteen students create writing goals and stick to them every week.
I’d like to share a few tips I’ve given them.
Let’s start with the hardest one, shall we?
Your writing goals should be hard to reach, but achievable.
This one is hard because everyone writes at a different pace. Some writers can barely write 2,000 words a week, while others can crank out that many every day! And that’s okay. Just because so-and-so can do it and you can’t doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
So, if how much you can write in a week is subjective, how can you possibly set goals that are hard, yet achievable at the same time?
I’d suggest two options:
- For a couple weeks, try and figure out how much you can get done. See how many words you can write in a week, blog posts you can write, or books you can read, until you have figured out a pattern. Then use that pattern to set goals.
E.g. If you can write two blog post a week, try writing two posts every single week. And if that gets too easy, start trying to write three posts a week!
- Second, just start setting goals! Pick something that seems reasonable and try it! You’ll so figure out if they’re too hard or too easy.
If you find yourself struggling to complete them, lower your expectations. If you breeze through them, make them more difficult.
Your writing goals should be specific not vague.
“My goal for this week is to get some beta reading done.” ~ Me
What exactly does that mean? Does that mean read three chapters or just read a paragraph? Does it mean to read a bit in each of my five beta reading projects?
Your goals ought to be clearly defined so you know when you have accomplished them!
Now there is an exception to this: Sometimes we just need a kick in the pants to get going and a “vague” goal is just what we need.
I’ve done this plenty of times. I’m typically behind on beta reading projects, so setting a goal to do some reading gets me started.
You shouldn’t just create writing goals to have writing goals. They should have a purpose—a connection to a bigger plan.
You don’t exercise every day for no reason, right? (Some of us don’t exercise with or without a reason. 😜) You do it become physically stronger, to train for a race, etc.
Same for your writing goals.
Write for a purpose!
Now, I would like to give you three more pieces of advice before I go.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t complete your goals. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. 👊
- Be accountable. I can’t stress this enough. Being part of an accountability group has helped me to actually get things done.
Tell your friends, your mom, your pastor, someone, what your goals are. Ask them to remind you to work on them, to ask you if you finished then, and most importantly, celebrate with you when you succeed.
- Celebrate! 🎂🎊 Celebrate every time you complete a goal. You achieved something important, even if it seems to only matter to you. Eat ice cream, have a piece of chocolate, munch a piece of cheese, binge watch Netflix…
Happy goal-making, writers! *wanders off daydreaming about cheese* 🧀
I’d love to hear from you!
Ask me questions in the comments or use my contact form!