Thursday, December 26, 2013

Goals: Setting and Metting Writing Goals, Big and Small

A week from now we will be in a brand new year, 2014. And as is the tradition with so many of us, we take this time to evaluate what we’ve done in the previous year and make new goals for the New Year. So what better time than now to talk setting and meeting your writing goals?

I have found it best to start big and then work your way down to the more specific goals. Again, I’ll use myself as an example here. A Big Goal looks like this:

I (Kricket) will publish a book by the time I’m 30 (in 3 years).

As you can see, there are two major components to that statement. There is the intention and a parameter. I intend to publish a book and the parameter tells me I want to do that in 3 years. Parameters are extremely important in goal setting and meeting.  Without parameters, without a time limit, we writers can just float in a little Writer’s Cloud and never get any work done.

Now, let’s move on to more specific goals, ones that will help you achieve your Big Goal.

To become published I must:
1.      Complete a manuscript by the end of 2014.
2.      Edit the crap out of that manuscript by mid-2015.
3.      Begin submitting the manuscript by the second half of 2015.

Believe it or not, we can break these goals down into even smaller bites. The smaller the better, you can’t eat an elephant all in one gulp.

To finish a manuscript I must:
1.      Come up with and develop an idea/plot/characters/world etc. by April 2014.
2.      Write at least 1000 words every day until completion.
I could continue with each of the other two goals above, but I think you get the point. 

The main point of setting goals for your writing it to keep you on track. To give you something to look forward to and to aim for. Otherwise, you’re just wasting a lot of ink and paper and time. So set achievable goals for yourself. Give yourself time and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t meet all your goals when you said you would.

Writing is a long game and it takes time to do it right. Setting goals and meeting those goals will help you build confidence in yourself and your writing. From the tiny goal of: I will write 500 words today! To the Big Goal of: I will be published! Have confidence in You the Writer and go forth and Write.

Again, thank you for reading! Leave a comment, share this blog with your writing friends, and all that jazz and of course, go write something! Happy Thursday!