For the past year or so I’ve been struggling with creating a writing schedule for myself. It’s not that I don’t have the inspiration for it, it’s that I haven’t made a clear set of goals of what I’d like to accomplish in my writing career.
Let me guess, you’ve made new years resolutions in the past that didn’t exactly go as planned? Did it go something like the following?
My new year resolution is to finish my current novel!
I applaud you for making an amazing goal for yourself, but the problem with this proclamation is that it’s not specific enough. For goal setting to create a great effect on your life, you must first set achievable, attainable, realistic, and specific goals for yourself.
Let’s break your writing goals down into smaller branches:
- Finish my novel by the end of the year
- Meeting my word count by a certain date
- Do the math to determine how many words you need to write per day/week until that point (Note: If you’re unsure of how many words you need to finish your novel, check out my Instagram post on how to determine the correct word count you need for your work in progress.)
- If you’re planning on participating in NaNoWriMo, or if you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo, check out my blog post on the specifics you should have prepared to write your novel and factor this into your word count/time towards novel completion
- Then figure out when you need to have your novel reviewed/critiqued for an adequate amount of time to be read/get feedback from peers (I’d say, give your critique partners a week to finish just to be on the safe side)
- Date for finished editing
- Final draft date to be completed
- Decide on whether you plan on doing traditional publishing, self-publishing, or indie publishing and go from there
I know that sounds like a LOT of work (it really is), but that’s the whole point of breaking down your goals into more specific ones. It makes you realize how much work you really need to put into finishing your novel and to keep on it!
So here’s what I want you to do. Figure out what type of goal you’d like to accomplish this year by establishing where you’re at in your writing process. Some of you may be in the prewriting stages or maybe you’re already onto editing your novel. Whichever it is, make sure you’re setting daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly goals to go along with your yearly goal (as well as with any long term goals past that for future works/sequels). Then I want you to write down these specific goals onto a calendar of some sort. Then be sure to set your notifications on your calendar app (I prefer Google calendar) so you can be aware of what needs to be done and when on a daily basis.
I’ve already started implementing this goal setting system into my own life and I can honestly tell you it’s working! I want to start off 2017 strong and finish strong!
So here’s to writing/editing/publishing our novels!
*Pencil taps with you*
Do you have any great tips on how you effectively set goals and achieve them? Let me know in the comments!