No matter if you’re an established writer or just starting out, setting writing goals is great way to keep your work on track.
While ideally writing a book would happen overnight, be near perfect after one draft, and be crafted without fear and doubt, the reality is much different.
It takes work to put a book together. You’ll need a strong writing habit that puts fingers to the keyboard, or pen to paper daily, and writing goals that will help to get your current project written.
While your writing goals will depend on the project and how you personally like to do things, it doesn’t hurt to set down some basics, such as…
Small, Exact Goals
Rather than just ‘writing’ every day, set out to write a page, a chapter, or write a specific word count or scene.
Setting small, exact goals will give you focus, motivate you, and add bite-sized progress to your book without being overwhelming.
Working to a Deadline
This can be for each chapter, the entire book, or both. Set yourself a realistic deadline and mark it on a calendar. Use your small, exact goals to work toward that deadline and ensure that you stick with it.
When you’re working to no deadline, it’s very easy to go on writing and perfecting your book forever. It will never be perfect and there will always be something you want to change. By working to a deadline, you have an end date for the project that will allow you to finish it and then move on to the next story.
Setting a Time Limit
This goal is specifically for your writing sessions and is aimed at those who tend to procrastinate and need to increase their productivity by restricting themselves to a set length of time.
Let’s say, for example, that you have all day to hit some big word counts. Knowing you have time up your sleeve more often than not leads to doing anything but writing. It’s too easy to push your writing session from morning to afternoon when you know that you have all day to get something done. Before you know it, the day is over and you didn’t even type a word.
Instead, set yourself a time limit. It can be to write for an hour, or it can be to write–and only write–between 1 pm and 3 pm, whatever is going to work for you.
If you use your time right, you should get more written within your time limit than if you had of tried to write with no such restriction in place.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of these writing goals, set bigger and better ones, keep them realistic, and revise regularly.
– K.M. Allan