Thursday, June 01, 2006

Writing Goals

Last time I asked about whether you set goals when you create your characters. Today, I want to know if you set goals for yourself. I’m referring specifically to writing, but am also curious if you set goals for writing as part of an overall strategy to reach life objectives.

Personally, I write out goals for myself at the beginning of each year. I review my previous year’s goals and see how well (or poorly) I did in achieving them. My strategy usually consists of an evolving set of goals. For example, if I want to write more, I may start with a goal of 5 hours per week and work my way up during the year. I call my strategy my ‘2006 Plan of Action.’ It includes a mission statement, writing goals, work, family, and home goals, spiritual and ethical goals, social and cultural, physical and health, mental and educational, and outreach goals. Sounds like a lot, but I usually feel successful if I improve even just a little in each area.

I got the idea from Vicki Hinze, an inspirational writer with a great blog and website full of information about Hinze as well as a library of great articles (free membership required – but well worth it). Vicki let me reprint her article, ‘Why We Need A Plan.’ You can find it on my website, here.

It really helps me to find out how other writers write. Do you have a schedule? Goals? Is it easy for you to find time to write? Do you write every day (at least one word, as Maya Angelou advises)? What advice would you give to those trying to get a schedule in place?



Tess said...

Yep, I set goals for my writing and actually put them down on paper. Of course, with the move, I've fallen behind. BUT, I WILL get back to work today :-)

Melissa Amateis said...

I write every day for my job and to tell you the truth, that has significantly increased my writing output at home. I know it sounds weird, but I'm excited to start writing on my manuscripts after work (and a bit of downtime, as well).

What I did was write down my goals, then put little reminders on the 15th of every month on my calendar to make me check and see where I'm at with my goals.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Whenever I have to write for a deadline, the deadline is the goal--usually a crash effort just before the end. My life is pretty much unstructured, sad to say.

Melly said...

I've tried structure a million times but I just can't get keep to it.
I think that writing (fiction) doesn't lend itself to structure. Sometimes I can stay up half the night, sometimes the whole morning. When it comes it comes, especially if I have other engagement that have to take precendent.
Of course deadlines are do our die, but I give myself a break other than that.

Sandy J said...

I have recently joined a writers critique group. We have set our goals and have started a spreadsheet to keep us aware of where we really are and what we need to do to get there.

I really enjoy your blog and get so much out of it.

Stephanie said...

I do set goals, but I'm also kind to myself. If I don't hit my target, I don't get down on myself -- sure I might only write two books this year, but next year I could write 4 or 5. Who knows? : )

Goals are great, wonderful, and necessary if you really want to succeed. But don't let them become a deterrent for action. Sometimes our goals can be daunting and they shouldn't be -- they should inspire and motivate.


Rene said...

I got goals coming out of my nose, but keeping them in focus is another thing altogether. I'm too easily distracted. I have the attention span of a chicken. What were you talking about?

Anonymous said...

in terms of writing i try and get 2-3k done a day, it helps with the word count and getting the story done, long term goals don't really work for me because i wanted to be published by the time i left school and it didn't happen, but thanks to recent news it could happen by the time i'm 20 :)

Anonymous said...

Yay Sally!!

Heather Dawn Harper said...


I am the poster child of what not to do if you want to finish a WIP on time.

But I've accepted this about myself. At least until all of my kids are in school. ;)

Anonymous said...

A different angle on writing. Maybe by writing literally with a pen, it may give you ideas on how to plan your work? Just a thought.