Goal-setting for Writers

‘Tis the season for new starts and New Year’s resolutions!

Instead of trying to do a million things, I’ve decided to stick with one. This is the year I’m going to finish my novel. How am I going to accomplish this? you might ask. Instead of overanalyzing what works for everyone else, I’m going to focus on what works for me.

I know that many authors set word count goals or write at the same time each day. This doesn’t work for me. I end up counting words or counting minutes and it makes writing feel like a chore. Lately, when working on short stories, I’ve focused on getting through a scene (or a specific portion of a scene), and I’ve found this to work much better.

To focus on scenes, I need an idea of what I’m going to write. If I don’t, I put off writing because I worry I won’t be able to come up with ideas or the ideas won’t be good enough. To combat this perfectionistic procrastination, I’m going to brainstorm first. Brainstorming is the most fun for me, and it often transitions into rough writing anyway. It takes the pressure off and gets me excited to see where the scene will take me.

I’ve found paper-pencil to be the best medium for my ideas to flow when brainstorming and drafting, so that’s what I’ll use. Later in the day, I’ll type what I’ve written and check/track the number of words.

So, my daily schedule (on weekdays, at least) will look like this:

  1. brainstorm scene
  2. write scene
  3. choice (revise past scenes, work on other projects, build writing platform, etc.)
  4. type scene

I’ve found the following sites to be helpful and hope you like them, too!

General Goal-setting:

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_90.htm

Goal-setting for Writers:

http://goinswriter.com/tiny-goals/

Happy New Year, happy goal-setting, and good luck!

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