Just Write – Goal Setting

Hey – V here.  I want to talk about an important part of writing – or really achieving anything.  Goal Setting.  Now, now, don’t whine.  I know a lot of people think about goal setting as that ridiculous thing you do in the corporate world where you have to think about new, measurable ways to get through a year that is likely to be just like the last several years (if you’re lucky!)  And it’s got to sound fancy – ugh!  Nobody likes writing those goals.

That’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about real goals, both short-term goals and long-term goals to help keep you motivated and positive.   Anybody who writes knows that it’s a lonely job.  It’s just you and your imagination, after all.  You start talking about your stories to family and friends and more times than not their eyes glaze over.

Not only is writing lonely, but it’s hard to stay focused.  There are so many other demands on your time and it can feel like an indulgence to just sit and create.  And it’s hard!  So we find 1 billion reasons to procrastinate.  I’m as guilty as the next writer.  Can you say email, Facebook, computer games, reading?

Goal Setting can help you stay on track.  Especially if you write realistic goals.  Unrealistic goals can derail you wicked fast!  How demotivating would it be for me to have the goal of being a NY Times Bestselling Author by the end of the summer?  Vivienne doesn’t even have a book out yet!  I would fail and then feel bad about it, eat an unhealthy amount of ice cream and play Hotel Dash for six hours.  Bad goal, BAD.

But a good goal is a measurable, achievable goal that you have written down somewhere.  Writing it down is a very important part of goal setting.  It’s so rewarding to cross things off your list!  Also, I find that when I feel successful, I’m motivated to be more successful. 

Secret Unlocked: Decide what you want to accomplish.  Set a reasonable, measurable goal.  Word toward achieving that goal.  I want to finish my Work In Progress.  My goal is to write 1000 words today.  I know that I can do that.  I know that I will be successful.


3 thoughts on “Just Write – Goal Setting”

  1. I’m one of those lucky people for whom goal setting is a way of life. Growing up in chaos and having a bit of OCD, writing lists and setting goals was the only way I could manage life. It turned out to be one of the many hidden blessings of being in a dysfunctional family.

    I write lists daily and even if I don’t get everything done, I love checking things off my list. Over time I’ve learned to set manageable goals and to keep my expectations realistic. I also write down my 1 year, 3 year, and 5 year goals. I do this every Jan. In leiu of making resolutions. I check in quarterly to see if I’m on track to meet those year end goals just as if I am the CEO of my life. The funny thing is that I never end up where I thought I wanted to go. I love what Oprah says, “God has a bigger plan for me than I have for myself.” I just have to show up, write it down, and trust that the Universe is in on the plan.

  2. What helps me is setting a date to have something completed by. That is why contests are a good thing for me. Someone else sets the date and I have to work towards it. If for no other reason, they keep me motivated and on schedule.

  3. I’m super organized so goal setting is a normal practice for me. I’ve worked at home for 18 years and I wouldn’t have been successful at it without focus and organization. Like PJ, I have a list to keep me on track (and because it’s easier than trusting my memory!). My current word count goal is 2,000 words a day until the first draft is finished. And it’s worked out great. I’m at (as of this morning), 73,000 words. The end is in sight. The next goal will be to organize, fill in the blanks and then on to the grammer stuff. I can’t wait!!

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