Monday, December 29, 2014

Advice For Writers #17: Setting Goals

Alex Steele here today and in honor of the impending new year, I thought we could talk about setting goals. Every year hundreds of thousands of people set themselves New Year's goals. Writers in general have their own goals all year. Now, maybe you don't like setting yourself deadlines or maybe you can't live without them, either way there's no doubt that setting yourself goals can be helpful!

Why should I set myself a goal? Well, if you're like me and tend to procrastinate a lot, goals can help you stay on point. If you have a specific date in mind for when you want to finish your first draft then(most the time) you'll automatically work harder to get to that goal.

What kind of goals should I set myself? Well, really that's up to you. Think to yourself, when do I want to have this done by? And set your goal accordingly. Remember to give yourself some breathing room though. You don't want to set such a tight goal that you leave yourself feeling stressed from day one.

My goals: I tend to go month by month. One month I'll set the goal to finish edits(or get so far into edits) the next I'll do a new first draft or switch to revising something else.

Tools for those planners out there. Are you someone who plans out everything? Do you like a challenge? Then this is for you! If you've been following us for any length of time, you probably know that both Grace and I did NaNoWriMo last month, which is National Novel Writing Month. In NaNoWriMo, you attempt to write 50,000 words in one month. They have camp sessions too! Usually in April and July (I think), and you can customize your goal! Does 50,000 words seem daunting? Then you can change it to just 10,000 or 20,000. So while it may be months away, it's a good way to start trying to set yourself deadlines and goals!

Remember, your goals can be anything you want. Don't worry about what other people are doing! Grace's goal may be to write a book a month (this isn't a real goal as far as I know!) but yours or mine could simply be to write one singular novel this whole year. It's still an accomplishment and setting that goal could help you reach it!

So, tell me; do you like setting yourself deadlines or do you prefer to just write with no thought of time?

Write on. Write on.

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