5 Helpful Steps To Create Your Writing Goals

Hello fellow Writers! In this post you will find all the information you need to create your own writing goals. In order to create achievable goals we need to discover a bit about ourselves. Below you will find 5 tasks that I find invaluable for creating goals that motivate me to get up every morning with a concrete WHY. Without a WHY goals are hard to stick to. So let’s begin. 

1 What is Your end goal

Finding your motivation helps you stick to your goals. Without it you won’t know why those goals are so important and you may lack the drive to continue. Your end goal, your idea of the perfect life or career, is what will get you up in the morning when you would rather sleep in. It is what will help you make appropriate choices for yourself and it is the powerful drive to continue to do it day in and day out for years if need be. 

Take a close look at your ideal life. Where do you want to be in 5, 10, even 50 years from now. This is the time to dream big or go home fellow writers. Dig deep and be honest with yourself. There is no wrong answer here. Your dream can be as big or as little as you desire. It can be as materialistic or as spiritual as you see fit. There is no judgement here. 

Here are some helpful topics to consider: 

  • What does your ideal life look like? Write it out in detail. 
  • Where do you want to see yourself in 5, 10, and 50 years. 
  • Write an obituary for yourself. This will show you what you value most. 
  • Be aware that honesty is the best policy. If you lie to yourself about what is most important you are more likely to fail at your goals. 

2- What are your writing stats

When it comes to writing goals there are two factors that make a huge difference: Your statistics and the time you have available. It’s easier to decide how much time you have, and we will talk about that in the next section. When I say statistics I’m talking about how fast you can write and how fast you want to write. 

There are plenty of writers out there that prefer to write at a slower pace. They are thoughtful and take care in every step of the process. There are also writers that write by the seat of their pants with no outline and no real idea where they are going and then there are writers that just want to get the idea down on paper. No matter what your writing style is you can be a successful writer, but you need to take into account how that style affects your speed. 

A quick way to see how fast you write is to do some writing sprints. The more sprints you record the more data you have. To complete a writing sprint set a timer for 20 minutes and work on a current project or start a new one. When the timer goes off record your word count. You MUST be working on an actual project. Writing sprints are not meant to see how fast you can type but how fast you can write and create. 

The take away here is to find your writing pace. I can write anywhere from 200 words – 900 words in 20 minutes. Take that huge gap into account! When I create my goals I plan with 500 words as my writing speed. 

A note on time. You will most likely take breaks. When I write with sprints I typically write 40 minutes an hour because my mind needs a break. Will you need the same? I don’t know but it is a good idea to adjust your word count accordingly. (Ex. I can write 1000 words an hour. Instead of 1500 words that may make my goals harder to achieve.)

3- How much time do you have for writing 

Not everyone can sit down and write every day all day long. Don’t plan your goals based on other peoples available time. When you plan you writing goals around a feasible timeframe you are more likely to achieve them. 

Things to consider:

  • How much free time do you have daily? Is it one hour a night after the kids go to bed?
  • What days will you not be writing? Will you actually write on the holidays and birthdays or are you being hopeful?
  • Do you want to take weekends off?
  • How often do you get sick? Do you need to put in some buffer days?

Buffer days are days off that you might not actually need. All those holidays, birthdays, weekends, celebrations, and sick days should be counted toward days off. If you don’t need them, then write that day. You will get ahead of your goal instead of getting behind. 

4- A little warning

You want to be a writer now not in 5 years! Well, writing a book is a long term goal. If you only have an hour a day 5 days a week where you will be able to write plan for those 5 hours. Don’t say you will finish a book in 90 days when you only have 60 hours a quarter to complete it.  You will most likely need more time than that. Just be realistic and your goals will practically complete themselves. 

Now it’s time for the fun stuff! Below I will share with you how I structure my goals. If you are looking for a detailed plan I found an indie author that I am pretty sure is my spirit guide. Sarra Cannon has plenty of information on how she creates her goals. It is a lot more detailed than I need but I binge watched all of her videos anyway. 

5- How to write your writing goals

Yearly writing goals

Start with an overall goal for the year. My goal for 2021 was to improve the quality and quantity of my writing. Notice that there are no deadlines and there is no information on projects. That can all comes later. 

Look to your WHY to find out your goal this year. You may be in a different part of the journey than I am. For you, you might want to produce content for your blog or share your work with the intent to publish this year.  

Quarterly projects

This is where the magic happens. I break my year into 4 parts so that I have a smaller chunk of time to focus on. Within the quarter I have projects. These projects are what achieve my goals. You can have as many as you want.

This is also where you want to see how much time you have. If you have only 60 hours in 3 months you will probably only have time for one project and if it is as big as writing a book you may not finish it this quarter. Write that into your project! 

Different book types have different word count requirements so make sure to do your research. I am currently working on a middle grade novel and am aiming for 45k words. I would take my 60 hours available to me that quarter and multiply it by my writing speed of 1000 words an hours. I should be able to finish one draft of my novel with some time to spare. However, if I was working on a paranormal romance which is usually 75k -90k words I would not have time to completely finish it. So put that time in your due date. 

The anatomy of a project is quiet simple:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Project tasks to successfully complete it
  • A due date

A project could look something like this:

Project 1: Write a first draft of my book idea with an average word count of 45k words. Tasks for this project will include: 8 important scenes to know (coming soon) , a quick outline, complete act 1, complete act 2, and complete act 3. The Due date is April 1 2021.

 I hope that this was helpful to you. I enjoy planning my life around goals and projects. I feel as if I wake up everyday with a larger purpose. Do you structure your goals in a different way and find it keeps you motivate?

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