How To Set Monthly Writing Goals That Work – Crazy Little Thing Called Time

Basic RGBWinter is the most difficult time for me as a writer. I struggle to get things done. The lack of sunlight makes for a  depressing creative pallet. Come spring I am looking for ways to get back to my intense writing schedule of summer.

Summer is here and my most productive writing season is calling my name. Maybe you are in that same place, but feel frustrated because setting goals never seems to work out for you. You have great intentions, start with a passion, and slink into the embarrassment zone before week two of your self-imposed deadline.

You are not alone.

Every year I hone my goal writing style to bring better success. Some tips are in the graphic above. I don’t have it all figured out, but I have learned a few tricks along the way.

How to set monthly writing goals that work:

*Be Realistic. This is the make it or break it rule that determines if you will have any shot at success. Goals that are so lofty it is a constant struggle to meet them will almost always result in failure. Still, there must be some challenge in each week.

Find a balance of challenge by variating your most challenging element each week. It shouldn’t always be word count. Every other week might be word count. In between, challenge yourself to have a week with stronger verbs, or scenes that are more complete, or concise.

*Set Weekly Goals. Each week should have a word count goal and a crafting goal. This allows you to challenge yourself in different areas. Also, it should not require each day to be a marathon. Recognize that a week’s ebb and flow is a more practical way to set goals, allowing for flexibility when life gets in the way.

For example, a weekly word count goal of 8,000 words could be paired with the goal to show more instead of tell. From there I can break down about how much is needed each day. If I write five days a week, then that means about 1600 words a day and maybe I will read a chapter about show not tell on Monday.

When my schedule pops up with two baseball games on one day, which crazy as it is does happen, I can adjust to 600 words that day and add the other words into my other days.

*Create Rewards. Find ways to reward yourself each week if you make your weekly goal. It is essential to celebrate the small victories. At the end of the month have something amazing you have earned like a spa massage, or something you really want.

*Have An Accountability Buddy. The writer’s journey is very solitary. We need to make sure that we are not facing each step alone. Talk to someone who can help you. Lean on one another and talk often.

What are some things you do to set monthly writing goals that work? What are some challenges you face as you set goals?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

4 thoughts on “How To Set Monthly Writing Goals That Work – Crazy Little Thing Called Time

  1. When I’m under deadline, I write anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 words a week, depending on where I am in the story. And I do find that having a deadline does hold me accountable.

    When I’m not on deadline, I find it much more difficult to sit down and write. And that usually puts me behind the curve. As soon as I finish the book I’m working on that’s due July 12, I’m going to start on the next one–don’t want to be where I am now, struggling to make that deadline. lol So I’ll set a goal of 8000 words a week. I need the discipline of writing every day when I’m not on deadline.

    Great post!

  2. jackielayton says:

    Great post. I’ve been in the middle of a job change the last sixty days, and the only schedule I’ve been given is to show up as much as possible. I’ve got to get balance back in my life, and you’ve encouraged me to set specific goals instead of just saying I’m going to write.


  3. […] is something we aim for, but the everyday small steps are what get us there. Be sure you have the short term goals in place for success. Weekly and daily goals are […]

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