Winter 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.