Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's Your Writing Goal?

Before I was unemployed, I was lucky if I got 250 words done a day. When I wrote on my laptop computer on the train, it seemed as soon as I got into my story I'd reach my stop. When I got home, I was too wiped out to think straight.

I had no particular writing goals, except to some day get my manuscript done. I now realize that wasn't the best method. I should have set a goal, even if it was small. That way I wouldn't have felt so overwhelmed.

Right now I'm taking advantage of my lack of a day job. I've set my writing goal at 1,000 words a day, and am forging ahead with my paranormal thriller, Forever Young. I know some people can do more in a day, but I'm a slow writer. For me, that's a lot of words to get done.

I've found that since I set a target I feel guilty if I don't achieve it and I try to make up for the lack the next day.

What about you? Do you set any writing goals?

Morgan Mandel

Killer Career Now 99 cents on


Cheryl said...

Every week. I set up goals in January, which I review each quarter. I write a weekly to-do list, which I share at my writer's forum - - and then I check things off as I go. It's a great motivator.


T. Forehand said...

I set goals for myself every month and then make daily and weekly lists for the actions to do to reach those goals. The monthly goals are all related to the three new year goals I set in January. Sometimes I meet them and sometimes I don't but I am more productive if I stick to the list.

My 2 cents worth.


L. K. Below/Lindsay Below said...

I tend to set outrageous goals for myself. This year, I want to write 50,000 words monthly. Haven't been able to meet it yet, I've been so consumed with promotion. Sometimes it's hard to keep those goals, but I'm afraid if I set them too low I won't push myself hard enough.

Morgan Mandel said...

I think I'd be too discouraged if I set 50,000 for a monthly goal. I barely can keep in schedule as it is.

Today I've been bad. Went to Fitness Class, which is a healthy thing to do, but then went to a movie with the DH and ate lots of buttered popcorn, which negated the healthy thing.

Morgan Mandel

Jaime said...

I used to not set goals, not really expecting anything other than enjoyment out of writing. But then I started setting deadlines for myself (rather than daily word counts for fudge room) to complete things. This has seen me through to writing a novel and now will help me make sure I get done editing it by the end of this month.

Jean Henry Mead said...

My goal and usual output is 5 pages of double-spaced copy a day. I don't feel right if I fall short but sometimes it's not possible. I'm working on three novels at the same time, so if one's not going well I switch to another. I think a lot of writers do the same thing.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Morgan,

I also use 1000 words per day as a guideline when I'm in rough draft mode. When I'm editing, I either use time guidelines (I will work for 2 hours straight without interruption) or scene goals (edit 1-3 scenes per day depending on length).

I find goal setting very helpful. It keeps me on task, and on weeks when it feels like I've done nothing, I look at my word count log and see progress. Every little bit helps!

author of romance and mystery

Rebecca said...

I've never thought of using a daily wod count, mostly, because I wouldn't do it. I guess that's why the university is so great. If it's a homework assignment for credit the writing gets done.

Kate Dolan said...

With a project on deadline, if I'm far enough out, I set a 1000 word a day goal, with weekends off. If I fall a little behind, it's not too horrific to catch up. My problem is that if I don't have something on a hard deadline, I don't take my goal seriously and so it's useless!

P.I. Barrington said...

Without fail, if I set a goal, I never reach it; my brain sabotages me every time! I just try to get in some words--from 50 to 5,000--either a day or week.

Keena Kincaid said...

I set weekly writing goals for my WIP and deadlines for proposals. I'm without a day job too (but doing some freelance work) so I should probably up the weekly word count, but then I like the feeling of blowing past it. :-)

April said...

I honestly get a lot more done if I set goals. Then when I accomplish that goal, I always get a delightful rush, lol.

Mayra Calvani said...

Yes, on a weekly and daily basis, and I try to be very specific:

I'll write 2 pages of my novel from 9-10am.


I'll sit now and work on my article for the next 2 hours.

I'm so used to it now, I can't work without goals.

Margot Justes said...

1,000 words a day sounds really good-like you Morgan, I'm a slow writer. We'll see if I can stick to it.

Margot Justes