Sunday, May 5, 2013

4 Question of the Week: Do You Set Writing Goals?

May 5, 2013
Question of the Week:
Do You Set Writing Goals?

Many writers set goals for themselves: In one year, I will have a completed manuscript, or in three years, I will be published, or in five years, I’ll be a best-seller. You might also have short-term goals: Today I will write two thousand words, or This week I will submit my proposal to my editor, or I will query seven agents this month. 
Do you set goals for your writing career? What kind: daily, weekly, yearly, long-term career goals? Are they detailed or more general? Do you share your goals with anyone?

My answer: I set weekly and yearly goals.  My weekly goals might be “Write ten thousand words in my manuscript” or “Plot Book Two” while my yearly goals are more big-picture and career-related. Some of my writing friends and I email our weekly goals to each other every Sunday. Posting our goals to the group gives us accountability, and it also helps us create a plan for the week. The following Sunday we report back if we met our goals, and then we set new ones for the upcoming week. We congratulate each other when we’ve met our goals, and commiserate when we don’t. We also set yearly goals, which we store in a group file.
Most of my weekly goals are attainable, but I try to set at least one “superstar” goal that makes me really work for it. I don’t make my superstar goal every week, but when I do, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment. For me, setting goals, and particularly reporting the results to my friends, is extremely motivating.

Your turn: Do you set writing goals? Short- or long-term, or both? Do you share your goals with anyone?


  1. I'm trying to learn to research for a new book knowing an editorial letter for another is coming in the months ahead. It will be a new experience to draft and revise two novels at once.

    Right now, the goal is to have a majority of my research done between now and that first letter. Fingers crossed it will happen!

    1. Yes, drafting and revising two novels at once sounds like a challenge, Caroline! Are you breaking up your long-term goal of getting your research done into smaller, more specific daily goals (such as, "Today my goal is to research what it's like to fly a plane.")? Best of luck to you!

  2. I set goals at the beginning of every month. Reading a minimum number of books and blogging a certain number of times are two constant goals for each month, but I also set my sights on a general word count for the WIP, and include entering specific contests and submitting articles on the checklist depending on the month. I don't share them with anyone, but checking them off at months-end is a big motivator for the next 30 days.

    1. Sounds like you have a great plan, Dawn. It's always a great feeling to check off those goals, isn't it?


Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)