It’s a new year and it’s filled with brand new possibilities. For writers, that might include setting writing goals. I’ve found that writers tend to be incredibly artistic free-souled people. This often results in the complete inability to make realistic goals. Some of the most common writing goals I’ve run across fit into one of the following categories:
1. Daily Time and/or Word Count Goals
These goals are meant to keep momentum on a project and are very helpful, especially when working on longer projects when it’s hard to see the end in sight. There is a huge tendency to set these goals too high. For perspective, the prolific and popular Stephen King wrote in his writing book that he aims for 2,000 words a day. For a full-time professional writer this is a solid goal. For someone who is writing as a hobby and has other responsibilities that must be attended to first, this is way too high. Back when I was starting out, I tried for 1000 words a day. That was when I only had one kid and he still took naps. Now I can only hope for any time at all, and I’m happy with what I get.
2. Submission Goals
Submitting to agents and publishers is a terrifying prospect for many writers. It means completing something and being ready to let it go. My first five submissions were rejections, and honestly I’m better for them. The pieces I was submitting weren’t strong enough or the right fit for where I was submitting. Having a deadline to submit, whether it’s self imposed or not, is great motivation to see a story to completion.
3. Publication Goals
Publication goals are tricky. If you are planning on being published by anyone other than yourself then you will have no control over whether the things you write get published or not. That said, if your goal is to publish then you need to be doing the other two categories of goals as well. You can’t submit what you haven’t written, edited, and polished first. You can’t get published what you don’t submit.
Whatever you’re goals end up being, here’s to a fabulous new year of creating and getting your words out to the world.
What are your writing goals for this year? Share in the comments!