Monday, May 25, 2020

Why All Writers Should Set Goals

If you want to accomplish anything in life you need to set a goal.  This is especially true for writer's.  So many people let the opportunity of writing a book slip by because they don't  know how to make their dream a reality.

The question is how do you turn your writing goals into reality?  And make them actually work?

I'm going to share some important points to help you get started with your goal writing process.

List Your Goals for the New Year

Spend a little time at the end of each year reviewing and reflecting on the past year, and what you want to achieve in the coming year.

Research  on New Year's resolution suggests you're ten times more likely to achieve them if you make the effort to set them each year.

A good time to do this after Christmas, when you can really start refocusing on your goals for the coming year.  This will give you a fresh-start and help motivate you for the months ahead.

4 Kinds of Goals

Before we delve into the process of goal setting, lets take a look at the four different kinds of goals.  You'll find each goal benefits the previous and so on. 

1. What is Your Lifetime Goal?

Do you have a bucket list? What would you like to accomplish before you die?

Perhaps is writing a book, or starting your own writing business. Maybe you want to write a screenplay, or create a course to help people in a similar situation to yours.

Whatever your goals are make sure you write them down and put them somewhere safe, so you can easily get at them if you ever need to update them.

2. What is your Project Goal?

In the coming year what other projects would you like to complete?  You could probably add a project goal in your lifetime goal list, but it can also be something that can be achieved within the next twelve months.

You're probably thinking I'm never going to achieve everything over the next year.  You'd be right, your aim is to break up your lifetime goals into smaller chunks so that you can make your dreams a reality.

Here are some examples of writing project goals:
  • Write a draft of your book
  • Publish something you've already written
  • Get 50 rejection letters from publications and agents
  • Make $1,000 from your affiliate sales
What can you Take Charge of?

While you're setting these project goals, visualise what you can take charge of, and stay clear of what lies outside of your own control.

In the example above, try changing "Make $1,000 from your affiliate sales" to "create a new ebook and pitch and promote it to 100 people".

You can't control how it will affect other people, and how much money you'll make, but you can focus on how much work you want to put into it.

When you focus solely on one project you'll find that things will become a bit easier, allowing you to  actually accomplish what you set out to do.

3. What is Your Weekly Goal?

You can take your project goal a step further by thinking about how you can achieve each week to make your goal happen.

Here are some of my previous goals:

  • Update the information in all of my books
  • Publish one long blog post a week
  • Create four new books this year

Don't complicate things, think small and create weekly goals you know you can achieve.

4. What Are Your Daily Goals?

This is especially helpful for any writer, but it's also good for anybody that wants to set a long term project that requires daily effort.

If I'm working on a project like a book or blog post I like to set myself a goal of at least a 1,000 words, this makes a larger goal more possible.

How to Turn Your Goals into Reality

Now that we've looked at the four different kinds of goals, let's look at how to start turning them into reality.

1. Contemplate

Think about what has worked for you in the past and how you were able to accomplish it.  Did you struggle with anything?  How did you overcome that struggle?

You contemplate for two reasons:

Contemplating on past accomplishments and learning to appreciate them more.  Be happy with what you already have, and use it to pursue your goals.

Contemplation and reflection are great tools to go to when you want to evaluate goals you've set.  Add an evaluation to each year's goals.

Contemplating on your past projects and how to make your future better.  Look at where you went wrong, and how you overcame and succeeded.  Helping you to refine your process and make your future efforts work.

2. Focus On Your What You Most Desire

Ask yourself what do I really want to achieve with my writing this year?  Do I want to move on with my writing? Or do I want to take it in a different direction?

Life is short, so don't do anything half-hearted, instead concentrate on what you desire the most.

While Your Doing This, Think About Other Areas Of Your Life You'd Like to Change

Oftentimes fixating on one area doesn't always make us happy.

Success may come with your writing but other areas of your life may suffer.  That's why you need to think about every aspect of your life.

Work. What do you want to accomplish with your writing, do you need to quit your current job and make writing full-time?
Writing. What do you want to finish successfully, or experience more in your writing?
Family/Relationships.  What do you want to accomplish with your family relationships, spouse, children, or friends?
Self. What do you want to accomplish with your personal life? This could include hobbies, personal goals and fitness.

3. What Will You Stop Doing to Make Your Life Better?

There are so many things in life that hold people back, but what would you stop doing to make your life better? What difference would that make in your life?

If you could quit anything today, what would it be? If you could add something new to your life, and take something away what would it be?  What would you stop doing this year?

Quitting something isn't always that easy, or responsible, so identify what it is you want to stop doing, and make a plan.

Don't worry if you don't do everything you set out to do, try and centre on what you want the most and connect with what you desire the most.  You'll find your goals aren't as far away as you thought they were.

The more time you spend thinking the less time you spend doing.
一Helen Bolam.

When you start something new, you discover things you never knew about yourself.

4. Choose No More Than Four Goals

Once you've finished your brainstorming session on all the things you want to accomplish in the New Year you may have a few areas in your life you want to change as well.

Continue brainstorming until you have at least three areas of your writing, work, relationships, and self you want to change.

Choose four goals you want to complete by the end of the year.

Your goals are important, and a year isn't that long in the grand scheme of things.  Four goals will give you a bigger chance of being able to complete them.

Select your goals wisely, because what you choose will change your life!



Inspiring Quotes to Help You Achieve Your Writing Goals

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."一Sylvia Plath.

"Read, read, read.  Read everything一trash, classics, good, and bad, and see how they do it.  Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master.  Read! You'll absorb it.
Then write.  If it's good, you'll find out.  If it's not, throw it out of the window."
一William Faulkner.

"Start writing, no matter what.  The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on."一 Louis L'Amour.

"To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man."一Aristotle.

"Write while the heat is in you.  The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.  He cannot inflame the minds of his audience."一Henry David Thoreau.

"The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write about it."一Benjamin Disraeli.

"The desire to write grows with writing."一Erasmus.

"You can't edit a blank page."一Nora Roberts.

"Write only if you cannot live without writing.  Write only what you alone can write."一Elie Wiesel.

Takeaways:

  • Set clear-cut goals, then divide them into manageable chunks.
  • Record your progress.
  • Keep going even if you miss a day or two.
  • Reevaluate your goals on a regular basis and don't be afraid to change course if you need to.
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