Writing Update: Goals, Make It Happen

Every once in a while you get stuck in a rut. You try but you’re just not there. You see yourself slipping, and the rut seems deeper. So you sit, because you can’t find the stairway out. And it is in those times that you need a solid kick in the backside to get you moving and keep you moving out of that rut. I like to call those kicks goals.

Goals are a good thing to set, especially if you’re trying to go somewhere – like out of the rut and down the road with your story. They challenge you, they push you, they move you; that is if you work  and keep with them. Otherwise if you make them and ignore them, you’ll never go anywhere.

I’ve lost momentum in my writing, it happens to all of us, but now I most pick it back up. Because a good writer is not defined in times when it’s easy to write, but in the times when it’s not. So this is a bit of a motivational  post, for myself and anyone else who needs a kick in the pants.

Think of your favorite thing about writing. For me it’s the feel of typing and letting new ideas spring onto the page. Remember that, and go back to it anytime you feel discouraged. Now think about what you need to work on. For me it’s making time to sit down without distractions and write as much as I can. I’ll never get my stories done if I never write them, right? I think a lot of people have this problem; they don’t have much time. And I’m here to tell ya, you have to make that time. Because an easy slot of time and the perfect mindset to write wont drop in your lap every time, life will get busy.

So pick a time of day, even if it’s not much, the important thing is to get yourself sitting down to write everyday. You can also write in those random or spare moments, but writing at the same place and time helps establish a good routine.

Now make a goal for yourself. I like word count goals, because it defiantly gets me writing, and it’s easy to keep track of and build upon. You can set other goals as well. Like getting yourself in the routine of writing everyday, or maybe writing a scene or doing a page of editing. But set those goals  and follow through. You can set everyday goals, weekly goals, and future goal to work up to so that you have someplace to go. Make them reasonable and bite sized at first, and build from there.

I am challenging myself to sit down for one hour everyday without distraction, and within that day to write 500 words. And I also challenging myself to work up to 1,000 words a day.

I encourage you to do this with me, whether you’re in a rut or just want to speed up. Set some goals for yourself, tell me about them in the comments, and next week you’ll see how we’re doing.  Good luck, and let the story go on!

 

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2 thoughts on “Writing Update: Goals, Make It Happen

  1. Routine is a great idea if you can manage it. Sadly, thanks to the horrors of the fast food industry, and a few other variables, that’s very impractical for me. (Managers in the fast food industry are discouraged from giving employees regular schedules … for some esoteric reason.) So I took to writing in a notebook during spare times, which, incidentally, also help turn the hours I tend to spend on a bus into productive periods. Turns out to be a great idea, as my writing improved in a number of ways, as slowing-up the actual act of writing (long hand vice typing) help organize ideas better as they came out for a smoother narrative, and transcribing what I wrote to the computer (whenever the opportunity presents itself) made it oddly easy to catch mistakes.

    Of course, there are side-effects. My short stories have developed from generally being about three to six thousand words to about eight thousand to … however long this one will be (I’m at thirty-three pages now).

    Lately, I’ve been pushing for two handwritten pages a day, though I’ve done three recently, so I’ll keep it there and push for four.

    • That does sound a little tricky, but make lemon aid or of lemons, right? I was on a mission trip up in New Jersey this summer, and didn’t want to risk bring my laptop and so brought a note book to write in instead. I was quite busy, but got about twelve pages over all. The interesting thing was I found it rather dull typing it onto the computer when I got back, even when I was trying to catch mistakes and improve. I suppose I like to be in the moment and get everything out of my head as fast as I can, then go back to sculpt and fine tune. Just goes to shows how different writers write. I’m glad that’s working for you though, hopefully you can get your four pages and I can get my 500 words. We’ll see next week.

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