I’m not one for making New Year resolutions, because you should make resolutions throughout the entire year. However, I am a huge believer in goal setting. I know I work better with a definite goal in mind.
I’ll give you a perfect example. When I was eight, my goals were to write a book, get a university degree, and own a horse. By the time I was twenty-one, I had written three books (and a lot of dreadful poetry), had owned a pony (though I had to give him up when I went off to university, and I was close to completing my first degree. I realise that not everyone is as goal-orientated as me, but if you are writing a book, I think goal setting can help keep you on track.
The quickest way to set yourself up for a fall is to make an unachievable goal. You can’t write a 120,000 word novel in week; not without burning out. But say your goal is 120,000 words in a year. That is 330 words a day or 2500 words a week, approximately. That is doable, particularly if you’ve ever attempted NaNoWriMo, which had a goal of 1700 words a day!
How fast can you write 330 words? Well, I have participated in writing races, and have managed 1400 in an hour. I am not the world’s fastest typist. So, I would expect most of you would be able to write 330 words in fifteen minutes to half-an-hour. Can you find that time to write every day? By getting up earlier? By writing on the train?
If you can’t find the time during your working week, can you find a couple of hours on the weekend to write? If you have small children, can you write while they are taking a nap?
If you can find the time … what happens when/if you have writer’s block? Do something else. Do research. Look at images that might inspire characters or settings. Play with plot ideas. Take notes.
My first goal this year is to finish editing my Steampunk novel and stop trying to improve it. Time for that project to grow up and leave home. My second goal is to keep up-to-date with this blog and my science articles. My third goal is to write short stories and send them off to market. Oh, and I’d really like a full time job.
If you need a pep talk, you can always count on me.