Writing Goals: How to Stay on Track in the New Year

By Gloria G. Adams

Most people start out a new year setting goals. Most of us never accomplish all that we desire. Here are some ways to stay on track with your writing goals this coming year.

1.      Set realistic goals. 

It’s too easy to take on more projects than you can reasonably accomplish, or accomplish well in one year. (Me: guilty as charged!) You know yourself best; gauge how much you normally get done over the course of a week, then set your goals a little lower to begin. If you find you’re having no problem meeting the small ones, increase them little by little. Small successes will give you the confidence to do more, but don’t overdo and make yourself stressed and frustrated.  

2.      Write down your goals and keep track of when you accomplish them.
Use planners, print or digital, to keep track of your writing times and dates. Celebrate your progress every month or every week or even every day. You may be amazed at how much you actually are able to accomplish when you see it in black and white. 

Check out our calendar planner made just for writers from Two-4-One Kid Critiques. Available on Amazon. https://tinyurl.com/y7w9d8ek 

3.      Set regular writing times weekly or daily. 
We are creatures of habit; get into the habit of writing at the same time, for the same amount of time every day and it should soon become a habit.

4.      Break big projects into smaller tasks. 
If you are planning to write a 60,000-word novel, break it into smaller sections so you don’t find yourself overwhelmed. Set dates by which you want to finish the first draft of each section. If you don’t meet those, re-group, and set new dates.

5.      Join programs that make deadlines for you. 
Look into projects like NaNoWriMo or the 12 x 12 Challenge to give you incentives and deadlines. Or, set your own deadlines. Maybe you even want to start your own program to help yourself and other writers stay on track. Any ideas?

 6.      Engage others. 
Ask the members of your writer’s group or groups to help you stay on track. Find a group if you don’t already belong to one. Critique groups are invaluable. Commit to being accountable to your group members, or even just one member, to whom you can be specifically accountable; offer to be his or her “accountabilibuddy,” too.

7.      Find a “no-distraction” zone in which to write. 

Lock yourself away in a home office if you have one or go to a library or similar quiet place to write. Distractions will drain your time more than you realize.

8.      Write the end first.
 Write the end of your novel or series, or the twist at the end of your picture book first. If you know where you’re headed, it will help to keep you focused.

Gloria G. Adams and Jean Daigneau are partners in a critique editing service, Two-4-One Kid Critiques. They offer TWO critique edits for the price of one, plus a collaborative summation. They specialize in picture books and middle grade novels, but consider other works on a project by project basis. Check out their rates and other information at www.two4onekidcritiques.com. Or, contact them at two4onekidcritiques@gmail.com.

A Holiday Wish

By Kate Carroll

A Song of Six Pens wishes you Happy Holidays and this gift for the coming year: