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Goal Setting For Writers
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One way to give direction to your writing efforts involves setting goals. This can prove particularly useful to writers new to the craft. However, even experienced writers can find it useful to set goals on a regular basis.

An important aspect of goal-setting related to your writing involves getting clear with yourself about the types of things you want to accomplish. You may also want to have an idea in mind about how frequently you want to review and update your goals. The frequency with which you do so likely will depend on the type of goals you have for writing. If, for example, you are focusing on short story fiction and brief content articles, then you may want to review your goals as often as daily or weekly. Conversely, if your writing goals include longer objectives such as completing a novel or a nonfiction, full-length e-book, you may want to review your goals only every three or four months or perhaps even once a year. You may, however, review more often even longer length piece goals if you have a mix of short and long writing projects in your objectives.

How do you go about setting goals? You can take a number of different approaches to setting goals for your writing efforts. You may apply these approaches singly or in combination.

Externally driven – for some of your writing objectives, you may find that your goals have an external trigger. For example, the current Street Articles 30 in 30 challenge will likely factor in many contributor’s writing goals. Another example of an externally driven goal would involve school or college coursework in which a teacher or professor provides you with writing assignments.

Quantity – As a developing writer, you may want to set an internally-driven quantity goal. For example, you may set a goal to write 1,000 words a day just in writing for the enjoyment and practice of doing so. Or, you may want to set a quantity goal of this sort to try to build toward a novel or a short story collection or a nonfiction e-book.

Practicality – If you are writing for business purposes, your goals may include setting practical objectives. For example, you may have a goal to write promotional material of some kind for your website or blog or you may want to submit a certain number of articles to paying publications.

Variety – You may want to continue to develop your writing skills by working in more than one type of writing. So, you may want to set a goal to work on a novel, or short stories, as well as work on a blog and on content articles. Another way of using variety as a goal-setting trigger involves defining goals that involve working with writing forms that are new to you. You may want to try your hand at a romance or a science fiction story or perhaps even a western.

When I started out my writing career, I set up a series of goals for the first year after I had my first fiction piece accepted by an amateur press. I decided to aim for a combination of twenty either of bylines in print magazines just for some clips or placement in writing competitions.

I haven’t always met my writing goals in the timeframes I set for them, but that first year I actually exceeded the goal and had reached the twenty number in about six months.

You can certainly write successfully without setting specific goals, however, the direction and motivation that comes from regular goal setting helps keep you focused and moving in the direction of, over the longer term, accomplishing whatever you most want to accomplish through your writing efforts.

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