Setting Goals

We all have some goals as a writer. Whether you have written them down or just keep them somewhere in your head, they are there. Are they good goals, goals that inspire you to keep going or are you making goals into a torment for yourself? Having high goals may actually keep you from getting where you want to be. If your goals are too high you may not really think (expect) you can reach them. In that case you need to adjust your goals. Set them up as a path you can follow rather than a pinnacle you can’t reach.

These are some goal setting guidelines based on those I read in “Writing for Magazines: A Beginner’s Guide” by Cheryl Sloan Wray.

Start simple. If you are beginning your goals won’t be the same as a writer you has been published a few times and has contacts with editors/ publishers already. Simple goals are comfortable, attainable for as long as you need them.

Challenge yourself. Having simple goals doesn’t mean you won’t be working, challenging yourself to do better and try bigger. Make goals simple so you won’t give up in frustration but challenging enough to be taken seriously, worthy of working for.

Set goals that suit your personality. Don’t try to make yourself into some other writer. Make the goals work for you, your style, your routine, etc.

Be concrete and specific. Goals shouldn’t be too broad or lacking in detail. Don’t have a goal of submitting an article to the local paper. Be specific, plan an article topic and set a date for submitting it.

Share your goals with a few writer friends. Pick a few people who encourage you and let them know what you’re planning. They will help keep you on track.

Check your progress. Mark your progress somehow, keep a goal calendar to show yourself how you are making progress in keeping each of your goals. This way you can look at how far you have come when you need to keep yourself going, along to the next goal.

Stick to it. Remember you made the goals to help you become the writer you want to be. If the goals you set aren’t working for you change them, use the guidelines here to set goals that will work.

Some good goals you could try are: I will write at least a page every day. I will be ready to write by 10:00. I will submit at least 2 of my articles every month. I will challenge myself with the goal of submitting to one big publication each month.