Achievable Writing Goals For 2017

By on January 12, 2017
Achievable Writing Goals For 2017 - Writer's

Every writer needs goals. Goals help us to keep writing, to stay focused and to set deadlines for ourselves.

The start of a new year is a great time to assess how your writing is going, how the last year went, what you felt you did well and what you feel you could have done better. Use this time to really think about what it is you hope to achieve going forward and how you intend to do that.

Then create some shiny, brand-new writing goals for 2017!

Goal setting, however, is not easy. In fact, there is quite an art to doing it well. Give yourself too many goals or ones that are vague or impossibly challenging, and you’ll find yourself failing to achieve them early on and spending the rest of the year licking your wounds. Make your goals too easy and open ended and you’ll find ways to bend your own rules, or will get everything done but have nothing to really show for it at the end.

So what are great goals to set for yourself in 2017? Ones which excite and challenge you without being too overwhelming or difficult to achieve?

Here are some ideas to help you.

Gain a thorough understanding of what you can and can’t do.

Before you set any specific goals assess your writing life so far. Write down how much time you currently spend writing and how much writing you achieve in that time. You need to know exactly how productive you are before you can figure out what goals you can have.

Figure out your writing routine

Be realistic about how much time you can actually spend writing. It’s all very well having grand visions of getting up at 5am writing for an hour then fitting in that run before you head off to do your day job, but when that alarm starts screeching and it’s freezing cold and pitch black staying in your warm and cosy bed will suddenly feel very appealing. Work out when you are most likely to write, and how long for. Can you find ways to extend this a little? There will always be sacrifices here and there that we can make to spend more time writing, but if you make it seem like too much of a chore you will quickly break. Why not make one evening a week a ‘writing evening’ rather then insisting your goal should be to write every day? Finding a balance of what you will stick to while still pushing yourself is what achievable goal setting is all about.

Knock down those barriers.

Only you know what stops you from writing, whether it’s hanging out with friends or simply watching a movie with a loved one. Find out what your blocks are, what will distract you, what makes you procrastinate. I, for example, always tidy my house the night before I want to have a big writing day. I know if I don’t the mess will distract me and I’ll use it as and excuse not to get down to work. Barriers can also be physical and emotional like being too tired to write or being filled with self-doubt. Find strategies in order to avoid these getting in the way of your writing. Acknowledging them is the first step.

Get some support and reward yourself.

There is nothing more helpful when it comes to sticking to your goals then having an army of people to support you. Find a writing community, tell your family and friends. The more people that know your goals the more likely you are to stick to them. Other writers can help you stay on track, as well as give your feedback and help you improve your work too. Giving yourself rewards each time you achieve a goal is another way of making sure you stick to them!

The best way to create writing goals is to make them sensible and achievable but also know that when you achieve them you’ll look back with a sense of pride! Do that and you are sure to have an excellent writing year!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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