Tips and tricks for smashing your writing goals

Something that is very common for writers is to set goals for their WIP (work in progress). At the beginning of the year, I wrote three goals in my planner, one of which was to finish the first draft of my book.

While this was a good goal to set, I realized soon after that just setting this one goal may not be very beneficial to me.

One goal may not be the most productive way to write a book

Now, having a main/end goal is beneficial, yes. But you may find that it will be a lot easier to set smaller goals within that one goal. (Take a shot every time you read the word goal.)

So, how can you be more productive on your journey to completing your novel?

For me, I found that challenging myself to write three chapters a month works really well. While it may not sound like a challenge, writing particular chapters can be a massive pain. You may be faced with difficult scenes, dialogue, or perhaps you aren’t a hundred percent sure where you want to go with the chapter you’re working on.

Allow yourself a week or a few days to plan and write a chapter. You’ll find yourself meeting your deadlines sooner than you expected.

The wonder of word counts

On average, I write around 2000 words per chapter. Therefore, writing roughly 500 words a day means I can get a chapter done within four days if I don’t have any other commitments.

Obviously, this may not always be the case and is just a rough estimate, but 500 words is a good target to set yourself per writing session. I recommend it as a guideline if you’re struggling to finish chapters. Not only this, but it is an extremely achievable word count goal if you know where to go with your chapter.

Dedicate yourself to your work

I’ve had days where I tell myself I’m going to write today, and then I never do. My reasons for this have varied from being too tired to having other things to do.

While I completely agree with putting any school, university, etc work before writing, the only way your book is going to get completed is if you make time to actually write.

Make a writing schedule for each week, or maybe even for the whole month. Stick to it.

Dedicate that allocated time to your work, and only your work. That’s right, no mindlessly scrolling through Twitter for you!

At the moment, I’m writing almost every day of the week, which is great! The main reason for this is because I love the point my book is at right now and I just want to put all of my thoughts onto paper… or my Word document. Also, I don’t have a whole load of educational work to do at the moment.

However, not all of us are in that position and not all of us are at the same points with our projects. Some people, like myself, are in the drafting stage. Others are revising and editing their manuscripts, whilst there are people who are extremely close to publication.

Depending on where you’re at with your book, you’re going to work at a different pace.

As I can only speak for myself and the point I’m at, I’d suggest taking three or four mornings, afternoons, evenings, whenever you have the time, to write. You don’t have to write for hours, you can even just write for 30 minutes, but you’re making progress. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better knowing that you actually wrote something.

My final piece of advice is to keep track of your goals and accomplishments. Set bi-monthly or quarterly goals and go back to them when needed. Reward yourself if you hit a target, it’s only going to motivate you to smash your goals even more. Where’s the harm in that?

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Belinda is nineteen and lives in England. She loves reading and creative writing and is currently in the midst of writing her first fantasy novel. While she currently studies Performing Arts, it is her ambition to study Creative Writing at university and go on to publish her book in the years to come. Although she is only at the beginnings of her writing journey, she is excited to hopefully grow her platform and meet more people in the writing community.

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