Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and reading resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Setting Goals In Your Writing

Why do it?

Setting writing goals can help any freelance writer by:

  • Providing focus in your writing. It's sometimes too easy to get distracted by other projects or tasks.
  • Forcing you to prioritize writing projects.
  • Reducing opportunity for procrastination, or at least forcing you to recognize when you do procrastinate.

Some tips for setting writing goals

Set short-term as well as long-term goals. Here are some examples of short-term writing goals:

  • Number of words written per day or week.
  • Number of hours spent writing.
  • Number of pages written.
  • Number of queries sent out.

Set realistic writing goals. Be honest with yourself about what you can and can't achieve, else you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

Keep a record. If your writing goal involves a certain number of words or hours per day, for example, keep a written record to help provide motivation and to keep you on track. If you know how to use a spreadsheet program, set up a table that automatically totals up the number of words or hours you've written so far in total.

Share your writing goals. Join a local writer's group that meets regularly, or make a pact with a writer friend to send each other weekly goals and updates. There are also many excellent online writers' groups; more info in a future column.

Some useful online sources of information:

An Approach to Goal Setting For Freelance Writers by Steve Slaunwhite

Setting Effective Writing Goals by Moira Allen

Are You Achieving Your Goal? by mridu Khullar

Do you keep writing goals? If so, what kind? Daily, weekly or monthly? Number of words or hours written? Feel free to share them below:

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