Writing Goals

When my daughters were Girl Scouts going door-to-door selling cookies, it was hard to get them to see the long-term rewards of knocking on doors today. I had to break it down for them. They would determine what they were going to spend their cookie profits on, and we would work backwards to figure out how to reach that goal.

We came up with weekly sales goals. To reach that number, we knew exactly how many boxes we needed to sell each day. Again, just setting a number isn’t enough for young kids. We needed a more immediate goal. We would make the deal prior to beginning. X-number of boxes would mean a trip to Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt or pancakes for dinner. Being book lovers, meeting weekend goals would earn them a new book.

It worked for them. One year we took the troop to Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida, to swim with the dolphins. It was worth it!

How does this translate to writing goals? Not many people sit down and write a book cover to cover. Many writers have other jobs or a family. Some swear by setting the same time every day for writing. If you are like me, your writing time will probably be more sporadic. You have to make it work for you.

The trick is to be realistic about your goals and remember to reward yourself. Your immediate goal may be a word count, or it may be a time allotment. Pick something that is achievable. Once you reach your goal, treat yourself to ice cream or a movie you really want to watch. By celebrating the small victories, the process will be more enjoyable, and you won’t feel as burnt out at the end. Because, remember, finishing the first draft is only one step in a long process.

What is your goal?