Saturday, 23 January 2016

7 Quick Tips for Achieving Your Writing Goals

In my previous post on Planning, I showed you how I use my Filofax planner to plan my goals.  However, knowing what your goals are and actually achieving them are two very different things.  Here's 7 quick tips to help you achieve your writing goals:

Set Goals  

What do you want to achieve this year?  Write it down and then break it down into smaller tasks.  If your goal is to complete your novel by the end of the year, work out what your word count needs to be every day, week and month.  Write these deadlines down into your planner.  Factor in time for editing, beta-reading and add an extra 10% for when life gets in the way.

Be Committed

Dedicate yourself to your goals.  See yourself achieving your goals.  Don't leave anything to chance.  Make steps towards your goals every day, no matter how small.

Stay Motivated  

Find out what motivates you and do it often.  Don't wait for the muse to turn up - drag him to your writing space every day, kicking and screaming.

Be Proactive

It's no use thinking about your goals, and planning them if you don't take action. You are the only person who can achieve your goals, so make a plan and then stick to it.  Take charge of every area of your life and guard your writing time with a blood-stained sword.

Be Productive  

Work out what time of day you do your best writing, then use any techniques necessary to get the job done before you stop.  If your daily word count target is 500 words, don't leave your computer/notebook until those words are down.  The Pomodoro Technique works for me.  Set a timer for 10/15/25 minutes and focus solely on your writing until the timer runs out.  Have a 5/10 minute break then go again.

Keep Track  

Regularly review your goals - at the end of every month works best for me.  Take a look at what steps you have completed and what you didn't complete.  Why did you do well/not so well?  How can you do better next month?

Don't be Discouraged  

If life gets in the way, like it has a tendency to do - don't despair.  Just re-evaluate your goals and plan forward accordingly.  After all, they are your goals!  If you have to extend your deadline by a few weeks, it's not the end of the world.  What's important is that you stick with it and Never Give Up.

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Happy Planning!

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