Hi! Long time no see. 😛 I took on a freelance visual effects job recently that I thought would last for two weeks and then stretched out to almost six months. It ate my time. Sorry for the absence, but I’m back now!
And I wish to return with a word or two about writing with goals. Sure, all these tips and advice are great help, but they won’t do you any good without a goal, a SMART goal. What is a SMART goal, you might ask? Well, it’s a goal that works because it’s: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Goals like, “I’m going to write a book!” are great and all, but in order to achieve them they need to be broken down into SMART goals, like NaNoWriMo’s “Write 50,000 words in 30 days.” That fits all the requirements. Fifty thousand words in a month is a very big goal, though, one I don’t recommend doing on a regular basis, but 20-30 thousand might be more doable.
You might be saying, “Well yes, Senpai, writing 20k words a month sounds like a good goal, but what about all the other aspects of writing a story?” All aspects of writing a novel, comic, or other type of story can be broken down into SMART goals to help you keep moving forward. You can plot out your story to a pre-made structure or method in a month, or develop a character a day. If you’re not a word-count kind of person you could write a scene per week, or decide on a time minimum to write every day.
Not only do SMART goals help you move forward, they give you something to look forward to accomplishing. Once you achieve your goal you can take a moment to celebrate before moving on to the next SMART goal. Don’t party for too long, though. Once you get your novel written there’s revision, querying agents, and other things you can make SMART goals for to help you achieve that nebulous goal of getting published!
My friend Whitney recently wrote about how she’s using SMART goals to help herself in her writing.
Go, write, win!
Your Writing Senpai