The Truth About Setting Writing Goals (& How I Plan To Achieve Them)

“The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.”

I’ll keep it real straight from the off.

Setting goals is a nightmare. 

It’s a pain in the neck. A thorn in every writer’s side. Yet, no matter how much we all try to put it off, we know we have to do it to stay organised and to stay on track. I’ll admit, I’m not the best role model in the world when it comes to goal setting, but I’ve tried a hell of a lot this year! (She says, still not adding to her story on frequent occasion…)

I’m not writing this post today to brag about how all my story’s chapters are planned until the very last sentence, or that I know what the title of my blog post will be on the 18th October 2025. I’m writing it to do my research, find some success stories and hopefully give myself a little goal setting boost. Life can easily take you away from your own writing and hobbies, especially when you’re at work all day every day, but it’s crucial that you manage your time and act instead of dream.

I set myself a short list of new year’s resolutions this year. Even though I crossed 3 of these off already (hurrah!) I’m still looking at certain bullet points thinking, “Am I ever going to get round to doing this?”

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Looking at these three resolutions in particular right now has instantly made me realise something.

None of these are chores!

Actually, they’re three of the things that I love or used to love to do. I played guitar for years and just suddenly stopped one day. There was a time where I used to read a new book every week, then I just gave it up. I actually used to work on my story every day, but guess what happened over time? Yep. I stopped doing that too.

There can be a million and one reasons why you stop doing something, but the first step to regaining your control over it is to identify what it is that you want to do and how you’d like to go forward. Okay, my goals there are very basic, so for the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to improve upon them. Hopefully, with better goal setting tactics, I might actually get somewhere before Christmas comes around yet again.

Let’s focus on one particular goal.

Keep adding to Stranger Than Fiction.

Stranger Than Fiction is the novel I started writing around 2 years ago. Two whole years and I’m no where near finishing it. Why? Because I haven’t been keeping to a schedule. I set zero goals for my challenge. Now, all I’m left with is a few chapters that I have to keep reading again and again because I forget who my characters are and… what am I even writing about again?

Exactly. Setting the right goals and being specific about what you want to achieve is what you need to be doing straight away. Let me put that into practice.

By the end of 2018, write at least 3 more chapters for Stranger Than Fiction. Put one evening aside per week to do this as well as edit existing content.

Hmm. That does seem to put things into more easy to digest chunks! But there’s still something missing. How do I ensure that I do actually put that evening to one side when I have work to catch up on, blogging to do and living life in between? Keep a diary. I don’t mean a diary of what you do every day, just a diary to plan out what you do each day of the week.

“Okay, this Wednesday is Uncle Albert’s birthday and this Friday I’m out on the town. I want a day to chill with some video games on Tuesday because it’ll be a long day and I’m busy with friends all weekend.”

If this was me, I’d fill in my diary accordingly. I’d realise that the only spare days I’d have in the next coming week would be Monday and Thursday. Perfect days to book in that evening of story writing! However, one thing I would say is don’t rush it. If it comes to your story writing day and you had an awful day at work, don’t force your fingers to type. Chances are, you’ll hate what you’ve written and you’ll feel worse. If this happens on any occasion, read through what you’ve already written and get some motivation back.

When writing today, I came across some great points from other bloggers which highlight some of the things you may not necessarily think of when it comes to setting goals, but they’re definitely factors in your success.

Tiny Tips for Crushing Your Writing Goals – Ashley O’Melia.

In this post, Ashley covers some rather important ground. She mentions factors such as the auto-save feature, something which all writers bow down to, as well as your background environment and health. Definitely one to read alongside this post!

Why We Should Celebrate Our Writing Goals – Andrea Lungren

Such a great point has been made from Andrea here. We can spend so much time planning ahead, but when we actually reach those amazing goals, then what? We need to give ourselves a bit more credit and celebrate our successes!

I also landed on some great posts about other people’s writing goals and what they hope to achieve in 2018. It’s so interesting to see how other people’s goals differ to your own, and can even give you a little further inspiration too.

Reading and Writing Goals for 2018 – Lyndsey’s Book Blog

This girl has got it nailed on the head. Lyndsey’s goals here are so in depth and it’s clear to me that she means business – such an inspiration. This post has made me think twice about my new goals for next year. I’m excited just thinking about it!

2018 Writing Goals – Krysteen Damon’s Blog

Krysteen’s writing goals are a work in progress, a little like mine! She shows so much determination and enthusiasm with her goals for this year and this post is so refreshing to read. It gives me high hopes for my goals this year. Fingers crossed!

How’s everyone else finding their goals? Do you have trouble sticking to a plan? 🙂

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. lyndleloo says:

    What a great post, thank you so much for including my blog in your recommendations! I really like your tip of specifically diarising a day and time to work on your goals, I think I need to start doing this as being a new mum is even more time consuming than I imagined! You’ve definitely inspired me to carve out a few hours a week for my own goals, fingers crossed this little one loves to nap 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome and I’m so glad! Gosh, I bet it’s difficult! It’s great to see you’re still determined though – I salute you! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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