How to set a writing goal…

Twelve Amazing Real-World Secrets for Success!

1. Set a goal that does not take ANY of your other activities into account, because in the moment of setting your goal, you can’t imagine doing anything but writing. (Even eating seems excessive, unless it is the snack you eat while writing…)

2. Begin working towards the goal. Get a telephone call. Have to go to work. Realize you failed immediately.

3. Try again. Fail again. Reflect on the way you misspel gaol when you’re writing a rant about how being a writer SUCKS! – is the same as the old word for jail and how do you get out of jail? Impossible! Stare at the computer. Eat ice cream. Wash the keys and go to work.

4. Give up. Decide you’re not a writer.

5. Wake up one morning passionate about writing. Forget last week’s failure, that’s the past! Make another impossible goal immediately!

6. Lather, rinse, repeat….

7. One day, when you’re bored with checking your emails, write something quickly, just because it seems kind of fun — and suddenly discover you particularly like it, and that it makes the coffee house chain brighter, the people more interesting…. Then, imagine publishing it. It’s a story — no — it’s a novel! A novel! Wow. Take another sip of coffee. Read it again, feeling a little smug. It’s a chapter…. of a novel!

8. Read it again. (Why not?) Fix a mispelling. Like it even more. Change “the” to “a,” and take out a “very.” Feel smug.

9. Decide to write the next chapter, sometime. Look at your calendar. Mark out fifteen two-hour time slots in the next month.

10. Go see a movie with a friend. Have popcorn. Decide not to talk about the plot of your chapter. Think about it and lose track of why the movie villain seems to be becoming a giant bumblebee, or is that his costume? Don’t care. Feel smug.

11. The next morning, when you open your calendar, notice that you have a writing date with yourself in the afternoon. Set the alarm in your cell phone. Think about the character you created yesterday. Have your coffee, do your errands, order your latte, start writing.

12. When the alarm goes off, giggle. Keep writing.

6 thoughts on “How to set a writing goal…

  1. Yeah, it’s hard to avoid being a manic writer — and hard to keep writing good prose (or whatever) if you’re really deeply truly disfunctionally manic — or just crazed, like we all get every now and then. Thanks, it sounds like you’ve been there! I sure have, and so have my writing clients — we all have to learn to make goals that make sense! Once in a while, at least….


  2. Patrise — This link is great! I like his seven stages to getting a book done — great advice for any project. Everyone, there’s a lot there about accountability, self-care and finding your own rhythm…. Thanks…


  3. My first comment is that sometimes lists work. Today it didn’t. I put writing at the top and skipped to the bottom. working my way toward number 1.


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