Setting writing goals isn’t as challenging as it first appears when substantially provided with the right tools, and backed by the right mindset.
Most writers shy away from the thought of setting writing goals because they fear the likelihood of not accomplishing them. Becoming a writer requires patience and consistency, thus the need to set the right goals in place to guide you through your journey.
Achieving set goals requires the art of looking inwards, an in-depth evaluation of your writing life, your current situation and the height you want to attain in our career. It also needs an evaluation of how best you work (the pace for each project completion).
Finding time from your everyday busy life to polish and improve on your writing can be quite difficult, thus the pressing question; how do you set writing goals and meticulously work towards achieving them to become a better writer?
In this article, we share practical tips that can guide you through your goal-setting process.
Tips on Setting Effective Writing Goals
- Observe your writing habit
Every individual responds differently to the thought of goal-setting. Before you set your writing goals, you should first determine how you react psychologically to goal-setting. Setting goals that align with your individual values is very important. Ask yourself the following questions to get clarity about the type of writer you are:
- How do you react emotionally when faced with the goals?
- What type of writer do you consider yourself to be?
- Can you make out time for your goals in your everyday life?
Someone with a detailed outline will evidently approach their goals differently from another who chooses to go with the tide when writing.
- Establish long-term writing ambitions
As a writer intending to achieve long-lasting goals, it is important that you properly establish them. When setting goals (whatever they may be or how silly you think they sound), you should be mentally prepared to accomplish them and meticulously tick them off your to-do list. Focus on setting realistic goals and set aside time for honing your skills.
- Break the big goals into smaller milestones
Sometimes, big can look scary, and this also affects our goal-setting. When the goals appear too big, we opt to settle for the lesser goals or just quit the entire process. Most writing processes have various phases, you should learn to break each writing project phase by phase.
To do this, outline all the milestones you will likely pass on your way to the finish line. Then, tackle them one by one, instead of trying to do them all at once.
- Turn each milestone into a realistic task
Your milestones encountered along the way should be realistic and achievable. While breaking your large goals into smaller tasks is a good idea, ensure that each task is realistic.
Ensure that your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These five criteria guarantee you a plausible goal. They guide you through the how and when of achieving your goals with certainty.
- Be flexible
Flexibility is an important factor to consider when setting goals. A smart goal-setter should be prepared for any unexpected occurrences, and be willing to adapt their goals to meet them. Life happens to the best of us, and being guided by this realisation will make you willing to adjust your goals to fit any circumstance and most importantly, re-orient the focus of your goal.
- Celebrate your wins
It is never an easy thing to set goals and try to achieve them. Most people throw in the towel even before take-off. Humans who withstand pressure are the strongest of us. Be open to celebrating whatever wins or achievements you have on your writing journey.
Your writing journey will not be smooth, don’t expect it to be. The process will be challenged by adversity and struggles, these are inevitable and play their own role in shaping your success. However, remember that your choice to begin is a win on its own and should be celebrated.