As writers, we are responsible for creating our own work structure. No one makes us write. No one tells us how much to write or when to do it. If we are to be productive writers, we have to monitor ourselves. Goals are one way to do that.
The goals we set should be measurable and attainable. Measurable goals are goals that require some kind of output. It might be to write a certain number of pages per day. Or it might be to send out a certain number of query letters per month. Whatever the goal is, it should be quantifiable.
Goals should also be attainable. For a goal to be attainable, we have to be honest with ourselves. So ask yourself, do you really have the time to crank out a five-hundred-page novel in six months? Are you really going to earn $40,000 a year as a writer? Our goals should be realistic, recognizing what is possible in our own lives and what is possible in the world of writing.
It is a good idea, when setting goals, to include a mix of long-term and short-term goals. When setting long-term goals, ask yourself where you want to be a year from now. Where do you want to be five years from now? These questions help you chart your course. They serve as a guide when you start making short-term goals. Short- term goals are usually ones that require output. Examples of short-term goals would be writing a certain number of hours per week, or producing a certain number of articles per month. These are the “baby steps’ in helping us achieve our long-term goals and dreams.
The important thing about goals is that we have to check our progress regularly. Are we meeting our goals? Are we exceeding them? Do we need to make adjustments? If something doesn’t seem to be working, what can we do differently?
The beauty of goals is that they can be changed. It’s our job to make sure our goals are working for us. If we are diligent about making, following, and checking our goals, then we have a greater chance of being productive and successful writers.
About Sherry Ellis:
Sherry Ellis is a freelance writer who writes articles for parenting magazines and children’s publications. Her first book, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN, was published in 2005. Her second, That Mama is a Grouch, was published in May of 2010. It was honored as a finalist in the Parenting/Family category of the 2010 USA Book News Awards.
Sherry is also a professional musician who plays and teaches violin, viola, and piano. Ms. Ellis lives in Loveland, Ohio with her husband and two children.
You can learn more about Sherry Ellis and her books at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/SherryEllis.aspx