I do love a good goal. I particularly enjoy setting goals, even if I know they are overly ambitious and slightly ridiculous. Despite the current chaos of the world, here are my three reasons why writing goals are as important as ever:
1) Goals give you a location to work towards
The end of your writing journey for your current project – what does that look like? Publishing deals? Printing out your manuscript? Giving your manuscript to someone to read? Selling it as an e-book?
It doesn’t matter what goal you’re working towards, whether your chasing the publishing dream or writing for your own joy. However, identifying where you are going with your journey can help you identify the placeholders en-route. If publishing your book is the end point, you’ve got lots of milestones on the way to that end goal:
- Finishing your manuscript
- Beta readers & editing feedback
- Hiring an editor
- Pitches and agent letters
- Editing rounds
That journey in itself could take years in itself, just the first step alone can take years in itself. However what it does give you is a point to aim for in the future.
Then you can decide what part you want to focus on this year – manuscript? Pitches? Agent letters? Whatever it is, you’ve now got a focus to work towards.
2) It gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you want to achieve
Writing takes time, and long novel projects take even more time. Goal setting is a good opportunity to assess the why you are trying to run a blog or write a book or write short stories.
Your why is as key to anything in setting your goal. Your why is the motivation that will help you even when you don’t feel motivated. It’s the reason you’ve chosen to go down this creative path and spend your time on creative endeavors such a writing.
When you’ve spent the last year, especially as one disrupted as 2020 was, focusing on small steps, it’s nice to remind yourself why you’re doing this.
3) It helps you select the projects you want to focus on.
I am the first person to admit that I always take on too much. Too many projects, too many ideas, all bubbling away and demanding attention now. Your goal setting gives you a chance to rank your ideas for the time being and specify which ones you want to prioritise.
Even with the best will in the world, you’re never going to spend time on every idea that you get, and some will need to be put on hold to give your other projects to shine.
So what are you goals?
Have you set writing goals this year? What have you set yourself and why?