Writing Tip: On Goal-Setting


Some people say that in order to become a writer, you must write every day.

I am not one of those people.

I’ve already written about the benefits of not taking every bit of writing advice offered and simply doing what works for you, so I won’t rehash all that now. But I do want to share one technique that’s worked really well for me.

Namely: set weekly goals.

I have never done well with daily goals. As someone who is not a natural planner, even my best-laid plans (which are not super well-laid, to be honest) can get sidetracked. I’ll decide to spend the evening writing, giving myself a goal of 1000 words, and then a friend I haven’t seen in a long time will unexpectedly arrive in town. Or I will have had such a long day at work all I want to do is fall into the bath. Or I WILL write, but decide to change the direction my story is taking and end up deleting 1000 words instead.

Those nights happen. I used to beat myself up over them. But then I decided on a new tactic: to make these goals weekly rather than daily.

It’s easy to have a bad day. To get off track, to get busy, to get distracted. But if you have six other days in the week, it makes it easy to make up for that bad day. Missed your 1000 words today? Do 2000 tomorrow. Or if there’s no time, do 1200 for the next five days. Or if you have a particularly busy/terrible work week, squeeze all 7000 words into your weekend. It’s kind of brutal, but I’ve done it.

I apply this not to just writing. I have life to do lists, and I make them weekly rather than daily now. I have exercise goals–also a weekly thing.

I mean, don’t leave every little thing to Sunday afternoon (my weeks end on Sunday; they feel like endings, while Mondays feel like beginnings), because you won’t get everything done in one day, plus that won’t make for a very pleasant Sunday. (Also: I firmly believe that pleasant Sundays lead to better Mondays.) But giving myself flexibility in my schedule–giving myself a break–has done wonders for me.

How about you? Do you have daily goals or weekly ones?

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

10 thoughts on “Writing Tip: On Goal-Setting

  1. I am a weekly person. I write my tasks down in my bullet journal with a little square to check off when done. I also like leaving it a bit open so you can do a task you are more in the mood for one day over another.


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