Setting Writing Goals
Writing any book is a huge undertaking. Staring at an empty screen can feel as daunting as standing at the foot of the Himalayas, knowing that the only way to go is up.
I believe that this feeling of helplessness keeps many would-be writers from attempting to write altogether. Most people don’t feel like they can fit it into their lives, or that once they make the effort that it will be in vain because they won’t be able to get into print.
This is where setting goals comes in. In order to take the terror out of taking on a huge writing project, you need to break up your big goal into many smaller ones. You don’t tackle the mountain, but the step right in front of you.
Figure out about how many words you would like your project to be. This doesn’t have to be precise number, but just something to shoot at. You can always adjust later as the project progresses. Middle Grade and Young Adult are generally between 60 and 100 thousand words, but each genre has its own standards, such as fantasy, which is generally a little bit longer.
Decide when you want to complete your project. In this stage, remember that the later you want to get done, the less you will have to do each day and vice versa. Think about how much time you can actually devote to writing each day when making this decision.
Figure out how much you need to do each day by dividing the word count by the number of days until your goal. This will give you an estimate about much you need to write each day.
Find some way to keep track of your progress. Make a chart, post it on your computer monitor, whatever motivates you. Tell other people about your goals so that they can be your cheerleaders.
For example, I like to finish the first draft of a novel about every three months. I have set the goal of writing about 1,000 words every day so that if I stick to that, I will have a 90,000 word novel every three months. If you miss a day, don’t despair. Life happens, and you haven’t lost unless you stop writing. The best thing to do if you miss a day is just to write a little more the next day.
It’s hard, but it can be done. I wrote “The Canticle Kingdom” in a year while I was going to school full time and working a full-time job on top of that. It was slow and steady that one this one, not sporadic bursts of intense writing.
In short, don’t worry about the mountain. Worry about the next step every day, and if you do that long enough, you’ll look up and realize that you’ve reached the peak.
Xandir has been exiled to earth until the end of time. But when his cherub trainee disappears, Xandir makes a deal with rogue angels and giants that could restore life to the mortal woman he loves and end his assignment as a destroying angel in exchange for helping them bring about the end of the world and all of mankind.
You can ready more about “The Last Archangel” at: http://thelastarchangel.weebly.com
About The Author:
Michael is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in German Teaching and a minor in Music. He puts his German to good use by working to build online German courses for High School students. Though he grew up traveling the world with his military father, he now lives in Utah with his wife, Jen, and his two sons. Michael enjoys acting in community theater, playing and writing music and spending time with his family. He played for several years with the handbell choir Bells on Temple Square and is now a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
His first book, “The Canticle Kingdom”, was released in Feb 2010 through Bonneville Books. He is also the author of the inspirational pamphlet “Portrait of a Mother”. He has also had work featured in various online and print magazines such as Mindflights, The New Era, Allegory, and Ensign.
You can learn more about Michael and his writing at his blog: http://www.writermike.com