The best things to keep in mind when setting a daily writing goal

writing

According to an amateur writer, anyway.

  1. Remember your limits. If you’re like me, someone fidgety and and busy (I’m a teacher, I just moved, and I like spending time with my family), then sometimes you have a hard time finding the time to write. Sometimes, the other parts of your brain take over the part that is supposed to be creative. Sometimes you’re writing. If this sounds like you, don’t tell yourself you’re going to write 5,000 a day. You’re allowed to have a life. Go and live it! (It’s ultimately going to be a huge help in your writing.)
  2. Set your daily goal on the low side. Mine is at 1,000 words. To some people that might be a lot, to others it might be pretty short. For me, it’s a reachable goal. A long sprint, or two short 500 word sprints. I’ve tried 2,000 words (too much some days), 500 words (too short some days). It took a lot of trial and error, but I’ve got it. I know I can write more, but it’s a nice place for me to stop if I need to. I beat myself up when I don’t reach my daily goal, and I feel awesome when I surpass it. The lower writing goal helps me feel better about what I’m writing.
  3. Be proud, no matter how much you’ve written. Not everyone can or wants to write. Did you only write 100 words? That’s 100 more words than you wrote yesterday. There are sentences that did not exist yesterday, and you made them. You didn’t reach your writing goal but you locked your keys in the car? You need a nap? You want to spend time with your friends? Do it. Relax. You wrote. That is amazing. In the famous words of Stephen Sondheim, “Look, I made a hat, where there never was a hat.”
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