Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Goal Setting

First of all, I may not be around for a while because I have to finish the novella I'm working on. As you're reading this I have missed my self imposed deadline.

Today, I want to talk about goal setting. Most writers use a word count goal--words/day, words/week, words/project. I think that this is a good goal.  To meet a word count goal, you have to write. Having to write is a good thing since you can be a writer no other way. You can also improve you're writing no other way. But I think word count goals may be better for new writers than the experienced writer trying to push her way into a career.


Word count goals are good to get words on paper. Yes, it's a must for all writers, but it's more of a must for new writers. They need that experience. When you've been writing for a few years, and you're pushing toward publication things change. Having a word count goal is still a good way to make sure you're writing every day. Even if it's a very low word count goal. But I think for someone whose goal is to get published, production goals may be more meaningful and that's something we seldom talk about in the writing world. The truth is whether you want to self publish or get an agent, you can only do so with a finished product. A well written, polished, finish project. So now getting words on paper is still important, but getting the right words on paper is just as important. Production goals are more meaningful for the career writer, because it's the number of finished projects you produce in a year that you can sell, not the number of words. My production goal this year is 4 projects, two short stories and two novels (although the shorts are turning out to be novellas) written, critiqued, revised, edited (by someone else) completed. What's your production goal this year?


  1. Hi Beth!

    First congrats on your MFA acceptance, that's huge!!!!!

    My production goal number is the same as yours 4, but for me they're all novel manuscripts that need to be completed and currently range from 3,000 to 15,000 words. If I can do one every three months I should be good, I know it's possibel beacuse I've done it before it's just going to take a lot more concentration than before.

  2. Congratulations on your MFA acceptance.

    About goals: Right now, life has sort of taken control. I'm caregiver for my husband so my writing and goals depend on him each day. My goals are to finish my WIP revisions and submit. Three other stories are resting in my brain, and if I manage my time just right I might get them written this year.

  3. Hmm...I've never really sat down and decided on a number of completed projects, but that's a really good idea.

    Also, congrats on the MFA program!

  4. MFA of your choice?!
    I'm shouting out a big, fat CONGRATS!!!!!!
    So, I guess they liked your interview answers, hee, hee.
    My production goals?
    Finish my sequel and two novellas, and more. But I'll start with that!
    Plus, I'll be teaching at the Philadelphia Writers' Conference in June.
    This last weekend I had a mini writing retreat at my country place, and I got 5,000 words done. Plus we all talked shop. I will be posting about the retreat and how great they can be, for my next blog post. Stay tuned...

  5. Sometimes it's important to keep to that word a day goal...on top of all the editing and "production" things that go on. It's not always possible, but it's good to always try.

  6. I still use word counts for first drafts, but I don't bother paying attention to it during revisions. What's the point? You might have edited your ms and greatly improved it, and end up with a negative word count.

    My goals are more focused on completion dates of when I plan to send the book to my CP and beta readers, and when I plan to send it to an editor. Word counts need not apply. :)

  7. Congrats, Beth! :)

    My goals are to finish the sequel to my YA urban fantasy and work on my contemporary romance. I'm not really good when it comes to word count. Sometimes I write alot in a day, sometimes less. :)