Friday 15 May 2020

Setting Goals and Marking Milestones

When I'm writing, I usually set myself writing goals, usually 2,000 words per day but reduced to 1,000 words for last couple of books (apart from during November last year when I took part in Nano). And I've reduced the daily word count even further for Book 12.

Life BC (before Coronavirus) meant I could write all day when the kids were at school, but now we're combining working and home-schooling the youngest, it isn't so easy. I knew I'd get stressed if I attempted to keep up the same pace as before, but I also know I'm lazy and that without some kind of goal in mind, I wouldn't get much - if anything - done.

I don't have a deadline for this book, but I've created one for myself, because I want to start a new book for this year's Nano in November. I'd like a bit of time to plan that book, so ideally I want the first draft of Book 12 finished in September. I worked out I could comfortably get this draft done in time by writing 4,000 words per week, which works out at 800 words a day, which doesn't seem so daunting.

Each time I reach my weekly target (sometimes before the end of the week - very exciting times), I mark it off in my diary (I'm a simple beast, who responds well to the smallest rewards) and it's a boost to see that I'm getting there, bit by bit. I've also started marking the bigger milestones with post-it notes (see? Simple beast, small reward) and I've posted these on my social media. Again, it's a visual reminder that even though my daily word count goal is quite low, I am building up the words and one day I'll have a full-length manuscript.

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