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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Personally, I have tried to set myself goals where my writings concerned but I find it hard to keep to them. With work around the house and looking after the aging in-laws and travelling, it's not easy to keep to those goals. So, what do you do?

Carl
 

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Hi Carl, I am completely goal driven, but also the laziest person, lol. I do martial arts and I use to make goals for everything and still do. I have a notebook on my desk, as if I keep things in my head they eat away at me. With writing I sort of do each chapter as a goal, may take a day or two to write, but then tick it off. I have a promotion end game, write this blog, do this, do that, and then once it is done I can say. I did my best, but I plan everything, house work, family, chores, my dogs, training and basically I work through my list, do this, do that, get it all done, so then I can have me time (no planning, lol) So, I write out everything on my mind, list it, and then pick something I want to achieve, get it done, do something else, lol.
 

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Two weeks ago, I thought I'd challenge myself to write a chapter each day. So far, so good. (I think I only skipped one day).

Oh, and Simon... I just bought your book! The little dog and the blind granddaughter were just too much to resist!  :)
 

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Goals are HUGE for someone like me.

But big goals are scary (finish this book by this date). I break it down into bite-sized chunks and offer myself a reward. So if I hit a specific word count for the day, I get a truffle, for example.

It's rather frightening how well bribery works on the inner author!
 

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Yes.

At the beginning of the year, I set a bunch of writing goals for myself. At the end of each quarter, I've evaluated how I'm doing toward those goals, and made adjustments if necessary. So far I'm doing pretty well. If you're at all interested, here's my assessment from the last quarter: http://michaelkingswood.com/2011/07/01/2nd-quarter-2011-goals-assessment/

More recently, I set myself a 30,000 word goal during the week and a half my wife and kids were away. I updated that on here. Didn't quite make it, but it was still satisfying.

In general, I find it's better to have concrete, measurable goals. Written down. It's harder to blow them off that way. It's even better if you make those goals public, because then someone will probably ask you how you're doing toward them. That's some good motivation to keep at them. :)
 

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Absolutely!

For day to day business I have my "to do" list.  That list is based on my short term goals, and they are based on my long term goals...
 

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I set sales goals, both big and small goals.  I keep track and reward myself with an atta-girl each time a goal is accomplished.

But the hardest goal is getting myself to write a certain number of pages a day. I know if I don't keep doing it when I don't feel like it, I will never get up and running. But it's still hard.  Procrastination is my middle name.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
J. Carson Black said:
I set sales goals, both big and small goals. I keep track and reward myself with an atta-girl each time a goal is accomplished.

But the hardest goal is getting myself to write a certain number of pages a day. I know if I don't keep doing it when I don't feel like it, I will never get up and running. But it's still hard. Procrastination is my middle name.
See, now that's my problem I've tried to set a goal of 5000 words per day and then something always comes along to stop me. Then there are the times when I have no excuses and the words just won't flow, so again I don't reach my goal. The way it stands now, I wait for an idea to hit me and then type it up and I've been known to type up 10,000 words when doing that. It seems to me that I'm not meant to stick to a routine. Rather, I'm supposed to let the ideas flow without trying to force them. I do know one thing I'd be no good under pressure by a publisher. lol

Carl
 

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Carl246 said:
So, what do you do?
I write when I feel like it.

I don't want writing to ever become a job. That would sap every bit of enjoyment out of it for me. When I feel like it, it's very easy. When I don't, it's impossible.

That's how it is for me, anyway.
 

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I have a writing 'to-do' list for maybe 6 months or so ahead - but it gets reviewed/updated every few weeks, or maybe more frequently depending on the kind of writing activity I'm doing at the time. For instance, I usually write my first drafts during NaNoWriMo and in between times I do editing and tidying up. but there is often a backlog of editing to do! Even more so this year as I have just finished a first draft done in July and have started to plan another one for November.
It's sort of based on a set of short and medium term goals, which I haven't really spelled out to myself in so many words as I am not sure how much modification they will need to be at all realistic.
I liked the way the blog made a distinction between dreams and goals - that makes a lot of sense.
 

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I'm setting myself goals but I sometimes get tempted into trying to do more or frustrated by life events in to not being able to do stuff!

I didn't plan on writing this year other than Script Frenzy and NaNoWriMo but Camp NaNoWriMo tempted me to try and squeeze in another writing attempt!  I tried for July but so much happened that it just wasn't going to be realistic to try and get 50,000 words done.  So, I switched from the idea of 'trying' to do both July and August to the idea of definitely concentrating hard on the August session of Camp NaNoWriMo.  

So, I'll be working hard next month to get that done.

I need to see whether I can squeeze in the time before November to finish off the estimated last 20,000 words or so that I need to write to finish my trilogy.  I have large chunks of the end already written, it's just that I need to flesh out how they get there and I have a sub-plot that may expand things a fair bit if I explore it fully.  If I haven't done that by November then I'll finish it off for NaNoWriMo, if that's done then I'll pick another plot to work on.

I plan to start in earnest in January.  I am going to have another bash at doing a novel writing year - where I have a goal of either 1,000 words of first draft or an hour of editing for each day of the year.  I suspect I need to knuckle down and concentrate on the editing side of things but I can maybe treat myself by letting myself do some first draft work at the same time.  :)

So yes - I set myself goals!

Edited to add that:  I know what people mean about procrastination too!  I've been putting off writing for years, largely thanks to writers block that stopped me writing rather than stopped me having the ideas.  I constantly fight against that but I find that structured goals such as NaNoWriMo really help me to do so.  Now it's the editing I'm putting off rather than the getting stuff written in the first place part!
 

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Yep, forty books written and published before forty.  Towards that end, my goal for this year is to publish six books.  So far I've published two and have five in various stages of not-quite-readiness.  So I'm on track :)
 

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J. Carson Black said:
I set sales goals, both big and small goals. I keep track and reward myself with an atta-girl each time a goal is accomplished.
I don't want to start down that path. Shudders. What if I fail to meet a goal? We all know it takes a thousand atta-boys to make up for one aw-$hit. :eek:
 

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Setting goals really keeps me focused.
I set weekly goals for writing because I know some days I cant stop writing and other days barely 100 words.

It's important to put the most important goals at the top of your list and don't get distracted by the less important ones.
 

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In martial arts goals are very important, but in a sense they can also be a negative, so you have to becareful. I work really hard to complete my goals, but I never ever set deadlines or word count, as for me that puts pressure and stress on the project and turns something fun into a chore. I think you need a relaxed approached, breaking things down, setting goals and such allows you to see a path to where you want to go.

Oh, and Simon... I just bought your book! The little dog and the blind granddaughter were just too much to resist!
Thank you, Karen. I really hope you enjoy the book. My cousin was born practically blind and I think it is such important subject.
 
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