M.A. Wohl

Writer on a Quest

Isn’t it the worst?

Having grown-ups look at us kids and say, in a sometimes quivering voice, « you’re growing up so fast » or « time flies » when we, poor kids, were spending endless hours at school AND were forced to attend stupid grown-ups parties during the week-ends…

Yeah, well… Time does fly by in a blink of an eye, as time go by and the kids we were once are now the ones with kids, families and a never-ending list of grown-ups stuff to do.

If I don’t set aside time to write, I simply don’t write. Or if I do, it never lasts very long.
I shouldn’t be writing a novel, I should be looking for clients, working on my business blog, etc…
Writing a novel, what a frivolous waste of time, I used to think, even though it was my most precious, most beloved dream to live by my pen and write novels to earn a living.

Two years, I decided to stop being so negative, so complaisant, so lazy. I would get off my butt, write a novel and prove to my kiddo that, when you work hard, dreams do come true.

Since then, setting Realistic Writing Goals is on my all-time best Writing Tips list.

Hello, this is Reality, how can I help?

Reality is, being a writer in 2020 is harder then it used to be in 1920.
Not that is was easy to be a writer in the 1920’s, far from it. But it was certainly less crowded.
Today, with the at-home numerous screens and devices, the Internet/Amazon, the social media, all we see is information, new movies, new things to drag our attention away from our own lives.

The Book World is a busy buzzy crowded one as well.
ithout clear goals and a clear method to achieve those goals, I felt quite alone with my little stories stashed away on my computer.

For sure, setting realistic writing goals helped me take a more professional approach toward creative writing.
It also helped me create a great writing routine, which has become an essential part of my everyday day life.

It really is a top 5 Writing Tips.

How to set realistic writing goals

Really, there’s only one answer to that: writer, know thy self.

Back when I wanted to be a writer but kept dreaming instead of really working at it, a complete lack of planning of any kind was the big, big issue.

I would get a good idea for a novel.
Get over-excited.
Start writing right away (without doing a smidgen of research, thinking my book would be published anyway because it was the best idea ever, because of my unique writing voice… ah, naïveté quand tu nous tiens!).
Set up myself with an insane writing goal, like writing a full-blown ready-to-be published novel in six weeks.

Hahaha!

Of course, I failed every single time!
I would quickly lost my momentum, my bright idea started fading away. I then would start to feel like a big failure and told myself I should give scrapbooking a go instead.

(Is scrapbooking still a thing? Anyway.)

Setting realistic writing goals is one the best Writing Tip. It did wonders for me:

  • it really helped me develop a writing routine.
  • it helped me finish a book.
  • and it helped me finish revising, polishing, sending into the query trenches a book!

Here’s how to set realistic writing goals. It is very easy.

  1. Get a notebook or a journal, plus your favorite pens and pencils.
  2. Open up a calendar.
  3. Get comfy (you’ll be here for a little while).
  4. Get yourself a drink (just one; after two drinks, my writing goals tend to morph into something magical) and a good snack.
  5. Analyze what work or did not work with your writing last year.
  6. Write down your ideal Writings Goals for 2020.
  7. Then take a look at the calendar, at aaalll the Life things in the horizon, such as holidays, birthdays, summer vacations, fridgin’ dentist appointments and apple picking parties.
  8. Plan for yourself some writing-free days/nights, for the bad days you simply can’t shake off and focus on your novel.
  9. Set Realistic Writing Goals based on your writing rhythm, on your day-job obligations and the shebang mentioned above.

As for my own writing goals for 2020, here they are!

  • Write, revised, polished, send to query one novel
  • Draft a new novel
  • Write 1 500 words a day, 4 days a week

I quit trying to force myself to write every day.
It was too much. After all, my day job is freelance writing/blogging. I write a lot during the day!
Plus, the guilty feelings and feeling down because I was not prolific enough were pilling up quickly.

Also, as 2019 went by (so faaast!), I came to the conclusion that trying to write three novels – one of my 2019 writing goals – while revising a fourth one – another 2019 writing goal – was too much for me.

By the end of 2019, I had abandoned two novels projects, stop revising a novel previously rejected by several publishers and started, very late in the year, a brand new writing project… with brand new short terms writing goals.

Let me know in the comments about your 2020 writing goals. I’m curious to know!

Thank you for reading, and thank you for sharing.

Until next time, dear writer friends!

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