I recently put the final polish on another book, and the last thing I want to think about is setting an aggressive writing goal. However, a few mini-goals will rejuvenate my creativity between now and fall.
If you're considering setting a short-term, summer writing goal, try the following steps.
1. Determine your commitment level.Many of my friends are attending ACFW's annual conference mid-September. This automatically raises the commitment level. Aim for a higher goal if you have a concrete deadline and reason to meet the goal. If you've recently wrapped an intense project and don't have deadlines looming, your commitment level should be lower.
2. Be honest about the time you can reasonably spend.Sure, we can say we'll spend one hour every night and four hours each Saturday morning working on our book, but summer has a way of subtracting hours we thought were available. Mid-week picnics, baby showers, weddings, impromptu tickets to a ball game--there is nothing wrong with enjoying these! Just check your planner BEFORE you set the goal. And, please, don't eliminate the little things that bring so much joy, like watching the sun go down from your deck.
3. Determine what one goal would rock your world if you accomplished it this summer.Maybe you've been writing the final ten-thousand words of your manuscript for six months. Or you just can't bring yourself to start revising the book you finished drafting last winter. It could be social media--you've been meaning to set up a blog or a Facebook page, but something holds you back. Now is a great time to move past your roadblocks and get going. Build momentum now and you'll be flying when the weather cools.
4. Creativity is like exercise. You don't have to go full throttle every minute, but you do have to keep moving.Small kids at home forcing you to set your manuscript aside for the time being? Vacations eating into every free moment? Make goals to read, journal, explore--anything related to writing.
My summer writing goals?
- Catch up on reading (Reading great fiction improves my writing.)
- Study one new writing craft book
- Brainstorm story ideas
- Free-writing (I rarely free-write when I'm working on a book.)
If you're a writer, do you set summer goals? What project can you push for the next two months?
Have a great day!