Monday, January 26, 2009

More Reasons to Set Goals and Track Progress

The last week of January is here already? Wow! Look what you've accomplished. You've learned a few new tricks about setting reasonable goals and you understand how important it is to track your progress.

One thing I haven't addressed is your approach to writing. Some writers cringe at setting goals and tracking their progress because they are organic writers, or for lack of a better term, pantsters. They write when they feel like it, and they write what they feel like. They may write several books or stories simultaneously, and they rarely write from the start of the story to the finish.

Others, like myself, are plotters. We gather background information, analyze our characters, and sketch outlines before even thinking about writing. And we tend to write from beginning to end.

Then there are the writers who fall in between. They need a loose idea of where the book will take them but aren't hung up on all the details.

We all have our own style. I'm not advocating one way or the other. However, I am encouraging you to set goals and keep track of your progress no matter what your writing style is. I only care that you have decided in advance how many pages or words you will write and what days you are writing them.

Why do I care about this?
If you want to get published and stay published, you have to meet deadlines. You aren't going to have all the time in the world to write the next book or story. And--here's a harsh reality--your life is going to be filled with the exact same activities when you do get published as it is now. In fact, life will be even busier because you'll have to fit in revisions, line edits, promotion, and a million other things on top of your normal activities. So if you can develop a consistent writing schedule, you'll be ahead of the game.

Wait a minute, I don't plan on getting published...

Well, if writing is your hobby, you still should have a consistent writing schedule or you'll probably lose interest. How fun is it to work once a month on a story you can't even remember? Or to never finish the story? Not much fun.

But how much fun is it to set a writing schedule, stick to it, then print out your work and review it in six months? It's pretty awesome!

We're writers.

We write.

There. I hope I've convinced you to set goals and track your progress.

Join me on Wednesday when we'll be discussing re-evaluating your goals.


Get Motivated! It's Monday!

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