Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Setting Monthly Goals

Do you have a 2009 calendar? If you don't have a writing calendar, keep your wallet in your purse and hop on over to for a free(!) printable calendar. Slap that baby in a binder, and you are ready to set some monthly goals.

Remember that goal list you wrote on Monday? We're going to break those goals down in monthly segments. Let's do some math. Say your goal is to write six short stories or articles this year. That gives you two months per story. Are there some months busier than others? Schedule around those. Pick the months you think will work for you, and write on the top of the calendar "1 short story--2500 words" (or whatever word count you aim for).

Is your goal to start and finish the first draft of a novel? Drop two of the months off for miscellaneous (vacation, research, illness, to save your sanity, etc...). You're left with ten months. If you're writing a category length novel--say 55,000 words--you'll need to write around 5500 words a month. If you're writing a single title--say 85,000 words--you'll need to write around 8500 words a month.

What about the other goals? Maybe you plan on studying six writing craft books this year. You can do them all by July, or plan on one every other month. Are you entering contests? Write the deadline down, then write a reminder for the month before. Maybe your goal is promotion, specifically, getting familiar with the ins and outs of having a website or blog. Decide now what you will do each month to meet your goals, and don't be afraid to take months off. There's nothing wrong with researching author websites in February, looking into hiring a designer in April, studying the various programs that allow you to design your own website in September, and taking the rest of the year off.

Here's my favorite goal: reading each month. I love, love, love to read! And if you're like me, reading for pleasure is the first thing to go. Don't you think reading belongs on the calendar too?

Setting goals, and meeting them, should be fun and exciting. I hope you plan on rewarding yourself every time you reach a goal milestone. Break out the chocolate!

But I have no money and the economy is so bad... Yeah, I know. Rewards don't have to cost a thing. Check out a chick-flick from your local library to celebrate. Find a free concert in your area. Browse your local drugstore to score bargain candy! Okay, that cost something, but chocolate is worth it...

Join me Friday so we can break down these monthly goals into bite size weekly goals, and you will be blown away at how much you can accomplish.

Write Already--It's Wednesday!


  1. Hi, Jill!
    I love your blog, especially the starfish. They've always symbolized the ocean for me.

    Just like you, I set writing goals, mine being the number of pages I must complete per day. It worked well until publicity and editing got in the WIP's way!

    Hope you love Midwest ACFW. Let me know if you have any questions.

  2. Thanks Patti! I'm looking forward to cramming in publicity and editing at some point also! Jill


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