30,000 Words and Goal Setting

Posted: January 30, 2011 in Writing
Tags: ,

I’ve met one of my goals. I was hoping to have 30,000 words done in my novel before the end of January, and I am here to say that I have done it.

Are they all works of art?

Of course not.

Did I want to give up on this project and start a new one?

Of course I did. We all do when it seems like we aren’t getting anywhere.

I want to discuss the idea of goal setting when you are writing. I believe that it is all too easy to sit there and think that you will be able to just truck along and create the next great novel. I also believe that this often causes many people who have the ability in them to be great novelists quit because it is too difficult. Nothing worth doing is easy, and that is especially true with writing. To all of you staring at your computers, wondering what to do, I say this, “SET A GOAL”. Mine was to at least look over my scene cards once a day. No matter how busy I got, I at least thought about where everything was headed. I also said that I need to get to 30,000 words before quitting.

Guess what?

Now that I am there, I have to see how the whole thing unfolds from here.

Set yourself some goals.

Start easy: A paragraph a day, five note cards of ideas. Make it manageable. As you start rolling, increase what you are trying to achieve. Get 1000 words done, then 5000.

If you take it in steps it will all come to you.

Join a critique group. This is something that I really need to make to do again this spring. When you need to prepare something for others to read by a certain date, you suddenly find the time to really get down to writing. It is rather amazing. Also, i found myself writing just a tad better when I knew I was soon to be critiqued.

Reward yourself. When I have reached a goal I will go grab a fancy coffee out, or give myself a half hour to screw around. Positive reinforcement can be self governed.

I realize that I have not given a lot of information, but I think you will find that what I did say is pure gold. It is a lot like starting a workout regimen. If you try to go all out from the start, you will make yourself sick or do damage. Bring yourself up to speed and then let the words fly from your fingertips.

Happy writing all.

My reward time is done.

  1. Marcia says:

    That’s advice that we all need to hear, over and over. When you’re struggling with getting a task, of any kind, completed, teetering on giving it all up, and someone says “do one thing at a time” or “what are your goals”, that’s when you slap yourself in the head and realize it’s time to take a step back. A fresh look with a goal in mind, often sets you back on track. Great post, Jason.

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