Thursday, April 14, 2011

Managing my priorities

Like so many other writers, I struggle to find time I can dedicate to writing. As much as I love writing, there are so many responsibilities I have to take care of (family, work, etc.). I get so discouraged sometime because it feels like I never get to write anymore, and then I feel guilty for wishing I could drop everything else and just write for a while (incidentally, go visit Shallee McArthur's blog and read her post on guilt). I've heard professional writers talk about how they write three or four chapters a week, or even one chapter every day and I can't even imagine what that must be like (this doesn't actually make me feel bad because I understand that is their job is technical writing and editing).

However, hearing what those writers do actually gave me an idea: set writing goals! I figure if I set a goal to write so many chapters/pages in a month, I can more easily schedule writing time, make some good progress on my various WIPs, and not feel bad about the time I'm taking to write! So, I figured I'd start with something fairly easy (if it works out well, I can try and up the quota later) and settled on a goal or writing two chapters every month. If I can plot and write two chapters a month, I can conceivably finish a whole novel in a year or even sooner! (as opposed to the five years it took me to finish the first one).

Anyway, what do you all think? Do you set goals for yourselves? How do you reach them?


  1. Goals, goals, and more goals. Absolutely right!

    My job and family keep me pretty busy, which is why I'm lucky to get one chapter (or 5000K words) written every two weeks, too. As long as we write something every day, it will get done, eventually.

  2. Hi Reece! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    I sometimes do, but for the most part I just tell myself I've got to write. I think it's good though to set goals. Even if its a small goal, like 30 minutes a day, it will get you there. The trick is to write during that time, anything, even if you don't have it perfectly plotted in your head because you can always go back and fix things during revision time.

    (My day job also consists of writing and its not anywere near as fun as fiction writing) :)

  3. My writing schedule seems to fluctuate on what is going on in my life at that time. If I'm not too busy, I shoot for 1000 words a night. Which is usually what I try to do every night. If I'm busy with several things at once, I shoot for even 100 words a night. It all just depends on the situation.
    With revisions, I usually work on a chapter or two at a time until I get it just perfect. Then I write a little of another story to keep my creative juices flowing. ;)
    Do what your schedule allows, and don't freak out if you miss a few nights here and there. You'll get there either way. :)

  4. Hi Reece. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and thanks SO much for your nice comments this morning. Kinda made my day :)

    I used to set weekly writing goals for myself. I've had to let that slide the past couple of weeks as my semester finishes, but starting the second week of May, I'll be back at it. I usually set word goals instead of chapter goals since my chapter lengths are so variable. During school it's usually about 2000 words per week, but in the summer I think I'll raise it to about 3500. It's always so nice to meet those goals and exceed them.

    East for Green Eyes