The best part of being a writer is the independence we enjoy. No one tells us what, when or how to do anything. Writers don’t mind the working time solitude, in fact we relish it. The lack of structure is also our greatest challenge.
By setting goals and reassessing them along the way, the challenges can be met with success. Goals provide focus and motivation. Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. It is imperative to clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place.
Write down the goals in a convenient place in order to review, add and enhance them frequently. Always word goals in the present tense, with a positive outcome. Successful goals are affirmations. Example: “This week I wrote an outline for my new book.” I know that feels uncomfortable when the week has just started and the writing pages are blank. If you write and say I’ll try… then no action will occur. You will just keep trying. That’s stagnation, not progress.
SMART is an acronym for goals that are:
• Specific and Significant
• Measurable, Motivational and Meaningful
• Achievable, Attainable, and Appropriate
• Relevant, Realistic and Rewarding
• Time Sensitive, Trackable and Time
Specific – Write down your goals. Be detailed, precise and definitive.
Measurable – Set measurable short term and long term goals like writing a definitive number of pages per day or researching for a certain number of hours per day or even meeting with a mentor two hours per week.
Achievable – Clear goals provide a method of breaking the journey into attainable steps. Each goal marks a step toward your long-term dream. Be honest with yourself about what you are able to achieve at this stage in your writing career. Don’t over promise what you can’t accomplish.
Relevant – Set goals that matter to you, one’s that will have a positive effect in your life. Watch out for competing goals from others tell you what to do. Decide for yourself which goals are meaningful. You are the only one who knows you for who you are today. Taking a writing class may not seem exciting, but it could help you toward your long-term goals.
Time Sensitive – Define your dream and set out on your new course with a successful strategy of clear and specific goals.
Long term goals help to determine where you are going. Short term goals help you decide how to get there. Short term goals are usually measured by production, over which you have complete control. These controllable results include time to spend on writing, researching and learning from others.
Reassessing goals is vital to the process. A goal that had meaning last year may not seem essential now, while another objective from life changes might be on top of the goal list.
Keep a perspective on your life and work. Writing is hard work. It takes the drive to write, rewrite, edit, plot, plan, sweat, and proofreading again and again and again ad nausea. Anything worthwhile cannot be produced with rapid shortcuts.
Steps to Becoming the Best Writer
1. Practice Writing
2. Write more
3. Write even more
4. Write even more than that
5. Write when you don’t want to
6. Write when you do want to
7. Write when you have something to say
8. Write when you don’t have anything to say
9. Write every day from a loving heart
10. Keep writing
Practice, practice, practice
The more you write,
the better you become.