Setting Goals

I was at a writer’s workshop yesterday and, while the speaker was interesting, most of the workshop was mostly useless for me as all the other participants had never written anything and needed the basics. Which is fine – we all have to start somewhere. I wish I’d known about things like this when I started. And, although a large portion of the class was repeating what I already know, sometimes that’s not a bad thing. It reminds you of things you might have forgotten or shuffled off to one side.

One of those things was that writers need to set goals. This is something we stress at my monthly writer’s group meetings. And it is echoed at many other groups and loops I belong to. And it is the one thing many of us fail to do.

What does a goal do for you? It gives you something concrete to aim for. It forces you to take responsibility for something – whether it is writing, or something to do with another aspect of your life. My local writer’s group just finished a challenge we called 50/50 – the goal was to write a minimum of fifty words a day for fifty days. You were allowed to take two days a week off, but no more. We posted our word counts each day and one of the members put them in a spreadsheet to be tallied at the end of the fifty days. It was interesting to listen to the word counts reached. Though we were aiming for a minimum of 2500 words, almost every person participating more than doubled that. And several came in at more than ten times the count.

The goal wasn’t to see who could write the most, but to get us writing on a daily basis. And we did. So many times, I and others would sit down, just not in the mindset to write – but the challenge – and the goal – was there. Write the fifty words. Then fifty became 100. And 200. And more.

So, to you I present this challenge: what are your goals? Post one of them here. Since this is a writing column, I’d prefer it to be writing related, but I’ll take what I can get. And I’ll even start you off. My goal is to blog, or tweet every day for the next month.

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