Goals -- How to make em and keep em (A-Z blogs)

For me, what really separated my writing from being a hobby to being a calling and career (it gets closer with every book I finish), were the goals I began making for myself. Other people may have other distinctions, but for me, it was all about the goals.

For example:

Hobby I should do some writing this weekend.

Career: I will write a chapter on Driven West this weekend.

Hobby: Let's see, do I want to so some writing or would I rather play some Final Fantasy.

Career: As a reward for finishing editing chapters 1-5 of Redeeming Trust, I will play Final Fantasy for an hour.

(I think you get the point).

Different people set different types of goals for themselves and it's a trial and error process to see what works for you. (Almost every part of the writing process is trial and error, which is paart of the fun. We collect advice from as many sources as we can and find out what works for us). Here is what works for me:

*I make myself a MONTHLY word count goal. I do this for a couple of reasons. FIRST of all, I have multiple projects going at the same time. I always have a PRIMARY project which is what I focus on first and foremost...but I also have side projects (which will become primary when my plate shifts). I do this because it keeps writer's block away (It is very difficult to be blocked on 5 different projects simultaneously). SECOND, A monthly word count allows for days when real life is too busy for a full-on writing frenzy. It allows me to be more forgiving if one day I only get 250 words in (I will say that berating yourself for what you didn't get done yesterday is a surefire way to get less done today -- more on this later in the month).

*I make a goal each month of where I want each project to be by month's end. This helps me stay focused (and allows me to check things off a list, which is a joy of mine).

*I share my goals with friends, family, facebook...anything I need to, to hold myself accountable.

I have a monthly goal of 30,000 words (Except for November, where NaNoWriMo kicks it up to 50k). I came up with this as a goal by adding up how many words I wrote over a 5-month span and dividing to get an average (look at me, doing math).

Find out what works for you, be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic, Timely) about your goals, do a page count, word count, hours writing count, whatever works for you.

Stay productive, but also be forgiving.