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Why you need writing goals and tips for setting them

The end of the month is always the time for looking back over that month and looking forward to your next. It’s a chance to look back at your writing goals. While I set small weekly goals, they all work towards the bigger monthly writing goals that I have.

Writing goals are extremely important for writers. They will help you track the success of your career and offer motivation in the future. How do you know you’ve got to a destination if you didn’t have an end goal in mind? How can you track the distance you’ve covered and what you have left if you never had a total distance to go? You wouldn’t just jump in a car and drive. You have specific destinations in mind and will find checkpoints along the way to know you’ve got there.

Your writing goals are your travel destinations. Some people set income goals, while others will set word count goals. You may set goals for marketing hours or even goals for the amount of content you put on your blog. In July, I set a goal to write two chapters per day of my fictional novel.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure about setting goals. Here are my top tips for setting your writing goals to make sure you can track them and be successful.

Focus on your marketing efforts

One of your goals as a writer should be on your marketing efforts. How many pitches are you going to send out this month? How many companies are you going to contact about possible writing opportunities?

While they won’t all come back with a yes, the more you send out, the more work you stand to get. This will help you along your way to reaching that monthly income that you want to meet.

It’s also important to look at the types of marketing you can do and set writing goals for each one.

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Writing goals for your current projects

If you already have writing projects underway, it’s important to set goals for them each month. The best way to do this is to take the final deadline and then split that up into mini-deadlines to help you handle the whole thing.

Projects for others may be easier to set goals for. You know when the deadline is and you know when you’re being paid for it. If you have personal projects, it is easy to find yourself sidetracked with them. You may not actually see them happening because you’ve never set any goals.

Creating tangible goals and letting others know will make you more accountable. You will finally see work done on them because you’re letting other people know and you don’t want to disappoint them!

Goals for your blogging timetable

Now it is time to set some goals for your blogging—if you do blog! How often will you post? What will you do with the posts when they are created?

If you don’t set writing goals for your posting, how do you know when you’ve done enough work? I set a goal to post once per week on all of my blogs. This keeps them fresh and keeps me writing on a daily basis. There are some blogs that I’ll have the goal to post twice a week on because they’re still relatively new.

Don’t forget income goals

While income goals aren’t the best goals, they can be motivating. After all, you need to know how much money you have to make per month to meet the bills, right? You’ll have goals in mind for saving, spending on the business, putting away for taxes, etc. Don’t be afraid to set an income goal each month.

I like to grow my income by 10% minimum each month. The other goals I set, like marketing, working on my blog content and setting up projects all work towards the income goals. I have a physical number to track each week to make sure I’m on the verge of success. If I fail a week, I know I need to change the weekly income targets to see monthly success.

Why You Need Writing Goals

Set goals in your personal life

Don’t let all your writing goals be about your business. They can be surrounding your writing business or for your personal life. For example, set a goal to visit a museum that you can talk about in your blog or write a travel review about for a company.

Set a goal to visit a gym twice a week or boost the amount of exercise that you do. You could even set a goal to just get out and create a story about a person that you see while on your travels just to get the creative juices flowing.

Don’t let your whole life be about work!

Writing goals will make you more accountable for your actions and keep you motivated. They’ll also give you direction for the month. Think about your income and then consider how you can make that tangible. Set goals that you have control over so you can do something about them if you’re lagging behind!

MORE: Don’t let fear of failure halt you in your blogging tracks

What are your writing goals? If you don’t have them already, it’s time to set them now. Put them in the comments below and make yourself accountable!

Do you need help setting writing goals? It’s something I’ll be touching on in a FREE mini-course in August. Sign up to my email list to get access.