Setting Writing Goals for the New Year

Happy New Year!

It's that time again when many of us make resolutions and set goals for the new year. Unfortunately the majority of people will not stick to them. We all start with good intentions and a positive outlook, but something happens along the way. A little bump in the road, a distraction, or a villain blows up your batcave. 

But we should not let these things deter us from our goals. We must stay strong.

Here are some tips to help you stick to your writing goals and become your own superhero.

1) Set smart (a.k.a. realistic) goals. You must be specific: know how much time you have to dedicate to it and make sure you set goals that are attainable in that time period. If you're going to get up one hour earlier in the mornings to write, make sure you're still getting enough sleep. You can't persevere if you're falling asleep at your desk.

2) Set inspiring goals. While you want to be realistic about what you can do, you want to do something that motivates you and leaves you in awe of what you've accomplished. This is what you dreamed about doing. Find a path that works for you to achieve it.

3) Break your big goals down to smaller, more manageable goals. Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Be aware of your schedule. One month might be much busier than the next. Also, know how you write. Are you fast or slow? Do you edit as you go along? For some people, measurable ones like setting a daily word count target work best. For others, one short story a month is a reasonable goal since they might only get a chance to write on weekends.

4) Reward yourself. Sometimes being a writer can be stressful, even overwhelming. Drafting, revising, editing, querying, marketing, and networking. Yikes! It helps to take a step back and do something else you like after you achieve a small goal. Go for a walk, enjoy a movie, or bake cookies. Relax. Winding down will help make you see things in a more positive light and boost your creativity.

5) Most importantly, be flexible. Life is going to take you on some unexpected turns. You might have to work later at the office or an illness could keep you in bed for weeks. Don't get discouraged. These goals are your own. You can change them. Don't let the villains stop you from reaching your dreams.

What are your writing goals for this year? Do you have any tips that help you stick with them?



  1. Smart tips, especially setting the smaller goals. It shows progress.
    My goal is to complete and polish my current manuscript and get it to my publisher by June.

  2. Pay your editor and sign a contract. It's very, very motivating. Then have your hard drive crash and put you a week behind. Extra motivating.

    I'm really looking forward to my beer this weekend. I rarely drink, but somehow this reward has become a tradition and I really look forward to it.

    But yes, manageable goals work for me, setting deadlines, and being strict with oneself about time on the internet.

  3. Superb tips. Goals do need to be realistic and inspiring otherwise they'll quickly be forgotten.

  4. I have some plans and have broken them down into smaller bits. I'm trying to accept that there are some things I can't control.

  5. Fantastic tips! I set yearly goals as well as monthly goals and adjust them as needed.

  6. And remember that this reader, and all of the rest of us, are cheering you on... We NEED you.

  7. I like #4 the best!
    I could reward myself all day if my wife would let me.

  8. My goal for the year is simple: write more. I'm going for 500 words a day to begin with, setting a time each evening to 'show up' and do it. Need to get into the good habits.

  9. Alex, you can do it! I can't wait to read something new from you.

    Mary, having a deadline like that would definitely work for me too! Enjoy your beer. :)

    Ellie, thank you! Sometimes it's hard to balance the two, but that's what the little steps are for.

    Susan, me too. Good luck!

    Cherie, thanks! I'm trying to have more specific goals, but some things are out of my hands. *mumbles about school cancellations*

    EC, thank you! :)

    David, ha! Me too. Luckily there's only one batch of cookies in my house!

    Heather, that's a great goal. Good luck!

  10. Great advice! I had unexpected turns yesterday and today, right at the beginning of my new exercise/writing schedule. Still thinking about getting a few words of writing in, though.

  11. Forgot to say, Excellent reference photo :)

  12. Flexibility is so key in chasing any writing goal. Thanks for these great tips, Christine!

  13. Gwen, thank you! Hehehe. I'm happy you like the photo! :)

    Thanks, Nicole. Flexibility is what I'm working hard on this year.

  14. awesome advice! love the cute pic too! that would make a great blog hop! which super hero are you!

    happy new year! and happy writing!

  15. Thanks, Tara! Happy new year to you too. :)

  16. Great ideas for setting goals. I haven't set any yet, which is funny. I think I'm doing my goals in February. Better late than never, I hope. :)

  17. You're never too late to set goals, Lydia. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  18. Great advice for keeping those goals. I've learned about the flexibility thing since being published.

  19. Susan, thanks! I'm still working on balance and flexibility. I'm tougher on myself than I am on everyone else.


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