Many writers don’t write full time. They have day jobs which require a lot from them, and by the time they get the opportunity to write, they’re exhausted. But I know many of them would love to be full-time writers. And for that to happen, exhaustion can’t get in the way of writing. The good news is that this is why setting writing goals works. Because they help to make something that seems overwhelming more doable.
Setting writing goals is the reason I can write full time today. When I first started out, I was working. I started with a few part-time jobs while studying, and then I went on to a full-time job and I hated it. I wanted to be an author so badly that it made me anxious not to write. Because I knew that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be any closer to leaving my full-time job and achieving my dream of being an author.
So, I started using writing goals.
My first step was to figure out my main writing goal: to finish my book in time to submit to Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write Competition in 2015. Step two was figuring out how long that would take me. I knew that I needed time to write the book, as well as time to edit it. Which brought me to step three: working out how many words I’d have to write per day within that time frame to achieve my main goal.
Using these writing goals took away the pressure that writing an *entire* book brought. Because now I only needed to write 1 000 words per day – much easier than writing a 50-000-word book – to submit to the competition.
Step four then become figuring out when I would be able to tackle my word count.
I used every free moment I had. The few minutes before I had to start my day job, my lunch break, the hour I had before bedtime. My word count kept me focused on my writing, let me know that I was writing for a specific purpose, and kept me dedicated to my dream.
I still find that to be true, despite writing full time now. My writing goals keep me on track with deadlines, and help me establish a timeline for my work, including any new projects. It also allows me to dedicate time each day to developing and improving my craft.