After setting our long-term writing goals, we can set our short-term goals, which consist of our daily, weekly, and monthly writing goals. Through your short-term writing goals and how you achieve them you will be able to determine who you are doing with them.
The purpose of your short-term writing goals is to break down your large, long-term goals into manageable portions so that you could achieve them at a slower pace. That way, you will be successful. So, if you set long-term goals and don’t set your short-term goals, you may never get the long-term goals done because they will be overwhelming to you.
So, taking the time to set short-term goals is crucial to your success as a writer. Here are a few tips to make sure that you are most successful in setting and achieving your short-term writing goals:
- Make sure that you set your short-term goals a week or even a month in advance. It hardly ever works well if you don’t preplan your short-term goals. I usually try to set up short-term goals for the week on Friday or Sunday the week before I am about to work on them. That way, when I get to my desk on Monday, I know precisely what I will work on.
- Set your monthly goals before a new month starts. That way you’ll be able to know what you have to work on to achieve your long-term goals. You will know which chapters you should write each month in order for you to write that book in a year or in six months. That way, again, as the month starts, you will know precisely what to work on.
- Set your quarterly writing goals ahead of time before the quarter begins. It is best to evaluate your writing goals on a quarterly basis and determine as accurately as possible how you are doing. Usually I try to do this assessment of my writing goals a week or two before one-quarter ends and the new one is about to begin.
- With your short-term goals, make sure that you are completing each of your three main goals for the year. So, if one of your yearly goals is to write a book, your second goal is to send out a query a month to a magazine or book publisher, and your last writing goal is to write ten to twelve picture books for personal fulfillment every year, you have to schedule these goals into your short-term goals.
So, for instance, when you are scheduling your short-term goals for your first writing goal of writing a book in a year, you will schedule time to write a chapter a month or a chapter every few weeks. Then as you fulfill your short-term writing goals for this main writing goal, you will be completing your book one or two chapters a month until you are complete it.
Similarly, if your long-term goal is to write ten to twelve picture book manuscripts every year, you will have to schedule writing one picture book manuscript a month for a year—that way, you will complete your long-term goal of writing ten to twelve picture book manuscripts.
So, as you can see, short-term goals are very, very important to your success as a writer. Without them, you will be lost and you won’t know what your true writing goals are. Instead, you will show up to your desk and simply fumble around with the time that you have available.
On the pages that follow, I have some forms for you to use to schedule your short-term goals for the week, month, and quarter. You can use these forms or you could create ones of your own. Either way, just make sure that you use them as consistently as possible. Your success as a writer in 2015 will depend on it.
~ Irene S. Roth