So, with school starting I haven’t had much time to blog, but I thought I’d sit down today and actually write. Last weekend I had something exciting happen. I finished writing my fourth novel.
Now, I don’t really like to brag, but that’s a pretty big accomplishment for a 20 year old (almost 21!) Sure, there are people who have written more, but for me that’s a lot and it’s even more exciting because I’m continuing to achieve my goals. What are my goals you might ask?
Well, ultimately I want to be published. But for now I’m content merely practicing the art of writing a novel, stretching and challenging myself to do better each time. So I’ve made it a goal to write a novel every year from my 18 birthday onwards. So far I’m actually ahead of schedule. I suppose that one will get to be a bit challenging when I end up in the real world, but for now it’s something I want to try for. This summer however I simply had the goal to finish one novel over the course of the four months. I did it…though there were definitely some challenges. Let me quickly advise you against setting goals while co-writing. That tends to make it difficult and merely cause stress and tension.
Anyhow, here’s what I really want to get at. I was a Girl Scout all through high school, so if there’s one thing I can tell you about it’s goals. I advise all of you writers to set goals, and here’s how you should do that. With SMART goals:
S- Specific: Don’t just say I want to be a better writer. Say…I will write a page every day. Make it something clear-cut so you don’t get confused about whether or not you’ve achieved your goal.
M- Measurable: Again this should be something easy to see progress in. Getting better at something is clearly not very easy to measure, but choosing to type a page without spell check on and try to get fewer and fewer errors each time is something you can see change in.
A- Attainable: So, I’ve already realized my one a year novel goal may not be attainable in the long run. You have to know yourself and your limits. If you’re an extremely slow writer who takes a long time just to finish a short story I would not advise NaNoWriMo. Don’t choose something too hard, but don’t make it too easy either.
R-Relevant: Choose a goal that’s relevant to what you want to do better at. Saying, I will learn more about commas when you are doing fine with commas is a waste of your time.
T- Time-bound: Always give yourself a time to finish the goal in. This creates more motivation. If you say, “I’ll have fewer spelling mistakes” you’ll never have as much dedication as you will if you say “I’ll have fewer spelling mistakes by March 31”. Then you’ll have to do some practice between now and March.
So alongside that you should always evaluate how well your goals are going and reevaluate if necessary. If you follow some of these simple steps you’re bound to become a better writer. Also, make sure you always have your goals recorded and check them off when you meet them. If you need someone to hold you to your goals then try to find a friend that can help you, and maybe you can help them with a few goals as well.
What goals do you have as a writer or otherwise? Have you got better ways to form goals? Any exciting accomplishments in the last few weeks? Please share some motivation and support!