We all know writing goals are helpful. They give you direction and something to work toward. And when you know your destination, you can work backward to figure out what steps you need to take to get there.
But your goals don’t always serve you once you’ve set them. Maybe you’ve decided to change direction, or reached your goal, or just need to tweak something. That’s okay!
Revisiting and Revising Goals
Goals aren’t meant to be stagnant. What you wanted five years ago, or even six months ago, may no longer be what you want. It’s normal to grow and change, and that means your writing goals will grow and change with you.
Depending on how long-term your goals are, it’s good practice to revisit them every 6 to 12 months. This gives you time to work toward them and figure out if they’re useful to you or not.
You might also revisit them sooner if you need some clarity or if you already know your old goals aren’t the direction you want to go anymore.
How to Revise Your Goals
When you know your old writing goal isn’t relevant anymore, the easiest thing might be to simply throw it out.
But chances are, your writing goals have probably evolved in some way but not changed entirely. Instead of throwing it out, think about your old goal and the new form it’s taken on. What are the key differences and similarities? Are the steps to achieve your new goal similar to your old one? If they are, great! If not, that’s okay too–take time to rework your action plan.
Action Plan for Goals
While I talk about making an action plan more in my book, Productivity for Creative Writers, the idea is to work backward from your goal to figure out the steps you need to take to get there.
For example, if you want to write a 50,000-word draft of your novel in five months, you need to write 10,000 words per month. And 10k words per month is about 333 words per day. This is a very simple example, but you get the idea!
If you want to outline your book and write it in that five-month period, your numbers would look different. You might spend two weeks outlining, which means your daily word count would have to increase.
This structure can be applied to anything you want to work toward.
Want to work on launching your new book series over the course of six months? Great! Take stock of what’s already done–maybe it’s already been edited–and plan out what else needs to happen. That might include cover design, formatting, uploading your proof copies, and organizing your ARC team.
Once you know what needs to happen, you can start assigning timelines and mini deadlines in service of your big picture goal.
Remember, goals are there to help you!
If a goal is no longer serving you–because it’s no longer what you want or because it’s causing a lot of stress–that’s okay. Change it up! Your goals can be as big or as small as you want, and using small action steps makes the journey more manageable. Take it one day at a time and keep writing.
Need help planning out the steps to achieve your writing goals? Contact me to set up your free consultation for writing coaching.
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