Setting A Daily Writing Goal

Well, it’s 12:20am on what is now June 4th, 2016. Oops. I was hoping to start a daily writing goal yesterday, AKA the 3rd. I haven’t gone to bed yet though, so this counts, right?

I met with a friend for lunch yesterday who was talking to me about how the most successful writers generally have daily writing goals that they push themselves to meet. Stephen King, for example, had a goal for a while to write 1500 words a day. Other writers recommend setting a timer for 15 or so minutes and focusing entirely on writing during that period. I guess at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter how you measure the writing—be it in number of minutes, number of words, number of pages—it just matters that you have a goal.

Naturally, my first reaction to this idea of goal-setting was this: “Oh, I can easily write 1500 words a day! Stephen King did it, so I can too!” Well, see, that may be a bit more of a struggle than I originally thought. I don’t know much about Stephen King, but I can imagine that his life, when he first set this goal, was quite different from mine. I am currently battling a chronic illness, focusing on my music, focusing on my art, and focusing on my writing. Suddenly 1500 words a day sounds as challenging and frustrating as climbing up Everest.

Still, I would like to make a daily writing goal. Goals are good, especially when they are realistic. It has taken me quite some time to really wrap my head around this, because I am so damn hard on myself, but goals are meant not to torment a person but to encourage them!

So if I make a daily writing goal of, say, 400 words, that will probably make writing feel much less like a chore and much more like a relaxed and pleasurable pastime. And just think—whenever I pass this goal of 400 words, I will feel really damn accomplished.

(This goal can always be subject to change. Maybe I will lift the number of minutes or words by a few each week, or switch up between a minute goal and a word goal. However I do it, I want to allow just a little room to find what suits me best.)

So 400 words a day. That is what I will hold as my current goal. Sounds pretty reasonable, right?


Wait a second…

I just totaled 411 words!

Boo-yah! Nailed it!


Pardon me while I go have a celebratory dance party.


As always, Tanya

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