Setting Manageable Goals

At a recent writing conference, the keynote speaker, a well-known author of multiple books, described his personal writing schedule. He wakes at 5:00 am, every day, and spends two hours writing, every day.

As much as I love writing, and as much as I want to be a successful author, if his path is the only way, I’m finished before I even start. There is no 5:00 in my morning if I can help it. And if there is, I’m certainly not productive. That schedule is simply not feasible for me personally.

But, as some writer friends and I discussed after the session, his schedule works for him. What the rest of us have to do is figure out what works for us.

With my current work schedule and other activities and demands, I can’t possibly make time to write every day. I’ve tried. It’s an unattainable goal and only leads to frustration and disappointment.

So what I can do is set a weekly goal of writing a realistic and manageable number of hours per week. That will keep me writing and making progress on my current projects, while still being flexible enough to allow for the other things that life and work throw at me.

Is it a perfect solution? No. But it is manageable for me. What are your manageable writing goals?


Kim VernonKim Vernon’s poetry and short stories have won several local, state and regional contests, most notably the 2015 Lucidity Ozark Poetry Retreat Grand Prize.

Comments

  • a thought by Del Garrett

    My schedule is not rigid. I’m fully retired so I like my mornings to go slow.

    I often wake at 4 or 5 a.m. and review my messages, but I don’t start writing until about 10:30. The morning is time for breakfast, taking medicine, and sipping coffee while I catch up with the daily news. At 10:30, I open my computer and play one or two card games to get the mind thinking, then I choose which file I want to open — I keep about five “works in progress” files going all the time.

    I write until around 12:30 or 1 p.m. and take a lunch break and a movie break, then hit the keyboard again at about 4 p.m. and write until 6 or 7 p.m., when I break for supper. Everything subject to change and that includes taking whole days off from writing and editing to do family things or just loaf.

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