Small writing goals by Reena Jacobs

Writers write.

The thing is: it’s not always practical. Fussy bosses, long hours, screaming kids, a billion and one extracurricular activities—sometimes we just don’t want to make the time to write. So go ahead and boast to the world, “I’m a writer who doesn’t write.”

Doesn’t sound right, does it?

The words don’t always come easy. Sometimes we have to take baby steps. That’s where writing goals come into play. No need to commit to 2k words a day. Set small goals. Start with something which isn’t a challenge, like 100 words. If you can’t dedicate yourself to 100 words, try 50.

Why set such a low goal?

Because it’s achievable. For many authors, that’s just 10-30 minutes. Can you spare 30 minutes of your day to push your writing career forward? I hope so, because it’s not much. Check out the excerpt below which is only 100 words:

The music blared throughout the house at full blast—Pretty People by Dexter Freebish. Yep, that pretty much summed it up. They surrounded me. Only thing, I didn’t want to be like them. Sometimes I was just so tired of the games the so-called “pretty people” played. Yet here I was, the girl hiding in a corner, decorating a wall.

The party was in full swing. Already people had consumed enough alcohol to loosen inhibitions but not enough to send them puking over the balcony. It’d get there though. I’d been to enough of these parties to know it was…

A hundred words might seem like nothing, but it adds up. In a year, you’ll have 36,500 words under your belt, which is a novella. In the world of eBooks, novellas are quite popular these days.

So, as Thomas Jefferson said, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”

Of course, it’s easy to turn a simple goal into mission impossible. You might be thinking, 100 words/day is easy. I can do that. Then the day ends, and you’ve accomplished nothing. That’s okay, you think, I can do 200 words tomorrow.

Don’t make that mistake. By the end of the week, you’ll be trying to make up 700 words. Two weeks later, it’ll be 1400. Eventually, it’ll be easier to give up than continue.

Write each day, but if you miss one, don’t set yourself up for failure by adding to the future. Start each day anew. There is no catch up, only what you produce today.

Here’s the kicker about setting an easy challenge like 100 words. Once you pump out your goal for the day, you might have more left in you which may lead to 200 words, 300, 1000. Those 100 words are just to spur you on. If all you can squeeze out is 100 words, you’ve still won.

Remember you’re producing 36,500 words a year, which is far better than none, and that makes you a writer.

About Reena Jacobs

Reena Jacobs is just your typical writer who loves to see her words in print. As an avid reader, she’s known to hoard books and begs her husband regularly for “just one more purchase.” Her home life is filled with days chasing her preschooler and nights harassing her husband. Between it all, she squeezes in time for writing and growling at the dog.

http://www.reenajacobs.com
www.reenajacobs.com/blog
http://twitter.com/ReenaJacobs

8 thoughts on “Small writing goals by Reena Jacobs

  1. A timely reminder for me, thanks, Reena!I’m juggling my PhD with my writing and trying to dedicate my evenings to my novel. It’s not quite working out but I write *something* every day. The lowest figure I’ve recorded is around 300 words but at least the thing’s getting longer and I’m adding to it daily. On the days I feel like giving up because I’m not getting anywhere fast enough I’ll remember your advice.

  2. If you’re doing a min of 300 words a day, that’s good–you’re writing. I love doing those end of the week tallies and finding out those small goals added up to a lot more than I thought.Good luck with your PhD and writing career. 🙂

  3. Hi Reena, thanks for the motivational post. It’s something we all need to hear once in a while.Eden

  4. Eden ~ Glad it provided a bit of motivation. I’m always on the search for a pick me up. 🙂

  5. Great post. Reminded me of a friend who used to set himself a goal of 1 minute a day on the treadmill. It was low enough that he’d never have the excuse that he didn’t have time. Plus, he said he never just did one minute once he got started.

  6. Too funny, India. I could use a minute or two on the treadmill myself.:)It’s easy to let lack of time become an excuse. But he’s so right. How can you not spare 1 minute a day? That’s how I see the 100 word writing goals.

  7. This for a brilliant post Reena. I’m going to give this a try right away.

  8. Definitely go for it. I just hit the end of a piece by using this method. Yay! for the tortoise. 🙂

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