Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On Goal-Setting

I'm a big fan of goals and deadlines. As Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy (plus two), once said, "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

Seriously though, I like goals and deadlines, because they give me something to strive toward. In writing, I like setting goals for word counts as well as deadlines for reaching various milestones. For example, I often set simple milestones at the 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% points for word count. As I posted recently, I just broke 50% by a few thousand words and am making good progress. I have a pretty good estimate that my Balfrith novel with run about 150,000 words, and I knew right away when I hit the 75k mark, even though I didn't post about it. But my next milestone is the 112,000 word mark, and I'm looking forward to reaching it.

Besides the simple milestone goals based on word counts, I also have a goal to write 2,000 words per week. This is actually a recent goal I set myself, because I realized that while I was currently making good progress, I would inevitably reach a point where I hit a wall of writer's block, hard, and that's when those goals really come in handy to push yourself. So, now I have this goal of writing at least 2,000 words per week. And calculating forward from where I am now at 80,000 words, you can predict that I should finish the rough draft of my novel in about 37 weeks, or around September 16th. Therefore, that is my deadline. And after that, my next goal (and deadline) is to complete the first round of revisions by the end of the year. Of course it's impossible to say what might transpire between now and then, and how my plans might change, but as long as things continue progressing as they are, I should be able to reach these goals and make my deadlines.