Writing Resolutions: What I’ve learned from goal setting

It’s 2016 and many of us are settling back into our old lives. The holidays are over and for college students like me, this means it’s back to the never ending wheel of lectures, exams, and intense study sessions. While this New Year holds lots of new goals and aspirations, I’m still thinking about the goals I had over my holiday break. One of them was to write every day and eventually break my 7 day consecutive writing streak record.

Like others who write on their free time, my writing experiment was a bit of a long shot. Long story short…I didn’t make it past five consecutive days.

On days when I got close to breaking my record I’d forget about writing or I’d stare at my computer screen writing two words and deleting three. On my most productive day I wrote over 1,000 words detailing a strange dream I had about killer whales, dinosaurs, and a theme park that was out of control. My “least” productive day (besides all the days I spent away from my keyboard) was December 22 with only 31 new words. My grand total over my little winter break was 2,351 words.

Of course this wasn’t a continuous 2,351 words, that would be a little too ideal. Instead I wrote various scenes of dialogue (some of them only 3 lines long), a character sketch, a paragraph on how fulfilling reading can be, and a journal entry where the only word I wrote was “Diary.”

At the beginning of the writing venture, my only goal was to write, but since that goal wasn’t specific enough I decided to challenge myself and try and write every day. By having a specific goal I had a greater sense of urgency to write.

When it comes to writing almost everyone has a different method for reaching their ideal word count or page length. Some people wait until a few days (or hours) before their personal or professional deadlines to start writing, others break up their writing into chunks. My advice to anyone starting any writing goals for the 2016 year is to identify your main goal. I really wanted to work on how frequently I wrote during my holiday break because I wanted to establish a writing routine and my goal reflected this need.

For your 2016 writing goals remember to evaluate your basic goal. Do you just want to write or do you want to write a certain amount of words by a certain deadline?

Once you’ve evaluated your basic goal and set very specific goals for yourself, you can get started on your own writing goals.

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