My Current Goal
I set a goal to write 2,000 words per day, every day, for a grand total of 14,000 per week. (With this goal, an average of 300 words per page, 8 pages per chapter, would give me almost a chapter a day.)
I was able to make this goal once upon a time, so it's reachable, right? Apparently not.
What I'm currently writing is 700-1,000 words per day (new word count including words cut during editing), 3-5 days a week, for maybe 3,000-5,000 per week. That means, every day I'm failing by half. And every week I'm screwing up by even more than that.
Fail. *Sigh* Fail, fail, fail.
Be Prolific or Die
Kevin J. Anderson, one of the most prolific writers I know (of), said he writes between 300,000 and 500,000 words every year. Presenting the LDStorymakers keynote address this year, he said, "In today's market, you can't make a living writing one book a year. If you want to make a living as a writer, you have to be prolific or die." (I'm really hoping he didn't mean 500,000 per book. Next year, he has seven books coming out. Dude would get an aneurism.)
So I thought, "I'll bet Kevin J. Anderson does at least 14,000 words per week."
Yeah... Have I ever mentioned how bad I am at math?
14,000 words X 52 weeks = 728,000 wordsWhoa. If I was making goal, I'd be schooling Kevin 'Wordsmith' Anderson.
As it turns out, 500,000 a year comes out to about 1,380 per day. So WHY am I beating myself up? (Someone check my math because I'm feeling pretty cool right now.)
Why Goals Are Important
Every week in the real world, my boss and I have a goal that I'll work 40 hours every week (okay... okay... it's an expected result, but stick with me). My boss and I may disagree on what 'work' entails, but I like cash and he likes production, so we make it work. There are even some hefty penalties if I don't make my goal.
Goals set a requirement for something we want to attain. Regardless of the type of goal, it all boils down to your target. And usually, your goal will need to be broken down into smaller goals.
Want to be a certain weight? Maybe you should drop drinking 44oz of pop a day and watch your portion sizes. Want to run the Boston Marathon? Watch your diet and start timing your mile (really, I have no idea how you prep for a marathon...). Want to write a book? Remember, writers write, so start writing and keep a list of what authors you like do in their work.
Some Famous Things To Keep In Mind
Tracy Hickman said at CONduit 2012, "Everyone has to find their own way, but its never the same way. Everyone has to pay their own dues, but they're never the same dues." YOU have to find your way. You are responsible for whether you succeed or not. If something isn't working, then try something else. Just keep MOVING!
Poet Kathleen Norris said, "Before you begin a thing remind yourself that difficulties and delays quite impossible to forsee are ahead.... You can only see one thing clearly, and that is your goal. Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin." A lot of things will come up that will interfere with your goals, but if you're going to be a functioning human, you have to do as Laura Hickman said, "You have to give yourself permission to do something you love." Even if its only tiny steps forward (250 words per day, or 100, or even 50!), do what you love.
So, I'm changing my writing goals to something more realistic (but still challenging): 1,000 per day, 5,000 per week, 20,000 per month. And since I prefer to write YA (Young Adult), that's a rough draft (70,000 words) every three and a half months! Almost four a year!
So... heads up! Set some attainable goals, and remember, as James Broughton said, "The only limits are, as always, those of vision."