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How To Set Attainable Goals As A Writer 

Setting manageable and achievable goals for your writing to keep things running smoothly.

By Elise L. BlakePublished 2 years ago 4 min read
How To Set Attainable Goals As A Writer 
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Goals are helpful with all sorts of tasks and writing is no different. Setting tasks in your writing will not only keep you on track for writing your novel but will help you establish a writing routine which is essential for life as a writer.

There are two types of goals you should be setting as a writer,

Realistic Goals


Measurable Goals 

What's the point of a goal if you can't attain it and how do you know you've attained it if you can't track it?

Realistic Goals

If you are a novelist your overall goal is going to be to complete a novel. This goal is realistic. 

If you set the goal to write a novel in one day or even one week, this goal is not impossible, but it's not realistic. Sure you could do it, but you wouldn't have time for basic human needs such as eating, sleeping, bathing, and human interaction. 

Set goals that may be slightly challenging, but not impossible to reach. 

Use your own experiences as a guide to gauge how much writing you believe you'll be able to do. If you have never written a novel before and you work 45 hours a week, setting five hours to write every day isn't going to be realistic while maybe an hour or two will be.  

Measurable Goals

Goals are easiest to manage when they're broken down into parts. 

As a writer, you can have measurable goals that build into each other in the way of:


  •  Write between 500–1000 words a day 


  •  Finish one chapter



  • Finish the first draft 

Being able to have a goal that is measurable gives you a way to track your progress towards completion so that you see that you are moving closer and closer to the finish line of your yearly goal with each passing day as long as you are staying to your daily and weekly goals. 

Things to Keep In Mind:

Keep Goals Visible

There's the famous expression, 'out of sight, out of mind.' Some things are easy to forget when not in front of us and even though you made the goals -  unless they stay in front of you it's easy to forget them. 

Write them down and keep them somewhere you have to interact with every day, not just in a place you believe you'll see every day. 

Putting things on the fridge door is a good idea, but how often do you really stop and take stalk at all that's on the fridge door?

Print out or write down your goals and put them somewhere you more than likely will have time to interact with it. Bathroom mirror, at your workspace, you can even make it your home/lock screen. 

An idea that worked for me was to buy a dry erase board and hang it above my work desk. Every day I meet my writing goal I draw a green check on the day, if I was unable to make it I draw a red X instead. This gives me a visual tracker of how many days I've accomplished my goals so I can work towards putting more green than red days before the month is out. 

Adjust Goals As Needed 

Some goals may seem attainable at the time of setting them, but it's perfectly ok to make adjustments as life goes on and things change. 

Maybe you are writing faster than you thought you would so you need to move your deadline up. 

Maybe it's harder to write than you believed it to be so you need to push it back.

Goals are not there to dishearten or dissuade you if you can't reach them. They are there to motivate you into finishing them. 

If the original goals you set are causing you too much stress, please adjust them to work in a way that is best for you. Even if you set the goal to write one sentence a day, you'll still have a novel finished eventually. 


Best of luck and keep writing. 

Set goals. Achieve them. Repeat. 

With love, 

B.K. xo


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About the Creator

Elise L. Blake

Elise is a full-time writing coach and novelist. She is a recent college graduate from Southern New Hampshire University where she earned her BA in Creative Writing.

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