5 Simple Yet Smart Writing Goals You Should Set If You’re Just Getting Started
5 pieces of practical advice
So, here’s the thing.
Goal-setting has never really been one of my strong suits.
I tend to get spontaneous bursts of energy and creativity, and my organizational skills are not that great. Plus, I always preferred to take things one day at a time rather than set long-term plans. Maybe because I’m too familiar with the saying, “We plan. God laughs.” Anyway.
During my journey as a writer, I’ve come to learn that setting goals, even small, short-term ones, can be extremely beneficial. They motivate you, increase your productivity, give you focus, and keep you undistracted.
Goal setting doesn’t have to be boring and doesn’t have to be difficult. However, if you’ve just begun your writing journey, you probably find it difficult to organize your thoughts, come up with a plan, and decide what kind of goals to set — I’ve been there.
Below are five simple writing goals you can set that can help you become a better writer.
1. Aim to Write a Specific Amount of Words per Day
The way I see it, small, daily goals are sometimes far more important than long-term ones. They give you a reason to get out of bed and start working every single day.
A daily writing goal you can set is to write a specific amount of words every day.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But I don’t have the time to write every day”. As a matter of fact, you do have the time — you don’t have to aim too high from the beginning.
You could aim for 1,000 words or you could aim for 100. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you write them every single day. After a while, you will have developed a habit and it will be easier for you to come up with new writing ideas.
Plus, you already know how this thing goes — the more you write(and read), the better a writer you will become.
2. Enrich Your Vocabulary
Most would say that learning new words and catchy phrases is a fun activity.
Besides fun, however, it is essential for every writer. Vocabulary matters when you’re a writer. The better your vocabulary is, the better your articles will be, and the smarter you will sound.
Above all, you need to remember that words have power. Your choice of words can either make your writing powerful and effective, or weak and forgettable.
As is explained in this article, published in Psychology Today,
“Words cannot change reality, but they can change how people perceive reality. Words create filters through which people view the world around them.”
The right choice of words can also help you communicate your ideas and express yourself more easily. Overall, vocabulary enhancement is an important goal to set as a writer and one that can benefit your writing more than you imagine.
3. Write on a Different Topic Every Time You Write
A common question asked by many beginning writers is whether they should focus on writing on a specific niche, or write about multiple topics.
I usually recommend the latter. For one, most of us have many fields of interest in our minds. The creative process of writing allows us to explore all of them.
Plus, you will improve your research skills and expand your knowledge of the world — and all knowledge is intertwined.
But, even if you plan on focusing on a specific niche, writing on multiple topics for a short period of time, will contribute to your writing.
Ever heard of the term “versatile writer”? A versatile writer is one that can switch between styles, tones, and audiences with finesse. And that’s what writing on different topics will allow you to do.
4. Publish Guest Posts on Popular Blogs
I know that pitching your idea for a guest blog post sounds scary when you’re a beginner writer.
However, it’s a great way to have your work noticed, expand your audience, and build your portfolio. There are hundreds of blogs out there so it won’t be difficult to find one that is relevant to your niche — or to the topic you like writing about most.
The process is very simple. Just google “blogs that accept guest posts” — you’ll get dozens of lists with them. Once you’ve picked one, don’t hesitate to contact the owners and pitch your idea. Of course, before you do, make sure you check what the site likes to publish and that you’re not pitching an idea that’s already been done.
5. Learn Some SEO Skills
Two years ago, I had no idea what “SEO” even meant. Now, I always make sure I do some keyword research before I write an article.
“SEO” stands for search engine optimization — something that improves your content’s overall searchability and visibility. You’ll get far more readers for every piece you write if you learn to optimize it for search engines.
For example, I just mentioned keyword research — something that SEO focuses on. The former involves identifying popular words and phrases people search for. By including them in your work, your content will rank higher on Google, which means that you’ll get more eyes on it — and that’s what every writer wants.
Remember that everyone’s writing journey is different.
It’s up to you whether you’ll choose to set one or all of the above goals. Whatever you do, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Every success is achieved through small steps.
Never underestimate the power of small goals — they add up to big results.
Every small goal achieved is another step to improving your writing skills and becoming an exceptional writer.
Oh, and good luck on your writing journey! :)