Preptober Week 3 – Determining Your Goals

Happy Monday!

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching so now is the time to kick our prepping into high gear, and get some stories planned. Today we will be discussing all things goals for NaNoWriMo and how to have an overall successful and productive month!

 

Step 1: Create Big SMART Goals

I always bring up SMART goals whenever I make a blog post centred around goals because these are the type of goals you need to focus on making. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-bound, and by following these five words, you will create goals you can ACTUALLY achieve! When making goals, it is important to make them as directed and specific as possible and to make sure they are goals you can achieve in the time given. Some examples of my big, overall NaNoWriMo goals are:

  • Edit and re-outline character profiles, world history, and act I, II, III by October 31st – I specify what I want to edit and re-outline and also by what date = SMART goal!
  • Write 50k words by November 30th – This is a SMART goal because I determine how many words I want to write by whatever date, and I have achieved it before so I know it is attainable!

Step 2: Create Smaller SMART Goals

Now it is time to narrow our focus into the individual days of November and figure out what daily goals we can make to help lead us to success. The main goal in NaNoWriMo is to write 50k words in 30 days but in order to do that, you need to write at least 1,667 words per day. Maybe you can’t write that much a day though, and 1,667 words in a writing session is a rare, amazing occurrence. Whatever the case, you need to tailor these daily goals to your life and make them attainable so you are not letting yourself down at the end of the day and month. While 1,667 words are the average daily goal, maybe your goal needs to only be 1,000 words a day or maybe you write a lot and want your daily goal to be 2,000 words!

I also recommend if you have the time during the day, to split your NaNo writing session into two or even three sessions. For example, on the weekends (this is only what happens during Camp NaNo or NaNo, I don’t do this every weekend!) I like to write for three 30 minute sessions because, in the end, I finish the day with up to 3,000 words! That way, I still have time to get other things done but still get a lot of writing done. Figure out what works best for you in order to attain your personal daily goal so you can finish the day with the largest amount of words possible!

Step 3: Set Up a Reward System

Now that you have your big and small goals created, it is time to put in place a fun reward system! Whenever you hit a big, overall goal, like you write 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo, reward yourself with a big reward! For example, when I reach 50k I plan on giving myself a weekend free of writing where I get to watch Netflix and basically do whatever I want. November is not only busy because of NaNoWriMo, but also because school really picks up for me during this month so I know I am going to be exhausted by the time November 30th rolls around. When it comes to the smaller, daily goals, I like to give myself little rewards at the end of the week if I have written 5-7 days of that last week. Here are some smaller reward ideas!:

  • 30 mins of Netflix
  • A writing session at a coffee shop!
  • 30 mins at the gym (I know this might not be a reward exactly, but if you use some spare time to workout you will feel AMAZING. Trust me)
  • Reading time! (I don’t know about you, but finding time to read the books I want has been incredibly hard, so this will definitely be a reward for me)
  • Adventure to the bookstore

Step 4: Displaying Your Goals

It is important to have these goals AND your possible rewards displayed somewhere you will always see them. Whether that is when you first wake up or when you sit down to write, have them put up somewhere looking all pretty and exciting for you to see and be reminded of. I know you probably already wrote these goals down, but now take a clean piece of paper and make them colourful and lively; something that will catch your eye.

Okay! Those are the four steps to creating smart goals for NaNoWriMo! Now, to make sure these are truly smart and achievable goals, ask yourself if you know what your overall goals are for the month and how you are going to achieve each one. Know each step, or at least have it written out for you, and remind yourself of the deadlines and rewards for when you finish them!

I hope you found this blog post helpful and that you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below for more bookish and writing related content. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

 

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@zoematherswrites

5 Goals Every Writer Should Set for Themselves

Even if you write for fun and that is all, it is still important (and fun) to set goals for yourself and motivate yourself to keep going. I love making goals for myself and here are 5 goals that I think every writer should have!

 

  1. To Finish That Story! – Whether it is a book or a short story you are trying to tackle, don’t procrastinate it, just finish the story! Remind yourself that the words don’t have to be good, just get them done and on the page. You don’t want to be a writer who starts things and then never finishes, because that is only setting yourself up for bad writing habits.
  2. To Write Every Week – I wanted to put to “Write Everyday” but I know for most of us (myself included) that is a struggle. However, still try to aim to write everyday if you can! Writing every week is a manageable goal and is really important because you want to keep that brain full of creativity. Whether you write 50 words or 6000 a week, some words are better than absolutely no words!
  3. To Read… A Lot! – Again, reading every day can be hard, but try to read as much as you can each month. Even if it is only one book a month that is still progress! You are still exercising your writing muscles by reading anything as little as one page of a book. Just keep finding books and stories you enjoy and keep reading. Here are some craft AND fiction books I recommend:
    • Stephen King: On Writing by Stephen King
    • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    • Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
  4. To Connect With Other Writers – This is a goal I always set for myself each week, because I always want to be connecting and interacting with other writers. It helps make you feel not so alone in your passion, and can also be a way to gain valuable information from those on different walks of the writing path from you. I highly recommend jumping on social media to find writers like you, or finding a local writing group that you can join! This will make the world of a difference and even if it might be out of your comfort zone, will be worth it in the end. Here are some places where you can find some writing friends online:
    • Twitter
    • NaNoWriMo/Camp NaNoWriMo
    • Instagram
    • YouTube
  5. To Search for Your Voice and Style – This is a really important one because without your own unique voice and style, you won’t be able to reach your full potential as a writer. When you are first starting out it is natural to mimic a favourite author of yours until you find your own voice and style, but as you write more and more your voice and style will start to filter through. It is essential for you to harness all that and dive deeper into it so that you understand how you write because then your readers will too!

Those are my 5 goals that I think every writer should make for themselves and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and also my social media links below 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

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