Before I screwed up my website and blog, I was posting regularly about my Epic Writing Schedule. Basically, I sat down one day and wrote out all my writing plans and plotted them out on a two-year calendar. Yep. Two years.
It was an ambitious schedule. It was exciting. And, damn it, it was motivating. It was also a bit over-ambitious to be honest. Was it really feasible for me to write 3000 words at night, every night, in the two hours I had free after my kids went to bed? Was it feasible to write 7000 words on the weekend?
Perhaps, if I didn’t let silly things like family obligations or family time get in the way.
The weird thing about my epic schedule was that, even though I wasn’t reaching my goals, I was writing way more than I’d ever done before. See my post on writing over a million words in less than a year, why don’t you? It hasn’t been a year since I created my Epic Writing Schedule, but I’d argue that it’s been an extremely productive few months since I first plotted my takeover of the writing world. (Okay, not really.)
I know that experts say you need to create SMART goals, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. My goals probably weren’t realistic. However, they were very motivational and inspiring. So I’d like to propose a different type of goal-setting for your writing.
1. Dream big. We writers are an imaginative sort, right? Here’s your creative side’s moment. Make a vision board of where you’d like to be in 5 years if nothing stood in your way. Bestseller lists? Good Morning America? On your book’s movie set? Screw goals that are realistic, at least at this stage. Roll around in the fun that is your daydreaming imagination and think BIG.
2. Set a word count goal to reach in a year. Sit down and figure out how many words you normally do a day and add 100 or 1000 more to it. Vow to stick with that word count for a year no matter what.
3. How many books do you want to write in your lifetime? My BIG goal right now is 100 published books in 15 years. When I’m 55, I want to have a back-list that will make lesser mortals tremble. In my lifetime? I’m going with 300. Why shoot for the moon when you can shoot for the stars?
4. Write out all the books you’re working on now and the books you have ideas for. Give them titles or temporary placeholder names. Write them all out. You’ll be impressed at the size of the list. Now, figure out how many words in total all that writing will be. For me, that’s probably about a million words, give or take a few hundred thousand. Now, I know from using the Magic Spreadsheet, that I can knock out a million words in about a year. So I could, conceivably, finish all the half-done projects and new ideas in a year. (That’s scary to think about, so I’m going to pretend I didn’t say that.)
5. Now sit down and plot out how you are going to finish all the books in progress and new ideas in a couple of years. You can do one year but two is more fun. It starts giving you the long-vision on your creativity, which is a valuable thing to have. It will help you see how projects can go together, how you can publicize your work to its best advantage and more. Plus, you’ll be amazed at how excited it gets you, seeing your projects come to completion in a future that doesn’t seem so far away any more.
6. Refer to your calendar and goals frequently. Excitement wanes. Life intervenes. The only way to keep experiencing that excitement is to remind yourself what it was that got you excited in the first place. And when you stop being excited, it’s time to revamp, re-haul, redo your Epic Writing Schedule so that it excites you again.
Writing is fun. Dreaming is fun. Combine the two and give your writing productivity a well-needed shot in the arm.
Share your word count goals and published works goals with me. Let’s start a revolution of excitement and wonder.