Sunday, August 16, 2020

Goal Setting: Tips and Resources #Writing tips for the #Writerslife #AmWriting

Last week I talked about the importance of setting goals and occasionally reviewing them. Here are some resources to help you identify the specific steps you need to take to reach your overall goals.

Susan Uhlig, author of dozens of magazine stories and articles and a writing teacher, reviewed her annual goals on her website and explored what worked or didn't, and why, with advice for other goal setters. Here's an excerpt:

Some writers have word or page count goals per day. Others have a goal of finishing a chapter in a certain amount of time. Illustrators might have a number of paintings or sketches to accomplish in a certain time. What matters is to have what in the business world of project management is called a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. A goal such as "get an agent" isn't really under your control. A goal of "submit so many queries to agents by this date" is under your control and measurable.

Read her entire post on her website.

Amy Houts shared tips on goals lists. Here’s one tip I really like: Be specific—don’t just write, for example, “Complete assignment.” Break the assignment down into specific steps. For any of the writing courses, these steps would include: reading the course manual, working through the exercises, scanning the related reading, and studying your textbooks. Once that’s completed, you can begin writing the first draft, editing, revising, and proofreading. 

I like this because it helps you stay realistic. If your goal is “I’m going to write that sci-fi story this weekend!”, you may be disappointed and frustrated when you work really hard at it but still fail. But if you break it down into steps, you may realize that by the time you research, brainstorm, and outline, you’ll have filled up your available free time. Then you can set a more realistic goal for this weekend and the next one.

EXERCISE: Goal Setting 

•    What is my primary writing goal?
•    What are my secondary writing goals?
•    How can these goals work together? Do they contradict each other at all? Do they interfere with other career, family or personal goals?
•    What steps do I need to take? Do I need to work on specific craft techniques, time management, market research, or submissions?

•    Which steps come first? How can I schedule the steps to reach my goals?

Click on the “goal setting” link in the right-hand column for more on this topic.

Have certain goals setting exercises work for you? Do you have any advice to share?

Kris writes for children under the name Chris Eboch. Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery that brings ancient Egypt to life; and The Well of Sacrifice, an action-packed drama set in ninth-century Mayan Guatemala. Her book Advanced Plotting helps writers fine-tune their plots, while You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers offers great insight to beginning and intermediate writers. Learn more at or her Amazon page.

Chris also writes for adults under the name Kris Bock. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Get a free 10,000-word story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter.

Kris Bock also writes romantic suspense novels. Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Nora Roberts will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

Learn more at or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. (For other countries click here.) Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter  for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

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