tips · writing

Writing goals…and a prompt

I’ve talked about NaNoWriMo before, why it works for some and not for others. There is one aspect of NaNo that I think can really work for every writer. NaNo works because it forces you to make a goal. Even in NaNo camp, you must set a goal by day 20 in order to be considered a winner. Traditional NaNo, in November, requires that you write a minimum of 50,000 words in one month. This is a goal, an outcome. It doesn’t require that you make daily goals, but as long as you fill in your progress, it will give you a daily goal word count in order to finish. NaNo is successful because it forces you to make that goal.

For many writers, 50,000 words is lofty for one month, and that is just fine (just not for NaNo). Setting an attainable goal for every day will help you train your brain to think as a writer. You won’t have to wait for inspiration, as soon as you sit at that desk the creative energy will flow easier.

Setting goals does not mean that writer’s block will never happen, nor does it mean that you will be successful, but it does mean that you will improve. You can not become a better writer by saying you need to find time to write. Nor does it happen when you only write once or twice a year for NaNo (that would be one of the reasons, NaNo doesn’t work). It happens when you sit consistently in front of that screen or paper and do it.

Some speculate that you the writing improves greatly after your millionth word. I’m at about 270,000 words for novel writing. I have a long way to go. Of course, I doubt your brain knows when you have passed that threshold, it is more a matter of, as I said above, a comfortable schedule. Your brain understands the process by now and kicks in, like second nature.

If you write, don’t fight. Get that schedule down. Start small and work your way up. Write blog posts or essays. No one said you had to start with a novel. With that in mind, I’d like to challenge you to write this week. Here is a prompt for you: “Kat looked at her phone and rolled her eyes….”

Give yourself 20 minutes just to see where that leads you. 🙂