Introducing: Goal Tracking — Getting Transparent With My Writing

Posted January 8, 2015 by Amanda Shofner in Goal Tracking / 8 Comments

goal tracking

What this series is all about

Before I published my novels, I shared and tracked goals on my personal blog. But blogs evolve, and I ditched those posts in favor of posts relating to my books and occasional updates on which writing projects I’m working on.

That didn’t mean I stopped making writing-related goals, though. (In fact, I encourage members of The Writing Sidekick to do so every week.) If I’ve learned anything by being involved in a community of writers, it’s that we often struggle with the exact same problems.

Back to evolving blogs: last year, I switched to posting on this blog every other week. My bank of scheduled posts dried up, my priorities shifted, and I scaled back. I’ve not regretted the decision—it’s allowed me space to breathe and the ability to focus on sharing old content that’s still relevant.

But a lot of my content has been inspired by my own writing struggles, and tracking my writing goals on this blog is a way to take that a step further. Not only will I talk about my struggles (and successes, hopefully!), but I’ll also share how I’m dealing with those struggles.

The first goal

I’m not a full-time writer, so to kick off the new year, finding my writing groove is goal #1. For the month of January, I’m on a 709 word/weekday writing schedule.

Why 709 words? A member of The Writing Sidekick shared Pacemaker, which helps you create a writing plan. I’m 10,000 words into a 100,000 word project that I’m hoping to finish by the end of June. With weekends off, Pacemaker spit out a weekday word count of 709.

The holiday season and releasing my second novel messed with my writing schedule, so it’s anyone’s guess whether 709 words/weekday is realistic or outrageous. I’m tracking my progress with a spreadsheet. (Including a target word count based on the 709 words/weekday goal and my remaining numbers.)

For my next update (likely in two weeks), I’ll share what happens with those 709 words/weekday.

Your turn. Do you track your goals? Share them in the comments!

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8 responses to “Introducing: Goal Tracking — Getting Transparent With My Writing

  1. Yiying Cheng

    Is it 709 words towards final draft or is it 709 words towards the current draft? How do you estimate/plan the time for the rounds of revisions?

  2. Yiying Cheng

    I would say I am good at setting goals. When I am onto the project, I set and track my goals naturally. But when the ball get dropped, I tend to reset the goals and ditch all the old goals.

  3. I love Pacemaker! It’s been my go-to resource for over a year now. I’ve tried to set word count goals on my own before, but it’s so much easier with that nifty little tool.

    I like the weekday goal of 709. It’s doable, yet it still seems substantial. I always become unmotivated if I have goals less than 500 words per day because it feels so inconsequential if I write or not.

    • I wish I’d known about it sooner! I hope 709 will work — this week I had to put writing on the back burner to finish client work, but there’s always next week! 🙂

  4. Monica

    Believe it or not, I have never heard of Pacemaker. I will have to check it out. I have never set a specific word count before, just tried to write a little every day. This January, I set my first word count goal (thanks to Amanda), but I decided to make it a weekly goal instead of a daily one. I teach fulltime and write when I can find the time and energy. A weekly goal gives me flexibility and accountability which ups my chances of success.

    • I just heard of Pacemaker within the last month, so it’s not that surprising to me. 😉 Weekly goals work just as well as daily ones — it’s all about finding what writing schedule works best for you.

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