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Create Effective Goals to
Write Your Novel
By Lee Masterson
Most writers have goals and dreams that encompass
writing. Your goal might be to write a novel and see it
on those shelves finally. Or you might have the goal of
being able to quit your day job and write instead. You
may be happy to just enjoy the act of writing regardless
of the income it might produce.
No matter what your goal, there are some things you can
do to increase your chances of seeing your dreams come
Down Your Goals
Successful business people, top athletes, entrepreneurs,
wealthy investors and high-achievers in all fields of
life use goal setting techniques.
Its been proven time and again that people who
write down clear, focused goals with realistic outcomes
and achievable deadlines are 97% more likely to reach
Similar studies also show that people who create random,
vague goals tend to achieve some minor milestones, but
nothing like the results created by those in the first
Then there are people who dont write down clear-set
goals at all. While they seem to do okay with their
ambitions and goals, imagine how much better they could
have done with a clear set of written goals?
Your Goals Effectively
To Do List:
- Go Shopping
- See a movie
- Do laundry
- Fill the car with fuel
- Write a novel
Your goals are not the same as a to
do list. They should be created to represent a
clear aim or achievement that youd like to
accomplish. Always be specific about what you want and
include details to narrow your focus even further.
In this case, lets assume your goal is to write a
great novel. Thats an excellent goal, but it also
means creating a few other goals around this one so the
first is more likely to be achieved.
- I will dedicate at least 4 hours every week to writing
- I will write a minimum of 2,000 words every week on my
- I will switch off the TV for one hour each night and
use that time to write my novel
These are just examples of small things you might decide
to add to your goal list in order to make your main
achievement possible. They are each small steps
youll need to take in order to make the end goal of
writing your novel possible and so they become equally as
important as the main end-goal.
If you read the previous tip carefully, you would have
noticed the example goals were written using specific,
positive words. Dont include negatively worded
goals in your list.
I wont be tempted by chocolate this
I wont procrastinate with my writing
Negative goals have the opposite effect and actually make
your mind focus more on the action youre trying to
avoid. Keep your goals positive and focused on what you
really want and not the things you want to avoid.
Writing down a list of goals and aspirations is great
fun. It forces you to think about those things
youve always wanted to do and never got around to
doing. It also forces your mind to be honest about a lot
of things youve put off doing, too.
Its important to be realistic about your goals. You
could write down that youd like to write more books
than Stephen King over the next 12 months, but you know
deep down inside that this isnt possible, so
youre setting yourself up for failure before you
Despite this, dont be afraid to write down some
really big goals. Just make sure you include some
smaller, easily achievable ones too. The human mind works
best when it recognizes real results.
By setting and then reaching the smaller goals, your mind
will be rewarded by the achievement which will increase
your confidence as you strive toward the bigger goals.
One of your smaller goals might be to write 2000 words
this week. When you reach that goal, youre not only
showing yourself that it is possible, but youre
increasing your motivation levels at the same time.
Your bigger goals may include writing a novel before the
end of the year and getting a publisher to accept it.
Despite the fact that there are too many books around the
place promising to teach you to write a novel in absurdly
short amounts of time, you need to remember that these
type of books are usually written and
promoted by people who make their living by selling these
books to you, not by writing novels every month.
You need to determine your own realistic time frame based
around your time table and how long you have in each day
to devote to writing.
If you expect your novel to be around 85,000 words, then
divide this figure by 52 weeks in a year and you know you
must write at least 1,652 words each week to see your
novel written before the end of the year.
However, if your goal is to write an 85,000 word novel by
the end of the month, then youll need to write at
least 2,833 words every DAY for 30 days to reach that
Just as your goal needs to be realistic, so does the time
frame youre allowing to reach that goal.
A goal without a deadline is just wishful thinking. You
could write down I want to write a novel on
your goals list, but without direction and purpose,
youll be still wanting to write that same novel 5
years from now.
Be more precise with your goals and actually give
yourself a deadline to work towards.
I will write my novel by [insert date here]
Take a little time to work out exactly how much time
youll need to commit each day and how many words
youll need to create to meet your deadline. When
youre sure its realistically achievable for
you, add a specific date to your list of goals.
Writing a list of goals on your computer and then hiding
them away in a folder somewhere isnt going to have
the same effect as writing them on paper with a good old
Write down your clearly focused goals, including
deadlines and time frames. Dont forget that smaller
goals are equally as important as the big ones.
When youre done, pin that sheet of paper somewhere
prominent. You might hang it on the fridge or on the wall
over your desk or on the back of your door. Just be sure
its somewhere you can see it regularly.
The more often you read your goals, the more likely you
are to remind yourself to keep working towards them.
Obviously, the more time you spend working towards your
goals and dreams, the more likely you are to accomplish
Every time you read them, make sure you take a little
time to daydream about what your life will be like when
you reach those goals. Daydreaming is a positive form of
visualization and each time you indulge in a day dream
about your goals, youre helping to train your mind
to make your dreams become a reality.
You must believe youre capable of achieving every
goal you write on your list. Belief and confidence are
both vital to you reaching your goals and if youve
included goals that are just outrageous, then youre
setting yourself up to fail before youve even
This doesnt mean you should only strive for things
you already know you can do. Its important to
stretch your abilities a little so you keep growing and
Good luck with your goals!
Copyright Lee Masterson. All Rights Reserved.