Weekly Rather Than Daily Writing Goals

New year, new goals, and new things to learn! That’s exciting, right?

Well, maybe not so much the “things to learn” bit. But with a month of working hard to write every day, even for a little bit, I think I’ve settled into what works for me.

Photo by Maxime Perron Caissy

Photo by Maxime Perron Caissy

A couple of years ago, I finally caved to conventional wisdom and began giving myself a daily word count goal. It started with Grace Bridges from Splashdown challenging friends on Facebook to write 500 words a day.

In January, I upped the word count to one thousand words a day. That didn’t seen to work, so I tried something new–I changed from using a daily word count to a weekly one. Five thousand words a week, I thought, would surely be easy to reach. It was easier to plan ahead that way…if I was going to have a busy day, I knew I could just write more another day and not stress about it.

For two weeks, I tried the five thousand words goal. One week I barely got over half–the other, I was within 200 words of it. But that was by neglecting entirely the novel I was trying to edit and the critique I had due at the end of the month.

So, as always, I readjusted, down to two and a half thousand words a week. That’s back to the 500 a day, but two thousand and a half sounds better. More importantly, it’s easy for me to hit every week and feel like I’m making progress, while still working on the other projects I’ve committed to.

Once those are out if the way, I may jump the word count back up a little. We’ll see. For now, I’ve found what works…though don’t tell my son that. He might decide to change his sleeping patterns again. 😛


About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

7 comments on “Weekly Rather Than Daily Writing Goals

  1. That’s pretty much what I’ve decided to do, too. Daily isn’t realistic for me right now, but I think I can hit a weekly word count. This week is my first week at it, so we shall see!

    I’m doing 2,500 words, too. Even though I was doing 2,000 a day during NaNo pretty consistently, I neglected a lot of family routines to do it. I’ll be quite happy if I do 2,500 a week, because that’s 10,000 a month. And that’s a lot more than I’ve done since I finished NaNoWriMo!

  2. Even though everybody talks about them all the time, daily goals have NEVER Worked for me, at all. After several years of doing NaNo, I finally got the epiphany to set a low-ish Monthly goal for all year around. Now working in Scrivener, (NaNo goodie! I should have got it long ago!) this is easier to do, cause I put my different projects into “chapters” and work on whatever appeals at the moment. This way I can easily have an accumulative word count, and I’m progressing on something all the time.
    I’ve set a trial goal of 20k per month, and have hit it well so far. In fact, I’m well over for Feb. right now, which makes me very happy! I’m definitely on a creative high at the moment. 🙂
    Monthly goals work best for me, because I am a “bursts” writer, so I can rack up the words one week, and then lie fallow the next.

    • I love Scrivener, too! Good job on finding the goal-setting system that works for you. Monthly goals are excellent, and 20k is a pretty ambitious one. You’re doing great to meet that. 🙂

      • I just got brave enough to try it, and I’m really liking the flexibility that it allows in structure. One thing, I wish it had a smarter spell-check… my Word program had gotten to be a genius in correcting my typos; so I get a little miffed when I accidentally transpose the letters in “to” and Scriv suggests “oat, at, OT” 😉 Not sure how much it “learns”, either… though I’ve only had it a few months now.
        (I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Word “learned” my habits, ’cause it got scary good at suggesting the very word I wanted when typo’d. 🙂 )

    • That is so fantastic. Just reading how it’s working for you is encouraging me all over again. I set a goal for 2,500 words a week this month (Feb) and have been too busy overhauling my storyline to actually writing anything yet. Maybe if I was working on other projects while this one is in overhaul mode, I’d make more progress overall. Great idea!

      • Hey! Glad I could share inspiration, Teddi! I know how difficult it can be, trying to find that “perfect balance” place in writing… I’m really thinking I’m getting close with this one! 🙂 I’m so excited to maybe really make some progress and finish a lot of those WIPs that are great, but have been hanging around forever. 😉
        Yes, overhauling can be such a drag! I like to switch between drudgery and fun, letting the fun be a reward for getting through a patch of drudgery. Tricks my little creative muscle into being happier, just like a kid and eating vegetables! 😉 Tricks are handy… 🙂

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