I’ve talked about goal-setting before, so most of you know I’m a big proponent.

I don’t know what it is that makes me buckle down and work when there’s a magic number hanging over my head, but it’s there and undeniable and oh-so-wonderful.

I guess it’s the knowledge that I’ve achieved something that I set out to do.  Had I just, say, sat down and written five thousand words one day, without a goal, I may still think, “hey, you could have written ten thousand,” and then I still wouldn’t feel good about what I’d done.  I may sit and stare at the computer, trying to force myself to do more until I just wear myself out completely and go to bed feeling dejected.

But when I say, “Lori, you’re writing 5,000 words this weekend,” it gives me a clear-cut goal to work towards.  I can manage my activities around it and make sure I set aside the time to do it.  And when I hit that goal, I feel great about myself– and I allow myself to enjoy other things and not mope about how much more I could have done.

If you’re a writer, and you don’t set goals, I highly recommend it.  And if you’re not a writer yet, and the only thing that’s holding you back is the fact that you think you can’t do it, here’s what I have to say:

SET A GOAL.

Tell yourself you’re going to just write 500 words today.  And then sit down and do it.  It will likely only take you thirty minutes, tops, once you get started.  And then the next day, or even a few days later, set that goal again.  You’ll get in a routine, and before you know it, you’ll have a chapter written.  And once that chapter’s written, there’s no going back.  No one wants to leave a good story behind.  Set another long-term goal, too: to finish the book.  Just push on, and write, and meet those goals.  You’ll be proud of what you’ve written, and you’ll be satisfied that your goal was met.

My new goal?  5,000-word weekends and four 500-word days during the week.  That averages to 1,000 words a day, and I’m happy with that pace.  (That’s, like, three Lori books a year.)  🙂