Goal Setting: Really Useful Links by Lucy O’Callaghan

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Lucy O'Callaghan

Lucy O’Callaghan

Goal setting is essential for writers. Knowing what you are aiming for and how you are going to get there is an important part of the writing process. We may have dreams of being published and having best sellers but to get there takes lots of smaller goals. Breaking down your end goal into manageable, realistic chunks is the way to go. I have put together some useful articles and podcasts that discuss goal setting.

  1. 7 Ways To Set (Insanely Successful) Writing Goals – The Novel Smithy

We all set goals with the best of intentions but it’s easy for those goals to fall to the side. This article from The Novel Smithy tells us there are ways to choose the right writing goals, ones that set you up for success rather than disappointment. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is the way to go. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. It explains each and tells us we can focus on a project-based goal or a time-based goal. The pros and cons are explained for each. The article goes on to share 7 tricks for meeting your writing goals including, creating a routine, writing your goals down, organising your goals into smaller chunks, finding your mental blocks, outlining your novel, including mercy days, and tracking your results. All these are explained.

  1. Setting Writing Goals: How to Set Goals and Finish Your Book (thewritepractice.com)

In this article, The Write Practice discusses the two types of goals every writer can set and accomplish: action and result goals. Action goals are the actions you perform on a regular basis. They are bite-sized goals. Result goals are how you win. You need both goals if you want to finish a writing project. This article also discusses the S.M.A.R.T.  goals but also says your goal should be within your control. This is a concept somewhere in between ‘attainable’ and ‘realistic’. It moves on to discuss 4 reasons you must finish your writing project. These are that you must define your ending, discover a story’s potential, improve your book, and practice writing. By setting S.M.A.R.T. action goals and result goals, you’re more likely to finish a writing project that brings you joy instead of stress.

  1. Your Goals in Writing: 10 Ideas to Keep Them | Now Novel

Keeping to your goals in writing is hard. Balancing creative time with other life stuff going on is hard. Now Novel shares ten ideas to help you keep your goals. These include: writing your goals down in detail, choosing measurable goals, setting realistic, attainable targets, and setting short and long-term writing goals. These ten ideas are discussed.

  1. Writing Goals: Examples And Tips For Getting Started – Jericho Writers

There’s no better time to set a writing goal than right now. In this article, it is demonstrated how to get a goalsetting process in place and how to create measurable goals and provides examples of how each one can be achieved. It discusses four different types of writing goals: long-term goals, motivation-related goals, time-bound goals, and specific writing goals. The article moves on to share a 10-point step-by-step process for setting writing goals. It also discusses 3 things you need to meet your writing goals. These are a support network, be realistic, and patience and kindness. It may take time but while you are hitting small deadlines and achievable goals you are always moving forward.

  1. How to Set Long-Term Goals as a Writer: Your Author Career (self-publishingschool.com)

To freely thrive as an author, it is not only beneficial but necessary to set long-term goals that provide direction and purpose. This guide discusses six steps that will empower you to take charge of your writing career, make informed decisions, and turn your aspirations into reality. These are: deciding your author vision, setting your writing goals, breaking it down into action steps, determining your timeline, tracking your author progress, and reviewing and adjusting. Each step is discussed.


  1. 036: The Secret to Setting Goals That Actually Get Done: Michael Hyatt Interview [Podcast] (goinswriter.com)

In this podcast, they chat with Micheal Hyatt about setting and achieving goals. They discuss his 5-day process for goal setting and the reasons why some people are able to achieve their goals while others don’t.

  1. Podcast #58: Make Your Writing Goals for 2023 – Story Embers

Story Embers share their top tips for setting writing goals that will help you maintain a consistent schedule no matter how busy your life is.

  1. WriteCast Episode 59: How to Set and Stick to a Writing Goal (waldenwritingcenter.blogspot.com)

In this episode from the Walden Writing Centre, they discuss how to create an effective writing goal as well as how to keep yourself accountable for whatever goal you set.

These articles and podcasts offer great advice for setting writing goals, but I think the two most important pieces of advice are to, first of all, set realistic goals and, secondly, break down your goals into small manageable chunks. I hope this week’s been useful for you. As always, if there are topics you would like me to cover, please get in touch.

(c) Lucy O’Callaghan

Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31.

Facebook: @LucyCOCallaghan

Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

About the author

Writing since she was a child, Lucy penned her first story with her father called Arthur’s Arm, at the ripe old age of eight. She has been writing ever since. Inspired by her father’s love of the written word and her mother’s encouragement through a constant supply of wonderful stationary, she wrote short stories for her young children, which they subsequently illustrated.
A self-confessed people watcher, stories that happen to real people have always fascinated her and this motivated her move to writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her writing has been described as pacy, human, moving and very real.
Lucy has been part of a local writing group for over ten years and has taken creative writing classes with Paul McVeigh, Jamie O’Connell and Curtis Brown Creative. She truly found her tribe when she joined Writer’s Ink in May 2020. Experienced in beta reading and critiquing, she is currently editing and polishing her debut novel, The Lies Beneath – to be published by Poolbeg in 2023.
Follow her on Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31. Facebook and Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

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