Creative writing goals help you improve your craft and will remind
you to set aside time to do so. There is no magic formula that will help
you become a great writer,
but you can take action that will move you closer to that goal.
suggest setting goals in three key areas:
First, set writing goals that will increase your knowledge of craft
to some degree every month. Maybe you have time to read only one book
about writing a month.
That's something. Or, if you're not a reader, search out YouTube videos
that teach writing craft.
Knowledge fuels improvement, and the more you learn, the better
your chances of improvement. But don't leave your improvement to
chance. Set writing goals that
force you to measure your improvement.
You need an objective opinion on
this, so if you can afford to hire a writing mentor, this is the fastest
and most reliable method
of determining your progress.
If you can't afford private mentoring, join an online critiquing group. I occasionally provide free feedback at My Writers
Circle and many other professional and amateur writers do the same and will provide prompt, valuable feedback.
Also, keep an editing checklist and run a search on particular
problem areas. If you tend to overuse adverbs, do a search for "ly." If
you overuse participial phrases,
search for "ing" words. Your writing goals should be specific, such as
that you want a 10% decrease in adverbs each time you check. So keep
track of your numbers, and
gauge your progress. As you overcome one problem, focus on another, so
you have continuous improvement.
Don't focus all your writing goals on weaknesses. Your work will sell
because of its strengths, so keep honing those, as well, and get
reliable, objective feedback on
that, as well.
Knowledge and improvement are the writing goals that will bring
you the most satisfaction at first, so buy a book, enroll in a course or
writing conference, ask for a
critique, pay a mentor, and do whatever is necessary to learn and
And submit! The best proof of your improvement is a publication,
so always have a submission in circulation. You may not feel that
you're ready to submit, but you
may never feel that you're ready. Get advice from a
professional, and if an editor or mentor says a piece of work is ready
to submit, keep it in motion. If an
editor rejects it, ship it off to someone else.
Make this part of your writing goals. If you don't and you're like
most writers, you will procrastinate, or you will get one or two
rejections and won't want to risk
more. Don't give in to this feeling. Set a goal to have a new piece
ready for submission every month, research the market, and send the
piece out. After six months, you
will have six pieces circulating.
If you're fortunate, you will receive writing feedback and
encouragement along with any rejections. Better yet, you will be
accepted for publication. But you will only be
published if you force yourself to send your work out.
So there you have it. Three simple goals. They won't be new to you,
but are you already taking the necessary action? If not, set your goals right now
that you will take action on at least one of these goals before the end of the week.
What specific aspect of your writing do you want to improve? Write it
down as a goal, and take action. Thinking about it is not good enough.
Nothing changes until
you take action. Set some goals right now, act on them, and your progress is guaranteed.