Stop Setting Goals

A look at why you might do better not setting yourself writing goals.

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I’ve never been a fan of setting writing goals. I see guides and tips across the internet, authors who will tell you that you should set yourself a writing goal. Write five hundred words a day. Get up an hour early and write a hundred words every day. Don’t get me wrong, as advice go it is very solid. Not only does it get you writing but it gets you disciplined in writing; something that’s quite important if you want to do it professionally. While it may be good advice, I’m still not a fan of it.

The reason for that is failure. When you’re starting out, you’re going to struggle to reach those goals even if they’re little like a couple hundred words a day. You may be able to do it for a little while but then something’s going to come up and you won’t reach the goal. There’s nothing wrong with that and, if I’m being honest, failure is a part of learning and something that you will have to experience to succeed. However, there are so many avenues for failure, especially for an early writer, that I don’t see why you would want to add another one. Writing is hard work and a lot of people don’t see it through to the end. From personal experience, I’ve been close to giving up this whole writing thing more than once in my career and pretty much every occasion it’s because I’ve felt like a failure. If I couldn’t achieve the goals I was setting myself then I couldn’t call myself a writer. Since I stopped caring if I was meeting my goals or not and just focused on writing the damn thing when I can, it’s been a lot smoother, emotionally speaking.

If setting writing goals works for you, that’s great and I hope that you do well with them. If you find yourself setting goals that you aren’t meeting and you’re struggling to come to terms with it maybe try giving the goals a miss and see if you start moving forward.

David Chitty was born and raised in Thanet in the 90s. He devotes most of his energies to writing fantasy fiction novels.

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