Having Clear Writing Goals

Because of my new dedication to actually writing – and no longer being a non-writing writer, at least in practical terms – I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the last few months defining what my writing goals are. Now that I’ve committed myself to starting a writing career by this time next year, I’m starting to see them take a clear shape.

The hardest part for me in setting writing goals is figuring out what I think I can accomplish while I’m working full-time. I usually work between 50-70 hours a week and travel a lot from January thru May. My day job isn’t one that people who have a part-time writing career would usually choose, but I love it and I have committed to another season that goes until October of 2012. Trying to set goals based on what I know will be another demanding work year is difficult, but I think what I’ve come up with is pretty fair.

My overall goal is to have built the base of a writing career by this time next year when my contract finishes, so that I can (hopefully!) take some time off from reality TV and write full time. Specific benchmarks I’d like to hit are publishing at least 3 articles in newspapers or magazines, finishing the first draft of the YA novel I started last month, blogging daily while expanding my audience, and, most importantly, writing every day in an effort to refine my skills, harness my voice and become a more talented and paid writer.

From all the research and reading I’ve done, these seem like reachable goals, but I know that I have to make them all happen myself by putting in the time and hard work. With my job, it will be difficult, but not impossible. However, I’m curious to know what other writers think about these goals, especially those that have recently broken into the business or are currently trying to. Are these realistic goals? According to David Trottier they are. But I’d much rather hear from people who have been through it themselves.

Any thoughts?

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