Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I’ve been thinking about goals lately and I realized if I want to be published, I better get used to setting them. Someday I might have deadlines!

So, first I set a goal to have my current WIP finished by October. That’s doable, right? I thought that would be a good goal. But how do I go about making sure I'm on my way to making that goal?

Robert Gregory Browne asked on Facebook how you judge your writing goals. By time, pages, or words. I thought I judged my goal by time, but realized that wouldn’t get my book done by then. Some days I write a lot in the time I have, other days not so much.

Pages are nice, but some pages are full, others only contain two lines. Very deceiving. Since I’m judging my WIP in words, then I need to have a word goal.

So how MUCH would I have to write PER DAY to reach my October goal? And do I want the first draft done by then, or the first draft with one edit? That makes a difference in the number of words I need done by October.

I chose first draft. It’s been recommended to let your book “simmer” for a few weeks before you even think about editing (and I’ve found it does help – I’ll just use those weeks to start on the next book).

My finished word count goal is 100,000 words (or thereabouts). Knowing ME, the first draft should only be about 80,000 words (since I tend to leave out a lot of description and stuff like that – I add that during the edit). I’m currently at 50,000 words. That leaves 30,000 words until October.

To meet that October goal, that means I have to average roughly 500 words per day. Okay – I finally have a goal I can wrap my mind around. A daily goal that is reachable.

There was a time I thought 1000 words a day was doable. Yeah – if I didn’t work full time, that is. But 500 words a day is more realistic (and sometimes the weekends will make up that average on those week days I just can’t write). I’m currently averaging 666 words per day. Not bad. Maybe I'll get done sooner.  That would be even better.

Do you have writing goals? What kind? Do they help you? I find my goal has helped tremendously. If I’ve written at least 500 words in the day, I find I can relax a little more (and maybe even watch TV with my hubby).

Now the question - how do you make an EDITING goal?  I really want to know!


James Garcia Jr said...

Hello, Stacy. I was just passing through when I noticed that you listed "While You Were Sleeping" as a favorite film. My wife makes us all watch that twice a year!! Thankfully, I still like it after that many times. I also noticed that you like anything Stephen King, and that you mentioned James Taylor's name in a post. I'm not sure what else makes you tick, but I think I'll follow for a while so I can figure it out. ;)
Take care from a new follower.
-James Garcia Jr., author of "Dance on Fire"

Stacy McKitrick said...

Thanks for following, James. Hopefully I don't disappoint!